It hasn’t taken long for Darko Rajakovic to revert to a shorter rotation with the Toronto Raptors.
Of course former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse steadily relied on a shorter rotation during his time with Toronto.
Rajakovic tried the approach of going with a full 10-man rotation, but slowly but surely he’s now looking to shorten it.
He went with nine players against the Charlotte Hornets and Jakob Poeltl only played 15 minutes.
Rajakovic has seemingly shortened the rotation with Jalen McDaniels and rookie Gradey Dick seeing their minutes disappear.
Rajakovic talked about his shorter rotation in the win over the Hornets, via Daily Hive reporter Adam Laskaris:
“Today our rotations were really trying to find out who’s really contributing the most to the team.”
In a game that the Raptors absolutely couldn’t afford to lose, Rajakovic played his best guys heavy minutes. A strategy Nurse used during his Raptors tenure.
Scottie Barnes played 39 minutes and Pascal Siakam played 36 minutes as they were the Raptors two top performers. Also, Gary Trent Jr. who had his best game of the season, recording his first career double-double saw 35 minutes of action. He got more minutes than starters Poeltl, Dennis Schroder and O.G. Anunoby.
As for the players who were struggling, Malachi Flynn only saw 16 minutes and Poeltl as mentioned saw 15.
If the Raptors are trying to push for the Play-In Tournament they are going to have to lean on their best players more.
Rajakovic preached a longer rotation coming into the season, but now he could be looking to change his approach in hopes of getting the Raptors to win more games.
Scottie Barnes makes franchise history against Hornets
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Barnes put up a statline that had never been done before in Raptors franchise history.
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