Raptors training camp: Matt Thomas’ adjustment, Norman Powell as a starter, and more

Title: Raptors training camp: Matt Thomas’ adjustment, Norman Powell as a starter, and more
Date: October 1, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I took a lap around the third day of Toronto Raptors training camp, highlighting Matt Thomas’ adjustment to the NBA, Norman Powell’s desire to start, and more.

QUEBEC CITY — Matt Thomas has different expectations for himself than I do.

“Anyone can go out there and make 80 percent, 90 percent when nobody’s guarding ’em,” he said Tuesday.

I’m going to have to disagree there. Of course, expectations for Thomas’ elite 3-point shooting have been a running gag of sorts all summer. After Synergy Sports posted that Thomas had an effective field-goal percentage of 99 percent on unguarded catch-and-shoot jumpers with Valencia last year, fans and aggregators alike ran wild. Thomas has been referred to as “The Great One” because of the 99, with some even expressing disappointment that he opted to wear jersey number 21 instead of the Wayne Gretzky homage.

Thomas was well aware of the jokes and, in some cases, earnest misunderstandings. Effective field-goal percentage measures shooting effectiveness accounting for the additional value of a 3-point shot. The formula is fairly simple — (FGM + 0.5 * 3PM) / FGA — but it sounds like a more advanced statistic and, well, nuance isn’t Twitter’s strong suit. As Thomas and I worked through the rough math — if all of those shots were threes, he shot 66 percent on them — he said he doesn’t approach his shooting with unrealistic expectations, instead opting to set realistic baselines.

Check it out!

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