NBA

DeMar DeRozan making Toronto Raptors a surprisingly good NBA team

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It's been awhile since the Toronto Raptors were a threat.

In fact, there are only a few players who stand out in their history: Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh head that list.

All of them, of course, eventually left the Raptors.

Now, the Raptors seem to be a threat again, and a lot of that has to do with the rise of shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who has become a scoring machine.

What has he done?

On Sunday, he scored 30 in the team's first loss, 107-102 at the Miami Heat. He was 11 of 22 from the field in the game.

He did so finding his own shots off the dribble, driving and dunking and – so many times – drawing contact while he did so.

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On Saturday, he had 26 points and eight boards in a win at Orlando. In that game, he was also electric off the dribble, taking shots after backing guys down. In that game, he joined Kyle Lowry in taking over the scoring.

How good are they?

DeRozan is tough, we know that.

As to whether the team can win a playoff series with that style of play, it's uncertain.

It still looks like they are relying too much on a couple of guys to do the bulk of the scoring and teams can defensively get creative to put them in a bad spot.

That's why the National Post is calling of them to get the ball to center Jonas Valanciunas more often.

“We do have plays with Jonas in the post,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “We have so many great perimeter players that we have to fit it in with everything else. Right now, JV is doing an excellent job of going to the offensive boards and using his length and anticipation [to create offensive opportunities for himself].”

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Toronto Raptors

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