The problem? Our stagnant offensive sets.
The solution? Look at how Chicago did it.
If there was one thing you could count on the Bulls for last season, it was their struggles on the offensive end. Even with the dynamic Rose, Chicago often found it difficult to put points up on the board. Fortunately for them, they were always solid on the glass and on the defensive end.
So how did new coach Tom Thibodeau decide to work around it?
Well based off that one preseason game against our Raptors last night, it was through speed. The Bulls were relentless when it came to running the ball down our throats. Time after time again, our defense found themselves backpedaling and unable to get into a comfortable position to guard the basket. The Bulls coaching staff realized that fast break opportunities result in easy points; something Raptors fans are hoping Jay and Co. begin to clue on soon.
The current Raptors' offense is elementary. Pure and simple. The last two games have exposed that fact. We may have been able to get away with it against the Suns, but as soon as we ran into defensive squads like the Bulls and the Celtics, the Raps were unable to move the ball. It was like watching 90% of video gamers play NBA 2K11 for the first time.
This team has the tools to pick up the pace. DeMar and Weems more than excel in the open court. Amir, Bargs, Dorsey, and eventually Davis are all bigs fully capable of running the down the floor (Heck, Noah did it against us last night). The Raps easiest buckets last night came when Barbosa took the ball and flew like a jet down the court.
In my eyes, this has to be done. We don't have anyone on this team who can consistently create for themselves and others. On top of that, we don't have someone we can isolate or dump the ball into the post to. Ball movement is great and all, but that's usually most effective with teams who have been together for some time. Our easiest buckets will come in transition.
The next question now though is: What happens to our defensive philosophy?
The Raps have shown lately a dedication to putting pressure on the ball, even to the point where we'll apply full court pressure in the first and second quarters. If this team is going to run on the offensive end, asking them to also go full court on defense may be too much - for any team.