Raptors forward Chris Boucher, enjoying a stellar offensive year after re-signing with Toronto to a bargain two-year, $13.5MM deal during the offseason, still has room to grow on defense, according to Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star.
“It’s a tricky spot we’re in because (Boucher) looks great on (offense),” head coach Nick Nurse said this past week. “Even the blocked shots look great. But we’re giving up a lot of things at the other end. We’ve got to figure it out.” In 24.1 MPG, Boucher is averaging career-highs of 14.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 2.0 BPG this season, while connecting on a career-high 43.9% of his 3.8 three-point attempts.
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, who could return to New York’s rotation as soon as tonight, had a metal plate inserted into his hand following surgery to address his broken right hand, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets.
- While other teams in the East have made intriguing upgrades as they shore up their rosters for the playoffs (such as Milwaukee’s deal for P.J. Tucker and Miami’s trade for Trevor Ariza), Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that the Sixers appear willing to selectively make improvements should it help their title odds. According to Pompey, the 76ers have been active in discussions with teams about being a third partner in three-team transactions, and the club may consider buyout market additions as well.
- Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been fined $50K by the NBA after he threw his mask into the stands while protesting the officiating of a 115-112 Toronto loss to the Jazz on Friday, according to Steven Psihogios of Yahoo Sports. “It just didn’t seem like they were going to let us win tonight,” Nurse complained. “A lot of calls, man. Every trip, every possession was free throws.” The Jazz had 41 free throw opportunities, while the Raptors took just 14.