3 Pascal Siakam, Scotty Barnes D and other ways Raptors can improve

Two middle-class members of the Eastern Conference added a year ago this All-Stars team out of the season. Cleveland I got Donovan MitchellWhile Atlanta added Dignity Murray.

It was a quieter summer for the conference contenders, with Boston Getting Malcolm Brogdon And the Philadelphia adding PJ Tucker Perhaps the biggest moves. but, Kevin Durant He did not leave the conference, Milwaukee You continue to have the best player on the planet and so on.

The wild birds He remained pretty calm, and I bet his inner development would be him The path that leads them forward. This word, ‘development’, covers so much ground that it is easy to lose track of what it really means. The Raptors have many players, young and early-stage alike, who can improve in many areas, advancing in specific areas with the ability to help the team keep pace with their competitors, or even surpass some of them.

Here are five specific skills worth keeping an eye on once you start boot camp at the end of the month.

Pascal I’m sorry3 . drag indicator

This summer I bet: Your vacation will feel so long that you’ll forget how many times I referenced Siakam’s triple-drag index stats last year. Then you’ll think, ‘Oh, that’s Corinne, what an insightful basketball mind. I really appreciate the idea he’s putting into his chops. Let’s see if it works.’

In the 2019-20 season, when Siakam was named to the All-NBA Second Team, 42 percent of his 357 3-point attempts were draw shots—that is, he took at least one dribble before taking a shot. He’s hit 34 percent of those 150 shots, which isn’t great, but still works out to hit Seacam about once, 3 times a match. In other words, it was a viable weapon, if not his means of transmission.

Last season, Siakam was named the 3rd All-NBA Team. In doing so, it is hardly try to More than 3 draw every two games. It went 9 against 35 in appearance. Without looking back and looking at all those 35 shots, I’d bet a bunch of them came at the end of the shot clock, last-ditch attempts to get a shot. Again, go from making almost one in every game to just taking one in every other.

It’s very likely that Siakam Raptors will lead in usage percentage this year, as it has done in each of the previous three seasons. You want the player with the ball in his hands to have as many ways to score as possible. The further away he defended, the more dangerous he became.

Did my plan work?

Gary Trent Jr. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Playmaking by Gary Trent

On 368 properties in isolation, Siakam scored a 56 percent average, according to Synergy Sports. in 127 attempts Fred Vanfleet registered in the thirtieth percentile. In 94 possession, Gary Trent Jr. He was in the 76th percentile. Trent was the Raptors’ most efficient player, entrusted with more than a small handful of isolation possessions.

The Raptors need all the half-field builds they can get, so it would be wise to use Trent as an offensive pivot late in games, not just when he’s on the stove. However, Trent can be one dimensional, stopping the ball, turning to his right and looking to get off his jump. It works a lot, but isn’t particularly hard to explore.

In his first three seasons, Trent’s assist ranged between 6.2 and 6.6 percent. That’s low, but it’s no surprise that the guy plays next to two excellent goalkeepers. Last year, he bumped it up to 8.8 percent, although he still averages just 2.1 passes per 36 minutes.

Without a dominant offensive player, the Raptors need as many competent triple threats as possible. Trent is a serious shooter and shooter, and now it’s time to take advantage of these abilities to create others more often.

Record the isolation of Anonobi

Speaking of isolation play, Anonobi produced 62 points out of 101 possessions in those positions, ranking 11 percent. To the extent that Rumors that Anonobi wants a bigger role She is correct – and she is at least slightly correct – this number should go up. So far in his career, Anonobi has been described as a potentially fantastic triple and triple player, but there is nothing else in his bio to suggest that he should be allowed to be more than that.

Except, then the playoffs come along and Anunobi is awesome. Anunoby averaged 17.3 points on 58.4 true shooters last year, the latter being the best number for any Raptors novice. Suddenly, he was scoring at the 88th percentile in seclusion. As you might expect, this calls for a #smallamplesize alert, as this percentage came out on just 13 properties.

Anonobi must show that not only can he punish mismatches, he can also act decently against great and powerful defenders. Anunoby’s poise and finish have come around the edge so far since his first few years in the league. Her feet are much improved. He doesn’t have a pet movement yet, although there is no pivot in his offensive range on which he depends. He’s showing it in batches, but it’s time to see if he can piece together decent proficiency as a primary builder over a longer period.

Scotty Barnesperimeter defense

As you might expect, I was tempted to write “Everything Scotty Barnes” and get it done. You can choose almost any Barnes theme that you want, put it here and you won’t be wrong. As good as Barnes is—indeed, given how awesome he is—the thought of going from solid to great in any area has the potential to dramatically improve raptors.

As a defender, Barnes has generally been a beast at capturing and dribbling, regardless of whether he covers the ball goalkeeper or the screen setter. He was also a ball hawk in the free turn of the off-ball safety.

He was just an ordinary defender in seclusion, however, he ranked 57th in the rank of defender. Some players had the biggest problem with Barnes last year: Demar DeRozanAnd the Zach LavigneAnd the Bradley BellKevin Durant and Trey Young. Now, let’s face it: These guys are going to struggle. They are among the best scorers in the world. Overall, though, Barnes has had more success resisting bigger players than hopping between screens off the ball and staying attached to the guards.

The Raptors have a group of players who can credibly guard across the positioning spectrum. The more Barnes makes that right for himself, the more dangerous the Raptors are defensively.

Precious Ichiwaedge protection

Christian Kluck he is Long, tall and interesting And… a slim pick in the second round who’s been playing competitive basketball for less than a decade. The Raptors will try to use their developmental magic to quickly track Coloco, but it’s unreasonable to expect him to be a major contributor to a good deed. NBA The team is in its rookie year.

This brings us to Precious Achiuwa, who, even if he doesn’t start, should get into the role of a Raptor who spends most of the time defending the edge. Opponents only shot 54.7 percent within six feet against him last year, the weakest mark on his team. Compare that to Siakam (57.6%), Chris Boucher (59.4), Barnes (59.5), Anonobi (62.5) and Km Birch (62.6).

The best of the best in the league, the players love Garrett AllenAnd the Jackson Jr. years.And the Rudy Gobert and Robert Williams III, all have discount percentages hovering around 50 percent. Achiuwa gets close to that level, and he can jump out of the gym. Achiuwa is valuable for more than just blocking a shot, but this skill is largely absent in the expected turn of the Raptors. If Achiuwa can not only banish the shots indoors but dissuade more from trying, Nick Nurse may be able to diversify his defense that always prioritizes protecting the paint.

(Top photo: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY)