TORONTO – The day after Orlando's nocturnal drive home early Monday morning, the Toronto Raptors movie visit, Nick Nurse, ended with a graduation clip. In a movie that in his eyes was most representative of team growth during the series.
Owned by the victory of the Raptors & # 39; Game 4, the clip began with Kyle Lowry leaving behind a canvas by Serge Ibaka. When Lowry attacks the paint, he kicks the ball to a wide open Norman Powell behind the arch on the weak side – only Terrence Ross leaps into the air and grabs the pass with his left hand.
The Magic starts the races, but when you freeze the frame, something interesting reveals itself. Outside of Ross, who pushes the ball up, the three biggest and most determined figures of Lowry, Ibaka and Fred VanVleet lead the pack. By the time Ross crosses halfway, it's a 1
"We were 19:19 at 5:46, but we did not have anything," Sister says. "This one clip showed how our mindset has changed – five men flew in and they had to pull it out – I said," There is no better way to enforce your will. "[Ross] steals it and thinks deeply, and suddenly it has nothing."
Following the dropping of the opening game in the series, the Raptors were furious with their defensive attempts, a rage that fueled a four-game rally that the player in the game with a limit had completed 5 on Tuesday, a 115-96 victory – in which they decimated the Orlando Magic with their defense. Toronto pulls out in the semi-final of the conference against Philadelphia.
Although the magic came as a sub-offensive roster in the postseason, the Raptors gathered in their first round in a series with a defensive clinic. The foreclosure of the 7-Seeds clarified a stark reality that was occasionally lost in one season, resulting from the discussion about Leonard's load management program, his upcoming free replacement, the maturing of Pascal Siakam and the acquisition of Marc Gasol in the mid season was dominated.
The Raptors are loaded defensive .
Two former defenders of the year play in the team in Leonard and Gasol, a three-time NBA All-Defeat winner of the first team in Ibaka, an all-defeat winner. Teamer in Danny Green, a point guard in Lowry, consistently defensive at the top of the league in his position in the most advanced defensive metrics (even with VanVleet backing up), and Siakam, who was perhaps better than anyone else this season ,
Even the best staff must use quality systems because NBA infractions are a handful. The series's victory over Orlando is a unit that works on well thought-out principles backed by basketball intelligence. It starts at the top of the projectile, where those guarding the ball really guard the ball . Even when it came to Michael Carter-Williams, against whom most NBA defenders like to run under pick-and-roll screens, Raptors defenders fought him. If you're called in the regular season, you should not expect Ben Simmons to hit the Sixers this weekend – he'll probably be hired at the point of attack.
After being sent by D.J. Augustin in Game 1, the Raptors eliminated the Magic Pick and Roll game with brute force. After this loss, Toronto scored a microscopic score of 0.71 points per direct voter – the best in the playoffs. They built a high wall to deter Augustin, and the big man got up and stifled the action. The Raptors will confuse coverages without fear of Guardians like Lowry moving to the post and rejoice over the lack of basketball if the enemy's offense seeks to disrupt their flow.
"After game 1 we somehow understood what kind of defensive we have to play," said Gasol. "I think in every game we've improved in different areas – and we've kept improving, that's a great sign."
Even though they have strong, versatile, single-backers on the entire ground, the Raptors are happy to help and with great alacrity. It looks like a vintage San Antonio outfit that decides on the help offered and is restored in a timely and accurate manner. Leonard has long been the best player in the game, announcing his omnipresence with defense authority, and when he started after launching the gun, he returned to his exquisite form. He has the seamless ability to be responsible for both his man on the wing, as well as delivering the key break of a possession as a helper – or vice versa.
Will Help Defense can often provide opponents with 3-pointers. and the magic took a ton of it in the series with five games. Luckily for Toronto, the frequency was not exactly matched. Against a Sixers team that was in eighth place this season in the 3-point range, the Raptors may need to help more specifically. JJ Redick will have his defender ragged and Joel Embiid will not be rejected the way Nikolao Vucevic of Gasol was.
When threats threaten, the Raptors will watch over them – flashing Terrence Ross on the hook or defeating Vucevic twice if Gasol does not defend the post. Rotations are not ideal, but there is so much confidence in the collective capabilities of defense that these risks arise in Toronto. This is the luxury of an experienced cadre without weak connections.
After his last press conference, Clifford compared the defense of the Raptors to an experienced NFL secondary nation that can accommodate both individual matchups and open space, citing Leonard and Gasol in particular. Gasol noted that it was unlikely that Vucevic had ever been doubled in the cuts: "I'm sure he did not like that." In fact, Toronto offers an unlikely form of defense if you're a tall man trying to make room to operate. Embiid is more creative than Vucevic, but no longer grateful to defenders who suffer from his style.
Over the past year, the Raptors have experienced as many upheavals as any team in the NBA playoff field – the departure of a franchise star, a new head coach, three new starters and a fourth, whose skills did not close a year ago were recognizable. Along the way, this catastrophic change has created fears, some hurt feelings, massive expectations and, as stated, a defense that should affect any adversary that does not have multiple options and contingencies.
Best, past Raptors teams were defensively defeated. You do not need that.