Title: Putting together potential Raptors transitional units and playoff rotations
Date: July 31, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I broke down some of the transitional lineups I like for the Raptors and tried to build a rotation from there.
One of the best stories of the NBA season before the hiatus was the Toronto Raptors thriving despite key departures and a wealth of injuries. They survived medium-term absences for six of their top seven players, a remarkable feat. As good as the Raptors’ performance through those times was, the same can’t be said for the data they produced.
As the injuries mounted and the Raptors kept succeeding, it was easy to look for the positives. There were more opportunities for players further down the depth chart to gain experience and be evaluated, more responsibility for players in the middle of the rotation stepping into high-rotation spots, the team’s floor being significantly higher than anticipated and so on. To all of that, I say, won’t somebody please think of my data?
I’m only kind of joking. Those silver linings are legitimately meaningful, and given the continuity and overall experience in the top seven, it’s probably a net positive, on balance, to have spread around opportunity and learned about players eight through 17. The cost, beyond extra reps with the group likeliest to represent the Raptors in the playoffs, is that lineup data isn’t particularly helpful.