On Tuesday, the Raptors played the Sacramento Kings Kawhi-less, as they have been for the past few games, and beat them with ease. A big team victory helped to quell Marvin Bagley's double-double in Toronto.
Here are my takeaways from that game:
1. Bagley Might Not Be A Bust
So, as it turns out, 2018 second overall pick out of Duke, Marvin Bagley, might not be the bust that he's been accused of being.
The rookie has strung together a solid few games, but his performance against the Raptors tonight was hugely encouraging to Kings fans. He posted a double-double of 22 points and 11 boards with 2 blocks as well.
While he still can't shoot (0-2 against Toronto, 28.7% on the season), Bagley's athleticism, size, and length, showed in his season-best performance in Toronto.
His summer-league atrocities of performances didn't help, and his relatively weak start to the season didn't either. Add that to the dominance of third-pick Luka Doncic, and Bagley looks like a bad pick.
Although Luka definitely would have been the better pick, give Bagley some time to turn his raw potential into real skill; it could happen sooner than you think.
2. Danny Green Followed up His Season-Best with A Season-Worst
After scoring 24 points on 8-12 shooting from deep on Saturday against the Grizzlies, Raptors shooting guard Danny Green shot 33% from deep and 25% from the field for 6 points against the Kings tonight.
All shooters have off-nights and Green is one of the best shooter out there. Expect him to bounce back quickly.
3. CJ's Streak Continues
CJ Miles was looking like a prime trade piece in a Bradley Beal deal. He's a good shooter having an off-season; he can still play, and paired with a young role player and some picks, he looks pretty appealing. Truthfully, the Raptors and their fans wouldn't have missed him, seeing as in his time in Toronto he hasn't shot particularly well, and this season is even worse.
A career 36% high-volume shooter from deep, CJ has shot 31% this season.
He's been forced out of the rotation because of that, recording a healthy scratch many times as of late.
Miles has had a really good three-game stretch though, scoring 13 in the two games prior to this one, and 15 on 4-5 shooting from behind the arc against the Kings tonight. Overall, he had 15 points on 5-7 shooting from the field with a block and a couple of boards.
If Miles can maintain this level of play, he will give head coach Nick Nurse an absolute headache trying to figure out how to distribute minutes come playoff time.
The Raptors play the Pacers tomorrow night in Indiana, and the Kings don't play again until Friday, when they see the Grizzlies in Memphis.