Player News - Raptors

Date: Team: Pos:

Jonas Valanciunas said he is content coming off the bench as long as the Raptors keep winning.

Toronto got a big boost during their first round matchup with Milwaukee when they replaced Valanciunas with Norman Powell in the starting lineup. Down 2-1 at the time, the Raps went on to win three straight games and close out the series in six, thanks in part to Powell's strong play. "I’m good. I don’t feel bad if I don’t start," said Valanciunas. "I’ve just got to do my job. As long as we’re winning — I’ve been saying that a long time — as long as we’re winning I’m OK." It will be interesting to see if coach Dwane Casey sticks with the same starting five vs. Cleveland.
Apr 29 - 10:11 AM

Pascal Siakam was named MVP of the D-League Finals on Thursday.

Toronto's affiliate, the Raptors 905, beat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to win the title. Siakam averaged 23 points (on 55 percent shooting), nine rebounds & two blocks in the series. Bruno Caboclo (31 points and 11 rebounds) and Fred VanVleet (28 points and 14 assists) also played well in the championship-clinching contest. All three players are under contract for next season, giving the Raps solid depth heading into the 2017-18 campaign.
Apr 28 - 11:02 AM

DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points in a series-clinching 92-89 win over the Bucks on Thursday, adding four rebounds, three assists, five steals and three turnovers in 40 minutes.

After the Raptors looked to have it locked up with a 25-point lead, they actually blew it and were trailing due to a 20-3 Bucks run. The Raptors put together a 9-0 run after that and were able to ice this game in the final minute. DeRozan went 8-of-9 from the line while the Bucks went just 18-of-28 from the line as a team. Moving on, DeRozan did only score 23.0 points per game against the Cavs in the postseason last year, but he increased that to 29.7 during his three games against them this season. Considering the massive problems on defense for the Cavs, DeRozan could be feasting.
Apr 27 - 10:54 PM

Kyle Lowry scored 13 points with four rebounds, four assists, one block, two steals, and one 3-pointer in 44 minutes against the Bucks on Thursday.

He was getting some treatment on his back during this game, so he's still not all the way back. With the Cavs already set to face them in Cleveland, Lowry will get three full days off before Game 1 on Monday. Lowry hasn't been close to the offensive weapon he was with only a 19.2 usage rate in these playoffs, which is way down from his 24.9 during the regular season. Although, he'll get a much better matchup against Kyrie Irving. For what it's worth, Lowry had a 28.6 usage rate in his six games vs. Kyrie in the playoffs last year and a 26.0 in the four regular-season games. If his back allows it, Lowry could look like a superstar in the next round.
Apr 27 - 10:43 PM

Norman Powell scored eight points with three rebounds, two turnovers and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes against the Bucks on Thursday.

Is he ever going to miss from three as a starter again? Powell has gone 9-of-9 in his three starts, which is part of the reason Kyle Lowry said he changed the series. Powell's defense was a weakness heading into this series, but he fared well matched up with the likes of Khris Middleton. Considering how well he played, he should be able to carve out a role in the 24-32 minute range against the Cavs. Although, there could be much more P.J. Tucker against Kevin Love and LeBron James.
Apr 27 - 10:37 PM

Jonas Valanciunas scored six points with five rebounds, one assist and no fouls in 17 minutes against the Bucks on Thursday.

He played 9.7 minutes in the first quarter, but disappeared after that with no points in the final three frames and only 2.1 minutes in the fourth quarter. Moving forward, Valanciunas averaged a double-double against the Cavs during his 26.5 minutes per game over the four outings, so maybe he can earn more run in that series. He did not log any minutes next to Serge Ibaka in any of the final three games of this series, so that's not a great sign.
Apr 27 - 10:33 PM

Cory Joseph scored five points with two rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer in 15 minutes against the Bucks on Thursday.

He's been pretty bad for basically the entire series, but Joseph may have hit the biggest shot of the game with a 3-pointer at the 1:27 mark in the fourth to break an 82-82 tie. He has made an impact against the Cavs before, so maybe not going against a team like the Bucks could get him going again.
Apr 27 - 10:25 PM

Kyle Lowry said Norman Powell changed the series against the Bucks.

