Title: Disparity between Raptors–Cleveland from long-range reaching historical levels
Date: May 6, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the near-historic 3-point disparity between the Raptors and Cavaliers.
The series was supposed to be a mismatch from beyond the arc.
As the Toronto Raptors prepared to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second year in a row, last year’s dilemma remained fresh in their minds: Sell out to stop their individual stars and risk a barrage of 3-pointers, or stay at home on shooters and let the stars go to work. A year ago, they tried the latter and got pounded into submitting to the former. Their personnel this time around was better suited for either approach, but stopping the three was going to have to be a significant priority regardless.
There wasn’t a lot Toronto was going to be able to do about the disparity in 3-point shooting between the two teams. Of the Cavaliers’ nine rotation players, eight shot 35 per cent or better from long-range during the regular season. They lapped the league in high-efficiency corner 3-point attempts. They were the league’s second-most prolific 3-point shooters by volume and by accuracy. They are, outside of their likely opponent in the NBA Finals, the most lethal shooting team in basketball, a transcendent offence capable of kicking into even higher gears if the situation calls.