Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher’s roster designation provides challenge for Nick Nurse

The Toronto Raptors are within the technique of making an attempt out a bunch of various lineups as they fight to determine what works and what doesn’t close to the tail finish of this cursed season. Whereas energy ahead Chris Boucher has been one of many nice surprises this 12 months, he has include some flaws which have damage his worth.

Boucher is averaging 13.5 factors per sport whereas exhibiting off an improved put up sport and 3-point shot. Whereas his efficiency could be sufficient to get him some Sixth Man consideration, it hasn’t been sufficient to maneuver the needle for the Raptors by way of wins.

The Raptors are on the skin trying in with reference to the playoff image, and the truth that Boucher and Pascal Siakam’s gangly frames have been matching up with a number of the finest defensive facilities within the league is a big motive why Toronto has had problem sustaining success.

Nick Nurse was quoted saying that Boucher has basically been pigeon-holed into the facility ahead position. Enjoying him at heart, even though his distinctive skillset may assist Toronto offensively, merely wasn’t working, particularly with the addition of two facilities which can be incapable of increasing their sport previous the 3-point line.

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher is a confirmed energy ahead

Per Cleansing the Glass (subscription required), Boucher is taking part in 89 % of his minutes at heart this 12 months. Nonetheless, when in comparison with his time on the 4 spot, Boucher is compiling a greater environment friendly discipline objective proportion, turning the ball over much less, and permitting offensive rebounds at a a lot decrease clip.

Boucher is a incredible participant, however his measurement and skillset make him too skinny to function a small-ball heart, but too lumbering to hang around on the perimeter usually. With Siakam taking over a beginning spot at energy ahead due to his personal struggles as a real heart, Nurse’s capability to combine and match lineups has been severely undercut.

As soon as everyone seems to be wholesome this season, the very best frontcourt rotation would possibly contain Siakam and Khem Birch sharing the ground for heavy minutes, with Boucher and Freddie Gillespie grouped collectively. Issues will change subsequent 12 months when Toronto inevitably makes an addition at heart.

Boucher won’t be essentially the most versatile participant on the planet, however Nurse ought to see this as an asset somewhat than a flaw. Don’t attempt to put a sq. peg in a spherical gap. Put the 6-10 ahead with impossibly lengthy arms at energy ahead, and watch his shot-blocking expertise coupled together with his taking pictures assist him flourish on each ends of the ground.

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