Raptors Notes: Lineup Changes, Powell, Flynn, Attendance

The smaller lineups that Raptors coach Nick Nurse experimented with Friday could become permanent, writes Steven Loung of Sportsnet. Toronto picked up just its second win of the season as center Alex Len started for the first time since joining the team, taking the place of Aron Baynes. However most of the playing time in the middle went to Chris Boucher, with OG Anunoby filling in there as well.

Baynes has been “underachieving” since signing with the Raptors in the offseason, according to Loung. The veteran center is averaging just 5.3 points and 5.7 rebounds through his first seven games. Nurse liked how the smaller group responded and indicated that he may stick with it.

“I think the biggest thing is playing small, it does a number of things for us, but the biggest thing it does for us is it enables us to switch all the pick-and-rolls which, late in games, that’s going down pretty much at both ends, it’s pick-and-roll basketball,” Nurse said. “And then secondly, it almost puts OG and Pascal (Siakam) in the handling and screening situations, which, you know, OG is a good screener and finisher in that stuff.”

There’s more on the Raptors:

  • Friday marked the second start of the season for shooting guard Norman Powell, Loung adds in the same story. Powell scored 22 points while filling in for Kyle Lowry, who missed the game for personal reasons. “Yeah, I would. I would,” Nurse responded when asked whether he would consider making Powell a full-time starter. “He’s had two really good games as a starter and I would hate to count how many not-so-good games coming off the bench. So I would consider that at this point.”
  • Lowry’s absence gave rookie point guard Malachi Flynn his first chance at extended playing time, notes Chris O’Leary of NBA.com. Flynn, who showed promise during the preseason, responded with 12 points, five rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. “I’m going to stay confident regardless, but having a game like this definitely helps,” Flynn said. “So just continue to have that mindset of being confident and hopefully have more games like this.” 
  • The Raptors won’t have fans at their temporary home in Tampa, Florida, until at least February 5, according to The Associated Press. Vinik Sports Group, which owns Amalie Arena, made the announcement today because COVID-19 cases in the region have “risen sharply.”
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17 thoughts on “Raptors Notes: Lineup Changes, Powell, Flynn, Attendance

  1. C-Daddy

    Baynes and Len have been useless this year – the Raps are probably 6-2 and not 2-6 if they had kept Ibaka and Gasol. They’ve had double digit leads in five of their six losses.

    • Magnificent with Sensational style 416

      Ibaka turned down the 14 mil deal from the raptors and instead signed with the clippers for 9 mil per(I guess for a longer deal) all so he could hold Kawhi’s umbrella…

  2. Magnificent with Sensational style 416

    Raps need to trade Norm, Stanley Johnson,McCaw & a pick for a Derozen-Raptors reunion, & also trade a second rounder for Whiteside…

    • "Stons" Fan

      Lol no one wants your Raptor garbage. You may can do Lowry for Demar. Or Boucher can atleast get you an answered call. But any player other than fred, ps, lowry, or boucher wont get you derozen or any other good player.

      • hoopsaremylife

        bruh who in da world will trade lowry more less pascal whos literally an allstar too. they already have dejounte, derrick white, and especially mills whos been on fire from deep.
        Norm, johnson, mccaw for derozan and maybe lyles for PF depth. and they could get rid of baynes by sending him alongside davis for drummond and exum. that will make the raptors even more deadlier by adding two more allstars in drum and demar, and also ofc a lockdown defender like exum despite him injury prone and not much of a reliable shooter.
        if they can’t trade for drummond, then they can just search da market for someone like skal labrissiere, a still young seven footer who prob has a better jumpshot than baynes, rebounding, and shot blocking abilities. or ekpe udoh who just returned from a breakout year in china.

        • x%sure

          Why tf would Cleveland take Baynes for anyone much less Drummond. Baynes is washed and Ujiri screwed up the center spot so bad they have to play 3s there. Players want out of Toronto and will take less to leave.
          Tell your organization to forget this year and sign Derozan FA. Popovich doesn’t want your rubbish for trading either.

          • hoopsaremylife

            ik baynes is trash. at least drummond has more athleticism. but ur right da cavs wont take a guy whos prob lost his atleticism and is averaging 5 ppg and 5 rpg. but they scould still trade baynes and da rest of da garbage for derozan and poeltl depending on if they wannakeep baynes as a backup 5. poeltl is pretty talented and has more skills than baynes and drummond combined. they narrowly lost to da Dubs by having pascal play da 5. ay man btw sorry for da negative
            attack on u, i think i kinda misunderstood. cuz u were questioning da covid prevention guidelines for some reason. idk if u were

            • x%sure

              We put all our eggs into one basket in dealing with covid; a basket of masks.
              Be nice if the mask-wearers could separate into a different place from the nonmasked. Then they could be compared for how much their bodies learned about the invader.
              But America mostly chose masks, so masks it is.

    • "Stons" Fan

      As a Pistons fan we will give you Griffin for Lowry anda a pick. Griffin should be able to take over Ibaka’s role from last year (minus the shot blocking and perimeter d) more offensive weaponary though!

      • hoopsaremylife

        lol, we already got pascal who literlaly does da same thing but with more energy and defense so nah and we still got an undersized boucher who still could develop into a star and also alex len, da reserve center. Your a pistons fan lmao better tell ur organization to consider starting rose or they’re never gunna make da playoffs.

      • hoopsaremylife

        well if they’re already moving Norm, why should they deal OG, he’d better if hes PF since hes naturally a solid finisher in da paint.

        • Northern Expansion 416

          Exactly. Nobody is trading OG. Norm, Stanley Johnson,McCaw and a pick for Derozen is decent. SA gets a proven scorer and 2 two way ping players and a first round pick… Derozen is gonna leave in free agency anyway.

          • x%sure

            Actually TOR’s first should be pretty valuable. It’s possible.
            Better get Poeltl back too somehow to prevent the team from wearing down by going small.

      • bluejays777

        It is all but impossible to trade OG Anunoby this season because of the poison pill provision. The Raptors don’t want to trade OG Anunoby because they signed him to an extension.

    • bluejays777

      The first trade wouldn’t work because the Raptors used the non-taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Aron Baynes and Alex Len and therefore their owed tax cannot exceed $6 million and because the Raptors’ incoming aggregate salaries exceed what’s allowed via the 125% plus $100,000 rule.

  3. hoopsaremylife

    just grab some FAs off da market at da deadline on 10 day contracts and see how it goes. then consider if they should be part of da long term plans. that will be good in case we lose depth by overhauling da roster for derozan and poeltl

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