Losing the adjustment battle: How the Raptors got their third split

How was the split decided? Where did the Raptors go right and wrong?

Three series, three splits. No needles moved, and no ground covered. The Raptors have found perfect parity with the Heat, 76ers, and now the Bulls. Let's talk about what changed between games 1 and 2 for the Raptors, and why they still haven't swept a series this season.

"The NBA is full of changes, you just gotta be able to adapt and adjust." Fred VanVleet said after the loss. "It's just something that - since I've been in the league - we'll see. You know, you don't wanna split 'em, but it seems that's the way it's been going for us. It's tough to play the same team with 24 hours in-between, so we're gonna have to try and find a way to win both or we'll see the rest of the league even itself out."

VanVleet is absolutely correct in highlighting the amount of change in the NBA. It's the best basketball in the world, and the people who can't play it at that level certainly try to think it at a high enough one. The Raptors walked out a very aggressive scheme in game 1, found it to their liking against the shorthanded Bulls, and kept it going for game 2. With Zach Lavine back in the lineup for Chicago and players like Ayo Dosunmu digesting the defense over a day, it fell short.

"The more you move and pass the basketball, the more opportunity there is for turnovers."

- Billy Donovan

Let's take a look:

Whether it's passing the ball or driving it (you can win 4-on-3's either way), you have to be decisive. In game 1 the Raptors were able to thrust indecision on the Bulls tertiary players, and the hesitation that came with it allowed the Raptors aggressive defense to catch up and for the advantages to dissolve. When a player like DeRozan is watching his teammates continuously let man advantages dissolve, he's going to force the issue - especially if he's being doubled at half like prime James Harden. That's exactly the space that the Raptors defense wants stars to occupy: rushed and frustrated.

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