The Toronto Raptors haven't changed their starting lineup all season long, barring injury. Dennis Schroder beat out Gary Trent Jr. for a starting role and secured the point guard spot. Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby make up the team's wing duo, while Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl have been a robust 1-2 frontcourt punch.
While Darko Rajakovic is trying to get his five best players on the floor, all without sacrificing Poeltl's rim protection, some have ripped this alignment due to the lack of spacing. Toronto's matchup against a beat-up Miami Heat team illustrated just how flawed their current loadout can be.
Contrasted with Scottie Barnes putting together his worst game of the season and Dennis Schroder's hyper style of play leading to more turnovers and confusing shot decisions than anything else, Trent finished with 15 points while nailing a few big 3-pointers.
Fans might be losing patience with a bench that very rarely provides anything of value and a starting lineup that is setting basketball back with its lack of spacing. If Rajakovic wants to tinker and make some changes, swapping out Schroder and putting Trent in the starting lineup might be the best way to make an immediate change.
The Toronto Raptors must bench Dennis Schroder for Gary Trent Jr.
This lineup change would essentially make Barnes the de facto point guard. While he has struggled in that role in the past, fans would likely welcome some sort of seismic change to the scheme due to how languid and all over the place the offense can look, even when the best players are on the floor.
Trent is not having his best shooting season, but he and Barnes (who has taken tangible steps forward as a shooter this season, could team together and help Toronto become more consistent in that area. They won't have to lean on Anunoby to get hot and start bailing them out from deep anymore.
Schroder, who struggled against Miami, would be given free rein to take over on the bench and start cooking. He's been just about as good as Toronto could have hoped for, but he can be a bit too ball-dominant for an offense that needs to get Barnes, Anunoby, and Siakam shots. On the bench, his skills might be better utilized.
The Raptors clearly need some sort of spark if they want to attend Rajakovic's all-expense-paid dinner by stringing wins together, and the starting lineup has clearly hit a wall. Putting Trent in the starting five might not fix everything, but Rajakovic owes it to his team and the fans to at least give it a whirl.