Raptors tie Showtime Lakers record thanks to exceptional passing offense

Darko Rajakovic has the offense cooking this season.
Toronto Raptors v Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors v Atlanta Hawks / Alex Slitz/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors hired former Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic with the expectation he would bring his "0.5 offense" to Toronto. That scheme is based entirely on making quick decisions with the ball in your hands, passing at a very high level, and sharing shots equally among multiple players.

While the recent trades of Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby have made it almost impossible for the team to stack wins together, the offense hasn't lost any of its sharpness. In fact, Rajakovic's attack (which has set franchise records for assists in a single game), has been historically consistent.

Toronto's win against the Chicago Bulls gave them 30 consecutive games in which they've amassed at least 25 assists, tying the longest streak in NBA history. The teams they have found themselves tied with or above are some of the most explosive offensive teams in league history.

Toronto's streak has tied the record set by the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers at the peak of their powers. Some of the teams they beat out include yet another great Lakers squad, a Trail Blazers team led by Clyde Drexler, and the Steph Curry/Kevin Durant Warriors who fell to Toronto in the NBA Finals.

The Toronto Raptors are passing the ball as well as the Showtime Lakers.

The fact Toronto has the sixth-worst record in the NBA makes them an extreme outlier. The 84-85 Lakers won the championship that season, both their 83-84 counterparts and the Warriors lost in the NBA Finals in their respective seasons. Even the 86-87 Blazers at least made it to the playoffs before losing to the Hakeem Olajuwon Rockets.

On top of the fact that Scottie Barnes remains one of the best passing forwards in the NBA, Jakob Poeltl's ability to serve as a connecter in the paint and the recent acquisition of Immanuel Quickley have all played a part in Toronto's offensive surge. Even Dennis Schroder has been dynamite off the bench.

While Rajakovic can be ripped for a great many things that have transpired during his first season at the helm, stats like these can earn him some patience. The wins aren't coming, but he is an offensive coach who was hired to make the team more potent on that end, and he has done just that.

The 2024-25 season might provide an equally potent offensive club for fans to rally around, as Barnes will be another year more experienced while Quickley and RJ Barrett get a full offseason to digest the offense. Rajakovic's fast-paced offense can work; he just needs the right guys to execute it.