4 key Toronto Raptors who must dominate with big names injured

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 14: O.G. Anunoby #3, Dalano Banton #45 and Jeff Dowtin Jr. #20 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 14: O.G. Anunoby #3, Dalano Banton #45 and Jeff Dowtin Jr. #20 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Raptors got back on track with a victory against the Detroit Pistons despite missing some of the big names on the roster. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Gary Trent Jr. were all inactive, and names like Dalano Banton came to the rescue against old nemesis and former head coach Dwane Casey.

The cavalry is coming, but it isn’t coming with the haste most Raptors fans likely want to see. Siakam is still a few days away from being reevaluated, Achiuwa is expected to be out for a long time thanks to some torn ligaments in his ankle, and the perpetually injured Otto Porter Jr. picked up another knock.

Even with some daunting matchups coming around the bend, the Raptors need to go into these games with the confidence that they can lean on their bench, however difficult that may be. Beating the Cade Cunningham-less Pistons doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the NBA as a whole.

These four players are going to be under a microscope in the next few days, as they will be tasked with making sure the rotation doesn’t crumble to dust. Toronto needs all of them to play some of the best basketball of their lives in the next few weeks.

4 Toronto Raptors who must dominate amid injury woes

4. PG Jeff Dowtin

Dowtin has been a player that this fanbase has had their eye on for a while, as he was a dominant Summer League player who deserved a longer look. Dowtin was finally given a chance to get extended NBA minutes against the Cade Cunningham-less Pistons, and he didn’t disappoint.

Dowtin finished with four points, four rebounds, and two assists in 16 minutes of work. While that would constitute a fine day at the office for a player on a two-way contract, the fact that he was interested in the lineup so late in the game speaks volumes about what Nick Nurse saw in him.

Jeff Dowtin will get minutes for the Toronto Raptors.

Each of the last two years has seen one of Toronto’s two-way players muscle their way into the rotation permanently, as Yuta Watanabe and Justin Champagnie received multi-year deals based on their play. Could Dowtin be next in line if he sustains this performance?

While he lacks Banton’s size and Malachi Flynn’s handles, Dowtin can get to the rack and score when called upon. It’s surprising that he didn’t earn a proper NBA contract in the offseason, but he could get Masai Ujiri interested in a longer contract if he struts his stuff against top competition.