Advance Scout: Toronto At Mavs

Kyle Leath, an NBA scout working for the Nuggets, is also working for He provides you with gameday Advance Scouting Reports on Mavs opponents. Today: Scouting the Raptors, who are at the AAC tonight:

Toronto Raptors at Dallas Mavericks 730 p.m. Friday

Probable starters:


F- Andrea Bargnani F- Shawn Marion

F- Rasual Butler F- Dirk Nowitzki

C- Amir Johnson C- Brendan Haywood

G- DeMar DeRozan G- Delonte West

G- Jose Calderon G- Jason Kidd


• In the half-court will run high pick/roll sets with Calderon, Barbosa and DeRozan.

• Calderon not as fast as some point guards in the league but a pinpoint passer who can find open man on break.

• Will open up the middle and iso Bargnani on block. Weak side wing will cut to ball.

• Run 1-4 high (UCLA) sets.

• Bargnani can step out and shoot three and also effective from the elbow.

• DeRozan is becoming a very good player. Good quickness to get to the rim and can shoot perimeter shot. Overall athleticism not unlike OKC's Westbrook, as you see here:


• Still trying to get to the level of defense that Coach Casey is known for. The former Mavs 'defensive coordinator' is in first year with Raptors.

• They struggle at times in defensive transition.

• Aggressive on the ball and in the passing lanes with perimeter players.

• Post players will allow offensive post to receive ball in post. (Something Dallas' bigs did well Thursday in OKC.)

• Will trail pick/roll and show with post defender.

Stat Check:

• Toronto is 3rd in the NBA is FG% at .494 and 6th in 3FG% at .417.

• Toronto is 1st in the NBA in Assist/Gm at 28.0. Calderon is 5th at 8.5/gm.

How to Beat the Raptors:

• Defensive recognition in pick/roll game. Know that Bargnani can/will pick and pop for three.

• Control Calderon by pressuring the ball and not giving him unchallenged passes.

• Move the ball offensively, make the Raptors play defense from side to side by reversing ball and making them play into the shot clock.

• Take advantage of Nowitzki mismatches.

Kyle Leath, a long-time Mavs staffer, former college head coach and now scout for the Denver Nuggets, provides you with an NBA-style scouting report before Mavs games.

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