Will the Toronto Raptors starting line up be able to compete this year as currently constructed? It is a very interesting question especially if no one is traded. I would say yes! I know many people are concerned about the lack of shooting and the lack of a true point guard. However, a starting line up of Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl, OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. and Scottie Barnes seems pretty formidable. Why do I say that? Here are my reasons below.
Will the Raptors Starting Line Up Be Able to Compete? Reasons Why They Can
You Cannot Teach Size – This is so true. If the Toronto Raptors use this starting line up, it will be one of the tallest in the league. This will create miss matches everywhere on offense. For example, who will you use to guard Scottie Barnes? If you put a larger player on him, he will use his speed advantage and get by him. If you use a smaller player, he will bully him to get the shot he wants. The same goes for Pascal and OG. Also, their size will help them get more offensive rebounds. And this means more opportunities to score.
On defense is where the size advantage will really show. Pretty much every player in the starting line up has height and wing span. This will make it harder for opposing players to get around them. And if they do, they have great rim protection with their centers who are both over seven feet tall. Also, pretty much every player is a better than average defender. Gary Trent is probably the exception but he can probably be average. Teams will have a hard time scoring on this starting line up.
There Will Be a lot of Passing – Scottie Barnes is an elite passing. Pascal Siakam in a pretty good passer also. And Jakob Poeltl is an excellent passer for a big man. Put that together with the new Raptors’ coach philosophy of ball movement, and you will see a lot of passing. The ball will move from side to side and inside and out. I think we will all be pleasantly surprised!
One Disadvantage, Lack of Shooting
This is what the critics of using this starting line up would say. I can see their point. You have only Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby as your shooters. Also, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl, and Pascal Siakam play best on the interior. This could cause spacing issues. However, this does not factor in the potential improved shooting of Pascal and Scottie. Also, as mentioned above, their passing will help create open shots for their shooters. And finally, if all else fails, you can take Poeltl out of the starting line up and replace him with a shooter. The raptors have in particular two shooters who are six foot eight, they can insert. This is Gradey Dick and Otto Porter Jr. You can add one of them and now you have three shooters. You lose a little bit of size but because they are tall themselves, it does not compromise your size too badly.
If no trades happen, the Raptors starting line up will surprise many teams. Their size advantage will cause a myriad of problems for opposing teams. Also, their passing and shooting will be better than expected. Yes, they are going to be fun to watch! However, if a trade happens before the season starts, than all bets are off. We will have to wait and see.
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