Title: Raptors Report: The potential of jumbo lineups, ‘amped up’ camp cadence and more
Date: July 17, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the potential for the Raptors to use jumbo lineups when they return, plus some other notes from the first few days of the NBA bubble.
The Toronto Raptors’ discovery of their jumbo package, to borrow a football term, wasn’t always a conscious process.
The team has a bit of a history of starting big, with Luis Scola and Serge Ibaka both lining up beside Jonas Valanciunas for extended stretches. By 2018-19, though, the thinking was that Ibaka was largely a centre, and when the team acquired Marc Gasol, that Ibaka was a luxury as a backup centre. The Philadelphia 76ers posed complex problems in the second round of the playoffs, and so head coach Nick Nurse countered with a larger group of his own, one that slid Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam up a spot in the lineup to fit in both his centres.
When asked before the season how the team could account for the lost minutes of Leonard (nominally a small forward) and Danny Green (a shooting guard), Nurse suggested he might be inclined to go big again. There were minutes to soak up on the smaller end of the positional spectrum, and the team’s highest-end talent was concentrated in smaller point guards and hulking forwards.