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Home / Sports / Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet shine for Raptors and Lonzo Ball, who mostly sits on the bench while pelicans stumble on the track

Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet shine for Raptors and Lonzo Ball, who mostly sits on the bench while pelicans stumble on the track



The 2019-20 NBA season officially begins and the Toronto Raptors defeat the New Orleans Pelicans (130-122) in an entertaining game to start the season. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet topped the Raptors with 34 points each, while Brandon Ingram was the pelicans' peak with 22 points.

Here are five great snacks from the first game of the NBA season.

Pascal Siakam Making Money

Pascal Siakam signed a four-year extension of up to $ 130 million and wasted no time restraining the Raptors' confidence in him by posting a monster line of 34 points, 18 Rebounds and 5 assists posted.

Siakam got the line. He scored in the transition phase and in this intermediate area he is so good at exploiting that he has a lot of his lumbering, sporty one-foot spinner off-glass long-arm finishes ahead of him. Siakam finished the dribble 1

-0 with just over three minutes to improve on New Orleans' lead and scored for Toronto in the next ball.

The question for Siakam is whether he can be a true No. 1 player / scorer after the departure of Kawhi Leonard, especially at the end of the games. So far, so good, and you noticed that Siakam had no time for money after fouling into playing in less than a minute. In the future, Siakam will no longer sneak up on anyone. He will be the focus of the defense's attention every night. At least after Game 1, he certainly faces the challenge.

Freddy Ballgame

Fred VanVleet does not seem to have skipped a beat since he threw buckets at the Warriors in the final. VanVleet scored a career high of 34 points in the 5-of-7 non-archival game, including a dagger triple from the corner, which gave the Raptors just over a minute advantage over five points in extra time.

VanVleet started next to Kyle Lowry on the forecourt, which obviously raises some concerns about size. But both played great on Tuesday. Lowry was successful with 22 points, six assists and five boards.

No problem for New Orleans

New Orleans gave a clear picture of how it should be played this season – step on the metal with a ton of 3-pointers. The Pelicans shot 45 threes Tuesday, 19 of them for a 42 percent clip they'll obviously record each night. They scored 122 points, but with a five-minute extension. They had 30 assists and moved the ball great. It just was not enough against the Raptors, who fired 35 percent of their own 40 threesomes.

And that's the problem after Game 1 for the pelicans: the defense that looks on paper as if it were extremely versatile and potentially elitist (maybe it has to wait for Zion to come back) could not do the raptors They stopped their men from the dribbles and got pretty much every shot they wanted all night long.

Alvin Gentry's rotations were strange.

Have you heard the saying that your greatest strength can be your greatest weakness? Maybe this has something to do with the pelicans, who are crazy with 12 players playing at least 11 minutes on Tuesday night. The starters were on the road for a long time when the bank of New Orleans played well.

Over the course of the fourth quarter, Gentry went high in a three-player ball game in Josh Hart, Frank Jackson and Jahill Okafor. In the meantime, Lonzo Ball, Derrick Favors and JJ Redick sat for three hours to come back into play in extra time.

It's hard to blame Gentry for these weird rotations to start the season. He has a lot of people who can play and he has to play through different variations. Again, the bank has played well and New Orleans has, albeit tediously, kept the game under control for routes in the late fourth quarter.

Still, the Pels have to figure this out so the guys have at least an idea of ​​their role and playing time. The depth is great, but it is possible to have too much good. When Zion returns, there will be 13 players who must try Gentry to get real playtime without guys sitting for super long stretches. Not an easy task.

Let Lonzo Ball

Lonzo was really good in the first half on Tuesday. He scored five points, five assists and three boards, but generally controlled the pace and got everyone involved. In the second half of the game he came out of the gate with his second catch and shoot, which is obviously an encouraging sign for a man who changed his shooting style over the summer and whose only career fight was shooting.

But then Lonzo disappeared to the end of the bench and finished the game 4:46 to play in the third quarter and skip the rest of the regulation. When he was back in the game to work overtime, he literally hopped up and down and drilled the ball on the court to get his blood flowing again. That is not optimal. Lonzo looked good and when he had the ball and control of the offense, New Orleans got more good shots than not. Gentry has to find more regular minutes for Ball.


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