Watch how Canada’s NBA team consistently demonstrates its impressive defensive prowess on the court
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.
Raptors Highlights: Norm Steal & Slam
Watch Norman Powell get the steal and proceed the slam the ball down with authority.
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.
Raptors Highlights: Ross on Both Ends
Terrence Ross stops the lob pass from LeBron James and finishes with a three-pointer at the other end.
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!
Raptors Highlights: Siakam Denies Antetokounmpo
Pascal Siakam protects the rim with a massive block to deny Giannis Antetokounmpo.
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.
Raptors Highlights: Lowry Denies Lopez
Kyle Lowry protects the paint with a big time block to deny Brook Lopez.
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.
Raptors Highlights: Carroll Steal and Slam
DeMarre Carroll picks the pass from Willy Hernangomez and flushes down the one-handed slam.
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.
Raptors Highlights: Nogueira Denies Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is denied on the drive as Lucas Nogueira swats it away off the backboard.