‘Worst team in the NBA right now?’ Toronto’s future unclear

Things don’t look good for Toronto.

The Toronto Raptors lost 88-96 to the Brooklyn Nets in the 2023-2024 NBA regular-season finale at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Nov. 26 (ET).

Both teams were in the midst of losing streaks heading into the game. Toronto was on a 10-game losing streak and Brooklyn was on a six-game losing streak.

As expected from two teams in a slump, the game was not played well. The two teams played back-and-forth for the entire fourth quarter, with each team disappointing the other.

However, it was Brooklyn that escaped with a win. The Nets had five players score in double figures and narrowly defeated Toronto to end their losing streak. Toronto, on the other hand, played poorly and lost their 11th straight game.

Toronto has its excuses. Toronto is without four starters – RJ Barrett, Imanuel Quicli, Scotty Barnes, and Jakob Pudl – due to injury. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these four players account for more than half of Toronto’s strength. That said, there are some mitigating factors for Toronto’s performance.

Toronto has essentially declared this season a rebuilding season. In the middle of the season, they traded away their franchise stars, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, for prospects and draft picks.

They sent Anunoby and Siakam for semi-professional players and received immediate power arms in Barrett, Quikley, and Bruce Brown. The reviews for both trades weren’t bad.

They also got rid of Dennis Schroder, who was brought in as a replacement for Fred VanVleet but has been a disappointment, by trading him to the Brooklyn Nets at the trade deadline.

The question is whether Toronto’s future is bright. The obvious core for Toronto right now is Barnes. Barnes has been called the Untouchable.

Barnes’ development has been so successful that he was named a 2024 NBA All-Star. Barnes has been the team’s ace this season, averaging 20 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game.

He’s improved his post-ups, mid-range scoring, and three-point shooting, which was considered a weakness until last season. He’s also improved his passing game. He”s now a standard six assists per game player.

His defense is also excellent. He uses his physicality to press and fight, and he’s a good man-to-man defender. Barnes is definitely the future of Toronto.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *