As we hurdle towards 2022, the Toronto Raptors will be more than happy to throw 2021 in the garbage. Outside of a few very memorable moments, the Raptors were shackled by multiple COVID-19 outbreaks and excommunicated from the contender tier after a substandard season.
While they have started this season off in volatile fashion, as evidenced by their sub-.500 record, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the direction of this franchise. Players like Scottie Barnes and Fred VanVleet have helped paint a very rosy picture in both the short and long term.
Rather than looking back at all the bad luck that this team has run into, the fanbase needs to take a rosy look at what this team could accomplish in the next calendar year. This team is packed to the gills with star talent in a conference that will give them a chance to soar up the standings.
Making, and sticking to, these New Year’s resolutions might be what keeps the Raptors on the path to success. While they could be upended due to some more misfortune, checking all three of these boxes could help them position the franchise for long-term success.
3 New Year’s Resolutions the Toronto Raptors must follow.
3. Find more bench consistency
The Raptors have one of the worst bench units in the league, and being forced to play games without most of their star players in recent weeks has only illustrated how deep the cracks in this roster are. Why else are players like Svi Mykhailiuk eating up so many minutes?
The Raptors are starting to get healthier, meaning that names like Khem Birch and Precious Achiuwa will return to the bench in order to join players like Yuta Watanabe. Perhaps this will help that unit find the consistency they have been dying for this season.
The Toronto Raptors need to find some second-unit stars.
Assuming that Watanabe remains a quality shooter, Achiuwa keeps making strides on the offensive end, and Birch becomes the rock in the post they needed, Toronto might actually give an overworked starting unit the relief they are calling out for. Dead last in the league in scoring, there’s nowhere to go but up.
VanVleet is leading the league in minutes per game, and OG Anunoby isn’t far behind. While Toronto is gearing up for a late-season playoff run, they won’t be able to make much progress in that area if they roll their five usual starters out there and hope for the best.