Title: What will the revamped Raptors rotation look like next season?
Date: November 30, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I broke down what the Raptors rotation for 2020-21 could look like.
The 2019-20 Toronto Raptors were somehow a top-heavy team and a depth team.
With the loss of two key pieces and the new additions famously not up to snuff on the defensive end to start the season, second-year head coach Nick Nurse kept his rotation very tight initially. Continuity and familiarity ruled, and so Nurse bucked early-season convention and rode his top players heavily. His rotation was effectively seven players to start, with Patrick McCaw (when healthy), Terence Davis II (with a short leash) and a few others chipping in as part-time eighth men.
And then all hell broke loose on the injury front. Davis would end up the only Raptors player to appear in all 72 games, with seven of their presumed top eight before the season missing at least 12 games. As Rondae Hollis-Jefferson found his footing in the team’s scheme, Chris Boucher showed flashes when given opportunity, Matt Thomas showed real utility as a specialist and the rotation expanded. It was more necessity than choice, but by the end of the season, a dozen Raptors players were on pace to play 500 minutes or more (prorating for an 82-game season for comparison’s sake).