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NHL Trade Deadline Blog: Six takeaways from an interesting day of deals

“Yeah, it’s not doing much. It’s not doing much,” said VanVleet. “I understand the concept … I probably would have been even less effective than I was tonight if I would have played [Sunday against Philadelphia]. … It’s just one of those things where it’s got to kind of take it day by day and figure it out as you go. Certainly hard to gain a rhythm … It’s a difficult situation. [But] it’s what I get paid to do, so I got to figure it out. I certainly take ownership and responsibility for my poor performance and I’m looking forward to getting back on track.”

It’s concerning, but outside of health there is plenty of room for optimism for Toronto. The Raptors are a young team getting better. The same club that had the NBA’s 30th-ranked defence in November was eighth in March as it arrived in Chicago for a key contest with the Bulls.

But they’ve needed to be: The Raptors are 27th in effective field goal percentage on the season. If they don’t shoot more shots, they’re unlikely to win.

The plan didn’t work on Monday night. The teams were even in offensive rebounds at 14 each, while Chicago won the turnover category 12-5. Add in that Toronto shot 6-of-32 from three to the Bulls’ 11-of-28 and the seeds of a blowout were sown.

Siakam led Toronto with 22 points on 14 shots, while Fred VanVleet shot 7-of-22 and 3-of-12 from deep for his 19 points. Former Raptor DeMar DeRozan had 26 points on 14 shots for Chicago.

The Bulls started the fourth quarter trailing 84-73 and their offence simply got stuck in the mud at that point as Chicago coasted home, snapping the Raptors’ six-game road winning streak in the process.metasports

“Well, my first … analysis of it is to decide is it really that bad that we’re not getting good enough shots or whatever?” said Nurse. “You know, we did go into a stretch where we turned it over, maybe two or three straight times. That’s concerning,

“But when you’ve got a bunch of shots at the rim that are you’re not making and a string of wide-open threes that don’t go in, not much more we can ask for than that, right? So there is, the only thing I’m probably ever concerned about is the turnovers.”

That the Raptors were without two of their rather slim collection of proven three-point shooters in Trent Jr., who sprained his big toe late in the game against Philadelphia on Sunday, and OG Anunoby, who hasn’t played since before the all-star break, didn’t help.

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