Toronto Raptors: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Week 1
Although it looks like they might end up near the bottom, the Raptors are not playing like the worst team in the NBA.
There were many good and many bad things that were witnessed throughout the first five games, and they will be evaluated in the article.
Record for Week 1: (2-3) 10th in Eastern Conference, 3rd in Atlantic
The Good: Defense, Passing and Demar DeRozan
The Raptors brought in new head coach Dwayne Casey in order to improve the teams defense, and he has improved it greatly. The team seems to look more concentrated and less confused on the defensive end of the court.
The Raptors are currently sitting 13th in the league in terms of points allowed, allowing only 94.4 points per game this season, which is an improvement over the 105 points allowed last season. With some work on the offensive end, the Raptors can be a threat on a nightly basis.
The passing for the Raptors was also a thing of beauty this week. Despite some turnovers that could have been prevented, the team was really working together to make a play. They currently lead the league in assists per game as a team with 24 per game.
DeRozan was a horrible mid/long range shooter last season, and his three point percentage and hot zone numbers showed it. This season, DeRozan is more comfortable with shooting the ball rather than just driving in, and it is showing.
His three point percentage is approximately 63 percent, and he has made the same amount of threes this season as he did last, but with 44 less attempts. This is great for DeRozan and he could be scoring 20 plus point per game this season soon.
The Bad: Turnovers
The Raptors need to learn how to keep the ball in their possession instead of allowing the other team to get the ball back with ease. They are currently averaging 15.4 turnovers per game.
Better choices need to be made on the offensive end and the players need to know where they are standing. After some three second calls and out of bounds calls, the team could have scored a couple more points rather than giving the other team much of a chance.
If they want to score some more, the Raptors need to cut back on turnovers.
The Ugly: Rebounding
The rebounding for the Raptors has just been plain out horrible. The team is ranked 24th in the league in rebounding, averaging about 40 rebounds a game.
The worst part about the bad rebounding is that the leading rebounder on the Raptors is Amir Johnson, averaging only 6.4 per game. It is not a bad thing having Amir Johnson as your leading rebounder, the 6.4 is the number that looks bad.
Andrea Bargnani is second in rebounding, averaging 5.8 per game. This is another area Bargnani has to push himself to improve on if he really wants to become an All-Star, which he has the talent to become.
If the Raptors want to be a better team, they need to start pounding the glass more and trying to get some more rebounds.