The Raptors' Biggest Weakness Right Now

November 16, 2018

   It's a blessing and a curse, the Raptors' depth. The fact is, all 15 guys on the Raptors' roster would easily land a rotation spot on almost any other team in the league.


   From MVP-candidates Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard, all the way down to two-way player Jordan Loyd, every single Raptor has the drive and ability to compete in an NBA game. 


   The hard part for Raptors coach Nick Nurse is to find minutes for at least 12 or so of those guys, seeing as, although all 15 players deserve to be on the court, a select 12 guys (the 12 varies slightly from game to game) is usually the maximum that Nurse is able to use efficiently in a five-man lineup. 


   The result is usually a lack of playing time for fully capable players who just end up buried on the depth chart by even more capable or better-matched-up guys in front of them.


   On the Raptors, some of those guys are young, developing guys like Jordan Loyd; reigning G-League MVP Lorenzo Brown; lengthy Canadian forward, Chris Boucher; and third-year shooting guard/small forward Malachi Richardson.


   Outside of those four, (of which Brown and Richardson are both played regularly, albeit for limited minutes) the only man left on the bench is veteran center, Greg Monroe. 


   Monroe is an interesting case; when he plays, he plays well. Just look at his production on Wednesday night against his former team, the Pistons: 17 points and 9 rebounds in 21 minutes of play. The only game in which Monroe played extended minutes, due to a Serge Ibaka injury and some Jonas Valanciunas foul trouble, was a game in which he showed some tremendous low-post and pick-and-roll scoring ability.


   Every single Raptor has the skill and the motivation to be able to stand on that court and compete at a high level, leaving Nick Nurse with quite the dilemma: how does he carve out minutes for each of those 12+ guys, and how can he utilize them in a way that's the most effective for the team?


   The truth is, he can't; that has been the Raptors' greatest weakness so far this season.










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