Depth key to Toronto Raptors' turnaround
What a difference a year makes.
After all, Jason Kapono's three-point shot went MIA; the clock struck midnight on Jamario Moon, the Cinderella story of 2007-08; Joey Graham had an up-and-down season; and Will Solomon should've stayed in Europe.
Collectively, the bench never established a rhythm. Opposing second units regularly outscored, outplayed, and outperformed the Raptors' sorry bench.
All of which left Triano with fewer options than The Baha Men after Who Let The Dogs Out? This lack of depth contributed greatly to their 33-49 record and disappointing 2008-09 season.
This year is different -very different. At every position, Triano has a smorgasbord of options, allowing him to establish a regular rotation and try different combinations.
A plethora of posts have filled in while superstar Chris Bosh recovers from injury. For instance, Rasho Nesterovic, who had been chained all year to the bench, has averaged 10 points per game in Bosh's absence, while Reggie Evans and Amir Johnson have proudly supplied their usual blue-collar muscle.
Triano also has a strong one-two punch at point guard in Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon. For now, Jack is the starter and Calderon is coming off the bench, but titles and roles don't matter because both play key minutes.
Perhaps, the most interesting story is that of Antonie Wright. Initially, out of the rotation, Wright put in extra time at practice and is now an integral part of the Raptors, often defending the other team's best player down the stretch.
With a 12 deep rotation, Triano has options. And this improved depth has been a major part of the turnaround in Toronto.
How much has the bench helped the Raptors this season? Let us know in the comment box below. Photo courtesy of fi chince.