Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors blowing out the New York Knicks

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Ultimately, the Toronto Raptors team defense is what took the New York Knicks out of the game.

Earlier today, a clip of Stan Van Gundy breaking down the Toronto Raptors’ defensive schemes took over the internet:

Perhaps, Nick Nurse saw this run across his Twitter feed as well because he actually used some of the tactics during tonight’s game. Despite that, it also helped that the Knicks are in last place in terms of offensive rating and have a net plus-minus of minus-7.9, good for 28th place.

Be that as it may, the first quarter was a little sluggish. Perhaps, Thanksgiving came early for some of the Americans on the roster or maybe they were exhausted from a grueling battle against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. Regardless, they weren’t communicating well as shown by two guys closing out on one shooter and getting bad switches. Plus, the Raptors shot the ball poorly in the first quarter, which didn’t help them get out of the early hole.

Of course, over the next three quarters, things regressed back towards the mean: The defense was communicating and suddenly the Raptors were scoring more easily. They chased down shooters and hustled to make players alter their shots. The takeaway is so very apparent: The defense is what drives the Raptors and keeps them in games.

The Knicks had 18 turnovers overall and those led to 20 points for the Raptors. While they were perhaps not all forced turnovers, the fact remains that the team defense confused the Knicks’ offense to the point that they made silly mistakes.

Next. Injuries have revealed bench depth. dark

But the Knicks aren’t the only team to have had trouble against the Raptors defense; just recall that game from Monday. If this defense only happened occasionally, then it could be considered a coincident. Yet, as of writing this, the Toronto Raptors are ranked fourth overall in defensive rating.

That, ultimately, is what we call a threat.