Coach Nick over at BBall Breakdown does great work. Whether it’s live-tweeting videos during games to highlight particular plays (or misplays), or breaking down players, plays, or entire teams, few go into the detail explaining NBA tactics like Nick and his team. Were I to ever coach youth ball, his site (and app!) would be my first stop, and as a writer, their site (and app!) is an indispensable tool.
With the Toronto Raptors on a nine-game winning streak, Coach Nick turned his attention north for his latest breakdown.
I’ve long tried to dispel the idea that head coach Dwane Casey doesn’t run plays or that the Raptors just roll the ball out and go one-on-one (a focus of our Breaking It Down section, but it’s come up elsewhere, too), and hopefully Nick’s detailed look at a few Raptors’ wrinkles, tweaks, and pet plays further helps to that end. It’s worth a watch as a Raptors fan, as it will make you more aware of things that are going on away from the ball, particularly at the offensive end. (Admittedly, I understand none of you will change your opinions on Casey at least until he wins a playoff series, but I digress.)
The most polarizing part of the video may be the section on DeMar DeRozan, who has continues to score well but sometimes does so at the expense of offensive flow. He’s passing well off the bounce and using the attention he draws to create for others, but a few instances of the offense stalling out look bad. There are also good sections on Cory Joseph’s defense, T.J. Ross’ offense, and more.