Tip off at Raptors vs Bulls play in game to highlight Toronto Raptors, what happened?

Toronto Raptors What Happened? Part 1

A lot of Toronto Raptors are asking themselves, “what happened?” And it is valid because there was so much excitement before the start of the season. Many thought that the team would build on their successful season and perhaps become a top four seed and potentially make it to the second round of the play offs. However, that never materialized and they were below 500 for most of the year and finally ended up being 41 and 41. This was good enough for ninth place and a home play in game against the Chicago Bulls. However, after having a 19 point lead in the third, they crumbled in spectacular fashion and were eliminated. Lots of questions are now swirling around the Raptors and their future. But what happened? What went wrong? There were a few things that went wrong and in the next bit, we’ll look at them all. But let’s start with the first thing that went wrong.

Toronto Raptors What Happened? Lack of Fundamentals

A Lack of fundamentals is probably the biggest answer for the Toronto Raptors on the question of what happened. This is probably the biggest thing the sunk the Raptors season. You can have all the talent in the world but if you are not skilled in the fundamentals of basketball, you will eventually get exposed. As a result, you will lose more games. Also, when put in pressure situations, you will cave under the pressure. Yes, when under pressure, you resort to what you know or don’t know. There were three glaring areas where the Raptors lacked fundamentals.

Free Throw Shooting – Now you might think that the real problem should be three point shooting in which the Raptors ranked 28th in the NBA. However, this has been a problem for years and that leads to the bigger issue of roster construction. However, even if you are a bad three point shooter, if you can hit your free throws, you can impact the game. The Raptors ranked 17th in free throw percentage which is not bad. But it is not good either. The problem magnifies when your best player who has the most free attempts, shoots under 80 percent. You best player has to be one of your best three throw shooters. Because his shooting has a trickle down effect on the rest of the team. If he is shooting well, the team is more confident. And if he is not, it effects the rest of the team.

There was no better an example of this than the play in game where the Raptors shot 18 for 36. They appeared to be rattled by Demar DeRozen’s daughter’s shrieking as they attempted a free throw. Pascal Siakam went 5 for 11. He cannot do that in a pressure situation. If he hit a couple more free throws, it is a different ball game and potentially a win. I remember being at a Raptors game years ago and I had seats behind the basket and I was trying to distract Stephan Curry. It was as if none of us were there and he kept sinking his free throws done the stretch. And because of that, the Raptors lost that game and were eliminated from play off contention.

The Raptors, need their best players to be that and none of them were as Fred Van Fleet was 3 for 6 and OG Anuoby was 3 for 8. A little girl should not throw your concentration so off that it causes you to lose an elimination game. But it shows a lack of fundamentals and attention to detail. Great players practice there free throws in many situations and have the ability to block everything else out. I even remember Michael Jordan once shooting free throws with his eyes close. Shows you how much the top players practice their free throws. The Raptors need to practice their free throws more as a few more points from the line will result in a few more wins.

Not Boxing Out on the Defensive End – This drove me crazy! I could not believe how many Raptor players do not know how to box out opposing players. Many times as the shots went up, the Raptor players were too focused on watching the ball and not paying attention to the opposing players as they crashed the boards. The result is either an offensive rebound for the opposing team or the Raptors being called for a foul. It is not that hard. The shot goes up you find your many to block out and put your body into him ( in particular your back side) and then track the ball and get the rebound. Some of it could possibly be excused for players being too small and light but small players can be good rebounders. We all remember when Kyle Lowry would always put his back side into opposing players no matter how big they were and get a rebound. And the statistics prove this as the Raptors were dead last in getting defensive rebounds this year. The team as a whole lacked the fundamentals in this area.

Trouble beating the Zone – The team had trouble beating this all year. Due to the lack of the Raptors three point shooting, teams went into a zone and dared them to shoot outside. If you do not have shooting, then you need to get the ball in the middle of the zone and either have players converge on you which opens up passing lanes. Or if they do not converge, you are left with a short midrange shot. The Raptors did this sparingly for some reason and not sure why they did not try this more. Especially with Scottie Barnes and Jakob Poeltl, who are good passers and are tall enough to see passing lanes. Instead they either tried an outside shot or try to go isolation. However, going iso in a zone, you need to have players quick enough to either attack any open space or quick enough to get by a defender who might come up against them. The Raptors do not really have these type of players. But it is strange that the team struggled with the zone all season and did not really have any counters to it. It is a basic defense played at multiple level so they should be able to deal with it. However, they could not and that is a lack in the fundamentals.

What Happened Conclusion

So we have one answer for the Toronto Raptors on what happened. And whatever happens this summer, they players need to improve on the fundamentals and the basics. Athleticism and ability are great but they can only take you so far. The fundamentals can help you when the games are tight or when wins are extremely important. If the Raptors as a whole improve on this, then next season will be brighter. However, a lot more than a lack of basketball fundamentals ruined the Raptors season. We will take more about that next time.

You Might Like: WILSON NBA Forge Basketball

This page has affiliate ads in which we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you!

1 thought on “Toronto Raptors What Happened? Part 1”

  1. Pingback: What Happened to the Toronto Raptors Part 2 - Raptors Radar

Comments are closed.