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 – Norman Powell (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Norman Powell

It’s been an up-and-down season for Norman Powell. After missing a large chunk of games due to a dislocated shoulder, he came back into the team with aplomb and was the best contributor on the bench for a solid month and a half.

In the past couple of games though, Powell has noticeably regressed and failed to follow up on his good run of form. He’s still averaging eight points per night and has increased his overall shooting percentages.

Powell is now a solid three-point shooter at 35-percent on just under three attempts per game, up from a mediocre 28-percent last season, on the same number of attempts.

He’s already featured a few times in a starting role this season. Powell has started for the Raptors three times this season, and averaged 8.7 points, four rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, with the team going 2-1 in those three games.

The Raptors know what they’re getting with Powell, he’s a high energy guy who will give you 110-percent every game. Norm is a solid defender at the perimeter and his long arms and lateral quickness would mesh well with the rest of the starters.

However, even with his rough stretch recently, Norm has been the best scoring option for the bench since his return from injury, and losing that will certainly mean the bench will struggle more so than it has already.

Despite that, Powell does deserve the opportunity and having him play more minutes with better playmakers means he can excel even more than he has already.