The Toronto Raptors have a problem offensively and it’s relatively simple to pick out what that issue is. Just watch this team play one game in the NBA and you’ll feel like there are really only a few guys taking the shots for this team. That’s because Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have been chucking like there’s no tomorrow for most of this season.
All three of those players are averaging more than 10 shot attempts per game this season and Gay and DeRozan have combined for 38.5 shots per game thus far. There’s no doubt the height of that was the double overtime game 10 days ago when Gay hoisted 37 shot attempts and DeRozan put up 25 of them. As has been the case for much of the year, though, they were highly inefficient as they combined to shoot just 17-62 from the floor.
On the year, Gay is shooting just 38.2 percent while DeRozan isn’t much better at 40.4 percent shooting. These guys have been settling far too often for bad jumpers and mid-range shots instead of playing a style where they are more effective and efficient, which basically is when they are attacking and getting to the rim.
On Wednesday night in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers, though, DeRozan showed how good he can be when he’s playing within himself. He still put up 19 shot attempts and took a few too many jumpers, but he made a living off of attacking the rim, scoring on the drive, and getting to the foul line. He finished the night shooting 10-19 from the floor and 10-12 from the charity stripe.
From both Gay and DeRozan, the Raptors have to demand that these guys stop settling for jumpers. They are far too athletic and talented to end up being punch-lines because of how many shots they chuck up. I’m not sure if that starts with the coaching staff, teammates or the front office, but someone needs to get these guys playing the way in which they’re most effective.