3 rotation questions Raptors must answer when injured stars return

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 28: Thaddeus Young #21 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 28: Thaddeus Young #21 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images /
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The Toronto Raptors have been handed some really rotten injury luck over the last few weeks, as Pascal Siakam has missed eight straight games and names like Precious Achiuwa are slated to miss some significant time. Those injuries somehow have not impacted the win-loss record to such a considerable degree.

The Raptors won two straight games against the Pistons and Heat despite most of their big names being out, and they took a very good Hawks team to overtime on the road despite only having eight active players not on two-way contracts. The effort the team has shown in the last few games has been admirable.

The Raptors have completely flipped the script in the last few weeks. The conversation shifted from figuring out how they were going to survive with all these injuries to figuring out the best way to get some of these standout performers on the floor in the new few weeks.

Nick Nurse is not shy about tinkering with his rotation, and he shouldn’t suddenly lose his innovative spark in the next few days. Nurse must answer these questions about what this group is going to look like and how he will go about trying to balance out his rotation.

3 rotation changes the Toronto Raptors must make when stars return

3. Is Thad Young going to keep getting minutes?

If I had my druthers, Young would be getting as much playing as much as possible. Raptors fans know that he’s a great defender and rebounder at this stage of his career, but Young has been a much better scorer during his starts at center than anyone anticipated.

Young had averaged 11.0 points per game with nearly four offensive rebounds per contest in his past three games. He topped that with 18 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and four steals against the Atlanta Hawks. On a young team that can be volatile from game to game, Young’s presence is too valuable.

Thad Young is too valuable for the Toronto Raptors.

Even though he was excellent against the Hawks, Christian Koloko might be the player who sees his minutes cut the most drastically. The Raptors could substitute Koloko’s shot-blocking for Young’s ability to dominate the offensive glass and spread the ball around.

Young’s absence from the rotation earlier in the year was puzzling when it happened, and it looks even worse now that Thad is proving to be a genuine thorn in the sides of contending teams. When the playoffs come around, No. 21 and his switchblade style will be needed desperately.