Jakob Poeltl already made an impact on the Toronto Raptors’ defense

February 14, 2023

Big man Jakob Poeltl is being burdened with a lot of responsibility by the Toronto Raptors. By trading a first-round pick for him, they made it clear they intended to challenge for a postseason spot the following season and expected him to be the primary driver of a defensive makeover.


Against the Detroit Pistons, Poeltl played for a more extended period for the first time. In 25 minutes, he scored six points, grabbed five rebounds, and blocked three shots. It was not Poeltl’s fault that Toronto barely eased out a one-point victory. In reality, he contributed significantly to Toronto’s increase.


In Poeltl’s 25 minutes, the Raptors had a plus-11 score. With Poeltl on the floor for 16 minutes of the first half, Adrian Griffin’s squad surrendered the same number of points as they did for the eight minutes he was off the court. Many of the advanced figures are confirmed by the eye test.


When Poeltl is on the floor, the Raptors give up an absurd 32.8 points less per 100 possessions, according to recent report. Poeltl demonstrates that Nurse’s plan may theoretically work with an intense center, even though this is a small sample size against two bad teams that will change over time.


Jakob Poeltl is influencing the defense of the Toronto Raptors.


While Poeltl’s skillset is such that Nurse may need to be more flexible with his schematic preferences to let him shine, Nurse’s ultra-aggressive defense frequently forgoes drop coverage in favor of playing their bigs very high on pick-and-rolls.


When Christian Koloko is on the floor, the erratic second-round rookie has put up some excellent defensive numbers, demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach even without Thad Young (6-8), who usually plays the traditional center position. Poeltl doesn’t have to be Hakeem Olajuwon, but if everything goes according to plan, he might impact the club like Marc Gasol.


With Poeltl, the Raptors gain a rim protector, a top-tier offensive rebounder, and a surprisingly good passer. Even though he will be a free agent after this season, it is anticipated that Toronto will be able to sign him to a long-term contract.


Many in Toronto were hesitant to part with any high-end resources to acquire him because he needed to be more effective on the defensive end with the Spurs this season as last year. However, if Poeltl can provide this significant band-aid to the team’s defensive problems, this deal might be another home run for Masai Ujiri.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.