Tyler Hansbrough was brought to the Toronto Raptors this offseason for his notorious toughness and defense. However, after four games in a red and white uniform, Hansbrough is proving he has the offense to match his defense.
Hansbrough was the top scorer in his team’s preseason win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night.
Hansbrough scored 11 points in just 16 minutes to take his preseason average to 10.5 points per game. The fifth year player has been a pleasant surprise for coach Dwane Casey.
On the negative side, the win over the Timberwolves marked the third game out of four that the team has turned the ball over 20+ times. Casey said, “We’ve got to take care of the basketball. We gave up 17 offensive rebounds. That’s way too many.”
“These two areas are two that we’ve got to clean up”, he added.
Casey later alluded to the main cause of turnovers being a lack of connection between his players. With an unchanged starting lineup from a year ago, there is no reason for them not to be on the same page. Cutting down on the turnovers will be at the top of Casey’s ‘to-do’ list as his team moves on from the win.
The Raptors moved to 3-1 on the preseason, marking an impressive start for a team that is trying to re-establish their defensive identity.
At the team’s Media Day last week, Casey said he was going to re-balance the pendulum by going back to basics with the team’s defense.
Despite still being in the preseason, the team’s sky-high turnover numbers are not the efficient start Casey would have hoped for. The third-year Raptors coach finds himself in the hot-seat to start the season after a .385 winning percentage has not yet cut it.
Casey will look for his team to protect the ball better heading into the regular season, which they start against division rivals Boston Celtics.