with Paul Pierce blocking Lowry

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This year, though, the Raptors are using the regular season as playoff prep, making it harder for opponents to gameplan against them
defensively by Joe Carter Youth Jersey spreading the wealth around, with much of the largesse occurring behind
the 3-point line.

Entering play Monday, Toronto was averaging 31.5 3-point attempts,
sixth-highest in the league, after averaging 24.3 threes a year ago,
22nd-highest. Joe Smith Youth Jersey And even though they shot a higher percentage on threes last year,
(their .354 percentage this year is only 22nd-best in the league), that
doesn’t matter. Ball movement matters.

As a result, Toronto’s moved up this year in Offensive Rating, to 110.6,
per NBA.com/Stats, fourth in the league behind Golden State, Houston
and Cleveland. And the Raptors have gone from 10th in the league last
year in points per game (106.9) to fourth so far this year (111.3).

Lowry’s Usage Rate has dropped from 26.1 two years ago to 21.3.
DeRozan’s is down from 34.3 last season to 30.1 so far this season. By
contrast, Jose Bautista Youth Jersey Valanciunas’s rate has risen from 19.5 last season to 21 this season.
And when the young guys are on the floor with the veterans, they’re
firing away from deep.

Lowry was a hard sell when Casey and Ujiri came to him over the summer
with the new plan — “I said, ‘let me see it first,’” Lowry said. But he
and DeRozan are on board now. With its newfound firepower, Toronto has
rallied from 17 or more down on the road three times already this
season, including Thursday, when the Raptors came back from 22 down in
the third.

“The 3-point game is helping us evolve, it’s spacing us out a lot more,”
Lowry said. “I think it helps with everything — it helps us with
spacing, pace, Josh Donaldson Youth Jersey understanding where we all want to be on the floor. And it gives us the
confidence to all do it. We all can shoot it without nobody bitching at
you. No one cares who shoots the three. We want everybody to be
successful.”

DeRozan and Lowry now know that they can bend the defense to them and
get wide-open shots for guys that may not be used to taking big shots in
big moments.

“It took us a while to get out of habits that were successful for us,”
he said. “We still won 50-plus games with the way we was playing. But
once we bought in, and understood how we could be better at it, you
started to see the effects of it during the season. It took us a little
while. Even preseason, we wasn’t there. First couple of games, we were
still trying to figure it out. Now, you see it. We’re finding our
rhythm. Guys understand where to be, how to move the ball, everything.”

Posted 26 Dec 2017

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Posted 21 May 2018

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