2. Second-String Wing: Yuta Watanabe vs. Svi Mykhailiuk
Svi Mykhailiuk went from a late-season depth signing to a vital part of the rotation, as he is one of only a handful of players on this roster that profiles as an above-average 3-point shooter. While Watanabe’s calf injury kept him out of the lineup for the longest time, he appears to be ready to dominate.
Watanabe may not be a knockdown shooter at this point in his career, but he’s lightyears better from beyond the arc than he was during his days with Memphis. His defense and energy are already exemplary, but that trait might be what decides which of these two get more playing time.
The Toronto Raptors need Yuta Watanabe and Svi Mykhailiuk to shoot well.
Mykhailiuk has had some genuinely impressive games this season, but those performances don’t come very regularly. With poor defense and some iffy results as a ball-handler, the only thing that is keeping Mykhailiuk in the rotation is his ability to make 3-pointers.
If the Ukrainian veteran starts to slip up from deep, that leaves Watanabe with a perfect opportunity to come in and steal his minutes away. Watanabe got hot from 3-point range against Milwaukee to pump his 3-point percentage up to 40% on 3.8 attempts per game. Svi has to be looking over his shoulder.