The Toronto Raptors have not only gone all-in on their unique roster construction, but they’ve also adhered themselves to a strict style of play. When Nick Nurse’s main goal is to get as many top-shelf athletes on the court as possible, it makes sense to be a high-octane transition team.
The Raptors’ half-court offense can be lacking at times, but Toronto has made up for it by creating one of the league’s best transition offenses. With so many big bodies moving so fast, opposing teams have often had to resort to “take fouls” in order to slow them down.
The take foul has been the bane of teams that run, as a promising fast break can be shut down by a player who isn’t trying even to make an attempt to dislodge the ball or defend his opponent. The NBA knows this, and they’ve taken steps to make sure this problem gets squashed out.
The NBA is creating a new take foul rule, which should make things much smoother for teams that use speed and transition play as integral parts of their offense. Luckily, the Raptors happen to be in that group, as they love to push the transition pace.
The Toronto Raptors have a deadly transition offense.
Toronto was second in points scored off turnovers (behind a Timberwolves team coached by a former Raptors assistant) and at the top of the league in fewest points allowed off turnovers. The team was third in fast-break points, showing how integral transition play is to this team.
Nick Nurse said via Sportsnet that he very rarely calls for a take foul on defense, so the rule changes will not impact Toronto on that end. The changes it could bring offensively, however, might help the Raptors pick up a few timely baskets here and there.
While Scottie Barnes using his athletic gifts in the open floor (when healthy) is the highlight of Toronto’s transition game, there’s something to be said for Precious Achiuwa roaring to the rim and finishing off with a thunderous slam. Pascal Siakam remains an effective scorer and passer when running the floor.
The Raptors may lack the “gun” half of the “run-n-gun” offense at this point, but this team is going to run as hard as it can all night long. With one of the biggest obstacles in the way of running their offense in the most effective way officially stamped out, the Raptors’ offense should be more effective this year.