Burn the tape.
That's about all there is to say about the Toronto Raptors' 114-104 blowout loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night. Burn the tape.
These are not the Toronto Raptors. This is a team decimated by COVID-19 issues that have poached three of their five starters including two of their best offensive creators and two of their best lockdown defenders. This is a team right now that lacks communication, lacks scoring firepower, and lacks an ability to beat some very mediocre teams.
This game, on Saturday night, was over in a hurry. The Raptors couldn't get out on Charlotte's shooters and gave up a franchise-worst 11 3-pointers in the first quarter alone. The Hornets whizzed their ways to a 44-24 lead and a 25-point lead just five minutes into the second quarter.
"[The] game was moving too fast for us," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "They were really pushing it up the floor. I mean it was an emphasis for us, they're a really good transition team, but there was just too much happening too quickly and some guys made some deep shots as well. And they really were, they were just playing really carefree and fast and popping it around and just not contested enough."
Unlike last season when the Raptors miraculously clawed their way out of a 30-point deficit to the Dallas Mavericks, there was no magic to be had against Charlotte.
If there's anything to take away from these games, it's that the Raptors' depth is certainly not as good as it has been in years past. For so long Toronto has overcome injuries with a roster full of talent. This season, however, things are a little different. When healthy, the Raptors normally run about seven deep with talent, but these days, without Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, they can hardly fill a starting lineup with the type of talent they're used to having.
The Raptors have now dropped four straight games and almost all of those have come to teams in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. That's making these losses sting even more. A year ago, the Raptors would have penciled in wins against the Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, and Hornets. Now they can't seem to beat the mediocre teams and that's not to mention the tough ones against the Brooklyn Nets, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, and Utah Jazz on the horizon.
If there was a bright spot for Toronto on Saturday it was the play of Kyle Lowry. The 34-year-old veteran led the Raptors with 19 points and eight assists.
Up Next: Chicago Bulls
Fortunately for Toronto there won't be much time to dwell on Saturday's beating. They'll be right back at it on Sunday night when they take on the Chicago Bulls at 9 p.m. ET.
"As I said we hate losing, no one wants to lose, but us getting on this quick flight and getting out there, wake up, watch film on the next team," DeAndre' Bembry said. "This game, obviously, is going to go right past and we're just looking forward to try to get that next W."