Raptors leaning on versatility a positive now and down the line

Title: Raptors leaning on versatility a positive now and down the line
Date: December 15, 2016
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about why the Raptors being flexible with their lineup adjustments is important, in the short-term and for later in the year.

The Toronto Raptors are not making a permanent change to their starting lineup.

For more than a season now, the argument over whether or not to start Patrick Patterson at power forward has waged on. The case on either side has been made ad nauseam, and they are probably worth occasionally rehashing but not today. Besides, the rancor at either end had quieted to an occasional sarcastic comment when further evidence materialized to allow those anchors to dig in just a little deeper. Until Wednesday, anyway.

Coming out of halftime against the Philadelphia 76ers, head coach Dwane Casey opted to start Patterson rather than rookie Pascal Siakam. On the surface, it could easily be explained as a move based on matchups, with Philadelphia’s gigantic young front-court duo of Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor having presented a tough test for the nominal starters in the first half. For those who have been waiting on an overdue change to the opening five-some, it was an encouraging sign that the team may be reconsidering its stance on Patterson as a role-certain sixth-man.

For the time being, inertia makes a better case than Patterson.
Continue reading at The Athletic.


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