Toronto Raptors: Which stats are sustainable after five games?

Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Minutes galore

Stat: Kyle Lowry is averaging 39 minutes per game (1st in the NBA)

For the love of all things holy, let’s hope this one is not a trend that continues. At 33 years old, Kyle Lowry is currently first in the NBA for minutes per game and total minutes this season, despite playing a game less than some players. That’s…worrying.

The problem is: Kyle Lowry has been incredible to start the season, averaging 21.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and seven assists per game, shooting a comfortable 36-percent from three on 9.4 attempts per game. Unfortunately, as good as that is, and as good as Lowry has been; that just isn’t sustainable while playing such a vast number of minutes.

The Raptors’ lack of depth has almost shoe-horned this into a regular occurrence, though. The bench just isn’t providing enough consistent minutes – outside of Serge Ibaka – for Nurse to be able to rely on them for longer than 15 minutes per night.

The fact of the matter is, eventually, that’s going to need to happen. You can’t play your best players for 39 minutes a night for 82 games and then head into the playoffs expecting to be fresh – that is a surefire way of asking for a first-round elimination. No one wants that.

Nurse is still tinkering for lineups that work, and hopefully one will soon. Those players stepping up will likely take some of the load from Lowry because this can’t continue.