Raptors’ shooting woes shows importance of Otto Porter Jr.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MAY 01: Otto Porter Jr. #32 of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MAY 01: Otto Porter Jr. #32 of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The there most significant issues that plagued the Toronto Raptors last season were the lack of a reliable bench, the inability to find a tall player who could secure the paint, and poor 3-point shooting. New players like Otto Porter Jr. figured to play an essential part in fixing two of those three problems.

Porter, who played a big role in helping the Golden State Warriors win their fourthsignificantampionship of the Steph Curry era, was signed with the expectation that he would be one of the first men off the bench and a 40% per game shooter from deep. He very well may be, but we haven’t seen him make his Raptors debut.

Porter hasn’t played in Toronto’s 2-1 preseason schedule due to a nagging hamstring injury, showing more of the durability concerns that have made it tough for him to become a consistent star in the NBA. Without Porter in the fold, Toronto’s shooting has fallen off.

Exhibit 10 rookie Gabe Brown had made three of Toronto’s 12 most recent 3-point success rates. Toronto is 13-66 from 3-point range in the last two games, with the starters combining for just three made 3-pointers. OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes have combined for one made triple all preseason. Porter needs to come back ASAP.

Otto Porter Jr. needs to return soon for the Toronto Raptors.

While Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. will be fine during the regular season. There might be some slight concerns about Anunoby, who saw his efficiency drop last season, and Barnes, who still hasn’t shown he can be an elite-level shooter in this league.

Precious Achiuwa impressed from deep last year, but some will need to see him replicate that performance before he can permanently affix himself in their mind as a quality shooter. Thad Young and Chris Boucher can shoot, but they’re not going to be the backbones of the perimeter offense.

Porter may end up with more volume than what the Raptors originally sold him on, as he is very clearly an upgrade at a position of obvious need for Toronto. Since 2016, Porter has made 42% of his 3-point attempts. The biggest obstacle in his way is his durability.

The Raptors can get hot from 3-point range on occasion, but they might have one of the least aesthetically pleasing and practical offenses in the league when they can’t connect from deep. Porter was going to be an important member of this team in 2022-23, but his ability to snipe makes him borderline invaluable.

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