Raptors Training Camp: Finding a fix for their three-point shooting flaw

Raptors training camp:
Find a solution to their three-point shooting weakness

It’s no secret that the Raptors struggled behind the arc last season, and that’s one of the main issues new coach Darko Rajaković has his eye on.

Positive Mind:
There were two teams that the Toronto Raptors dominated in the arc last season.

Negative psychology:
There were only two teams where the Toronto Raptors dominated from behind the arc last season.

In the modern NBA, where every position has to shoot three-pointers, the Raptors are lacking. There isn’t a single player in the league’s top 50 with 3-point percentage, and losing their best shooter, Fred VanVleet, in free agency won’t help the gap between their floors.

It’s no secret, this is an area they want to improve in 2023-24 and it’s an area that new head coach Darko Rajaković has plans to fix. Not any of that is on display at the Christine Sinclair Center in Burnaby this week. Raptors training camp is completely off-limits and off-limits to any potential observers, including any kids wearing Raptors jerseys hoping to catch a glimpse of their heroes.

“Of course I have thoughts and discussions with the coaching staff that we can certainly imagine for our team, but we also don’t want to have a closed mind,” Rajaković said. “Every practice, every conversation, everything we see on the field will fall apart. We will learn as much as the players.

The Raptors finished last year with a .500 record at 41-41, finishing the regular season in ninth place before losing the play-in game to Chicago. Their eFG (effective field goal completion rate) is third-lowest in the league at 51.7, while opponents’ eFG is even worse at 56.5.

Their 3-point percentage is off target everywhere except in the tightest corners, where they actually rank among the league’s best.

But overall, it was difficult and as a result Nick Nurse lost his job in April.

Based on pre-camp conversations and what he has seen so far, Rajaković believes his team can bounce back.

“Everyone can change if they have the will to change. And I think our guys today, in the first training session, showed that great intention. We did a great job of moving the ball and playing at a much higher pace in the half court,” he said.

“It will be a change,” he added of the new terminology he has established.

“It will definitely be a change for them. It will take a minute. We must follow the process and continue our work.

“He’s a players’ coach,” forward Otto Porter Jr. said. speak. “He always asks questions of the players. He needs feedback from us; what we see, what we feel there. This is a team game and it will put us in the best position to succeed.

And if there’s a beginner who can help, it’s Porter.

The former third overall pick missed most of last year after undergoing surgery on his left foot, continuing a long list of ailments that have kept the former Bulls star from playing at par with your lottery selection status.

The 6-8 forward is just five years removed from his career record of 17.5 points per game, but showed during the Golden State Warriors’ 2022 championship run that he can still be an effective force.

“It feels great to be back,” said Porter, who has shot more than 40 percent from behind the arc the last two seasons and has a career-best shooting percentage of 48.8.

“Of course I had to deal with that last year, I’m just trying to move forward this year. Back to where I can play.

“He did a great job recovering over the summer,” Rajaković said.

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