3 second-half goals the Toronto Raptors should accomplish

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 29: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 29: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Thad Young, Toronto Raptors
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 16: Toronto Raptors veteran Thad Young #30, formerly of the San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors find themselves in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, as an eight-game winning streak in early February helped push them past some of the play-in contenders. Considering where this team was expected to be at the beginning of the season, it’s fair to proclaim that Nick Nurse has done a damn good job this year.

The Raptors helped send Fred VanVleet to the All-Star game while Pascal Siakam came as close to his second nod as humanly possible. Gary Trent Jr. has developed into a very valuable weapon from 3-point range, and Scottie Barnes remains at the forefront of the Rookie of the Year hunt. 

The second half promises to be a gauntlet for the Raptors, as they have two matchups against the rival Nets, another duel against the 76ers, and games against the Hornets and Celtics that could have major postseason implications. Toronto is not a lock for a postseason spot just yet.

The Raptors need to aim for these 3 goals as the regular season starts to wind down, as making good on these achievements could play a major role in getting Toronto back to the postseason following their nightmare sabbatical season in Tampa.

3 goals for the rest of the Toronto Raptors season.

3. Find a role for Thad Young.

Young was acquired from the Spurs in a deal that sent Goran Dragic to San Antonio. While he could be a potential Sixth Man that completely changes the scope of the Raptors’ bench, Nurse appears to be committed to bringing him along slowly rather than throwing him into the fire.

Nurse has already been quoted as saying that he is not going to completely upend his rotation to insert Young despite parting with a first-round pick to get him. Nurse needs to find some way to get him as many minutes as possible given the skills that he brings to the table.

The Toronto Raptors need to play Thad Young.

Young is still an effective scorer despite some waning playing time in San Antonio. With the switchability and interior finishing that Masai Ujiri loves, Young should be a nice veteran counterpart on a team that doesn’t have another player older than 30 on the roster.

The Raptors didn’t give up a potential Top 20 pick to add an assistant coach and inspirational quote machine. They got Young because his skill set is perfect for what Nurse wants to run. The more time he gets off the bench for a team that has struggled in that area all year long, the better.