The Raptors' Center Logjam

November 25, 2018

   Toronto Raptors head coach, Nick Nurse, has a serious problem at the center position. It's a good problem to have, but it's a problem nonetheless. 


   Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas, and Greg Monroe are all highly capable players, and each could be a starting center on many other teams throughout the league.


   The trouble with the Raptors is that they have all three of these guys, and the team is struggling to find minutes for all of them. 


   Ibaka has generally been the starter, but based on the matchup situation, JV has started a few games as well. Regardless of who starts, both guys average 20+ minutes.


   Monroe has been the odd man out in this scenario, averaging just 7.4 minutes per game over 10 games, after averaging 28.5 minutes per game in the first eight seasons of his career.


   Despite his limited minutes, Monroe has been extremely effective in the time that he has been able to scrounge on the court, whether it's from injuries or foul trouble ahead of him in the depth chart. Per 100 possessions, Monroe has performed more or less as well (104 Offensive Rating, 99 Defensive Rating) as he has in all seasons prior to this one.


   If Nurse can find more minutes for Monroe, he should do so. If he can't then Monroe is a really, really, really good bench piece for the Raptors, and in case of injury to either Ibaka, JV, or both, he is a good safety net. 







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