The Raptors AMBUSHED LaMelo Ball2022|03:13
Imagine having a defensive lineup full of strong and athletic players with a huge wingspan. Something like this. Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Jaylen Brown. All between 6’6’’ and 6’9’’ and can switch everything and anything on defense. Now the Raptors obviously don’t have the talent of this All NBA type of squad, however, yesterday against the Hornets, Toronto played some minutes with these guys on the floor. OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher and Dalano Banton. Notice the size of this lineup and the fact that there isn’t a traditional point guard here. Check out how crowded it is in the paint and how Toronto just switches every movement from Charlotte. Watch Lamelo for example. At the beginning Banton is on him, then Barnes takes him and on the screen finally Siakam switches, so all this time is wasted from the offense with no results whatsoever and at the end of the shot clock Ball has to hoist up a contested 3 and he misses it. And this is a great example. Charlotte likes this matchup for Plumley under the basket. So Boucher goes to help and in this moment OG is watching out for 3 Hornets players. You see him being right in the middle, the perfect position to be able to recover on a pass to any of these 3 players. And as we let it roll, check out how his length comes into play here as he intercepts this pass and gets the steal. And this is another situation. On the penetration as Lamelo goes up we stop it right here and look at the picture perfect illustration of how difficult it is as finishing when you have 3 giants with a wingspan of an Airbus A320. And needless to say, this floater does not drop. And on the other end, this was pretty interesting to watch as Nick Nurse was confident in resting Fred Van Vleet as well as Gary Trent Jr, and had Siakam and OG run the offense. Admittedly while it looked good at times, there were quite a few possessions that didn’t look organized, and ended up with a wild shot. But this went on for almost the entire second quarter. Just when a substitution was announced and I thought some of the creators would come back, I saw Khem Birch coming in, yet another 6’9’’ guy. Now obviously the Raptors have built up their roster like this where they have a bunch of versatile bodies ready to play, but I don’t think I’ve seen them for a prolonged period of time playing without a typical point guard on the floor. At the end however Toronto got the win and had 4 players with 20+ points. And this is the 4th such game for them this season. Keep in mind that this hasn’t happened more than twice ever. With 6 wins in a row they are one of the hottest teams in the league and contrary to everyone's expectations, they are now number 6 in the east in front of teams like Brooklyn, Boston and Atlanta. Unbelievable. All this through hard work, defense and team play. Let me know in the comments what do you think about their unconventional lineup and if you think they can keep this up. That’s it for now, subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.