The best Raptors defensive combination of players
The five-man unit of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Gay, Johnson and Valanciunas has proven to be a defensive beast. In just 11 games — small sample size alert — that group has allowed an absurdly stingy 75.8 points per 100 possessions. No other Raptors unit is close to that mark.
Andrea Bargnani was inserted back into the starting lineup in the Milwaukee game, separating Johnson and Valanciunas. Since Bargnani has to improve regardless of what the team’s plans for him are, the move has some logic. But the Johnson-Valanciunas pairing should be the Raptors’ future up front, and the tandem could turn the Raptors into a formidable defensive team with a pair of high-efficiency, low-usage scorers in the front court. So far this year, the two have played just 168 minutes together. The Raptors need more data.
-- National Post
Re: The best Raptors defensive combination of players
And yet Valanciunas barely even plays with those 4 guys. When those 5 start, they are a beast defensive lineup for sure. But then Val goes out like mid 1st, maybe gets some more play in the 2nd half and then gets mostly iced in the 3rd and 4th for no particular reason. Even when he's not in foul trouble. Go figure.
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