Chris Boucher is a development success story for the Raptors, not just an energy guy

If you want to take a break during a basketball game, you can do so on an inside pass. This is the case as it happens in the game, where a pass is almost inevitably thrown over the defense to a player in a position that is not particularly dangerous. It’s as if both teams make a deal – if you promise not to create a basket for now, we won’t stop you from putting the ball into play. Let’s conserve all our energy.

Chris Boucher Not one to assume, though. In the first quarter of Toronto143-100 wins San Antonio On Wednesday, with Spurs landing under the Raptors’ net, Boucher jumped up and down, deflecting a pass out of bounds. In the second quarter, with Spurs under their net, he once again went into nuisance mode, and did what he could to make sure there was a pass available, the inside player wouldn’t be able to see. Spurs called a timeout, and Boucher clapped his hands on his way back to the bench.

In other words, you no longer have to worry that Boucher is misunderstanding his role. That was all too evident last year, when Boucher went from being a player on the verge of losing his place due to unreliable jumping and inconsistent defensive effort, to being a likely player. The indispensable reserve of birds of prey. Boucher had the highest net rating of any regular rotation player on the team last year. The Raptors gave him a three-year contract worth $35 million as a reward.

What is lost behind this worn out story is something more important. The Raptors are known for developing their players, and Boucher is clearly one of the organization’s most visible success stories on this front. He came to the Raptors, who blocks shots, shoots jumpers, and is 26. He turns 30 in January, and given his performances at the start of the 2022-23 season, including 17 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday’s 43-point win, there’s a lot more to his game than just play and liveliness. It starts with energy, but it doesn’t end there.

Boucher wouldn’t be a guy who gets the ball late in the shot clock, but that’s okay — not every NBA player should be a triple threat in an attacking halfway line. The Raptors and Boucher have made sure he fits comfortably into what the team wants to do. A lot of the Raptors’ best moments this year have come with Boucher running up and down the ground, which is what the Raptors want to do all along.

To be effective while playing this style, you need players who can fill a range of roles as you go. Boucher has gone from being afraid to dodge on the open floor to being a good choice. Sure, you’d rather him fill the wings as a dipping threat, but he understands what he can and can’t do now. When the Raptors began pulling back in the second quarter, Boucher grabbed a stole, ran the other way and filled the middle, drowning to me Gary Trent Jr. to throw the ball. he did Same thing in the fourth quarter to get Precious Ichiwa dipping.

He can definitely be on the other end of things too. His gigantic strides allow him to reach the edge in many ways.

Meanwhile, the player who was often thought of as ‘too young’ early in his NBA career – not old enough to play middle, not fast enough to protect from the periphery – has found a way to do both well enough. His success may be a reflection of the league’s move towards its genre stylistically, but there are a few moments now in which Boucher seems to be too much of a match in the game. The Raptors have the defensive variety to be somewhat of a match-resistant, but Boucher has become a reason for that, not a hindrance to it. He is able to get his hands into the passing lanes and into the faces of 3-point shooters effectively. Offensively, Boucher rebounded from deep to start the year, notching nine of his first 16 three-pointers. In the meantime, there is still some development in the future from dribbling, very. The Raptors believe players can continue to improve deeply in their careers, so why can’t Boucher?

It’s too early to smash the field for the sixth man of the year, but Boucher was a great candidate. Interested scoring players tend to dominate the vote for that award, and Boucher doesn’t really count as such, despite opening the season with four double-digit games in his first five games. However, there aren’t many other reserves in the league that fully define and influence their team’s style of play.

other notes

Otto Porter Jr. He made his Raptors debut after missing the first seven games of the year – first due to a hamstring injury, then due to the birth of his child. The final quarter and half of the game was a low leverage, allowing Porter Jr. to score 11 minutes on his debut. He scored five points, but the play that will stay with me is Porter helping the assistant after a long defensive possession, hit the ball away In the paint to force rotation. With a slower rotation, Spurs will likely get to throw the ball. Porter will make a huge difference late in the season.

Fred Vanfleet He missed his second game in a row with a lower backache. There’s no reason to think this is dangerous, but the Raptors are right to play the long game with their health.

Pascal Siakam He scored a hat-trick with 22 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, while OG Anunoby scored five shots, one game after recording six against. Atlanta. What do you want thesis about it? They are good at basketball.

• It is one thing to sit in the paint and obstruct the shot. It’s another matter for the rookie big guy who still needs to put in a lot of muscle to hang with a guard – in this case, fellow rookie Malaki Branham – and stay ahead of him enough. swat away layup attempt. Christian Koloko Still impressive.

• If there’s one obvious thing missing from the Raptors’ season, it’s their offensive rebound. They entered the game at number 16 in offensive rebound percentage, one year after they finished second. This is another reason why Tottenham’s current position (and the former Raptors’ first-round pick) Jacob Boeltel That would be a very good fit down the road this year in a potential trade. Hold two offensive boards Possession of Tottenham for the first time. He was asked to do a lot in this match, as the two main wings of Tottenham were out due to injuries. It has become a really solid complementing piece.

• guard point Scotty Barnes give awayPoint guard Scotty Barnes Just give normal. Barnes threw some awful passes in this one that wasn’t captured either in his five passes or two of the passes by the way, props to him for taking it oscillate half court Right before the end of the first half. Real players don’t care about their field goal percentages.

• I don’t write about Trent often for reasons that I can never express well. He’s a good player, but the difference between good and bad matches lies in whether the ball will go into similar attempts. I guess there’s not much room to dive into intellectually. Saying that, I should probably appreciate it How easy it is to make some shots look.

• I’m old enough to remember the night Kawhi Leonard And the Danny Green They returned to San Antonio as members of the Raptors. I think Wednesday was a little different than Thaddeus Young And the Juancho Hernangomeswho played 421 minutes in 31 games for Tottenham last year.

(Top photo of Chris Boucher vs Tottenham: Scott Wachter/USA Today)

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