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Feb 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Team LeBron guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets is called for an offensive foul against Team Giannis guard Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter of the 2020 NBA All Star Game at United Center. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Week Record (1-1)
Overall Record (40-15)

Well there goes the streak. Given the injuries to players of significance (aka big men) this was due to happen. How do I feel about it? It’s a justifiable loss and I’d rather see the team healthy post All-Star break. The Raptors have some tough games and I’d like to see most of our guys healthy and ready to go for match ups against the Lakers, the Bucks, and the Celtics.

Monday, February 10th – Toronto Raptors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – W (137-126)
OG Anunoby scored a career-high 25 points on an efficient 10 of 13 attempts with three of four of those from three and brought down a career-high 12 rebounds. The Raptors are undefeated when OG scores 20 points or more. All the starters scored in double digits, combining for a team-record 123 points. The Raptors have 16 straight home games against Minnesota. Serge Ibaka was a late scratch and was out with flu-like symptoms. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson started at center to replace Ibaka and had a season-high 21 points. On the other side of the court, Karl-Anthony Towns had a tougher time with the collective swarming defense against him, causing him to shoot 5-13. Point guard D’Angelo Russell made his debut as well, putting up 22 points and 5 assists, but with six turnovers.

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Wednesday, February 12th – Brooklyn Nets @ Toronto Raptors – L (101-91)
The Raptors have finally lost a game, and it wasn’t even like they gave it away. Both teams played rusty, but the Raptors shots were just flat. Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Caris Levert all scored over 15 points. Serge Ibaka, after missing last game with the flu had 28 points and nine rebounds. The Nets also stopped the Raptors shooting surge by only allowing 37.8 per cent of their 3-pointers to go in.

Sunday, February 16th – All-Star Game
The All-Star game had a distinct Raptors theme to it, as both Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam closed the game for Team Giannis. Despite the loss, Lowry made plays that kept them in the game, especially drawing offensive fouls and charges. Even though he fouled Anthony Davis, which sent him to the line to win the game for Team LeBron, he made more positive plays than negatives ones.

Player of the Week – Pascal Siakam
Pascal’s performance against Minnesota alone in my opinion got this title. Because he was able to get back to his bread and butter (transition game) and that helped him out offensively. My only complaint is that Pascal needs to go to the rim a lot harder than he is now. Is he scared of contact? Some of Lowry has been rubbing off on him where he just looks for the call instead of taking it stronger and selling it.

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All-Star player making All-Star plays

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Key Contributor – Kyle Lowry
Speaking of Kyle, his steady hand kept the Raptors in both games, albeit to mixed results. Double digit assists have helped out tremendously the Raptors when his shots weren’t falling.

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Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

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Standout Performance – RHJ’s 21
With Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Dewan Hernandez all out with injuries for Monday’s game, the Raptors needed a center. Enter Rondae Hollis-Jefferson into the starting lineup. He put up 21 points, six rebounds and three steals. His unique skills of playmaking, defense, and rebounding make him a unique card in Nick Nurse’s deck.

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Looking is mad overrated

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Best Opposing Player/Performance – Karl Anthony-Towns’ near triple double
Despite being a net negative, Karl Anthony-Towns gets this distinction for his 23 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. Even though he whined a lot about foul calls and had the occasional leg flare, the Raptors did not have an answer for him.

To Note:

  • Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is being sued by
  • Forbes listed the Toronto Raptors as the 10th most valuable franchise

League News:

  • Former Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has signed with the Dallas Mavericks.
  • The finalists for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team were announced. Kyle Lowry is one of the 44 players listed.
  • Gianna and Kobe Bryant were laid to rest in a private ceremony.
  • Damian Lillard injured his groin and will be out for one to two weeks. Devin Booker will be his All-Star and 3-Point Contest replacement.
  • Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo beat Domantas Sabonis in the Skills Challenge.
  • Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield beat Devin Booker in the 3-Point Contest.
  • Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. beat Aaron Gordon in the Dunk Contest.
  • Team LeBron beat Team Giannis in the All-Star Game 157-155. Former Raptor Kawhi Leonard was named inaugural Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP.

Up Next:

  • Friday, February 21st – Toronto Raptors vs. Phoenix Suns
  • Sunday, February 23rd – Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers

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