Title: Raptors Reasonablists, Volume III, Part V: The playoff rotation reasonablists
Date: March 22, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: Eric Koreen and I will be doing a semi-regular email exchange column about the Raptors, dubbing ourselves The Reasonablists. The latest edition dove into what a playoff rotation could look like for the Raptors.
Welcome to another edition of Raptors Reasonablists with Eric Koreen and Blake Murphy. Throughout the year, Raptors staff writers Koreen and Murphy discuss hot-button issues surrounding the Raptors, but with an even-keeled approach in pursuit of finding a reasonable middle ground. If we have faith in anything, it is that reasonable middle grounds lead to: a) workable long-term solutions; b) increased empathy and understanding for others; and c) more wins — at least more wins when they truly matter — probably. We hold these truths to be self-evident, and we hold these truths to be good truths.
KOREEN: I have a group of friends that I made at the Ryerson University that we call the “core four.” We call it that for a few reasons, both obvious and less so: 1) there are four of us 2) it is the most obnoxious name possible for a group of four friends 3) there used to be more of us, but work or life or my toxic personality shrunk the size of the group. There has been a longstanding possibility that one of our friends would move to be closer to her family, at which point we will become the “key three,” which is an even worse name than “core four.”
I bring this up not only to be self-involved but because the Raptors have a core four of their own: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam. When they are healthy, they start, save for one early-season game in which OG Anunoby started in Siakam’s place. When those four players share the floor together, which they have done for 769 minutes, they outscore teams at a rate of 10.8 points per 100 possessions. In general, the further the Raptors go away from them, the worse off they are. When the four play with Serge Ibaka, the most common Raptors lineup, they produce numbers akin to having the league’s fourth-best offence and second-best defence. With either Marc Gasol or the departed Jonas Valanciunas, the group takes a bit of a leap offensively, although they have given something back on the other end with Gasol. With Gasol out there, the Raptors are assisting on 71.9 percent of their baskets, which would lead the league.
Continue reading at The Athletic.