It’s been nearly five decades since five players on the same team have averaged more than 15 points per contest while playing in at least 70% of the team’s games. Well, the drought is over – the Toronto Raptors are your next team to do it.
With one regular-season game to go, the Raptors are a lock for the two-seed, with their first-round matchup being the seventh-seeded Brooklyn Nets. Nick Nurse once again did wonders with the Kawhi-less collection that is ready to make a run for a back-to-back title. They’re showing a perfect display of defensive-minded team basketball, with a standout individual being an emerging star forward in Pascal Siakam.
Siakam is also Toronto’s leading scorer with 22.9 points per game and is one of five Raptors’ players who is averaging north of 15 points per outing. It’s been 46 years since a team had done something like that, with the last one being the 73-74 Buffalo Braves.
The way the Braves did it was with Bob McAdoo averaging 30.6, Jim McMillian 18.6, and three other players between 15.2 and 15.5 points per game. The Raptors’ scoring five isn’t as top-heavy as the Braves’ – it’s much more balanced. Let’s check it out.
This just goes to show – the Raptors have multiple guys who can be the team’s number one bucket getters. Over 71 games played so far; the Raptors have had eight different leading scorers, with Siakam being on top of Toronto’s scoring column in 29 of 60 games he had played in. Seven different Raptors have had nights of scoring 30 or more, including rookie Terrence Davis dropping 31 on the Bulls. All this is a testament to how deep their roster is, and to a variety of different ways they can beat you. It makes it impossible to predict who is going to step up and be the team’s No. 1 option for the night.
The Brooklyn Nets are the first to face Toronto’s offensive machinery, as Game 1 is set to be played on Monday, 17th of August. Good luck going up against five 15+ points scorers – containing them will be a challenge. Brooklyn taking them five would be a success. But I don’t see it happening—Raptors in four.