Avoiding turnovers is universally regarded as a formula for success. Among the ten teams who ranked near the bottom in turnovers committed per game in 2020-21, eight of them made the playoffs. Toronto decided not to follow that particular guiding principle, and that resulted in 19 turnovers, which would’ve rankled last as a per-game average last year.
While he had some nice moments in this game, including his first NBA bucket, Scottie Barnes was the biggest offender here, as he gave it up to Washington six times. Anunoby and VanVleet both coughed it up three times, while Khem Birch managed two turnovers in this contest.
The Toronto Raptors can’t turn the ball over frequently.
You don’t even have to understand basketball at a highly analytical level to see how disjointed the Raptors were. With errant passes galore and a complete lack of a plan in transition, the Raptors looked like they were driving a Formula One car on their first day with a license. Nurse needs to calm everyone down and get them to trust the system.
With only two players on this team over the age of 28 (Dragic, Birch) and more than half of the roster 24 or younger, this is going to take some time to completely fix. Still, growing pains will only be used as an excuse so many times, and another performance with 19 turnovers against a play-in competitor might set off some alarm bells.