Toronto Raptors striker OG Anunoby (3) hits the ball in the second half by Zion Williamson (1), striker of the New Orleans Pelicans, away an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec 23, 2020, in Tampa, Fla (AP Photo / Chris O’Meara)

After the Toronto Raptors finally claim their first win of the season, they will look for some vengeance as they face the team that debuted their three-game season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans started Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet

Although it’s only been three games since that first encounter with Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and the Pelicans, the expectation should be that the team that has stalled defensively and doesn’t have the right, decisive shots after a Behind the Raptors is a bit of soul searching, which culminated in their win against the New York Knicks last Thursday

There’s no guarantee of that, of course, but there’s no denying how much better the Raptors looked on Thursday compared to their first game of the season

As you prepare for the Saturday night game, there are three things to keep in mind and be aware of

Without question, the biggest act in Saturday’s game will be seeing Pascal Siakam react to the disciplinary action taken against him by the team on Thursday that forced him to watch his way from the bench Team rolled over New York

As Michael Grange of Sportsnet reported, Siakam was frustrated not being able to help his teammates but finally understood the decision

Siakam was seen walking off the floor towards the locker room 26 seconds before the foul of Toronto’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, and while clearly frustrated, things didn’t look good for a team leader who started with a from a four-year contract for a maximum of 136 million US dollars

Now, with the raptors doing this housework, we need to see how Siakam reacts, and whether the proverbial rationale got him to think about his actions and get a better way out of the incident

During his first three games, Siakam looked mostly mediocre at an average of 187 points per game, but only 39 points3 percent off the field. Maybe a little hard love from the organization gives him the boost he needs to be like the All-NBA player maximum contract it was before getting into the bubble last season restart

The last time the Raptors competed against the Pelicans, they focused mostly on Williamson, who scored 15 points and 10 rebounds but saw the damage limited because the Raptors – mostly backed by individual defense work – from OG Anunoby – tried to force him to pass the ball or to deny him access to it

That was great, but sadly, Toronto had no response to the actual Pelicans all-star ingram, who scored 24 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds while taking 10-of-19 off the floor and 3-for-6 from went deep

Anunoby won the main contract against Williamson and as such was unable to draw his attention to Ingram, allowing the New Orleans star to run amok

Unfortunately, the Raptors don’t have two Anunobys, so they’ll likely have to choose between Williamson and Ingram, and determine who they’re more willing to let loose. In theory, a player like Siakam could be a strong defensive game against Ingram, but he’s consuming these days probably too much energy on offense to be a true defensive stopper, so it will likely come down to dealing with one or the other of the raptors

The Raptors’ defensive problems from the first two games of the season seem to have been found out in the two games since, but the offense was still a struggle

The Raptors compete with the worst offense in the NBA on Saturday, setting only 98 to 1 points per 100 possessions, but there has been evidence that their offense may take a positive turn

In Thursday’s first half against New York, Toronto only managed to shoot 42 points to 357 percent, but the team improved a lot in the second half, scoring 58 points and shooting 463 percent off the ground and 10 threes at an excellent 40 percent drilled this area

It was only 24 minutes, but given how bad Toronto’s offense has looked so far, any sign of life should be viewed as a positive sign and something to build on

Whether this is actually the case remains to be seen, of course, but that will be the hope

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Raptors vs. Pelicans

World News – CA – 3 Things To Look For When Raptors Vs For Revenge Pelicans on Sportsnet

Source: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nba/article/3-things-watch-raptors-look-revenge-vs-pelicans-sportsnet/