The Raptors have gone to an unorthodox closing five, with CoJo/DeRozan/Carroll/Tucker/Ibaka. If 2Pat isn’t getting those crunch time minutes anymore, what should coach Casey be doing with him?
Chris: Start him. I have no problems with this new closing five and I am actually a fan of it, but if Casey is going to minimize JV’s minutes, why not just go small right off the hop and play Patterson and Ibaka together to start games?
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That would give the Raptors better spacing, shooting and athleticism on the defensive end, and perhaps it might help them rid their slow starts.
With the Raptors solidified as a playoff team, I have no problems with Casey tinkering with his rotation until the playoffs start. Resolving these rotation issues will help the Raptors a lot come playoff time.
Demar: Play him as the super-sub that Casey always wanted him to be. Most teams start the game big and then down-size as the game goes on, so you can afford to have Valanciunas in the game for the majority of the first quarter.
Throughout the rest of the game, 2Pat should be playing the 4 next to Ibaka or the 5 next to Carroll or Tucker. This way you don’t steal minutes for JV at the start of the game, but for the other 30, Patterson is providing flexibility on both ends of the floor, which should make coach Casey gush.
Now it’s your turn to join in. What are your thoughts on any or all of the questions posed in this article? Share your take in the comments section below.