Toronto Raptors: Statistical projections for 2019 starters

Toronto Raptors - 2019 NBA Finals (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - 2019 NBA Finals (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Marc Gasol (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Center: Marc Gasol

Statistical Projections:  13 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 4 APG, 1.3 BPG, 50% eFG

Marc Gasol has had one hell of a summer. First, he won his first NBA title; then went on to win the FIBA World Cup with his home country, Spain. All of this winning is sure to have Gasol hungry for more. With him holding down the center spot for the Toronto Raptors, he is going to have the chance to help this team win some games with his smooth offense and physical defense.

Gasol’s burly frame gives him a significant advantage in pick and roll (or pop) situations.  He might not be the most dominant (or effective) low-post threat, but he can give his team a little something if they really need it. He also has 3-point range, giving the rest of the offense spacing when necessary.

Somehow Gasol’s passing abilities continue to be slept on, despite his consistent playmaking brilliance. His assists should continue to be on par with his past seasons, as he will be a player who can run the offense from the mid-post and down low. Gasol really is one of the best passing big men in the game.

At the center spot, Gasol will need to be a glass cleaner for Toronto. Because of this, his rebounding number should be considerably higher than last year. Although it’s not the strongest aspect of his game, his effort and increased minutes should result in more boards.

Gasol’s career-high in rebounds was 9.3 per game (back in the 2009-10 season). He should come close, maybe even eclipse that number this year.

Gasol has always been a defensive specialist and is a former Defensive Player of the Year.  He has the size to affect opposing centers and put fear in the hearts of driving players. Even though he doesn’t have the best hops (putting it lightly), Gasol’s long arms and high basketball-IQ should allow him to continue to make an impact around the rim.

Gasol’s championship summer should have him reinvigorated coming into next season. He will be the anchor down low on defenses and be a player who picks and chooses his spots wisely on offense. His consistency is what the Raptors will rely on at various points in the season, even if they don’t produce the best box-score statistics.

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These projections, and to some extent the starting lineup, is still fluid. As the season gets started we’ll have a better idea of what the Toronto Raptors will be as a team.

However, at the moment, the starting five is looking to be a healthy mix of youth and experience. If these starters can live up to these projections, they should be one of the better teams in the East.