Second Unit Saints: Why the Raptors’ bench is claiming ‘best in the league’

Title: Second Unit Saints: Why the Raptors’ bench is claiming ‘best in the league’
Date: November 28, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I looked into C.J. Miles’ claim that the Raptors have the best bench in the league.

 

This is part one of a two-part mini-series on the Raptors’ bench. A look at how the group was built is coming Thursday.

For all the persistent questions about the Toronto Raptors’ starting lineups during their five-year run of success (sometimes in spite of that group), it’s been the underlying contrast in performance that’s most interesting. Yes, the Raptors have frequently struggled to start first and third quarters, and their starting groups have at times seemed ill-fitting, a helpful solution plainly untouched. They’ve still succeeded, then, because of how well they’ve performed outside of those stretches, consistently buoyed by strong bench contributions.

The pattern of their quarters during this era is fairly staggering:

Not since the Raptors accidentally got good in 2013-14 have they started games resoundingly well, they’ve always been a strong fourth-quarter team, and the second quarter has generally been much stronger…

Continue reading at The Athletic.

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