Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors may’ve been led to a victory over the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, their third consecutive win, by a dominant Chris Boucher, however Gary Trent Jr. did his half in his return from a sore ankle, as he dropped 23 factors, grabbed 5 rebounds, and amassed 5 steals.
Trent, who has been the starter at capturing guard ever since Norman Powell was despatched to the Portland Path Blazers, is wanting like a significantly better participant than he was in Portland. Not solely is the restricted free agent capturing the ball higher, which is crucial for somebody together with his offensive type, however he seems extra comfy on the defensive finish of the ground.
It’s change into clear that Terry Stotts was not utilizing him proper in Portland, as Trent was usually enjoying out on the wing in an effort to accommodate the presence of Damian Lillard at level guard and CJ McCollum at capturing guard. Nurse has moved him over to the 2-guard spot, and the outcomes have been electrifying.
Since making the transfer to capturing guard with Toronto, Trent has been lighting it up. Together with final evening’s contest, Trent has averaged 20.6 factors per recreation on 45% capturing and 42% from the 3-point line since a March 31 loss towards Oklahoma Metropolis.
The Raptors shifting Gary Trent Jr. to capturing guard has labored wonders.
Per Cleansing the Glass (subscription required), Trent was averaging essentially the most factors per possession of any small ahead within the recreation, however the Blazers allowed 1.25 factors per possession with him on the ground. With Toronto, that quantity has dropped to 1.10 factors per possession, good for the sixty fourth percentile throughout the league.
The efficient discipline objective proportion when Trent is on the ground has dropped 9 factors, leaving him on the spectacular 72nd percentile mark. Trent hasn’t sacrificed offensive efficiency, nevertheless, as his 1.20 factors per possession ranks within the 91st percentile amongst capturing guards. Trent was a defensive legal responsibility in Portland, however he’s change into a two-way star in Toronto.
Trent’s pure ball-handling capability, ability on the subject of creating off of the dribble, and effectiveness ending on the rim have been wasted in a Blazers offense that primarily turned him right into a spot-up shooter.
With the Raptors, Nurse is letting him use his full bag of methods, and the Raptors fanbase needs to be happy with the outcomes. With a buzzer-beater, career-high, and, virtually, a plus-minus file, Trent has had his justifiable share of constructive moments this season.
Trent has confirmed to be a significantly better defender and an equally good offensive participant, particularly contemplating that he’s getting elevated consideration from opposing groups on protection.
Whereas making an attempt to get him, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet minutes on the similar time shall be an train in frustration, Trent has confirmed to be a significantly better capturing guard than true wing, and Nurse ought to deal with him as such.