2020 has been a rough year for everyone, but through it all the Toronto Raptors have consistently performed well. From being second place in the Eastern Conference last season to reaching the semifinals in the playoffs last season with the recent departures of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
Although it doesn’t feel as Christmas day is actually here with the pandemic and the Raptors not getting a Christmas game (as always, it’s heartbreaking but nothing new). Here are the gifts we hope to find under the Toronto Raptors’ Christmas tree.
Wish #1: More consistent shooting
The Toronto Raptors have always been a team that prides themselves on defense and built their identity around having strong defenders throughout the lineup. However, a touch more offense is definitely needed. The Raptors definitely will not shoot as poorly as they did last night either, with Norman Powell going 2/11 from the field.
The way to fix this would be to be more content with midrange offense. During the preseason and the 1st game of the regular season, it seems like the team wants to shoot more 3 pointers. Last night, the most efficient shooter on the team was Chris Boucher, who went 6/7 from inside the 3 point line.
If the Raptors had played more in the paint they would have likely had more free throw opportunities as well. The Raptors only got to the free-throw line 12 times, and had they gotten there a bit more they likely would have had a better result on the scoreboard.
Wish #2: Continuing with more lineup experimentation
As we all know, Nick Nurse is a huge fan of experimenting, especially on the defensive end with different lineups. Depth is a great way to win games, and the Raptors have an abundance of it. It’s always satisfying as a fan to watch a team start to figure out and shut down a player, and then a completely new player starts to explode on the offensive side of the ball.
The team should look towards more experimentation, and continuing tailoring it to different opponents. Perhaps if Malachi Flynn had come in, the calming presence he had on the team’s second unit during the preseason may have come out and he would have been able to keep the Raptors back on track for a win.
Wish #3: Let Malachi Flynn play!
We got a nice taste of what Malachi Flynn brings to the table during the preseason, and he seems to be one of the rare rookies who plays with the confidence and poise needed to make it in the NBA. He carries himself as a leader, and this quality will help him to be able to lead the second unit, which just lost Serge Ibaka to free agency.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!