Title: How the Raptors finally got their 3-ball going against the Celtics in Game 4
Date: September 5, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors’ guards breaking through Boston’s defence to finally open up their 3-point game.
The tough thing about good process is that it looks a lot better when the results follow.
You could have forgiven the Toronto Raptors, then, if they had started questioning how they were producing their 3-point attempts through three games against the Boston Celtics. The Raptors were 34-of-120 entering Saturday’s Game 4, a woeful 28.3 percent, well below their 37.4 percent regular-season average, with enough volume for that to really matter. You can win a playoff game that way. Winning four of five — the necessary task after falling behind 2-0 in the series — is a lot more complicated if that many attempts are finding only iron.
There are a few options in that kind of scenario. The late stages of Game 3 offered one such option, with pick-and-rolls involving Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol producing good offence in the paint, something that hasn’t come easy for either team all series. Lowry finished with a career high in points in the paint despite playing heavy minutes against an elite defence, but whether it was repeatable was a legitimate question. Other avenues toward the paint have proven difficult against Boston’s stout, rim-deterring defence, and the Raptors are probably too faithful to their overall approach to trade 3s for long 2s just to get a different feel.