I think Steve Novak deserves way more playing time that Dwane Casey is giving him now. Steve Novak is a 6’10” stretch power forward. He’s arguably one of the best stand still 3 point shooters in the NBA, averaging 43% from beyond the arc throughout his career. Last season with the New York Knicks, Steve Novak hit 149 threes shooting 42.5% in 81 games. For a span of about 15 games with the Toronto Raptors, he was averaging 0.7 minutes a game. This situation occurred right after the Rudy Gay deal that brought over Patrick Patterson, John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, and Chuck Hayes. At that point of time the Raptors were missing Tyler Hansbrough due to an injury. In addition Dwane Casey was rotating Tyler Hansbrough and Amir Johnson as starting power forwards. With such a valuable asset to the Raptors downed by the injure bug, and Steve Novak already having a relationship with Dwane Casey while both of them were apart of the Dallas Mavericks from the 2010-2011 season, you would expect for Steve Novak to get more court time. Instead Dwane Casey turned to Chuck Hayes to handle the responsibility. 6’6 big man Chuck Hayes’ first 15 games he averaged double digits in the minute column. Chuck Hayes is very limited on offense and due to his size he is lacking defense. There is barely any benefit to Chuck Hayes being on the court. This is Hayes’ tenth season in the league, so he is a veteran. In the same breath, you can’t really talk about his experience, because he never made it out the second round of the playoffs.
The Raptors have just completed a road trip and the 4 road games he played in he averaged a plus-minus stat of 1.75 with 14.5 minutes. In only 2 games of the road trip that Steve Novak has played in his plus-minus stat is 2.25 in 5.5 minutes. On the court, Steve Novak demands a lot of attention from the opposition’s defence, because he is a sniper from beyond the arc. Therefore, guys like DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas gain a lot more space to work with on the floor. If the defense dares to rotate off Novak, he will be open for an uncontested shot. His defense may be the reason why he’s warming the bench, but he has played for smart defensive coaches such as Gregg Popovich, Jeff Van Gundy, and Rick Carlisle. Novak isn’t scared to go into the paint, grab some rebounds and he will guard his match up, so defense may not be such a problem. Lastly, the Raptors are averaging nearly 23 3-point field goal attempts a game, and why wouldn’t you want Steve Novak putting up some shots? To conclude, that’s why I think Steve Novak should get more playing time.
PK Boateng is an enthusiastic participant in the “Success Beyond Limits” after-school education program at Westview Centennial Secondary School.