Title: Raptors’ offence down the stretch in Game 5 a reminder of them at their best
Date: April 27, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I looked at the ways in which the Raptors improved their late-game offense in Game 5 coming off a Game 4 dud.
I’m never sure in these situations exactly how to tackle the game-to-game flow of a playoff series. Specifically, I highlighted two distinct trends in Game 3 and 4 losses for the Toronto Raptors, first breaking down how John Wall picked them apart in the pick-and-roll and then how their late-game offence was rendered ineffective. In Game 5, the Raptors worked toward remedying both, turning in their best overall defensive performance against the Washington Wizards and executing much better down the stretch. There are a few ways to tackle that improvement – isolate one area and examine the changes, quickly touch on both, or tackle something new entirely. The last option seems the most interesting but it also seems a little disingenuous to highlight two games worth of negatives and never give credit for the adjustment.
All of this is to say: If you have a specific preference, please do let me know. In this case, I decided to touch on Wall in the pick-and-roll over at Raptors Republic – he continues to shoot well over his true talent level from the mid-range, and the Raptors had an effective fourth-quarter adjustment to try to counter it – and here I’ll look at some of the changes to the late-game offence.
As a reminder, the Game 4 close-out was a lot of DeMar DeRozan trying to make something out of nothing, and there were three primary issues we highlighted that the Raptors did a much better job of here: