Raps started out on an 8-0 run. GSW called a timeout, and that was the end of it. The run following GSW’s timeout put them in control of the game and they never looked back. Here are three plays from that run focusing on the Raptors’ defense (or lack thereof).

Help the helping helper or God help me I’ll help myself to help you help yourself

On this play the Raptors have three help defenders. None of them help.


Biedrins coming out to set a pick on DeRozan. Unless Reggie is hedging to prevent Ellis from getting into the paint, he has no business coming out this far. It’s not like Biedrins is a threat from 30 feet.

Reggie is all out of position, if he had just stayed back maybe he would’ve been in a better position to block Ellis from penetrating the defense. DeRozan is a doormat on the play and now it’s up to the help defense to respond to Ellis. That help D is Bargnani in the middle and Kleiza on the wing. In this frame, neither seems committed to the cause, and it’s clear that there’s a communication breakdown.

Pretty sure Kleiza hasn’t budged an inch, so it’s upto Bargnani to defend and the odds aren’t great that it’ll happen. He’s in the right area of the court, he’s just turned the wrong way and worried too much about Lee, who he should be leaving and relying on Kleiza to rotate down (which he probably never would anyway).

FAIL!

Misdirection is cool, except when you’re the one who gets misdirected

Second-year player out-smarts wily veteran quite easily using a simple misdirection.


Curry sets a screen on Evans faking as if the play is setup for Lee. It’s not. Lee is cutting across and Jack ignores him, relying on Reggie to get back.

Reggie does get back, but instead of chasing Curry, Jack has gone under the screen, thinking Curry is going to step out.

In a game of hide-and-seek, Curry has evaded Jack who is pinned by his own teammate, Bargnani. Curry has a clear path to the rim, Reggie could rotate but doesn’t.

FAIL!

Sometimes basketball is a lot like a track meet

It’s all about hustle and awareness here. When David Lee out-hustles you, you got issues.


GSW collects rebound, time to get back on D. Notice the position of Lee and Bargnani, Bargnani is actually ahead of Lee in this frame so there’s no reason why Lee would be getting a transition bucket, right? Riiigghhhttt..

Uh oh, ominous signs here, Lee is already ahead of Bargnani who is jogging back at a pace only fit for seniors.

Bargnani finally looks up and it’s too late, Curry’s passed it to Lee who is heading straight for the rim.

FAIL!

So, has our defense improved? I don’t think so, we’re playing a little bit harder and the overall effort has been a lot better, but the same defensive issues remain. Right now Raptors are 26th in the league in defense with a rating of 110.1.

Thoughts?