Raptors string wins together, but issue at centre isn’t resolving itself

Title: Raptors string wins together, but issue at centre isn’t resolving itself
Date: January 16, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I shared some takeaways from a Raptors’ victory against Charlotte that still left some questions at the centre position.

There was a period in Toronto Raptors history when the starting centre seemed to change every game. Maybe you’ve heard about it recently. The 2005-06 season is, after all, the benchmark for poor starts to a Raptors season. In the wake of the Vince Carter trade, the team opened 0-9, starting Loren Woods, Rafael Araujo, Aaron Williams and Matt Bonner at the five. Throughout the season, they’d also try Pape Sow, Antonio Davis and Chris Bosh.

That team was marked not only by rotating centres but also by centres with incredibly short leashes. Williams averaged 9.3 minutes as a starter, Woods 13.5, Araujo 13.8 and Sow under 20, even once the tank was very clearly on.

The tank is not on for the Raptors this season, but they are decidedly borrowing from a lesser era for the franchise. On Saturday, Aron Baynes started at centre and played just four minutes. This came one game after he started and played eight, and after Alex Len totalled 14 minutes over two starts. OG Anunoby even got the nod somewhere in there.

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