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Raptors' elite-level basketball IQ an overlooked playoff advantage

2 11 0
29.04.2019

TORONTO — In a sport where ‘measurables’ – height, reach, speed, strength – seem so obviously the point of differentiation between players and teams, the element that is often overlooked may be the one that matters most.

Brains, IQ, EQ – the ability to absorb information, think on the fly and keep calm under stress – are harder to measure and so often get brushed aside in the rush to identify the next athletic marvel.

Hey, it’s the NBA, you need those too. The truth is there has never been a great player or a winning team without high doses of both athleticism and smarts.

The best have the most of both.

So it would be unfair to say the Toronto Raptors‘ second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers is a battle of brains vs. brawn.

The Raptors are pretty darn athletic and the Sixers have their share of hoops IQ.

But it might be reasonable to suggest that the Raptors’ advantage lies in the grey areas that go beyond who is bigger or faster or even who is more skilled.

If the playoffs are a never-ending, graduate-level basketball exam with a lot of questions that weren’t part of the review, the Raptors’ rotation is the study group with the brainy kids, preparing for not only what is supposed to be on the test, but also what might be.

“I think we’re really smart,” said Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who has been recognized in the past by NBA.com’s annual general........

© Sportsnet