The Implications Of The Toronto Raptors’ Injury Report
Yesterday, the Toronto Raptors released information on the injury status of Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields, and Alan Anderson. It certainly wasn’t news that people were hoping for; Lowry will be out for 1-2 more weeks, Anderson 3-6 weeks, and Fields indefinitely.
Losing Lowry has obviously been a huge blow to the team, as you lose the guy that pretty much carried the team at the start of the year. Jose Calderon has done well filling in for Lowry, and in hindsight, the Raptors are likely very happy that they didn’t trade him this off-season.
Calderon is capable of filling in for Lowry temporarily, but Calderon cannot play 48 minutes a game, meaning John Lucas III gets run- not something that Raptors fans want to see. The sooner Lowry returns the better, but in the mean time the Raps will have to grind it out for a few more games.
Fields has been absolutely awful this year, so the hand injury seems to be some sort of justification for his play. Once he returns, a better judgment can be made, however it seems highly unlikely that he comes close to fulfilling his contract. There is no timetable for Fields’ return, and the Raptors have to prepare for a long absence. Losing Anderson as well is a bigger blow, as he was right behind Fields on the depth chart. At this point, the Raps have to shift to their third-string small forwards.
Dominic McGuire should not be a starting small forward on any team, and it’s bound to happen that Linas Kleiza gets a shot at some point. Terrence Ross will likely see an increase in minutes, and DeMar DeRozan could see some time at small forward as well.
Bottom line is the Raptors swing-men depth just shrunk substantially, and Kleiza has to be the man to step up. He’s proven in the past he’s capable, and now he has a chance to take the starting small forward job- permanently. Lowry being off the court is obviously much more significant to the team, however he should be able to get back on the court sometime in November.
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