The Raptors lineup of Lowry, Powell, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll and Serge Ibaka didn't play a second together before their start in Game 4, but that combo has played outstanding defense to get them to a +19.3 net rating in 32 minutes over the last two games. As for Norm, his star has shined the brightest in the last two games with 18.5 points per game on an 84.2 true shooting percentage. Norm is free.
Apr 26 - 3:55 PM

When asked about his back injury, Kyle Lowry said his body is "fantastic right now".

He wasn't quite as aggressive in Game 5, driving the ball just nine times compared to the 14 per game in the first four games of the series. Lowry's time with the basketball is also down compared to the regular season and he's also made just 32.4 percent of his jumpers. The All-Star getting an extra day off before Game 6 on Thursday should help him, so maybe he has one of those "Kyle Lowry Over Everything" explosions.
Apr 26 - 3:43 PM

Coach Dwane Casey said Kyle Lowry's back was feeling better on Tuesday.

Here's the full quote from Casey: "Not much better, but better". Casey also added he hopes that Lowry's back will continue to loosen up with time and treatment. Game 6 in the in the Raptors vs. Bucks series is not until Thursday night, so Lowry has a couple of days to heal. Lowry is fully expected to suit up.
Apr 25 - 1:53 PM

Raptors have assigned Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet to their D-League affiliate.

The Raptors D-League team, the 905, is currently playing in the D-League Finals, so expect these three players to be shuffled back and forth. It should not have any fantasy impact.
Apr 25 - 12:45 PM

Serge Ibaka looked great in his second straight start at center on Monday vs. the Bucks, scoring 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting in 25 minutes.

This was a huge bounce-back effort from Ibaka after he made just 4-of-16 field goals in Game 4. Ibaka had an aggressive mindset tonight and opened the first quarter with two poster dunks over Giannis Antetokounmpo, though foul trouble would eventually slow him down. He grabbed six rebounds with three assists, one steal, three blocks and a triple and will look to keep this momentum going on Thursday for Game 6 in Milwaukee. DeMar DeRozan added 18 points and six assists for the Raptors and DeMarre Carroll notched 12 points with six boards and two steals.
Apr 24 - 9:57 PM

Cory Joseph played through an illness in Monday's Game 6 win over the Bucks, finishing with 10 points, three boards, one assist and a triple.

He was pulling at his shirt in warmups and looked exhausted at times, and he's reportedly been dealing with this illness for most of the series. He was able to log 20 minutes in his usual role off the bench and finished 4-of-8 from the field, and he will be relieved to know that Game 6 isn't until Thursday. Kyle Lowry played through a back issue and seemed fine, so CoJo likely won't have a major impact in most fantasy leagues for now.
Apr 24 - 9:49 PM

Norman Powell started for the second game in a row in Game 5 vs. the Bucks on Monday and scored a playoff career-high 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting in 34 minutes.

Despite playing a total of six minutes prior to Game 3, Powell will likely end up being the biggest X-Factor in this series. He got off to a hot start tonight with 11 points in the first quarter and never looked back, adding four rebounds, four assists, three steals, one block and four triples to go with his 25 points. DeMar DeRozan said Powell's aggressiveness in the first unit spaces the floor for the Raptors and coach Dwane Casey praised him for staying ready, so expect him to keep seeing big minutes going forward.
Apr 24 - 9:47 PM

Kyle Lowry (back) scored 16 points (4-of-9 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs) with 10 assists, three boards, three steals and two triples in 36 minutes in a 118-93 Game 5 win over the Bucks on Monday.

He deserves a ton of credit for playing because he was clearly hurting out there. Lowry would try to avoid sitting down during his trips to the bench and was frequently stretching out his back on the baseline. He asked out of the game in the first couple minutes of the fourth quarter, but quickly returned and was able to hang in there. Lowry will now be able to rest up for a couple days for Game 6 on Thursday as the series shifts back to Milwaukee with the Raptors leading 3-2.
Apr 24 - 9:43 PM


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