The Raptors are obviously viewed as contenders. But, many people believe that they just don't have the talent to get back to the finals.
The Raptors have no real superstars. They have two all-stars in Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam.
On paper, the Raptors can't beat the Bucks or the Celtics. However, when going into their team and play style we can see that the Raptors are legit.
The Raptors have in my opinion the best coach in the league in Nick Nurse and he is a mastermind.
During the regular season, the Raptors ranked 1st in points allowed and it is due to their strategy on defense. When looking at this team they have a great defensive backcourt with Fred Vanvleet and Kyle Lowry, both of whom ranked top 20 in steals and top 10 in defensive win shares.
The Raptors are very good at shrinking the court, which results in turnovers and taking away driving gaps.
Additionally, the Raptors rank 1st in opposing three-point field goal percentage and that is because of their exceptional closeouts. If there is a great three-point shooter the Raptors will be all over him. Yet, if they are defending a poor three-point shooter they will focus on help defense and let the shooter get the ball and force a quick closeout.
And if you are a bad shooter a closeout is enough for you to miss.
As I mentioned, the Raptors focus on help defense. They take away driving gaps and force teams to kick out. This allows Toronto to matchup against Giannis and be able to put up a fight.
Lastly, when looking at this team, they are deep. OG Anunoby, Norman Powell, and Terrence Davis are all underrated defenders and are a key part of this team.
During the playoffs, the Raptors have run a tight 8 man rotation and it has worked. Toronto is up 3-0 against Brooklyn and will most likely sweep.
In the regular season, Toronto had 6 players who averaged more than 10 points per game and in their playoff rotation, everyone can score.
I hope you liked this analysis of the Raptors.
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