Basketball statistics, especially the advanced variety, is currently all the rage so we’re not going to swerve off the highway now that we’re in the NBA Finals. This is going to be a two-part series and we are going to start with the Toronto Raptors.
First of all, how did the Raptors got here? If there’s one word to describe it, Raptors are here because of their RESILIENCE. They have all seen some type of adversity in the postseason, down 0-1 against Orlando, a possession or two away from going down 1-3 to Philly, and the same thing happened in the Eastern Conference Finals where they almost dug themselves a 0-3 hole.
But then again, the Raptors have Kawhi Leonard. The Klaw is nothing but incredible throughout the whole playoffs, especially in the Conference Finals where he took primary scoring and defensive responsibilities.
In the first five Conference Finals games, Leonard was averaging 31.4 points on 51/41/89 shooting splits, with 8.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game with a 63% TS%. His defense is elite, holding MVP favorite Giannis Antetokounmpo on 21 points on 9-for-27 shooting and three assists against four turnovers in 112 possessions Kawhi guarded him in the series-swinging, soul-snatching Games 3-5.
Their backcourt trio of Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, and Fred VanVleet were also big against the Bucks. Lowry was on target from start to finish while Norm and FVV provided the much-needed shooting with Danny Green ice cold.
Anyway, here are 10 Toronto Raptors team statistics on offense and defense that no doubt helped them seal their first ever franchise trip to the NBA Finals.
1.) Ball Movement
Toronto makes 327 passes per 24 possessions and their players travel 10.8 miles every 24 minutes played, ranking fifth and 12th in those areas respectively, in the playoffs. They are also third in hockey assists with 3.7.
2.) Three-Point Shooting
Looks like the Raptors are ready to live or die with their three-point shooting. They are ranked fifth in both three-point shooting percentage (34.5%) and percentage of shots coming from that area (40.6%, meaning over 2 out of every 5 shots is a three-pointer). Toronto is also on pace to break the Warriors record for 306 threes made in the 2016 postseason.
3.) Free Throw Shooting
They are ranked second behind the Warriors at 81.8%. Golden State is at 81.9%. However, both teams are only ranked 10th and 14th, respectively, on free throw rates.
4.) Home Cooking
The Raptors are 8-2 so far at the Scotiabank Arena in the playoffs where they have outscored opponents by 12.4 points per 100 possessions. That’s the second-best rate among postseason teams behind, well, the Milwaukee Bucks.
5.) The Barometer
If the Raptors’ scoring rate is at 104 points per 100 possessions (1.4 points per possession), they haven’t lost in 10 games this post-season.
6.) Improved Defense
Toronto is one of the best defensive teams in the regular season but they are even better in the playoffs. They hold opponents to 4.4 fewer points per 100 possessions than they did in the regular season.
7.) Transition Defense
The Bucks scored less transition points in six games against Toronto (162) than in five games versus Boston (169).
8.) Isolation Defense
Toronto allows only 5.5% of opponents’ possessions to be isolations, the lowest rate among playoff defenses. Opponents’ isolation possessions only end up at about 0.73 points per possession, also the lowest among any playoff team.
9.) Pick and Roll Defense
They also allow the second-lowest points per PNR possession with only 0.76.
10.) Kyle Lowry
Lowry’s impact is severely understated for Toronto, especially on defense and 50-50 situations. The Villanova product is ranked second in the postseason in loose balls recovered as well as charges drawn per game.
However, Lowry blew the competition in totals with 40 loose balls recovered (Giannis is second at 30) and 13 charges drawn (Dame is second at 7) in the 2019 postseason.
Featured Image via: globalnews.ca