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Thread: Can we pick up the tempo and still defend effectively?

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    Default Can we pick up the tempo and still defend effectively?

    If there was one issue I had with this team in terms of a gameplan last year it was the slow-pace we played at. We have a ton of athletes and guys that would excel in a faster paced offense... in fact I can't even think of a single player on our team that wouldn't be more productive offensively if we pushed the tempo.

    But there's the issue, where it seems that it's difficult for teams to defend well if they pick up the pace on offense, and there is some validity to that. Here were the league's top 10 defenses last season, their pace rankings are in brackets:

    1.) Indiana (20)
    2.) Chicago (28)
    3.) Golden State (6)
    4.) San Antonio (12)
    5.) Oklahoma City (9)
    6.) Charlotte (21)
    T-7.) LA Clippers (7)
    T-7.) Memphis (30)
    9.) Toronto (23)
    10.) Miami (27)

    So 6 of the league's top 10 defenses were in the bottom 1/3 of the league in terms of pace, but there are examples of teams playing uptempo and still having excellent defenses, namely Golden State, OKC, and the Clippers. I'm not a coach so I don't know how they're able to pull this off, but that would be my aspiration for our team. To be able to have a top 10 defense and still be one of the fastest paced teams in the league. I want guys like Ross and DeRozan getting more runouts for dunks and more transition threes. There's no reason why a team as athletic as ours should be 23rd in pace imo.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Bonus Jonas's Avatar
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    Quote imanshumpert wrote: View Post
    If there was one issue I had with this team in terms of a gameplan last year it was the slow-pace we played at. We have a ton of athletes and guys that would excel in a faster paced offense... in fact I can't even think of a single player on our team that wouldn't be more productive offensively if we pushed the tempo.

    But there's the issue, where it seems that it's difficult for teams to defend well if they pick up the pace on offense, and there is some validity to that. Here were the league's top 10 defenses last season, their pace rankings are in brackets:

    1.) Indiana (20)
    2.) Chicago (28)
    3.) Golden State (6)
    4.) San Antonio (12)
    5.) Oklahoma City (9)
    6.) Charlotte (21)
    T-7.) LA Clippers (7)
    T-7.) Memphis (30)
    9.) Toronto (23)
    10.) Miami (27)

    So 6 of the league's top 10 defenses were in the bottom 1/3 of the league in terms of pace, but there are examples of teams playing uptempo and still having excellent defenses, namely Golden State, OKC, and the Clippers. I'm not a coach so I don't know how they're able to pull this off, but that would be my aspiration for our team. To be able to have a top 10 defense and still be one of the fastest paced teams in the league. I want guys like Ross and DeRozan getting more runouts for dunks and more transition threes. There's no reason why a team as athletic as ours should be 23rd in pace imo.
    Golden State can do it because their bigs don't have to run all the way down court on many possessions because Curry and Thompson take so many pull up 3's in transition. They're able to set up their defense even after scoring in transition because half the team's in the back court when they put up the shot. I'm not 100% but that definitely sounds reasonable. And the clippers have probably the most mobile bigs in the league, they can run back really quickly and anchor the defense on the ensuing possession. Jonas can't run back as fast as Deandre Jordan can so if he does press, we're scrambling on defense if the other team wants to push the ball. Not too sure about OKC though...

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    OKC does not really do a back to basket offence, I think they had the lowest post up plays in the league, and when you have Durant and Westbrook running the show, someone like Perkins can hang back a lot.
    The name's Bond, James Bond.

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    Raptors did play an uptempo and entertaining basketball when Jay Triano coached this team. They would score over 100 each game, but they gave up too much on defense. This is generally not realistic but as you have mentioned, GS due to their 3 point shooting, LAC due to their very athletic bigs running the floor, OKC having 2 of the best iso players, and of course the Spurs having the best system in the league.

    I'm surprised we are ranked higher than Miami who always feeds on turnovers or that football pass to lebron or wade in transition. I think the raps can do this with Amir or JV being able to accurately throw long outlet passes after a rebound to either demar or ross for an easy finish. Plus, you always see Coach Casey flailing and telling Kyle and the team to push it whenever they're in transition. Baby steps in coaching. He has greatly improved his offensive sets (credits to his coaching staff) compared to his previous years, still a lot to work on but he's on the right track.

