GETTING ANOTHER W
The Raptors picked up a 97-72 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday to move 2-0 in NBA Summer League. After leading by seven at the half, the Raptors doubled up on the Wolves in the third, 30-15, to blow the game open and pick up the win. Though Toronto shot 50 percent from the floor, defence was the story as the Raptors held Minnesota to just 32 percent shooting in the game.
Siakam leading the way once more: One day after leading the Raptors in scoring with 24 points, Pascal Siakam was the team’s leading scorer again, this time contributing 17 points in the victory. Siakam played 22 minutes shooting 6-for-11 from the floor, including 1-for-2 from beyond the arc and 4-for-6 from the free throw line while adding four rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot as he continues to show his expanding offensive repertoire.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri joined the NBATV crew courtside for an interview where he talked about keeping the core of the team together, his relationship with Wayne Embry, and coming back stronger than last season. Like head coach Dwane Casey on Friday, Ujiri talked about the importance of summer league for young players on the roster, pointing to Siakam, VanVleet and Poeltl’s offseason development.
MEEKS COMING UP BIG
Kennedy Meeks had a solid debut for the Raptors on Friday, scoring 15 points to go with nine rebounds in the team’s victory against the Pelicans. A day later, he came off the bench to score 12 points in just 10 minutes, shooting 5-for-7 from the floor. Meeks added four rebounds and an assist as he began to settle into a new system with new summer league teammates. His efforts earned him praise from Raptors summer league head coach Patrick Mutombo.
“He works hard,” Mutombo said of Meeks. “He pays attention to detail. He’s smart and he has a good feel for the game.”
SOPHS CONTINUE TO SHINE
After the trio of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl led the way in Toronto’s victory on Friday, they continued to show their experience and chemistry on Saturday. With Siakam leading the way offensively, VanVleet showed off his all-around game, finishing with nine points to go with five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Poeltl, despite receiving three stitches above his eye following Friday’s win, posted a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double. He shot 6-for-8 from the floor, 3-for-4 from the free throw line and added an assist as the team was a +22 when he was on the floor. The familiarity between the three was easy to see as they made everything look easy when on the floor together.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Toronto outscored Minnesota 54-16 in points in the paint.
Following the victory, Matt Tierney and Akil Augustine provided a recap of the game:
THEY SAID IT:
“The game started 0-0. Then we got to a blow out. Guys played hard from the start. I thought it was a good focus on the details and on preparation. Guys did a good job executing.”
– Coach Patrick Mutombo on his team’s effort in a big victory
“It’s obviously the fact that we got to play the whole year together, playing some G-League games together helped us out a lot. We’re also familiar with the system already so it’s most likely a lot easier for us to run through the whole system. It just makes it really easy playing with these guys because they’re good basketball players. They’ll find you, I’ll find them, we’ve got a good chemistry going on there.”
– Jakob Poeltl on the familiarity playing with Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet
“Fred is a carrier of our culture. He does it in practice. He does it off the court and then on the court also. Fred makes all of us look good. He’s very smart, works extremely hard. Wants this opportunity. Wants it really bad. He doesn’t talk about it, he shows it. He’s everything a coach would ever want in a player.”
– Coach Patrick Mutombo on Fred VanVleet’s leadership
Up next: The Raptors will have an intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday and then return to the court on Monday to take on the Denver Nuggets at 8 P.M. ET.