The Ugly: Half-court offence/offensive rating
The Raptors rank 28th in offensive rating right now and that simply can’t continue. Their issues come from a couple of key players mentioned above along with the method in which their offence is being created.
Despite taking a league-high 46.4 three-point attempts per game, they are only making 33.2 percent of those attempts. That three point percentage is good for 22nd in the NBA right now. That simply can’t continue; you either need to make more of those threes or shoot less of them.
Toronto Raptors lack of free throw attempts
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The Raptors plain and simple are not getting to the free-throw line at all. They rank 29th in free throw attempts per game with 17.8. A lot of this can be explained by their major preference to shoot threes right now, and this is coming at the expense of putting pressure on the interior defence, being aggressive and forcing the referees to blow their whistle. I’d argue this is a microcosm of a bigger problem, which is getting to the rim.
Getting to the rim
As I mentioned before the Raptors are taking a league-low percentage of their shots from two-point range, 48.3 percent. While the Raptors take around a league-average amount of drives to the rim, they make league-worst 5.2 FGM on 14 FGA per game (29th) and a league-worst 37.1 percent on those drives.
Remember, just because you drive the ball to the basket, doesn’t mean you attempt to finish there. What this means is that while the Raptors are driving the ball, many of those drives are ending in kick-out threes. They aren’t attempting enough shots around the rim and the ones they are getting up aren’t going in. In my opinion, there needs to be more attempts to finish at the rim.
It may sound like cliché basketball talk, but I think the Raptors need to “go up stronger” and really impose their will to make sure not only do they have a chance to score easier buckets but also get to the free-throw line. Those two problems go hand in hand.
What are your thoughts on the Raptors’ start to the season? What concerns you and how can they improve? Let us know in the comments below.