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Raptors: Ace Sixth Man Chris Boucher is able to carry the load

Let’s begin with the dangerous information. Kyle Lowry, Chris Boucher, and the Toronto Raptors have misplaced their final three video games, first to the lowly Pistons (129-105) on March third, then to the Celtics on March 4th (132-125), and on Thursday to the Hawks, (121-120).

Thursday’s recreation, the Raptors first after the All-Star Break, was an All-Star heartbreaker. After being down 19 factors within the first half, the Raptors got here again with a powerful lead that at one level had them forward 15 factors.

There have been undoubtedly brilliant spots on this recreation, with three gamers, who had a mixed complete of 79 factors, accounting for 65.8% of the Raptors 120 level scoreboard. Norman Powell posted 33 factors, Boucher popped in 29 and Lowry scored 17 factors to maneuver him into second place behind DeMar DeRozan, (at 13,296 factors), for many factors scored by a Toronto Raptor.

The site visitors across the Hawks web within the second half of the sport was busier than the 401 on a Friday evening of an extended weekend. Powell performed the type of recreation that earned him the Stormin’ Norman moniker. Lowry was in-play, not giving a nano-second thought to the what-must-be-super-distracting bandage operating smack dab underneath his left eye.

Nevertheless it was Boucher that owned the sport towards the Hawks on Thursday evening, along with his two-three pointers (50%), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and a Gumby-twist of his physique on the basket deep into the fourth quarter that scored the ringer that pumped up his staff’s hope of a win.

If Tony Snell hadn’t made his 3-pointer buzz ball within the remaining seconds of the sport, we’d be going into tonight’s recreation pumped with a victory.

The place does Chris Boucher match into the Raptors roster going ahead?

To start with, Boucher, who’s averaging 14.0 factors and 6.6 rebounds per recreation, is a real athlete with the creds to again it up. He was the NBA G League’s MVP in 2018-2019, and the NBA G League Defensive Participant of the 12 months, the primary participant to win each awards in the identical season.

And Boucher is prepared to hear, prepared to emulate a number of the Raptors bigs which have performed earlier than him. At 28, Boucher is not a younger participant – he’s shifting, in reality, into veteran territory. He has to make his splash now.

In a December 2020 interview with Erick Smith and Paul Jones, Boucher indicated that consistency and recreation IQ had been expertise that two of his former teammates, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol.

“In the case of Serge, it’s being prepared daily and being constant — I feel he was actually constant daily,” Boucher said within the December interview. “You knew what you had been going to get from Serge daily. When it comes Marc, it’s simply his IQ — you need to have the ability to do all that stuff, you need to have the ability to be versatile while you watch Marc and the performs he does, you’re like rattling I would like to have the ability to do this stuff.”

Does Chris Boucher deserve a possibility to be a starter sooner or later

His 2021 report towards Charlotte is stable. He scored 25 factors within the January 14th recreation, and 20 factors within the January sixteenth recreation towards them. And in his final three video games, it’s evident that not solely is Boucher gaining momentum, however he’s additionally gaining the type of confidence and consistency that promotes perception on the rim.

Given how dangerous Aron Baynes has been this season, Hawks recreation however, and the truth that Boucher adjustments the form of the offense when he’s on the ground, it’s actually value Nurse swapping the lineups round. With so many stars out because of the league’s well being and security protocols, it is a worthy experiment for the struggling Raptors.

With robust help behind Boucher being named Sixth Man of the 12 months, to not point out Most Improved Participant, I say go for it- give Boucher a beginning spot on the roster, and let’s see what he can do.