The Raptors came back down to earth a bit this week. They dropped their first game of the season — understandable since they were without Kawhi Leonard against the undefeated Bucks — but they also had to play Dallas and Minnesota fairly closely to escape with wins. Their point differential for the season has dropped back to fifth and their defensive efficiency has dropped out of the top-10.
A colder shooting week for Kyle Lowry, and missed games by OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright, in addition to Kawhi’s, were part of the slide. Still, the Raptors are working on putting all the pieces in place and they’ve already established themselves as an elite team. The rest of this regular season is just about getting a rhythm, sanding down the rough edges and jockeying for position.