Is It Time For Raptors Fans To Panic?

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Nov 20, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard D Angelo Russell (1) and Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) battle for the rebound during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. The Toronto Raptors won 102-91. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

2. Defense

As expected so far this season, the Raptors defense has greatly improved thus far this season while the offense has taken a hit. Toronto has been playing top 10 defense thus far this season in spite of their 8-6 start.

Nov 10, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) takes the ball away from Toronto Raptors point guard Cory Joseph (6) at Air Canada Centre. The Knicks beat the Raptors 111-109. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to this current Western road swing, Toronto was holding opponents to about 95 PPG (now up to 97.6, 9th in the league). Aside from Friday night’s L.A. Lakers game, 2 of the last 3 games saw the Raptors give up more than 100 points. Cause for concern? No, as those were the 3rd and 4th time they’ve given up 100 or more points. A significant improvement over last year, as last season saw the Raptors give up 101 PPG on average.

Having players who are defensive minded warriors like DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph certainly helps as well. Carroll and Joseph gives relief to DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry since they guard the opposition’s best defenders, allowing Lowry and DeRozan more energy on the offensive end. And when they have their offensive game going, it’s an instant bonus!

Averaging 100 plus points per game while holding opponents to under 97 points should lead to more wins down the road. And the past six losses were due more to lack of offense, not defense. There’s no need for concern here (yet).

Panic Meter: 2 of 10 (nothing to worry about)

Next: Crazy Early Road Schedule