You've also got some starting lineups with one or two minor changes, as these teams seek to improve their seeding in the regular season, or improve their chances of going all the way to the NBA Finals. Projected Starting Lineup: Brook Lopez (C), Julius Randle (PF), Brandon Ingram (SF), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG), Lonzo Ball (PG). The Raptors didn’t add any huge names to the roster, but how did that affect them in the league’s power rankings? Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins now have someone to join them to form a possible "Big 3" in Minnesota, as Jimmy Butler arrived via trade with the Chicago Bulls. Raptors Roster & Starting Lineup Without Serge Ibaka vs. Lakers ... Ibaka was suspended for an altercation with James Johnson of the Heat last season and in 2017 … Show page for Starting Lineup with all attributed Toronto Raptors content from Sportsnet 590, Sportsnet Video and Sportsnet 650 The bad news? Injury-prone Danilo Gallinari might have to fight off Sam Dekker at the starting 3 spot, so there's another question mark. Do you do that to Poeltl, restricting his development? That's because Kelly Olynyk, despite the rich free agent deal, should assume the starting 4 spot by virtue of his height, though we're not expecting him to be much better than he was as a Celtic – instead, he may continue to alternate between big games and complete duds, even as a full-time starter. In the second quarter, the two bigs have carried usage rates of 15% and 17%, and in the 4th: 16% and 17%. Could 2017-18 be the year Davis and the Pelicans make a deep playoff run? But it's at shooting guard where the biggest questions lie – who's going to be starting? The difference this year is they are able to outscore a lot of those issues, which may not be considered acceptable as a strategy. A healthy Khris Middleton has the starting SG spot as his to lose, while the Parker injury could mean a return to the starting lineup for Greg Monroe (who didn't start last year), and a battle between Thon Maker and John Henson for the starting center spot. That's still not enough, though, to bring the Pistons back to the playoffs. Do Siakam and OG play a combined 48 minutes there? They’ve had a couple serious duds of late, but the season as a whole tells a story of a mediocre lineup, not a terrible one. Everything worked for the most part when those five men were starting, which is why Washington mostly focused on retooling the bench. And so we (myself quite possibly the loudest) called for a change. Serge Ibaka may no longer be putting up unreal blocked shots numbers, but he's made up for that by being a fairly complete power forward, and one who's hopefully for keeps as a Raptor. Then you've got Rajon Rondo, who's coming off an awful season with the Bulls – he's likely to start, but isn't likely either to be the same point guard he used to be with the Celtics. Nope, this doesn't look like a playoff team, but it could've been worse. Every Sports Reference Social Media Account. Projected Starting Lineup: Al Horford (C), Marcus Morris (PF), Gordon Hayward (SF), Jaylen Brown (SG), Kyrie Irving (PG). It’s also something that can get exploited in the starting lineup by the best guards on the opposing team, especially in conjunction with DeRozan’s general inability to navigate screens, and Lowry’s inconsistent effort in that area. Projected Starting Lineup: Jusuf Nurkic (C), Al-Farouq Aminu (PF), Moe Harkless (SF), C.J. Projected Starting Lineup: Rudy Gobert (C), Derrick Favors (PF), Rodney Hood (SF), Thabo Sefolosha (SG), Ricky Rubio (PG). Report: Giannis is off the table, so what’s Toronto’s Plan B? The Raptors are winning games, but mostly on the back of their bench unit, and the starters are struggling against top opposition. Myles Turner returns as arguably the Pacers' top player following the exit of Paul George – look for him to continue growing as one of the league's most versatile big men. Or Milwaukee could do what they did last season and have Maker and Henson start, with Monroe as the team's sixth man. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Raptors Aggregator. With that purpose of tanking in mind, it's no surprise that their projected starting lineup includes a third-year man (Willie Cauley-Stein), two second-year men (Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere), and a rookie (Justin Jackson). Power forward is a bit more complicated, as you've got the talented Dario Saric (more of a natural 3) and Jahlil Okafor (injury-prone and underachieving), and Richaun Holmes, who owes his success to hard work more so than anything else. He'll be joined in the frontcourt by Nikola Vucevic, who hopes to rebound from a subpar 2016-17, and either one of two players with similar first names – ex-Spurs role player Jonathon Simmons, or 6th-overall pick Jonathan Isaac. Lineup | Minutes Played | Offensive Rating | Defensive Rating | Net RatingKL-DD-SI-JV: 228 MP, 111.6 ORTG, 111.4 DRTG, +0.2 RTG. So, that’s not great. (The lineup had a +28 net rating in the third prior to the Pacers game, but that didn’t stop the collapse.) Projected Starting Lineup: Zaza Pachulia (C), Draymond Green (PF), Kevin Durant (SF), Klay Thompson (SG), Stephen Curry (PG). Rather than dealing with two lineups separately, let’s look at the 4-man unit of Lowry, DeRozan, Ibaka and Valanciunas, as that’s really what we are questioning here. Can it be fixed? It also makes sense to address the defensive issues for the starting lineup. LT yung Milwaukee Bucks pinatugtog yung Barney theme song nung tinatawag na players ng Raptors HAHAHAHA And these two top guards may finally have a quality big man complementing them all year round, assuming Jusuf Nurkic shakes the injury bug – he's a sure starter as compared to the likes of Meyers Leonard, and Meyers Leonard v2.0, aka 10th-overall pick Zach Collins. Well, there have actually been a bunch of starting lineups due to injuries, but the two that have played by far the most minutes are Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas joined by one of Norman Powell or OG Anunoby. We don't need to remind you about how Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are arguably in the top two/top three of their respective positions, how Draymond Green is an all-around threat, especially on defense, and how Klay Thompson, like Curry, is among the league's best pure shooters. He racks up seven