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Home / Sports / Toronto Raptors perfectly set to banish past postseason disappointments | Basketball News

Toronto Raptors perfectly set to banish past postseason disappointments | Basketball News



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Last Updated: 29/11/18 1:51 pm

 Kawhi Leonard has helped Toronto to a league-best 18-4 record

Kawhi Leonard has helped Toronto to a league-best 18-4 record

The Toronto Raptors have looked dominant in regular seasons past only to disappoint in the playoffs. Aiden Maughan writes.

There has been no shortage of skepticism around the Toronto Raptors and their NBA title-winning hopes. For the last three seasons, they have racked up 50+ regular season wins, only to fail their best form in the postseason.

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At 18-4 start – the league's best record – is in regular time form,

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What's different this season?

The Raptors are one of a handful of genuine two-way teams, as stingy on defense as they are explosive on offense. Toronto, along with Denver and Milwaukee, ranked in the league's top 10 for both offensive (avg points allowed per 100 possessions) rating.

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Offensive, head coach Nick Nurse has left his job in his studio for the first time -point shooting attack.

Under Nurse, the Raps are making the fourth-most three-balls in the league (11.5 per game).

 Kyle Lowry remains a key component of Toronto's early success

Kyle Lowry remains a key component of Toronto's early success ” itemprop=”image”/>

Kyle Lowry remains a key component of Toronto's early success

season the development of their young players and added roster have achieved a more balanced opening. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan left the Raptors stagnant offensively.

Now they are getting contributions from everywhere. Old stagers Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas now have more clearly-defined roles in the open

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Highlights of the Toronto Raptors victory over the Memphis Grizzlies

Highlights of the Toronto Raptors victory 'over the Memphis Grizzlies

Pascal Siakam is in the lead all-star this season. The Cameroonian forward, now in his third year in the league, has already earned the Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors this season, and his 63.0 field goal percentage (not to mention his league-leading 69.9 per cent shooting on two-pointers) ” itemprop=”image”/>

Pascal Siakam is a potential break-out star this season

Epitomising the Raptors' prowess at both ends of the court, Siakam has thus improved his defense, posting a career-high average in steals this term and using his length and athleticism to shut down attackers on the perimeter.

Siakam has a two-way star-studded ace, has an elite two-way approaching him on that path.

The Raptors' decision to trade then-c Leonard remains at elite two-way player ” itemprop=”image”/>

Leonard remains in elite two-way player

Leonard, who missed the game with his spurs, eventually made his way out of town, in the MVP conversation 24.3 points (on 47.4 per cent shooting) 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

Leonard leads by example on both ends of the court and his team mates have followed him thus far. The Raptors' defensive rating of 106.7 (points allowed per 100 possessions) is the league's seventh-best mark and bodes well for the postseason, where the game slows down and becomes even more valuable.

The presence of Leonard, a former Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP, means Toronto now have elite defender to guard the opponent's best player, something they could not rely on DeRozan to provide.

 Danny Green bought Leonard to Toronto [19659043LeonardtoToronto

Danny Green ” itemprop=”image”/>

Leonard to Toronto

The postseason experience of Leonard and Green – who played key roles in San Antonio's 2014 title win – So wants to be crucial for Toronto come playoff time. The former Spurs duo have taken and shots under the most intense postseason pressure. That means more options for Nurse in crunch-time and less focus on one or two players.

With 60 regular season games to go, and one more two months NBA Finals preview.

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Highlights of the Toronto Raptors win against the Miami Heat

Highlights of the Toronto Raptors win against the Miami Heat

But the opening 22 games of this campaign have been suggested for Toronto this time around.

Finally, the regular season force appears to be made ready to make a momentous postseason run.

19659052] Golden State Warriors @ Toronto Raptors, 1am, live on Sky Sports Arena

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