Toronto Raptors: Stock Take, injuries force to Hollis-Jefferson step up

Toronto Raptors - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Where’s that Paul Rudd “not me” GIF when you need it?

Did Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or myself think that he would be here this early in the season, despite how the first few games turned out? No, we did not. I certainly did not. So this comes not only as a shock but a welcome surprise.

Before this week, Hollis-Jefferson had only “featured” in one game for the Toronto Raptors. A 3:59 cameo against the Chicago Bulls where he scored one point on a free throw. It was pretty much that. Since then, Hollis-Jefferson had been dealing with a niggling injury and we hadn’t seen much more from him.

With Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry out from the Lakers game onwards, there were minutes to fill – and Hollis-Jefferson stepped up. He really stepped up. RHJ’s game is a little lopsided; he’s a strong defender but pretty limited offensively, especially with no threat of an outside jumper, but he picked his spots, attacked the rim and averaged 11.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game this week, shooting 56-percent from the field – pretty decent numbers.

Hollis-Jefferson was forced to step into a bigger role against Clippers on Monday night, following the early injury to OG Anunoby. Once again, he stepped up, holding Leonard to zero points on 0-of-4 shooting from the field, plus two turnovers.

The following night, RHJ came up big with eight offensive rebounds and 16 points as the Raptors ran out winners against the Portland Trail Blazers. Without his efforts on the glass, the Raptors might not win that game.


Next. Toronto Raptors Trash-Talk. dark

Even with the loss against the Clippers, the Raptors have looked like a team ready to defend their title to the bitter end. As they should be, it’s that championship mentality. See you all next week!