So far we have looked at the Raptors from the standpoint of their bigs and forwards. You can read those breakdowns at the bottom of this page. So let’s get into the Toronto guards: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, and Fred Van Fleet.
Kyle Lowry is still a good NBA player, but he is not what he once was as a scorer. As the Raptors have moved on from his ball stopping former second star Demar Derozen, Lowry’s assist rate has increased to a career high 34.8. He averaged 8.7 assists per game but also had his highest turnover rate since he was 22 years old. Among the Raptors starters, Lowry had the poorest Offensive rating and Defensive Rating. He is certainly not a liability, but he is likely the least of the 76ers concerns. So let’s look at his shot chart via AustinClemons.com for insights into his comfort areas.
For quick reference, the larger the square, the more frequent the shot was taken from that location. The color of the squares indicate how effective the attempts were, relative to average.
The thing to keep in mind with this chart is that Lowry shot a high percentage from the left corner, but only made 15 shots from there all season. The vast majority of his makes from beyond the arc came from the top where he shot just 30% on the season. This is where you want to contain Lowry. If he and Gasol work a high pick-and-roll, it is Lowry, not Gasol, you want to take the shot.
The Sixers should work as hard as possible to keep the ball in Lowry’s hands and get him to shoot. Denying others and playing soft on him may induce this kind of behavior. Lowry is a smart and very experienced veteran, but it has to be option A for the Sixers.
Dealing with Danny Green, however, is another thing entirely. Green is the consummate 3 and D wing who can burn you from the corners and above the break. He operates mostly from the Right side of the floor where he shoots roughly 46% from three. Green is not as accurate at the top of the arc or on the left wing. Regardless, Green is not a player the Sixers can play soft on or help off.
JJ Redick will most likely be tasked with staying tight on Green. This is probably Redick’s best option defensively. Green isn’t really an isolation player and although some might think he can post Redick up, I think that is a hill the Sixers would gladly die on.
Fred Van Fleet
Van Fleet is often mentioned as another dangerous player, and for stretches, that is true. When hot from three, he can be a backbreaking type backup, but generally he isn’t someone the Sixers will need to gameplan specifically for. His quickness could present problems for the Sixers, but if they can keep him from getting wide open corner threes, he isn’t going to be the main factor in a series for Toronto. Very nice backup point guard and a luxury for a loaded Toronto team.
So that is the Raptors guards. Click below to get the breakdown on the centers and wings.