East Notes: Raptors, RJ Barrett, Cavs, Donovan Mitchell, Hornets


The Raptors’ home win over the Cavaliers on Monday featured the debuts of guard/forward RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, who scored 19 and 14 points, respectively.RJ Barrett

Both arrived in the OG Anunoby trade with the Knicks and Barrett, of course, hails from Toronto.

“This was special,” Barrett told reporters. “Way better than any other time I’ve played here. This was a special one that I’ll always appreciate.”

Barrett assisted on a Quickley 3-pointer to open the scoring, much to the delight of Raptors fans.

  • Old-standby Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 36 points. “I think we played good basketball,” coach Darko Rajakoic said. “Guys were enjoying playing a good brand of basketball and just cheering for each other.”
  • Siakam is drawing trade interest from multiple teams and could be the next Raptor traded. The list may include the Grizzlies and Pistons, as we relayed here.


Coach J.B. Bickerstaff insisted that Siakam travelled on the final inbounds pass. The officials didn’t call it, however, and Siakam was able to pass the ball in, forcing the Cavs to foul.

“He travelled for sure,” Bickerstaff told reporters. “There was no doubt about it. When you inbound the ball on the sideline after a timeout, you’re not allowed to move and he clearly worked his way up the sideline. That’s a violation, the ball should have been ours with a chance to win the game.”

  • The Cavs are 5-3 since learning that point guard Darius Garland (jaw) and forward Evan Mobley (knee) would miss significant time with injuries.
  • Star guard Donovan Mitchell was whistled for a lane violation after purposely missing the second of two free throws with 3 seconds to go and the Cavs down by two. “That was tough,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t agree, but it shouldn’t have come down to that.”
  • I have much more on the game in the latest Dribbles. You can check them out here.
  • Finally, it’s believed the Knicks won’t seriously pursue Mitchell after the Anunoby trade, as we posted here.


  • The Hornets now own the NBA’s longest skid, having lost 11 straight, including Monday’s road defeat to the Nuggets. Injuries have played a role, with point guard LaMelo Ball (ankle) and forward Gordon Hayward (calf) among the sidelined.
  • Point guard Ish Smith played for the champion Nuggets last season and started in place of Ball. “We’ve got to keep learning, keep growing,” Smith said of Charlotte. “I hate that we’ve got to learn and grow through losses, but we’re going to be good. We’re going to push through some things. We’re going to press through some things because that’s what good teams do.”

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