Title: Raptors bench shows signs of life in possible playoff preview with Magic
Date: August 5, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors’ bench finally breaking through in the bubble, the defence of Marc Gasol and OG Anunoby, and more.
In a season full of upsets and surprises, the Toronto Raptors may have stumbled on the unprecedented once again Wednesday: A Kyle Lowry-and-bench lineup that doesn’t work.
For all the positives the Raptors have been displaying, those have tended to be concentrated to their starting five. Every bench player had a negative plus-minus through the team’s two victories, with the starters doing the overwhelming share of the work (plus-37 in 56 minutes versus minus-8 for any other combination). Norman Powell was 6-for-21 through two games after sputtering in two of three scrimmages. Serge Ibaka shot better inside the arc but had played poorly on defence.
Nick Nurse mentioned both by name before the game, which he knows at this point is a magic formula.