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Top Raptors Defensive Plays

Watch how Canada’s NBA team consistently demonstrates its impressive defensive prowess on the court

Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA game against the Brooklyn Nets at Air Canada Centre in Toronto (photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images).

The 2016/17 Toronto Raptors keep reminding us how they can live up to their reputation for defensive intensity. So far this season, Canada’s NBA team has displayed impressive defence plays that showcase their ability to block, steal and pressure their opponents. Check out the top defensive highlights from the Raptors this season.

Powell Picks a Pocket

Off-the-bench guard Norman Powell displays the kind of scrappiness coach Dwane Casey looks for in his players. In this game against the Lakers, Powell stole the ball from Lakers star Julius Randle and then threw down a huge dunk.

Ross Making Plays on O and D

Watch how Terrence Ross showcases another reason the Raptors are second in the league in steals: he timed a LeBron James lob pass perfectly and when he positioned for a three on the other end, it’s nothing but net. 

Siakam’s Block Party

Rookie Pascal Siakam might not be getting heavy minutes, but he’s making great use of his time on the floor. In a December 12 game against the Bucks, Siakam used his length to block one of the league’s most athletic big men, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Wow! 

Kyle Lowry with the Big Block

Raptors all-star Kyle Lowry is six-one. The Brooklyn Nets centre Brook Lopez is seven foot. But Lowry didn’t let his size stop him from swatting an attempted layup by Lopez, which sparked a major turning point in the game. This highlight should inspire any point guard hoping to make big defensive plays. 

Carroll Earning his Paycheque

There’s something about DeMarre Carroll’s basketball IQ that sets him above and beyond the NBA’s perimeter defenders. Such basketball smarts are on display in this play where Carroll is covering Carmelo Anthony and steals the entry pass to ensure Melo doesn’t touch the ball. And Carroll is rewarded with a breakaway drive to the bucket for an easy two. 

No Shot is Safe Around Nogueira

At first glance, he may be known for his wild hair, but opponents are also realizing how scary Lucas Nogueira can be around the bucket. In this play, as in many others, Nogueira helped his teammate by rotating down to the paint to block what looked like an easy layup by Atlanta’s Tim Hardaway Jr.