The story of the Toronto Raptors’ season before the epidemic was how they prospered despite missing at least 10 games and more for almost every member of their rotation.
Add that it was a team trying to defend their NBA title by losing two starters from free agency – Kaby Leonard and Danny Green – and the Raptors are slightly defending champions who could be the third best in the NBA with a record of 46-66.
It was one thing to do it without Leonard and Green, but the injuries to the Raptors are like playing a sesame game – one rolling player will get injured, come back, just tie another one up and move away from the lineup.
Norman Powell was among the other three stars who were injured in the same game in Detroit on December 16 – Mark Gasol and Pascal Siakam. The Raptors also won in that one and the next two. The injury bug was first spotted after Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka both left the game against the New Orleans Pelicans in early November. The Raptors won five games to start the West Coast road trip and returned home with a 3-2 mark off the coast, thanks to the big plays by Terrence Davis and Travelman Rhonda, who won against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Hollis-Jefferson – as everyone expects.
Livestream the Raptors’ quest to defend their NBA title with the now-selected NBA Play-off Games on SportsNet.
Winning proved to be a blessing as the injuries continued to mount. Any NBA player who values his or her salt will tell you that the only thing that sets them apart from their role is the opportunity and the pay check they deserve.
Suddenly the raptors were overflowing with it.
“On the offensive end there was such a huge variety of opportunities [in the absence of Leonard and Green], ”Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said by phone Monday at a conference from the Walt Disney World Resort in Toronto preparing to resume the NBA. “And of course a large part of it went to Pascal, but [it] Somehow removed [to] Lots of boys. “
And at different times.
Offensive productions of lorries like Fred Vanvlett and Powell were picked up – their usage rates have increased significantly this season – but it often happened because someone else was out of the lineup and they had to carry a big load.
“As the boys come out, it’s more of an opportunity for the other boys,” Vanvlitt said. “Me and Soft were joking about this, we never actually got the whole team all year, so it got more of a look when I was out. When he was out, I got more looks. It’s just that [more] Basketball for touring when we went out I think it was our imbalance, our people working hard, getting better opportunities and more opportunities and then picking for each other due to injuries. “
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It’s awesome, when you look at it. Since the championship came, the Raptors are proud of four return players – Lori, Vanvlit, Ozi Anunobi and Powell – who have significantly increased their winshares every 48 minutes over the years. Low in hand, has more balls in hand, improved from .144 to .173, while Vanville jumped from .117 to .136; Anobi from .70 to .130 and Powell from .102 to .157 – and this includes Ibaka, whose numbers are relatively stable, steady year after year, but never aggressively more comfortable and in tune.
This is the only measure for many to prove what the tears say: Raptor has a lot of good players who have had a good year and who can influence the games when the moment comes.
“I’ve said it many times: there are a lot more people when we look at it this year than last year – not one guy or two, like a handful of boys – that they take when there’s a small chance, and it’s no hesitation and They make a play about it, ”the nurse said. “I think when you’re playing and there are so many ways that things can come to you when you’re in opposition.”
But with the Raptors roster full and healthy for the first time this season, it will be interesting to see how nurses are willing to prepare for such a large body and carry a bigger burden on their shoulders. The moment Ibaka found himself at the start of the center, he was enriched, patrolled for 24 games – how could they be present now that the big Spaniard had risen from the hands of separatist liners and was clearly determined to put his injury-plagued pre-epidemic behind him? Determined him?
Will Lori and Vanvlett both get healthy now? Will Powell get the closing lineup minutes to succeed? If the nurse goes to the three-guard lineup, will Anobi lose? And when veteran Powell was injured, did Rocky Davis shed tears?
How are these things sorted when so many seem so appropriate?
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“There is at least some natural selection,” Vanvlitt said. “It simply came to our notice then. It will be a process. I don’t expect you to see us at our best moment, August 1st [when the Raptors play their first seeding game against the Lakers] But hopefully we can make it faster and find our rotation and find our rhythm. “
The nurse has to be the most creative to get the most out of a roster that can easily go 10 or 11 deep. This is a kind of challenge for the coaches. Before the eight regular-season games starting on August 1 and the playoffs starting on September 3, the Rotators are busy with the first of the three Spiritschames starting on Friday.
“[It’s] A welcome, “said the nurse.” I think it’s going to be a while for that too. I think coming in these disguises, we’re going to separate certain people from something. I think everyone will probably take turns staying out of them, so I imagine Not that we will have a full complement before the first game against the Lakers.
“But yes, it’s going to be a good challenge. I definitely welcome it. I think we have to play the top eight together a bit. You know, the top eight we envisioned at the beginning of the year are very, very few minutes together, if that. But something. “
The Raptors won an NBA championship by leaning on a starting lineup by playing together 116 minutes before the start of the playoffs, so they know better than most that chemistry can come together quickly. But they also know that long playoff runs create opportunities for almost everyone.
Vanville used to live in it. He went after the Rappers late in the second-round series against the Philadelphia Ers 76 players, when the Sixers battled the Big Backcourt lineups, a key figure in Toronto’s return to the 0-2 pre-conference final inning of the innings. Milwaukee Box.
The Raptors have lots of potential different players to use to unlock games – they rely on them by necessity throughout the first part of the regular season. But now that they are all available, not all of them will get the chance.
Fortunately, their success a year ago provides a clue to follow:
“You just have to be selfless, and you have to be the winner,” Vanvlitt said. “And we know we’ve got a satirical order, and it follows a certain amount and then the game gets you what it takes, so once you get to the playoffs, different series present different opportunities for boys.
“There is no better example than last year. I think we all learned from that. And let us be patient with the ups and downs of just a few days or a few weeks or two months. “