The Toronto Raptors have the best record in the NBA, and by a comfortable margin. The Cleveland Cavaliers, on the other hand, have the worst record in the league and are well out of a playoff spot. The Cavaliers are currently 15 games behind Toronto and 6.5 games back of a playoff spot in the extremely competitive eastern conference.
With Toronto’s victory over Cleveland, the Raptors are the first team to reach 20 wins this season. The Raptors’ win wasn’t anything too special, but it was a solid win as they got the job done. Kawhi Leonard was superb in his contribution to the win, as he filled up the stat sheet with 34 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. The 27 year old stepped up his game when shots weren’t falling for Toronto, and he also set a good pace for the game.
Part of the reason why Kawhi was doing so much on his own for the team was because Raptors’ all-star point guard Kyle Lowry was sitting out with an unexpected back injury. The details about Lowry’s injury were unspecified, but Kyle started feeling symptoms earlier in the day, and was ruled out by Nick Nurse as a game-time decision.
Pascal Siakam, who is a Most Improved Player candidate also put up a solid performance with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Himself, along with the rest of the starters had much needed sound performances. One of the concerns was CJ Miles: Miles isn’t shooting well this season, and his offensive woes are continuing as demonstrated in Saturday’s game. CJ finished with just two points in his 15 minutes of playing time. That’s undoubtedly not the productivity that the Raptors want from him, but Nick Nurse is hoping that Miles will get his shooting touch back as he plays more minutes for the team.
Besides CJ Miles and Kyle Lowry, there weren’t any major concerns in Toronto’s win against Cleveland. It was a really solid victory, and the Raptors depth was definitely a factor. The Lowry injury shouldn’t be too concerning, because he was a game-time decision. However, the 4-time NBA all-star could be sitting out next game if Nick Nurse decides that he wants to take precautions surrounding Lowry’s back.