DeMar DeRozan’s nasty dunk all over the Stifle Tower displays the talent of Raptors players, it’s just time Dwane Casey starts to utilize it with team basketball.
With the Toronto Raptors ultimately losing the game to the Utah Jazz by a score of 93-89, it marks their third consecutive loss. With coach Casey remaining at the helm, the Raptors are not looking like the improved squad they were hoping to become after a busy free agency.
The way they played entering the last six minutes of yesterday’s fourth quarter with a 79-77 lead, was a perfect sample of the isolation centered offence that Casey seems to only know how to produce.
Of the last 13 shots taken by the Raptors against the Jazz, only one of them wasn’t contested. Of those attempted shots, only four of them went in. And of those made shots, none of them had no more two team passes before they ended up in the hoop.
The two worst possessions came right after Toronto timeouts. A time when Casey should be able to showcase his play calling abilities as an NBA coach.
The first timeout was called with 3:09 left to play, with the Jazz up 84-83. It resulted with only one pass after the inbounds play, and Kyle Lowry driving to the rim to put a contested layup over Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert – one of the best shot blocking duos in the league, averaging 4.7 blocks a game.
The second one was called with 23.8 seconds left to play with the Jazz up 91-87. The Raptors passed the ball once, until DeRozan attempted to go to rim against a motivated Gobert, who forced him to turn the ball over.
The problems related to playing isolated basketball are nothing new to the Raptors, who last year ranked fourth in total isolation possessions. This season they’re ranked sixth, only behind the Rockets, Knicks, Lakers, Pelicans, and Timberwolves.
All of those teams have losing records except for the 6-6 Knicks, who handed the Raptors a loss on Nov. 10
What makes isolation basketball even worse for the Raptors is that they hold the league’s 10th worst eFG% on isolation plays. As well as the third worst team assist average in the league with only 18.5 dimes a game.
After starting the season 5-0, things are starting to get really cold up north with the Raptors going 2-6 in their last eight games.
Raptors fans out there will point out and complain about the Knicks and Warriors games … which Dwane Casey has also probably been doing all last week. But it still won’t change the number in the loss column.
But what could change is the head coach on the Raptors bench.
All stats for this article are from BasketaballReference.com and NBA.com
You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97