The Raptors struggled to beat the Orlando Magic in their lowest-scoring game to date. They needed a Danny Green fading mid-range jump-shot with less than a second on the clock to put the lowly Magic away.
Here are my takeaways from the Tuesday night game:
1. Danny Green Wins the DeMar Trade for Masai
Fans had mixed feelings after Masai Ujiri traded away then-franchise player, DeMar DeRozan, and young first-round draft pick, Jakob Poeltl, for the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
So far, DeMar and Kawhi have been having relatively equal seasons stat-wise, and there has been much debate on who won that trade: the Raptors or the Spurs?
I personally believe that this trade was one of the very rare "win-win" scenarios in the NBA, but if I had to choose a winner, I would go with the Raptors.
While it's true that Kawhi and DeMar have both had stellar seasons thus far, the other two members of the trade packages, Danny Green and Jakob Poeltl, have not.
Poeltl has showed nice energy for the Spurs, but Green has instantly become a fan favourite, knocking down threes at an insane rate, defending well, and against the Magic, hitting the game-winning shot.
2. Lorenzo Brown is Better Than You Think
Lorenzo Brown gets a lot of hate from the Toronto section of NBA Twitter; I don't believe he deserves said hate, and it's mainly because of nights like tonight.
Brown, the former G-League MVP, scored 8 points and had 2 assists and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes, but the numbers don't tell the whole story. Brown had key rebounds and key assists down the stretch, and honestly, the Raptors might not have won had it not been for Brown's late-game productivity.
3. The Raptors are Going to Bounce Back
A surprising amount of people seem to be worried about the Raptors' recent string of losses and tonight's near-loss to the Magic. Those people should stop worrying; it's very, very early in the season, and even if it weren't the Raptors are going to quickly bounce back.
Kawhi Leonard has been back from injury for 18 games, (a few of which he did not play in), and is still finding his groove. Give him time.
OG Anunoby, CJ Miles, and Norman Powell injuries are limiting Nick Nurse's ability to mix and match lineups. Give them (and him) time.
The Raptors will bounce back. Give them time.