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Dinos & Digits: The Historically Great Offense

This week we look at the Raptors’ historically efficient offense, two league-leading five-man lineups, Simple Rating System, and more.

NBA: Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Dinos & Digits, a column where we dive into the box scores and find five interesting or strange Raptors statistics and put them on front street for discussion.

We like to explore a mix of both individual player and team statistics, ranging from raw box score numbers to some interesting and funky advanced metrics. The goal is to present the numbers without too much opinion attached, leaving those debates for the comment section.

OK, let's get down to it. Here are this week's interesting digits:

The Raptors’ 114.8 offensive rating is on pace to be the 10th-highest of all time.

They currently rank second in the Association behind the Golden State Warriors, who are on pace to set the NBA record at 117.1.

18 games is still a pretty small sample size, and a lot has to happen for the Raptors to keep up this historic pace, but it’s worth recognizing just how well the offense is clicking right now.

Terrence Ross is shooting 49.3% from the field, 42.9% from three-point range, and 94.7% from the free throw line for a true shooting percentage (weighted twos, threes, and freebies) of 62.2%.

So much to unpack here.

First of all, Ross’ 62.2% true shooting percentage this year is currently ranked 14th in the league, while his 59.3% effective field goal percentage (weighted twos and threes) ranks 9th.

That kind of efficiency will be hard to sustain, but Ross’ true shooting percentage is currently on pace to finish second for a single season in Raptors history (barely behind Jonas Valanciunas’ 62.3% from 2014-15), while the effective field goal percentage would set a new franchise record.

Ross is also making an early-season bid to enter the exclusive 50-40-90 club, which only has seven members accounting for 11 entries across NBA history.

Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and maybe — just maybe — Terrence Ross.

Former Raptor Jose Calderon had two near-entries in the club, with a 49.7%, 40.6%, 98.1% split in 2008-09 and a 51.9%, 42.9%, 90.8% split in 2007-08 that didn’t count because he didn’t shoot enough free throws to meet the minimum statistical requirements to be considered a statistical season leader in that category that year.

The Raptors have two separate lineups that place in the top-seven in net rating in the NBA among units that have played at least 50 minutes together.

Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson, and Jonas Valanciunas have a net rating of 22.8 together in 58 minutes played (fourth in the league), based on an offensive rating of 120.0 and a defensive rating of 97.2.

The bench-heavy unit of Lowry, Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson, and Lucas Noguiera has a net rating of 20.8 in 84 minutes together (seventh in the league), with an offensive rating of 121.2 and a defensive rating of 100.4.

The Raptors are third in the NBA in Basketball-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS) with a mark of 6.47.

SRS — a staple of this column — is a team rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. The rating is denominated in points above/below average, where zero is average.

The Raptors have an average margin of victory of 5.39 (fifth in the Association) and a strength of schedule rating of 1.08 (the fourth hardest faced so far this year).

Their SRS trails only the Golden State Warriors (11.55) and the Los Angeles Clippers (8.94).

DeMarre Carroll is second in the NBA in turnover percentage at 3.7%.

Among players that have played enough games and minutes so far this season to qualify for leaderboards, only Arron Afflalo’s 2.7% turnover percentage is lower than Carroll’s.

Carroll’s 0.5 turnovers per 36 minutes is the lowest rate of his career (with the exception of the 50 total minutes he played between the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets in 2010-11 without turning the ball over).

All stats courtesy of basketball-reference.com and NBA.com/stats.