The Toronto Raptors need change. At 11-16, Toronto still hasn’t found its identity more than a quarter into the season.
The Raptors are coming off another disappointing effort against the Denver Nuggets. A game where three of Toronto’s starters struggled in O.G. Anunoby, Jakob Poeltl who was benched in the second half and Dennis Schroder who was a team-high -17.
The Raptors starters once again got off to a slow start. Denver built a big lead and didn’t look back. The Raptors made it interesting down the stretch thanks to the strong play from their bench, but then Rajakovic brought the starting unit back in minus Poeltl and the Nuggets pulled away with the win.
Raptors fans are now calling for Rajakovic to tinker with the starting lineup. One change is benching Schroder who has played poorly as of late for Gary Trent Jr. and starting Barnes at point guard.
Rajakovic has talked about possibly changing the starting lineup before, but he still hans’t. When asked about it again after the Raptors loss to the Nuggets he said it’s something that’s being considered per Eric Koreen of The Athletic:
I asked Darko about the starters, and he said it’s something that’s being considered. However, he’s concerned about shortening the rotation further and ripple effect.
Now yell in my replies.
— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) December 21, 2023
Raptors need to change up the starting lineup
Per TSN’s Keerthika Utayakumar, the 5-man unit of Trent Jr., Poeltl, Siakam, Anunoby & Schroder were -8 in 3 minutes against the Nuggets. They’ve been outscored by 16 points in 10 minutes over the last 5 games.
Before the Raptors explore roster changes, they should explore a starting lineup change. The Raptors starting unit just hasn’t been performing up to standard and they continuously get off to slow starts and find themselves in big deficits.
With the Raptors season beginning to slip away, it’s time to change things up.
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