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Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors

That’s A Rap #197: Spacing Out with Mike Prada

Mike Prada’s got a new book that shines light on how NBA basketball is evolving... and how the Raptors are making unique strides to stay ahead of the curve.

Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

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The NBA has evolved from Pace-and-Space to the Spaced Out era. SB Nation alum and current NBA Editor at The Athletic, Mike Prada, has a new book titled, “Spaced Out: How the NBA’s Three-Point Revolution Changed Everything You Thought You Knew About Basketball.” I sat down with Mike to discuss how the Raptors are leading the defensive charge in this new age of basketball, the importance of Giannis and the dunker’s spot, and the Holy War that was Warriors-Rockets. This episode is a tiny sliver of the illuminating information contained in Mike’s book, which is available to purchase now.

In This Episode:

2:20 — The making of Spaced Out

When one door closes, another one opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. Alexander Graham Bell was probably on to something with that quote. Luckily for Mike, the door that opened led to Bestseller.

12:45 — Doubling the playing surface

What would happen if the dimensions of an NBA court doubled in size but the game was still played with the same number of players? With teams trading their mid-range jumpers for three-point bombs, the playing field shifted greatly in favour of offenses. It took a couple of seasons but defenses have caught up.

18:20 — The Holy War and Vision 6’9

The 2015 Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets is dubbed by Mike as “The Holy War” of this basketball era. He saw them as descendants of the 7 Seconds or Less Phoenix Suns — the two fastest-paced teams who also lived and died by the three-pointer. The domino effect of that matchup was an inflection point for the Spaced Out era — an era where the Toronto Raptors are using their collection of 6’9 players with 7-foot wingspans to cut down the size of the court.

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Game Day

Toronto Raptors vs New York Knicks Final Score: 119-106 — Raptors lose the three-point battle