The Toronto Raptors lead the Atlantic Division and are currently the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
The biggest reason for their turnaround (well, besides the trade of small forward Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings earlier this season) has been the back court duo of shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
Raptors’ head coach Dwane Casey wants to limit the minutes of each player during the last few weeks of the regular season to keep them fresh for a playoff run.
“That’s the hard thing,” Casey told Josh Lewenberg of TSN Wednesday. “We’ve got to buy them a few minutes here and there but every possession – not only every game, every quarter [but] every possession – is meaningful.”
However, a reduction in minutes could cause losses to build up.
“When you start looking at scoring, we hit a drought the other night against Golden State right before the fourth quarter but we were just trying to buy minutes for those guys off the floor. It’s a catch-22.”
DeRozan is playing 38.2 minutes per game and averaging 22.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
In 36.4 minutes per game, Lowry is putting up 16.8 points, 7.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.