Toronto Raptors: Which players will lead each statistical category?

Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Serge Ibaka (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /


Last year: Serge Ibaka

This one seems pretty cut and dry if you ask me. Serge Ibaka led the Raptors in blocks last season with 1.4 blocks per game, with 23 appearances coming off the bench. Once the playoffs – and the trade for Marc Gasol – came around, Serge Ibaka was the sixth man in the Raptors rotation and still averaged one block per playoff contest.

While he isn’t the swatting machine that dominated the rim for the Oklahoma City Thunder a few years ago, he’s still effective as a rim protector as the Raptors have had in a few years. Right now, he is, by far, the best shot-blocker on the roster, that’s what makes him a virtual lock for this category.

Even with Marc Gasol – a former Defensive Player of the Year – on the roster, and starting ahead of Ibaka, his presence as an important rotational piece, and someone who will play alongside Gasol on occasion, means he’ll see enough opportunities to keep up his lofty numbers.

At age 34, Gasol might see his usage go up for the Raptors, but may see his minutes slightly dip as Nick Nurse looks to keep him fresh for an eventual playoff run. That means that Ibaka could even start as the Raptors center in those scenarios. Last season, he averaged 27.2 minutes per game, the lowest number since the 2011-21 season, expect those numbers to stay the same, or even rise.

Ibaka could play 20 minutes per night and he would still lead the Raptors in blocks per game. As chance has it, he’ll be playing more than that – and will still lead in blocks.

Winner: Serge Ibaka