Work to Do: East-Leading Toronto Raptors Aren’t Yet Elite

November 29th, 2014 by Daniel O'Brien Leave a reply »

The Toronto Raptors are perched atop the Eastern Conference, but the Dallas Mavericks helped remind us that they aren't yet a truly elite NBA outfit.

Make no mistake, they're a tough unit that challenged Monta Ellis and Co. until the final whistle. But we saw some recurring problems in the Raps' 106-101 home loss that they'll need to address before they're considered legitimate title contenders.

Earlier in the week, the ever-outspoken Mavs owner Mark Cuban suggested conference realignment, noting the West's overwhelming superiority. His club, sixth in the West standings, continued to back up his talk as they upended the East's top-ranked club at their house.


Ball Movement

Dallas gave Toronto a clinic in ball movement, dishing 27 assists compared to the Raptors' 17. Dwane Casey has struggled to get consistent, balanced passing from his whole rotation, especially when Kyle Lowry is in score-first mode and no one else helps out. 

Toronto manages just 38.2 assist opportunities per game this season, according to SportVU team tracking. That's partially due to their intermittent slo ...

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