The Toronto Raptors were getting some standout performances from their bench early in the season, but their effectiveness has since waned. Even a solid veteran like Otto Porter Jr. making his return can’t get Toronto any higher than 26th in bench points per game.
Largely, Porter has been a success. The former Golden State Warriors champion has been able to bring his blend of versatility and shooting to the Raptors. Having made 50% of his shots and 43% of his 3-pointers while amassing just under two steals per game, Porter is doing a lot of good things since returning to the lineup.
However, those positive moments haven’t been as frequent as some may have liked to see, as Porter is only shooting the ball three times per game despite being on the floor for 17 minutes per contest. An average of 4.3 points per game can’t be what Toronto thought they were getting in free agency.
The Raptors are suffering from both poor shooting and a lack of consistency from the bench. If Porter can maintain somewhat similar averages with a higher workload, getting him the ball more might be the best solution Toronto can come up with until Siakam returns.
The Toronto Raptors must lean on Otto Porter Jr.
Young standout Christian Koloko has had some excellent moments, but he’s still a second-round rookie getting his feet wet. Precious Achiuwa has not been able to consistently replicate the standout performances he had in the second half of last season, and Chris Boucher has cooled off after a hot start.
Porter was a double-digit scorer for his entire career despite very rarely getting a huge chunk of minutes. Even on a crowded Warriors team, he still scored 8.2 points per game and got around seven shots up per game. Being this passive is not going to cut it.
Porter is still a very effective offensive player, which makes it even odder that Nick Nurse and the coaching staff have used him so sparingly on that end. Until Siakam gets back, Porter needs to be the team’s primary bench-scoring option, especially if he stays hot from 3-point range.
The Raptors have managed to perform well against a very grueling schedule, but no game should be taken for granted with Siakam sidelined the bench still a question mark. Porter getting hot wouldn’t solve everything, but it would be such a benefit to this scheme that Toronto needs to try everything to get No. 32 going.