personal fouls per 36 minutes when playing with both Lowry and DeRozan. Hayward can also be moved to the 2, which would leave Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum to fight for minutes at the 3. The Heat have done a bit of reloading for 2017-18, and while it won't get them deep into the playoffs, they've got the makings of a team that may be good for about 43 to 45 wins this coming season. Toronto Raptors Need Kyle Lowry Back in the Lineup Mar 03, 2017 by Chris Crouse in Player Breakdowns. Now, again, that’s not what you want. But sadly the first quarter numbers are actually even worse than the starters have posted. They’ve played a lot more in 1st and 3rd Q’s, as you’d expect, so their awesome play later in halves is just managing to balance out their overall numbers. That’s a very high rate — the highest rate on the team right now is Valanciunas with 5.0 PF/36, Poeltl right behind him with an overall rate of 4.9 PF/36. They've got a couple quick-fix solutions in Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who may likely start, but aren't likely to re-sign once their contracts come up in 2018, unless the Lakers actually make that big improvement and/or have been scared off by the fine they received for tampering with Paul George's contract. Projected Starting Lineup: DeAndre Jordan (C), Blake Griffin (PF), Danilo Gallinari (SF), Austin Rivers (SG), Patrick Beverley (PG). Unique lists featuring pop culture, entertainment and crazy facts. On that contract, VanVleet continued to take significant strides, playing a key role in the Raptors’ championship run in 2019 and then entering the starting lineup on a full-time basis last season. Projected Starting Lineup: Nikola Vucevic (C), Aaron Gordon (PF), Jonathon Simmons (SF), Evan Fournier (SG), Elfrid Payton (PG). Secondly, these aren't just projected opening-day lineups, but rather those we're looking forward to for at least the first half of the 2017-18 season, which means you may see a few rookies or veterans who initially won't make the starting lineup on account of initial rawness (for the rookies/youngsters) or injury (for the veterans). HAHAHAHA PUTANGINA HAHAHAHA I LOVE THE PLAYOFFS HAHA — Ja Salazar (@_heyja) April 21, 2017. Yep, he may not be getting younger, but you just can't take the wrestling fan away from him. After four years of teases, we would have figured Alex Len would finally be ready to assume the starting center role in Phoenix from day one. The Nets may be forced to start the mediocre Mozzy in the middle, with journeyman-caliber Trevor Booker being the closest they've got to a starting PF. Well, the third quarter is better at least, though the Pacers game showed that’s no guarantee. The Utah Jazz are adjusting to life after Gordon Hayward by building up a lineup full of defensive stoppers. Anunoby, the No. Tim Hardaway Jr. was the big free agent signing, and while he now has more chances to shine, he's not the game-changing youngster the Knicks sorely need another one or two of. This is one starting lineup that shouldn't change, as the Warriors still have that winning formula intact in 2017-18. Of course, it didn’t go well, with that unit giving up a 15-5 run in five minutes, good for a -83 net rating. First-rounder Frank Ntilikina may be the future at PG, but for the meantime, he'll have to watch and learn behind the likes of young journeyman Ron Baker and/or veteran journeyman Ramon Sessions. He took the backup job from Nogueira last season, and now is performing very well in that role this season, even though the Raptors have been running a deep rotation, especially at centre. Projected Starting Lineup: Nerlens Noel (C), Dirk Nowitzki (PF), Harrison Barnes (SF), Wesley Matthews (SG), Dennis Smith Jr. (PG). Projected Starting Lineup: Timofey Mozgov (C), Trevor Booker (PF), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (SF), Allen Crabbe (SG), D'Angelo Russell (PG). And we don't need to remind you either about how Zaza Pachulia should retain his starting job despite clearly being a role player. Or we could see Warren retain the starting 3 spot, and Dragan Bender emerge at the 4 after a disappointing rookie campaign. We never really got to see that experiment play out — would Patterson have fixed the starting lineup? Ladies and gentlemen, here's probably the closest the NBA has to a starting lineup you'd find on an expansion team. The addition of Gordon Hayward via free agency offered an immediate big-time boost at the 3 spot, and Al Horford remains in place as a solid starter at center. In the first quarter, Ibaka and Valanciunas carry usage rates of 24% and 23% respectively. Certainly, a player of Anthony Davis' caliber deserves to be in the playoffs on a regular basis. offseason, the Raptors signed CJ- Myers, in the first round 27 selected OG- Anu Nuo ratio. Kyrie Irving finally got his wish to be traded, which means Cleveland's Big 3 will now consist of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and the King in the Fourth, Isaiah Thomas. And yes, of late we’ve seen a couple of examples of just how disastrous those slow starts to each half can be, with fairly narrow losses to New York and Indiana ultimately coming down to huge runs given up by the starters. Although the offense clicks well enough for that group, it clicks better later (it’s roughly league average in the first and third quarters), and asking more of the bigs just takes energy they could be using defensively. Fortunately, the backcourt is the only unquestioned aspect of this Suns team that may be headed to another early exit – Devin Booker's 70-point game in 2016-17 showed that he has arrived, while Eric Bledsoe, provided he's healthy, is one of the NBA's best two-way threats at the point, and arguably the Suns' best all-around player. Projected Starting Lineup: Marcin Gortat (C), Markieff Morris (PF), Otto Porter (SF), Bradley Beal (SG), John Wall (PG). Again I’ve removed the weird 3-big lineup minutes. Thanks to his veteran smarts and defensive ability, Thabo Sefolosha looks to be the prime candidate, though Dante Exum may finally come through after a disappointing run thus far, injury-prone Alec Burks may reclaim his old form, and Donovan Mitchell may prove pleasantly surprising as the team's 13th-overall pick in the 2017 draft. Concern for me, the third quarter is better at least, though the Pacers game that... 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