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    Quote 2KJ wrote: View Post
    Raptors did play an uptempo and entertaining basketball when Jay Triano coached this team. They would score over 100 each game, but they gave up too much on defense. This is generally not realistic but as you have mentioned, GS due to their 3 point shooting, LAC due to their very athletic bigs running the floor, OKC having 2 of the best iso players, and of course the Spurs having the best system in the league.

    I'm surprised we are ranked higher than Miami who always feeds on turnovers or that football pass to lebron or wade in transition. I think the raps can do this with Amir or JV being able to accurately throw long outlet passes after a rebound to either demar or ross for an easy finish. Plus, you always see Coach Casey flailing and telling Kyle and the team to push it whenever they're in transition. Baby steps in coaching. He has greatly improved his offensive sets (credits to his coaching staff) compared to his previous years, still a lot to work on but he's on the right track.
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    Sorry, first thought that came to my mind

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    Quote RaptorsFohEva wrote: View Post
    OKC does not really do a back to basket offence, I think they had the lowest post up plays in the league, and when you have Durant and Westbrook running the show, someone like Perkins can hang back a lot.
    Based on his offensive numbers, I thought he did that 90% of the time...
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    I've been saying the same thing for a while, and it's a really interesting question. We have one of the most athletic squads in the league, and I think Casey's conservative nature has a lot to do with keeping things slow. It was particularly apparent when he wanted Lowry to be more like Calderon, though since the Gay trade things have opened up a little more.

    There are two components to pace: the speed of your half-court offense and your ability to generate fast break points.

    Fast breaks are either the result of turnovers or defensive stops.

    Interestingly, we were fourth-lowest in the league in total fast break points per nba.com. But we were 13th in the league in turnovers forced and points scored off of turnovers.

    So it seems like we're not pushing the ball off of defensive stops. But this is probably by design. We were 12th in the league in DREB%. Instead of leaking out, the focus is on getting rebounds and securing the ball.

    Here are some comparisons of notable teams (ranks)
    Fastbreak points - points off turnovers - turnovers forced - DREB%
    Miami 15 - 2 - 2 - 23
    OKC 6 - 9 - 10 - 9
    San Antonio 14 - 17 - 25 - 4
    LA Clippers 2 - 1 - 7 - 25
    Golden State 11 - 12 - 11 - 5
    Toronto 27 - 13 - 13 - 12

    So you can see that the Clippers are breaking out by design. But San Antonio, which still maintains a great DREB%, is able to push the ball off stops because Pop demands it. Doesn't hurt to have great passing big men like Duncan (amazing outlet passer) and Diaw. Plus Kawhi Leonard is a solid rebounder who has the handle to push the ball.

    What we see on our team when Val and Amir secure boards is a dump off to whichever guard is closest, probably because Amir never developed outlet passing skills and Val right now is just too much of a risk to turn it over. Demar has gotten better at pushing it when he gets a board but really the impetus has to come from the bigs, and it has to be a teamwide philosophy to push the ball off stops.

    Our pace in the half court is mostly fine, I think, though Demar could pound the rock a little less, same with Greivis, and Val's post work needs to speed up considerably. The Spurs average 30 more passes a game than us, and that comes from making quicker decisions. The ball almost never stops in that offense. It's either shoot, pass, or put it on the floor--fast. Gotta love watching them work.

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    I disagree with the need to speed the game up especially if you want that to see more highlights.

    I'd rather see close grind out game that possess a higher occurrence in the playoff than wild high scoring games.

    Slowing the pace really helps the defense and we need that because 3 members in our starting line ups are below average in defense. Ross is great in 1 on 1, but is often caught ball watching or late in rotation. JV is getting better, but still really slow to get out off the paint in a rotation situation. DD, while being a better team defender, struggles vs quicker guards, or stronger forwards.

    Raptors are already an effective offensive team, why would you change what's working?
    Myself (March 2014):
    The raptors are a tremendous young team and will win a championship in the following five years.

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    Casey is constantly urging his team to move the ball up the floor. And it usually does get up there at a good rate. The problem is that once it is there, the passes don't come quickly. The ball hits a pair of hands and the player dribbles for a while until the help shows up, then there is a pass and the sequence is repeated. It makes me wonder if Casey isn't telling his guys to try and draw the extra help so that someone is freed up for the second pass after passing out. But it sure doesn't result in many uncontested shots.

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