Analysis of the Raptors Defense By European Coach Raul Jimenez

Last week Raptors fans enjoyed the article that Raul Jimenez wrote on the Raptors offense so I’m excited to provide fellow Raptors fans with his article on the Raptors defense. In this article he provides fans with his coaching insights in the defensive sets the Raps are running this season through the use of some You Tube clips that he created.

You can read his thoughts on by clicking the “read more” link. Enjoy!

Analysis of the Raptors Defense
By Raul Jimenez

When Jorge Garbajosa went to the NBA, everybody in Spain everybody thought he couldn’t play the “3” spot. He was the best Spanish, and probably European “4,” but it was thought that he wasn’t able to play the “3” on either defense or offense in the NBA.

It’s great to see how Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell has made him able to play against guys like Vince Carter and Paul Pierce because this gives Toronto an important advantage over other teams.

Let’s take a look at Garbajosa’s 1 on 1 defense:

There are more interesting things on Raptors’ defense. One example is the way they switch in screens. They are brave enough and, of course, they are organized enough to do it. A lot of teams have problems when they face this kind of defense. The first reason this is successful is because few teams use this at the beginning of their offense. I’ve found that more teams that use this defense quite often when the shotclock is close to 7-8 seconds. The second interesting thing about the Raptors defense is they are ready to help in case they need to:

To finish with their defense, there is something that give an idea about the “European” style of this team – their zone defense. Although there are many teams which use zones, Toronto is probably the team that get more positive things from their zone. Perhaps the fact of having more European players (or players who have been playing overseas) help them to understand better this kind of defense. It’s very interesting that their zone is flexible, and they can change from one kind to another in the same play. As we watch in the images, the 1-2-2 zone, becomes a 2-3 zone as the offense goes on:

I’ve got to say that I really like this team and the way they play. Let’s see what they can do in the playoffs… I’m really optimistic!

For more of Raul’s coaching perspectives head check out his blog RJM Basket.

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