latest news- Woe is three for the Raptors, but Nick Nurse insists they're a good shooting team breaking news

If it’s time for a big-picture check at the 20-game mark of this Raptors season, there are more than a few reasons for optimism. They have won two games in a row. Pascal Siakam is healthy again. Toronto’s defence, led by shutdown specialist OG Anunoby, is...

latest news- Woe is three for the Raptors, but Nick Nurse insists they're a good shooting team breaking news

If it’s time for a big-picture check at the 20-game mark of this Raptors season, there are more than a few reasons for optimism. They have won two games in a row. Pascal Siakam is healthy again. Toronto’s defence, led by shutdown specialist OG Anunoby, is...

latest news- Woe is three for the Raptors, but Nick Nurse insists they're a good shooting team breaking news
30 Kasım 2022 - 03:40

Sondakika haberleri

If it’s time for a big-picture check at the 20-game mark of this Raptors season, there are more than a few reasons for optimism. They have won two games in a row. Pascal Siakam is healthy again. Toronto’s defence, led by shutdown specialist OG Anunoby, is looking dangerously disruptive. Despite some grim injury luck, the Raptors, at 11-9, are holding their own in a beefed-up East.

But if there’s reason for pause when considering their ultimate upside, maybe it’s this: Only one of Toronto’s 10 most-used players is shooting better than 36 per cent from three-point range.

Thirty-six per cent was the league average for three-point accuracy heading into Tuesday’s games, according to Basketball-Reference.com. Which is to say, of the 10 Raptors who have seen the court the most this season, only Fred VanVleet, who’s drilling his usual 38 per cent from deep, can call himself an above-average NBA three-point shooter. OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes, both shooting 35 per cent, are close. So is Siakam, at 34 per cent.

Still, the Raptors, as a collective, are shooting just 33 per cent from three-point range, which ranks 23rd in the league. That’s on pace to be the franchise’s worst performance from behind the arc since 2010-1, when the Raptors made 32 per cent of their threes and won all of 22 games. If you look at Toronto’s overall marksmanship through the lens of the advanced stat known as true shooting percentage, which takes into account a team’s accuracy from both the field and the free-throw line, the picture is even uglier. Toronto ranks 29th in the 30-team NBA. They finished 27th in true shooting percentage a season ago and managed to make the playoffs.

“Look at the tape, get in the gym, shoot better,” VanVleet said recently, speaking of the in-house recipe for in-season improvement. “That's kind of the formula, you know what I mean? … You can't get too up or too down.”

Indeed, shooting runs hot and cold by nature. Twenty-game samples are far from definitive. But for a team that takes considerable pride in its skill-development machinery, much of which goes into the daily honing of individual shooting strokes, the early returns from three-point range have to qualify as disappointing.

Not that Toronto head coach Nick Nurse, who wrote a cult-classic handbook on the art and science of the jump shot, is ready to entertain the notion that a cold-handed start is anything more than a temporary state of affairs.

“First of all, I think we are a good shooting team,” Nurse said last week. “I think we are generating a lot of a really good shots from three. I think we are a little heavy on the non-paint two, long paint shots, right now. That, we will probably clean up as we go here a little bit.