The Toronto Raptors have an obscene amount of unheralded depth and the abundance of options at head coach Nick Nurse’s disposal was on full display in March prior to the shutdown.
Big man Serge Ibaka had raised his game to a new level before the hiatus, averaging 18.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game (up from 15.9, 8.0 and 1.3 prior).
What’s more, all of Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell were putting up north of 23.0 points per game when the league was suspended. If those hot hands continue in the bubble, the slept on champions will wreak havoc in the restart.
Don’t forget to factor a healthy Marc Gasol into the mix, either.
SLAM’s Heat Check series compares each individual player’s personal production in the month of March with their production prior. The goal is to get a sense of the direction in which players were trending when the league stood still. For a more in-depth description, check out our Heat Check (Hiatus Edition) introduction.