Title: Raptors Relaunch: Can halfcourt offence hold up as quality of competition rises?
Date: July 6, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I took a fresh look at where the Raptors’ offense stood prior to the hiatus and how a big concern their half-court scoring should be.
The Toronto Raptors spent three-quarters of the 2019-20 regular season answering some pretty big questions: Could they remain competitive with Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in Los Angeles? Could the team’s three 30-plus veterans maintain their level of play to sustain the team’s floor? Were young players ready to step into larger roles to establish a revised ceiling?
Even in answering all of those questions in the affirmative, the Raptors will enter the league’s restart with a few more uncertainties ready to be interrogated by the league’s elite: Will the post-Leonard Raptors face the same offensive bottleneck in the postseason that the pre-Leonard Raptors did? Is Pascal Siakam ready to handle a large share of the offence against postseason defences in a more efficient (and egalitarian) way than DeMar DeRozan was? Just how good does a defence need to be for an average offence to make a deep run?
Most of those questions can be narrowed to one very common situation in which the Raptors’ growth lagged behind: their half-court offence.