Toronto Raptors: Stock Take, and Pascal Siakam in the MVP hunt

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

How about the legend of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson?

More importantly, he may have acquired a shiny new and sexy nickname: Hustle-Jefferson. Never has a nickname more aptly fit a player’s game. There’s nothing overly flashy about Hollis-Jefferson, but Toronto loves players who lay it all on the line. Hollis-Jefferson could be the next player that the fans fall in love with.

I’m already sold on him. Hollis-Jefferson outworks every to get to his spots, grab rebounds on both ends of the court, and just to be wherever the Raptors need him. This week was a great reminder of his talents. Hollis-Jefferson averaged 11.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game over the last three games, shooting 54-percent from the field and 75-percent from the line.

As limited as his game is offensively, RHJ showed some small strifes, most notably against the Knicks. He hit a few nice mid-range jump shots under pressure, a sign that maybe there is life outside of the dunker spot for him.

Even if there isn’t, the Raptors have enough offensive talent to draw away from Hollis-Jefferson, which leaves him open for wide-open layups and dunks or to grab offensive boards, something the Raptors have been hunting for so desperately.

His talent for crashing the glass helps keep plays alive for the Raptors, who currently rank 26th in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game. In the last three games, the Raptors rank third in offensive rebounds per game, a true testament to how hard Hollis-Jefferson and his bench partner, Chris Boucher, work.

Last week was Boucher’s turn, so Hollis-Jefferson gets the plaudits this week. Good lad.