2. The defensive structure
Rajakovic’s defensive scheme, which features much less switching than what Nick Nurse installed, is not going to generate as many turnovers. Even with that qualification, the system has put together multiple encouraging performances against some of the better players in the game.
The Raptors have the fifth-best defensive rating in the league, as the combined nation of Toronto’s length and the superb performances of OG Anunoby have kept them in every game despite the fact their offense hasn’t always been able to match their quality.
The Toronto Raptors once again have a strong defense.
Anunoby held Anthony Edwards to a horrid shooting night after an early surge and made Zach LaVine look like a complete rookie. If Jakob Poeltl is able to stay out of foul trouble, he and Precious Achiuwa should maintain the Raptors’ status as one of the best rim-protecting teams in the game.
While Toronto didn’t have an answer for Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey in their loss to Philadelphia, is it fair to completely throw their scheme out because they were unable to slow down the reigning MVP? The defense hasn’t been perfect, but it’s certainly been well above average.