Everything falls apart in the third quarter
There are three games I want to look at here. The Toronto Raptors led in half-time against the 76ers once and the Pelicans twice. All three of those games they would proceed to have miserable third quarters. Here are all the Raptors’ third quarters in these games.
- Game 1 against Pelicans: 38-22 for Pels
- Game 3 against 76ers: 28-20 for 76ers
- Game 5 against Pelicans: 32-22 for Pels
Three leads they had at half-time, all squandered in the third quarter. They shot 34.33 percent from the field in these three quarters and allowed 98 points — which is unusual considering they allow 106 per game for the season. The lack of offense isn’t too hard to understand since they are one of the worst offensive teams in the league, but the bad defense is odd for a team that is the 6th best in the league in that department. But it is a trend that has occurred across the other games as well.
Here are the net ratings across the four quarters for all five games played so far.
- 1st Quarter: +13
- 2nd Quarter: -0.8
- 3rd Quarter: -20.2
- 4th Quarter: -2.5
Except for the Knicks game, the net ratings per quarter pretty much align with all the Raptors’ performance. The Raptors start the first quarter with a decent lead; slowly the lead dissipates in the second quarter; then by the third, the lead is gone or the score is even; and in the fourth, they fight for their lives to hold off their lead or go for a last-minute comeback.
The Raptors failed to ever build off their lead and instead continually fall like dominos the further the game progresses. Whatever is going on in the locker room at half-time isn’t working. Nurse has to find a way to motivate his troops to play the entirety of the game and not just the first two quarters.
Let’s hope that the Raptors solve some of these problems this upcoming week. They’ll be facing the Celtics, Suns, and Kings