How the Raptors stopped Kyle Korver

Flying high above the tropical continent of Pangea, the giant hawk looks down below for its new victim. Satisfied from its killings from the first half of the season, the hawk has by now perfected the art of bombing down from afar. In the corner of its eye, the hawk sees a lost Raptor, and immediately flies down for its new prey. But, this time, the hawk has made a fatal mistake. What the hawk didn’t see was 4 other raptors swarming around, prepared to take the hawk down. What followed was a massacre.

What a sweet victory last night was. With the win, the Raptors get the season win 3-1 against the mighty Hawks, setting up an interesting 1-2 dynamic in the East. Going into the game, people were terrified that the Hawks’ movement combined with the Raptors’ penchant for missing rotation would mean a lot of Korver bombs. In reality, Korver was held to 2-11 shooting, his 9 misses being the worst for him since 2006.

First, we have to get the idea of an All-Star lull out of the picture. Over the last few years, Korver has shot extremely well out of the break. Consider:

2014 : 5-7

2013 : 4-5

2012 : 1-5

2011 : 1-1

2010 : 0-0

Over the past 5 years, Korver has shot a combined 11-18 on three pointers, for an insane 61%. Obvious small sample size aside, this just shows there’s no trend of him struggling coming off the break.

On the other hand, he was only contested on 2 of his 13 total shots last night, indicating that it was in fact not a result of the Raptor’s defence. What’s interesting to me is that the Hawks still went to Korver despite his cold stroke, possibly indicating the Raptors were effective at walling off the paint.

Regardless of whether it was a sign of good defence, this was a much deserved win that keeps the Raptors’ elite run going.

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