Raptors mid-season report

With a record of 28 wins and 13 losses, the Toronto Raptors hit the midpoint of their 2016-17 NBA season in second place in the Eastern Conference. Their .683 winning percentage is fifth best in the league.

Is it possible for the Raptors to be better NOW? Are they in touch with reality? Who are the five most efficient at each position? And, which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? These are the questions we will answer in our Hoop Obsession mid-season report.

DeRozan is the mid-range king!

The Raptors presently have the the number one ranked offense in the NBA. They are very efficient at point guard with Kyle Lowry, shooting guard with DeMar DeRozan, and at center with Jonas Valanciunas.

DeRozan continues to improve his game. This season he is running at a career-high efficiency clip. He is averaging 28 points per game without being an accurate three-point shooter. DeRozan is connecting on only 24% of his deep attempts. Instead, he takes his shot to the midrange.

DeRozan is proving that a team CAN win with a shooting guard that doesn't make threes. With his overall efficiency, DeRozan and his teammates that do shoot threes (Lowry, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson) are able to keep their offense humming.

Bench players Terrence Ross, Cory Joseph, and Lucas Nogueira have all played at a level that keeps the Raptors from dropping off too much when the starters rest. The addition of Jared Sullinger in the second half of the season should only add to Toronto's depth.

Sullinger has a chance to be a vital efficiency upgrade at the FOUR spot. If the Raptors have one weakness offensively it is a lack of overall efficiency from Patrick Patterson. Sullinger's ability to rebound and score could make the Raptors much better.

The Raptors defensive rating as a team ranks 21st (of 30). Obviously, they will need to improve the D to advance in the NBA Playoffs.

Are the Raptors in touch with their reality?

Yes. The Raptors are winning more than they lose today and they have hope for the future. Toronto has their own first and second round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. They will also likely receive the first round pick of the L.A. Clippers (unless that pick is in the lottery).

The one tweak we would make to the Raptors presently is to reverse the roles of DeMarre Carroll and Terrence Ross. We think Ross has improved to the point that he is now the superior player between the two. However, Carroll plays 26.5 minutes per game while Ross plays just 21.9 minutes per contest.

Five most efficient by position

PG - Kyle Lowry .666, SG - DeMar DeRozan .677, SF - Terrence Ross .448, PF - Patrick Patterson .364, C - Jonas Valanciunas .660

Which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? (players w/ 300 minutes played minimum)

The Raptors TEAM defensive rating is 108.9 (21st of 30). The players with defensive ratings better than the team average: Lucas Nogueira 104, and Jonas Valanciunas 107.


NBA related. Trade targets.