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The Raptors Have Been Focusing On The Transition Game In Practice

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The team ranked in the bottom ten in possessions per 48 minutes last season. Look for that to change this season.

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Via Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun, the Raptors have been focusing on the transition game in practice:

"We think we can have a better transition game this year," assistant coach Tom Sterner said after practice on Saturday.

"We can do a better job off of steals off of offensive rebounds ... these guys can all run. We’re going to put a big emphasis on transitioning, from a (defensive) stop or a defensive rebound to getting a score."

The team works on the transition game every day at practice. Centre Jonas Valanciunas focused on improving his running in the off-season and the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross and James Johnson are excellent at getting from one end of the floor to the other.

Also noted in the piece: the Raptors were ranked in the bottom 10 in possessions per 48 minutes last season. It seems the team wants to emphasize that as an area of improvement. Of course, there's a balance that needs to be struck, because a team always looking to leak out for fast break opportunities could develop bad habits that could impact offensive rebounding and consistency on the defensive end.

One of the more interesting developments this offseason is that Valanciunas worked with both Hakeem Olajuwon and a running coach at Oregon to improve his footwork. For a team that wants to run, or at least pick up the pace, having a big man that can get up and down the court will be key. It'll be something to keep an eye on at the start of the season, whether the work put in this summer by Valanciunas will pay off in the transition game.