The Toronto Raptors were hit with a real double-whammy of lousy injury luck over the last few days. Not only has Fred VanVleet been slowed down due to a back ailment, but superstar power forward Pascal Siakam had to leave a loss against the Dallas Mavericks due to a groin strain.
Officially, VanVleet has been listed as questionable, with Siakam doubtful to play against the Chicago Bulls in their back-to-back series. Considering the fact that Pascal has had groin trouble in the past, the Raptors will likely be very cautious with how they handle this injury.
The Raptors will have back-to-back matchups against a solid Chicago Bulls team on the ledger before returning home to face the Houston Rockets. Considering the lack of clarity on his long Siakam specifically is going to be injured, Nick Nurse needs to formulate an impregnable plan of attack.
If Nurse can identify these three players and give them more enhanced roles while Siakam recovers from his injury, the Raptors could win some games while their stars heal up. Even though the schedule eases up, no game can be taken for granted in the NBA.
3 ways Toronto Raptors can win without Pascal Siakam
3. Play Chris Boucher 30 minutes
While Precious Achiuwa has been solid this year, he is still so volatile that you never know quite what you’re going to get from game to game. Boucher, who signed a three-year contract in the offseason, has been without question the best bench player on Toronto’s roster.
Boucher is averaging 12.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in just over 21 minutes per game. His performance this season is reminding many of his standout performance in the Tampa bubble, although he looks like a much deadlier and more versatile scorer this season.
Chris Boucher could be a standout for the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors made a solid run against Dallas, narrowing a double-digit gap to one point before eventually losing. Boucher played a big part in that, as he is both one of the best 3-point shooters on this team. He only has one game this year in which he’s scored less than 10 points.
While disrupting the Boucher-Achiuwa tag team off the bench that has been so effective is likely something that Nurse does not want to do, it’s necessary to keep this new-look, fast-paced offense operating at peak efficiency. A few 15-point or 20-point outings from the Raptors’ developmental star are needed right now.