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RAPTORS NOTEBOOK: Stellar defence just the norm now with Raptors

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How far has the Raptors’ defence superior?

In a efficiency like Friday’s when everybody not named Norman Powell seemingly forgot the best way to shoot straight, it was solely the defence that saved them.

In some other 12 months the plaudits could be flowing from the pinnacle coach and to the gamers congratulating themselves on not letting the poor offensive evening dictate their defensive effort.

Another 12 months that might be the case.

However this 12 months, with the defence locked in since coaching camp, it’s simply anticipated.

Nick Nurse was requested post-game if a defensive efficiency like that strengthened the defensive principals he’s been preaching since he took over the job.

Fairly than agree, Nurse principally mentioned the staff is on the level the place these issues now not want reinforcing. They’re a part of the staff’s DNA.

“I think the way we’re approaching games, they’ve bought in,” Nurse mentioned. “They know form of what the defence means to this staff and what it’s meant up to now and so they come on the market enjoying it for essentially the most half.

“Not very many errors in coverages, some, however not many. However then simply actual good, laborious, robust play and by all 5 guys on the similar time over the quarter results in a whole lot of stops.”

At one level within the third quarter the Raptors defence was impentrable.

From a Khem Birch floater on the eight:54 mark to an Al-Farouq Aminu three pointer with 2:37 to go within the interval, the Magic have been held scoreless over 16 possessions. Over that point the Raptors went from a six-point deficit to a four-point lead.

That form of defensive consistency retains a staff in video games. The early taking pictures struggles that hit everybody on the Raptors on Friday evening, together with Powell till he climbed out of his funk within the third, can take the combat out of a staff in a rush. The defence, although, saved the Raptors shut regardless of a season-worst 40-point first half. Fred VanVleet mentioned the considered being out of a recreation simply doesn’t happen to this group.

“We were all pretty light-hearted,” VanVleet mentioned even after that offensively horrid first half. “I do know that myself, as most likely as ugly as you can begin … I wasn’t wired or down on myself within the least.

“Simply come into the locker room, you regroup, take a look at the tape and see the place you might be higher and that’s the benefit of being skilled and enjoying defence within the playoffs is that these video games you’ll be able to keep degree headed and determine it out,” he mentioned. “We were able to get out of here with a win.”


Brampton’s Tyler Ennis return to motion following a full 12 months of restoration from a damaged tibia is off to a flying begin.

Via seven video games with the Raptors 905, Ennis is averaring 19 factors, 9 assists and a pair of.7 steals a recreation. The 9 assists are second within the league to Josh Magette, who’s averaging 10. Ennis is third on the staff in scoring behind newly arrived Justin Anderson and Devin Robinson.

Better of all he’s displaying no in poor health results from the damaged leg that was critical sufficient some have been involved it might finish his enjoying profession.

The 25-year-old, 6-foot-Three guard is again doing what he was at all times meant to do. The struggles of his earlier NBA profession from a fiirst-round choose to a man struggling to seek out minutes are lengthy up to now.


Oshae Brissett, who has been leaping backwards and forwards between the 905 and the Raptors as one of many staff’s two-way gamers, is the newest to decide to Canada’s last-chance Olympic qualifier this summer season giving Nurse, as of press time, eight NBA gamers on their technique to camp assuming accidents don’t derail them. The record now consists of Birch, Dillon Brooks, Jamal Murray, Shae Gilgeous-Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, RJ Barrett, Chris Boucher and Brissett with extra anticipated.

Brissett opened eyes along with his play within the run-up to final summer season’s FIBA World Cup throughout video games in Australia. An damage prevented him from collaborating within the precise match in China, however he made a long-lasting impression with Nurse and the teaching employees along with his play within the tune-up video games.


The profession greatest scoring evening for Powell on Friday evening in Orlando overshadowed one other profession evening by a member of the Raptors. VanVleet had seven steals within the recreation, two greater than his earlier excessive set per week earlier in a recreation in opposition to Charlotte … As a staff, the Raptors had 16 steals within the recreation, three greater than earlier excessive set in that very same recreation per week earlier in a win over Charlotte.

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