Title: The Patrick McCaw conundrum: Why is he such a lightning rod for Raptors fans?
Date: March 5, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Patrick McCaw, a fine player probably being used a bit too much, which has been tough for Raptors fans to be clear-headed about.
SAN FRANCISCO — By this point in the season, Nick Nurse knows. He’s too aware not to. And so when Patrick McCaw has an outsized role in a game, Nurse is ready to answer questions, sometimes even getting the jump on the matter and bringing it up himself.
On Tuesday, Nurse went so far as to start McCaw in a smaller lineup against the Phoenix Suns. That decision came closer to game time, preempting a pregame explanation. Had things gone poorly – and they did for the bulk of the first quarter – Nurse surely would have been asked to justify the decision. Instead, his choice mostly paid off. McCaw did not light up the box score, but he played one of his better games of the season, closing out the victory, coming up with a key basket and, save for a couple of blowbys from Ricky Rubio, providing stellar defence.
You sometimes have to squint to see what Nurse sees, and so Nurse was at the ready to point out McCaw’s strong night. He did so when asked about Chris Boucher’s monster night, mind you, but Nurse was fairly critical of his reserves, a group that includes McCaw, before tip-off and believes in public praise commensurate with public criticism.