Toronto Raptors: Who should start when Kawhi Leonard is resting?

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Patrick McCaw (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Patrick McCaw

In this alternate line-up, we see Danny Green switch to the small forward position and the Raptors force a three-guard line-up with Patrick McCaw in the backcourt with Kyle Lowry.

The benefits of having McCaw in the starting line-up speak for themselves. McCaw is an ultra-aggressive, all about the hustle defender who can defend both on and off of the ball.

He’s averaging 7.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.9 steals per 36 minutes since signing for the Toronto Raptors. It’s those steals that really stand out for McCaw, his bread and butter really is on the defensive side of the ball.

The shooting numbers are a real concern though, McCaw has an effective field-goal percentage of 41-percent in his 15 games for the Raptors this season. That percentage lands him in the 10 worst effective field-goal percentages for players that have played 15 games or more this season, ranking 462nd.

Although McCaw does have the ability to attack the rim, he’s 9-13 on field-goal attempts from within five-feet since signing for the Raptors on January 10, so he does have his uses offensively.

If it’s a case of winding McCaw up and letting him loose, as a willing runner for Kyle Lowry deep outlet passes or as a cutter for Marc Gasol when he has the ball in the post, that could work. McCaw doesn’t need to have the ball in his hands to operate, but as an average passer and ball-handler, having the ball in his hands doesn’t hurt on occasion.

Adding another hungry defender to an already aggressive backcourt would be a nice wrinkle too, though McCaw’s offensive limitations may hold him back from this role.