The Raptors reinvented their offense after a memorable offseason press conference in which president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri suggested that change would be coming. As Scott Cacciola of the New York Times, the team’s plan to change it’s mindset without actually changing its roster has actually worked.
With a desire to adapt to the ever-changing NBA landscape, the Raptors charged assistant coach Nick Nurse with the task of modernizing the team’s offense, ushering them from an era of one-and-one play into a new one that rewards ball movement and three-point shooting.
Prior to joining the Raptors, Nurse served as the head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, a G League team that paced the league in three-point attempts during his time there. Already this season, he’s convinced every Raptor, with the exception of Jakob Poeltl, to hoist a three.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Raptors are making the most out of second-year forward Pascal Siakam‘s rare motor, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. “That’s something that’s kind of small but it’s huge, because a lot of guys can’t run like him and don’t want to run like him and don’t have the desire to run like him, and he does,” head coach Dwane Casey says. “And he focuses on it. He thinks about it. He knows that’s how he can score, is outrun people down the floor.“
- It wasn’t long ago when Jahlil Okafor led the Sixers in scoring. These days the 21-year-old center can’t even get on the court. The trend seems eerily similar to the Nerlens Noel situation from last season, Sarah Todd of The Inquirer writes.
- Despite only operating at 81% capacity, Sixers center Joel Embiid believes he’s the NBA’s best defensive player, Keith Pompey of The Inquirer writes. “Not to be cocky, but I think I’m the best defensive player in the league right now,” Embiid said. “I’m still getting better. My blocks are a little down [compared to last season]. I’m a better rebounder this year.“