Welcome to the 10 things recap by theScore features writer William Lou, which serves to highlight emerging trends from a Raptors perspective.
Undeserved: The Raptors battled back after a sluggish start, but ultimately fell short in a classic trap game scenario. They had two chances to win, first at the end of regulation and again at the conclusion of overtime, but both times, the shot rimmed out.
Elite: Kawhi Leonard was the only reason that the Raptors were in the game at all. Not only did he score 32 points as the only credible shot creator on the floor, but he also came through with a handful of clutch plays on defense, including a game-saving deflection on Spencer Dinwiddie's drive to the basket at the end of regulation.
Bricks: This was yet another poor 3-point performance by the supporting cast outside of Leonard, who hit five of Toronto's 11 treys. Everyone else shot 6-of-29, including a wide-open look at the game-winner in overtime by Fred VanVleet that rimmed out.
Execution: Once again, the Raptors relied on isolations for Leonard to close the game. He got off a contested - but makeable - fadeaway to end regulation, but it wouldn't drop after bouncing twice off the rim. The Raptors get into trouble when Leonard is trying to break down the defense with his dribble at the end of games - as shown in their losses to Boston and Detroit - instead of having him curl or setting him up in the post and clearing out.
Mistake: Nick Nurse had a brain fart at the end of regulation by going small and having Pascal Siakam screen for Leonard as opposed to a bigger body in Jonas Valanciunas or Serge Ibaka. The slender frame of Siakam failed to create enough separation on the screen for Leonard to get a switch onto Jarrett Allen. Either one of Toronto's true centers would have been a better bet on that play.
Flaw: Kyle Lowry simply needs to do more. He finished with a grand total of three points in 36 minutes and is averaging eight points per game in Toronto's six losses. He's looking to pass to the roll man every time down, and defenses are starting to sag back and dare Lowry to score - he simply won't do it. He would rather overpass than take a shot.
Hobbled: Lowry clearly isn't 100 percent. He got elbowed in the ribs in tonight's game, he takes a beating on a nightly basis, and he already sat out a game earlier this year with a sore back. He can't drive past even sluggish centers, he definitely doesn't have the same lift on his jumpers, and he can't finish at the rim whatsoever. It's hard to watch.
Schemed: The Nets made a concerted effort of helping off Siakam and daring him to shoot. He did occasionally come through with some driving layups, but the strategy worked, as the Nets were able to neutralize pick-and-rolls by helping off Siakam. This will be a concern moving forward, and it will definitely be an issue in the playoffs.
Lost: It's sad to see a proud veteran like C.J. Miles struggle so badly. He's consistently gambling on both sides of the floor and it usually leads to horrendous results. The 14-year vet is making rookie errors like stepping out of bounds on the corner three and selling out for steals that he has no chance of getting. Norman Powell is going to take his minutes once he returns, although he's not much better.
Heartbreak: This game snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Nets, who have endured so much bad luck this season. They've been rudderless since losing Caris LaVert and have lost in every way imaginable, including close losses to Memphis, Utah, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Oklahoma City.