NBA 2018-19: 3 Talking points from the Toronto Raptors' victory over the Los Angeles Clippers
#2 Battle of the benches
What was a super strength, for the Toronto Raptors last year has been a bit average this season. The players, on the Raptors bench, have changed. Jacob Poeltl is playing in SanAntonio. Pascal Siakam is now starting most games. This puts more scoring pressure, on Fred Vanvleet, who is feeling it. His three-point shooting is down 7% from 41% last year, but, he got the start, in place of Leonard, tonight.
C.J. Miles has been almost nonexistent, for the Raptors. He is a three-point shooting specialist and is becoming less effective every night. Last year, Miles averaged 10 points per game and shot 36% from three-point range, in 19 minutes a game. This season Miles is averaging 4.9 points per game, on 32% shooting, from three-point range, in 13.9 minutes a game. Tonight the Raptors got 50 points, from their bench, which is solid production.
In contrast, the Clippers got 64 of 99 points, off of their bench. Boban Marjanovic scored 18 points, Tyrone Wallace had 15 points and Mike Scott and Milos Teodosic each had 9 points. It was a productive night, for the Clippers bench. However, the starters did not produce. The most effective starter, for the Clippers, was Danilo Gallinari, with 11 points.
The Clippers bench definitely came to play. If their starters had matched the bench's intensity, this could have been a closer game. The Clippers were without Lou Williams, against Toronto. The Clippers starters looked like they were the team, that traveled, to play this game. In fact, it was the Raptors, playing on the road, in Los Angeles.