JeffB
https://nbamath.com/sixth-men-of-toronto-delon-wright-fred-vanvleet-leading-raptors-bench-to-new-heights/

Quote:

Well, that question requires a two-part answer, as backup point guards Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet have combined to take on the role collectively. The bench partners have proved they can coexist, leading the league’s second-best bench unit. With a net rating of 7.2, the Raptors’ second-stringers rank behind only the Golden State Warriors’ backups (8.4).

....

This is not an exaggeration; Wright’s decision-making is truly impeccable. A look at his shot chart reveals he has yet to attempt a single long two this season, and all but four of his takes have come from the paint or behind the three-point line.





Individually, Wright ranks as the league’s second-best isolation defender, allowing 0.32 points per possession. That trails only Utah Jazz center and former finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year award, Rudy Gobert

(FVV) ...The undersized point guard actually sits at the top of the league in defending shots around the basket among players who have covered at least 50 such plays (excluding post ups), according to Synergy. Allowing just 0.647 points per possession, he outpaces the much taller Jordan Bell, Ben Simmons, Dragan Bender, Myles Turner, Kristaps Porzingis and Gobert—the next six players behind him.



Quote:
Indeed, Wright is not one of the Raptors’ best outside marksmen, but he boasts a 62.1 percent true shooting percentage—second best on the team, behind only 7-footer Jakob Poeltl.  And as a 38.5 percent shooter from deep, he’s able to achieve his efficient scoring through shot selection that would make Daryl Morey shed tears of joy.  This is not an exaggeration; Wright’s decision-making is truly impeccable. A look at his shot chart reveals he has yet to attempt a single long two this season, and all but four of his takes have come from the paint or behind the three-point line.

VanVleet may not have the same elite efficiency in certain areas, but he has been a Swiss Army Knife on the offensive end, doing a bit of everything well and enabling them to coexist. He has validated himself as a multi-dimensional shooter, not only able to position himself in open space and get easy buckets off the catch, but also to consistently score on jump shots on the bounce. According to Synergy, on half-court sets, he ranks in the 63rd percentile for catch-and-shoot jumpers and is in the 86th percentile on attempts off the dribble.

On this play in San Antonio, OG Anunoby and Wright are able to collapse the defense while VanVleet finds a spot on the perimeter where his counterpart can guide a bullet pass through a crowd of Spurs defenders:


The undersized point guard actually sits at the top of the league in defending shots around the basket among players who have covered at least 50 such plays (excluding post ups), according to Synergy. Allowing just 0.647 points per possession, he outpaces the much taller Jordan Bell, Ben Simmons, Dragan Bender, Myles Turner, Kristaps Porzingis and Gobert—the next six players behind him.

Year after year, the playoffs have presented the sole Canadian team with massive struggles—especially Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who often look like completely different players than they do during the regular season. Toronto’s revamped offensive approach should help stamp out that annual wrinkle, but don’t underestimate the value of consistent play from their backups.

The Raptors’ starting backcourt (particularly Lowry, who is playing much less) should look much more well rested come playoff time. The star point guard’s time on court has decreased from 37.4 minutes per game last season to 32.9 this year. VanVleet and Wright have been trusted as closers, leading the team in fourth-quarter playing time, with 8.5 and 8.4 minutes per game, respectively. Lowry’s average fourth-quarter run, meanwhile, has plummeted from 10.5 last year to just 7.9.

These “sixth men” have showed they can play alongside the starters as well, granting Toronto’s coaches more lineup flexibility in the playoffs, when backups tend to spend more time watching from the sidelines. The Raptors post a net rating of 5.8 while Lowry and DeRozan are on the floor together—0.5 less than DeRozan’s pairing with Wright. And that’s just scratching the surface. Every other two-man combination between Lowry, DeRozan, Wright and VanVleet have net ratings higher than 8.4.

I think it’s safe to say “The Six” has solved its sixth-man problem in the form of two. And who knows, maybe they will prove to be the missing puzzle pieces who will change Toronto’s fate when it really counts.

Quote 3 0
DocHolliday
Cool post.
Quote 0 0
'trane
Great article.  Thanks for posting.
Quote 0 0