Regardless of shedding to the NBA’s finest group, the Raptors discovered some issues that work.
It’s okay to shun silver linings, particularly in case you’ve been compelled to seek for them for an prolonged time frame. However, if there have been a group to seek out them towards, it might be the thrill noticed, 15-2 Warriors. A barrage of threes on one finish, Draymond Inexperienced quarterbacking the protection on the opposite, they’re a formidable squad. Oh yeah, and Steph Curry was there to command a big quantity of defensive consideration (as he does towards each group), opening up his teammates for loads of seems to be.
A fast have a look at what went flawed for the Raptors:
Loss of life by a thousand threes
Sort of dramatic, sure, as a result of it was 22 threes, however that’s loads! So, why did this occur? Effectively, as many individuals know, the Raptors rotate off the corners to stifle drives, they pinch and dig once they’re one move away, they usually try to lure and double greater than most groups. Heavy, heavy stress on ball – ideally to drive turnovers – leaves them overexposed elsewhere. If you consider the sport vs. the Knicks, this technique was wildly profitable, and labored just lately towards the Kings (who had been the 4th ranked offense coming into the sport vs. the Raptors). The principle downside is the feast or famine nature of a protection that’s so reliant on making an attempt to stability threat vs. reward at this degree. Threes that come one move away within the NBA usually don’t rank as nice pictures created, however with the Raptors rotating so laborious towards the dwell dribble, the one move away seems to be turn into stronger. To not point out the nook threes.
The query is: would a extra conservative protection have been more practical towards the Warriors? Maybe not. They’re the 2nd finest offense within the NBA (per ORTG), they usually reach a variety of totally different actions. The Raptors play a really polarizing type of protection, and the Warriors seemingly would have succeeded regardless. Within the scheme the Raptors performed final evening, they efficiently funneled the ball out of Curry’s fingers (their M.O.) and into the likes of Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins. The Raptors had been comfy with that end result, it was the supposed perform of their protection. Wiggins and Poole completely outperformed their capturing expertise. Even with the Raptors and their aggressive scheme, the mixed 14-19 mark is just not simply recreated. Additionally they determined to disregard Inexperienced’s presence on offense when he was above the free throw line in direction of the tip, and it labored fairly nicely. Kinda humorous. It may appear unsatisfactory, and I’m not defending the scheme total, however final evening the Raptors achieved one thing near the perfect technique of their protection, however not the consequence.
Nurse thought they executed fairly nicely on each ends, was pleased with how they restricted Curry however says they made a number of errors on their rotations/had been sluggish getting out to Warriors’ different shooters. Additionally thought they left too many factors on the board across the rim.
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) November 22, 2021
It’s attainable there might be an adjustment coming. Pascal Siakam’s return has actually helped the halfcourt offense, which suggests the Raptors are much less reliant on transition for offense. The reply isn’t straightforward although, and putting the right stability with a excessive stakes scheme is all the time troublesome. It must be attention-grabbing to see how this progresses all through the season.
Pascal is just not stopping Barnes’ growth
Please, don’t let anybody persuade you that Siakam is washed, or that he’s infringing upon Scottie Barnes’ growth. Barnes’ burst to begin the season as a scorer was largely on the again of offensive rebounds and transition play. Sometimes he would run a keeper play within the halfcourt and rating, however most of what he was doing was seizing alternative in damaged performs – and he was phenomenal at it. Siakam doesn’t remotely take something away from him in that regard. Groups are already guarding Barnes in another way than they did at first of the season. That’s the largest motive for Barnes’ dip, not Siakam. He’s additionally passing significantly better than he did at first of the 12 months.
w/0 Pascal: 2.1 APG/2 TOPG/10 AST%
w/ Pascal: 4.3 APG/2.1 TOPG/ 17.9 AST%
Pascal being on the ground simplifies a few of his reads, and vice versa. Flat out.
Extra on Barnes later.
And on the Siakam entrance – he was wonderful. The league’s finest protection was loaded up towards him, and he navigated it in addition to he might be anticipated to. Barnes, VanVleet and Trent Jr. mixed to shoot 12/45, the protection sagged off, and Siakam responded with counters within the trend of mid-range jumpers, spot up 3’s, cuts, and drives to the bucket/put up ups when the chance was there. Of all of the groups within the NBA, the Warriors permit the least within the paint. Siakam navigated this with aplomb as his teammates struggled from the sphere.
He’s now as much as 17.9 PPG/3.6 AST/6.6 RBS on 48/42/74 splits. Not All-Star numbers, however he’s climbing. Neglect the pissed off handwringing of short-sighted individuals, Siakam is returning completely fantastic from months off of basketball and a surgically repaired shoulder.
One half, for every rookie
As Barnes struggled to use his scintillating expertise within the first half, Dalano Banton acquired his probability to carry out, and did so by flashing his mid vary sport and three implausible passes, 2 of which got here within the halfcourt.
A number of Banton’s possessions within the halfcourt as a handler lead to fundamental handoffs that create little-to-no benefit, however the Raptors acquired him downhill considerably on this sport and he made nice reads when doing so. A straight pnr and an important move to Boucher (aided by his peak). A Spain pnr the place VanVleet’s display places Bjelica within the mixer. And a pleasant feed in transition.
Barnes adjusted properly within the 2nd half, flexing his 3-point capturing a little bit bit – one thing Nick Nurse has been clamoring for from him – executing on the short-roll, and great, Kyle Lowry-esque manipulation of the lanes in transition earlier than lobbing Achiuwa.
A implausible hyperlink of Siakam’s protection and Barnes’ offense. Siakam pretends Inexperienced doesn’t exist when he’s above the foul line (as I famous above), with the intention to apply extra stress to Curry. Curry makes the move, Siakam reveals off his almost unparalleled court docket protection to climb again into the play for the steal, and Barnes is off to the races. Barnes takes two right here. He places a defender in jail, whereas additionally obligating the low man to step over to him – this created 2 profitable outcomes for him.
The result we noticed, the lob to Achiuwa.
If the defender leaves to protect the lob, Barnes goes straight to the rim and bursts off of Wiggins, who he put in jail, leaving no probability at a chase down block.
Adjusting to the adjustment. Barnes has much less viable lanes to the rim than he did earlier on within the season, so he has to hunt extra alternatives as a cutter, screener, shooter, and he has to dominate his possessions in transition. The 2nd half was an especially tidy offensive half for Barnes. It wasn’t an explosive offensive efficiency by any means, however he supplied worth regardless of the protection taking part in him powerful. Hit two threes, took 7 free throws, made nice reads as a passer, grabbed 3 ORBS – stuffed the hell out of the stat sheet. It was an excellent good near the sport for him.
The Warriors gained the sport, they’re an important group. However, some good things occurred.
Have a blessed day.
Tip Samson Folks
Scottie and Pascal match, and extra silver linings from a loss to the leagues finest originated on Raptors Republic.