The Toronto Raptors had to be incredibly hopeful right after they acquired Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies. Immediately following the trade they enjoyed a period of success where it looked like Gay may transform their team. As the weeks have rolled on in the 2012-2013 NBA season, though, that has turned out not to be the case at all.
Gay has been the Raptors leading scorer in the 22 games that he’s played with them and has arguably been their best defensive player. That’s obviously promising when it’s presented like that, but that’s not the entire story. The fact that Gay is shooting just 40.3 percent from the floor and 24.4 percent from three ruins any of the positive things that he’s been doing.
Gay’s inefficiency on offense has been heavily covered over recent weeks, but it’s also indicative of the biggest problem with this Toronto team as a whole. The Raptors’ five leading scorers this season are Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Andrea Bargnani, Kyle Lowry and Alan Anderson. Of those five guys, DeRozan has the highest shooting percentage, but he is shooting just 43.2 percent from the field. Lowry shoots just 40.5 percent, Bargnani only 39.9 percent and Anderson only 38.7 percent.
The Raptors as a team shoot 44.2 percent from the field, which isn’t that bad. However, the problem lies in the fact that the players that they rely on to get the bulk of their points all struggle with shooting the ball at an efficient rate. These guys have a tendency, particularly Gay and DeRozan, to take difficult and contested shots in isolation situations instead of getting to the rim or driving and kicking the ball out.
As Toronto looks towards the future they have to think about how this issue can be fixed. For these players to play more efficient offense the only foreseeable solution would be a schematic change. They need to be put into a system that doesn’t call for so much isolation and focuses more on ball movement. For now, though, they are going to continue to shoot very poorly from the field.