Title: Raptors win the war but lose the battle as Pistons spoil VanVleet & Siakam returns
Date: March 17, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I offered some takeaways from the return of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell’s career night, all in a loss.
However the night turned out, the return of two foundational pieces to the floor was always going to be a positive. From VanVleet smiling brightly during warmups to Siakam’s first spin move in the post, Wednesday felt like the team was shouldering a lighter weight than the last five games. Along with Malachi Flynn, Patrick McCaw and a number of assistant coaches, VanVleet and Siakam received pregame clearance to return after missing five and six games respectively due to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Before the game, head coach Nick Nurse’s tone conveyed this being a page-turning evening. The Raptors hoped to get back on the winning side of things, but regardless, it would be a step forward as the team looks to put an unfortunate, dispiriting and worrisome couple of weeks behind them.