May 25, 2024

The Toronto Raptors, led by Pascal Siakam and Darko Rajakovic, were predicted to destroy the Detroit Pistons at home. Prior to Sunday’s game, Detroit had the worst record in the NBA (2-11), and after a strong 2-1 start, Monty Williams has managed an unlikely 10-game losing streak.


Darko Rajakovic proves how deadly Raptors offense can be in humiliation of  Pistons


The Clippers wanted to trade for Pascal Siakam


The Raptors had just finished one of the most brutal starts to a season in franchise history, so they were grateful for this little respite. In addition to playing top Western opponents like the Timberwolves and Mavericks through 12 games, the Raptors faced Eastern Conference contenders like the Bucks, 76ers, and Celtics twice apiece (1-5 record in those contests).

The inability of Rajakovic’s offense to generate momentum from 3-point range and their subpar half-court statistics have drawn some criticism. It turns out that the averages are boosted when they play tanking teams like the Washington Wizards and Pistons, but they are weighed down when they play potential NBA champions every other night.

In 29 minutes, Siakam scored 23 points to lead the Raptors to a devastating 142-113 victory over Detroit, one of the most embarrassing games of the season. With 44 assists in a game, the Raptors broke the previous franchise record.

Sometimes Rajakovic’s offense can appear truly spectacular when it can establish a rhythm against a weaker opponent.

When facing the Detroit Pistons, the Toronto Raptors’ offense was flawless.
In this game, almost everyone could find something to be happy about. With three blocks and a plus-37 rating, Scottie Barnes scored 17 points, Jakob Poeltl recorded another double-double, and Dennis Schroder was the main catalyst for this offense in the early going. 53 points were scored by the bench, which was led by Precious Achiuwa and Gary Trent Jr.

44 of the 55 shots that the Raptors made were assisted, demonstrating that Rajakovic’s focus on ball movement and willingness to make the extra pass would eventually pay off. The starting lineup’s collective dominance was undoubtedly important, but so was the bench.

The Raptors’ offensive system was unstoppable in this game, but the Pistons are fielding a group of players who may need to grind out victories in the G League at this point. Toronto was able to clear their palate after the Boston game with a few upcoming games against less-known teams.

Toronto’s ability to put its stars in positions to succeed consistently when they aren’t playing the best of the best is demonstrated by the fact that they have largely handled business against inferior opponents. Postseason play may be on the horizon for the assured Siakam and Rajakovic if they can perform at least half as well each night.


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