The Toronto Raptors had a perfect preseason for the first time in franchise history.
There was a lot of speculation on how the new-look Raptors would look entering this season under new head coach Darko Rajakovic. Toronto was simply impressive in their dress rehearsal.
Here are the main takeaways from the Raptors preseason.
New-look offense looks promising
The Raptors have implemented a 0.5 offense under Darko Rajakovic. It’s about making quick decisions with the basketball. Either passing, shooting or attacking the basket.
The Raptors have played an unselfish style of basketball during the preseason and the ball movement has been excellent. Toronto had 30 assists on 30 made field goals against the Sacramento Kings and 36 assists on 49 made field goals against the Washington Wizards.
The Raptors recently put up 134 points against the Wizards on 52 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from three.
Toronto sharing the basketball and not relying on heavy iso has been great to see. The 0.5 offense seems like the perfect fit for the Raptors current personnel.
The bench is solid
The biggest difference from last season to this season is that the Raptors will roll out a deeper rotation. Darko Rajakovic has said that he likes using a 10-man rotation. We saw him implement a deeper rotation in the preseason.
The second unit for the Raptors scored 62 points against the Wizards and that was without Gary Trent Jr.
Trent Jr. is locked into the sixth man role for the Raptors and he’s played well. He scored 22 points against the Kings and 11 points against the Bulls. He’s been a nice spark from the off the bench.
Also, new addition Jalen McDaniels has looked good and he figures to get a rotation spot alongside Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa. As for the last rotation spot, that could go to Malachi Flynn who played a ton in the preseason, rookie Gradey Dick or Otto Porter Jr. who can help the Raptors on both ends.
The Raptors’ depth look a lot better entering this season. The bench has a chance to alleviate the pressure and minutes off the starters and keep them fresh for the final stretch of games.
Scottie Barnes is ready to take a leap
Barnes looked like a star in the making in the preseason. He averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3.7 assists on 59 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from deep in 21 minutes per game.
His offensive rating was 119.6 and he showed so much promise on the defensive end as well. He had a 4 block performance against the Bulls.
Barnes looks more confident, aggressive and seems dialed in. Scottie Barnes looks ready to take a giant leap this season and help the Raptors move up the standings.
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