Were K-Love and the Wolves just a little off, or did the Raptors defense dictate the game? I think it's the latter, and it should be a reminder of just how short-sighted it was to jettison Dwayne Casey years ago, and a reminder to how important he was to Dallas' championship last year.
Think of last night's 4th quarter. On offense, Rubio and one of our stretch "4"'s (do we have anything else?) ran middle pick and screens. Toronto's bigs showed hard, forcing Rubio where he didn't want to go, and their guards recovered quick and hard on Rubio, so their bigs could rotate back to prevent the open jumper from the screener. The rest of Toronto's D stayed in the passing lanes to not allow Ricky to work his magic, and he was consistently stuck with nowhere to go. Beyond this, the Wolves couldn't, or didn't, get into their offense early enough to allow Rubio to reset the offense as he has successfully done in previous games. We didn't shoot well, but we weren't missing wide open jumpers and layups all night. Toronto's D was excellent, leaving us very few uncontested shots.
Toronto is holding opponents to under 40% shooting for the whole season (2nd in the NBA), and the 8th fewest assists. Last season they were 29th in opponent field goal % (48%), and 24th in assists.
They have brought in no significant new players, (Valanciunias didn't come over), this is all about Dwayne Casey. Props.