The Toronto Raptors were widely discussed in the weeks leading up to and around the NBA Trade Deadline, mainly because they acquired the most high-profile player that was involved in any of the trades in Rudy Gay. In the 19 games that he’s been with Toronto, there have been largely mixed opinions about how he has played.
There’s no denying that he’s been terrific defensively, averaging 6.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game and posting the second-best defensive rating on the team, allowing just 98.9 points per 100 possessions. However, those who have been critical of Gay have focused on his efficiency. Sure, he’s led the Raptors in scoring, averaging 20.4 points per game, but he’s shot the ball at just 40.2 percent from the field and 24.7 percent from beyond-the-arc. Even with those poor percentages, Gay was still jacking up 19.1 field goal attempts per game, the most on the team, and 4.1 three-point attempts per game, the third-most on the team.
Over Toronto’s last two games, though, it’s seemed like Gay is either catching-fire or has found a way to score the ball more efficiently. In the Raptors’ last two games, Gay has converted on 22 of his 36 field goal attempts, good for 61.1 percent, and three of his nine three pointers, good for 33.3 percent. Also not surprisingly, he has averaged 27.5 points per game over Toronto’s last two.
Part of those stats have to be taken with a grain of salt, considering that one of those games was against the Charlotte Bobcats, one of the worst defensive teams in the league. However, the other game was against the currently unstoppable Miami Heat, one of the best defensive squads in the league. While Gay was successful against Charlotte, he was also successful and efficient against Miami, scoring 27 points on 55 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent shooting from long-range.
If Gay is able to find a way to create efficient and consistent offense as the Raptors move forward this season and into future seasons, it will be huge for this team. Not only will they have a scorer that is efficient and proficient, but the play of Gay will open up the games of players like DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson and Kyle Lowry. If Toronto wants to be successful in the Association, they have to find a way to make Gay play efficient offensively. If they do that, they’ll undoubtedly be on the right track.