Toronto Raptors Have Found New Scoring Weapon With John Lucas III

By John Raffel
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

John Lucas III made a statement the last few games prior to the All-star break for the Toronto Raptors.

Ironically, Lucas III wasn’t exactly campaigning for more playing minutes, although he probably wouldn’t object to it. But, he was thriving at the game and giving the Raptors production they haven’t seen before from him.

Rudy Gay is obviously having a good impact on everyone for Toronto since he joined the team. But Lucas’ performances have been especially intriguing. He’s averaging only 5.7 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.89 assists per game. But in last week’s 92-88 NBA win over the New York Knicks, he had scored 12 points with 4-of-5 shooting. Before that, in a 109-108 win over the Denver Nuggets, Lucas delivered 14 points and two assists. Two days earlier in a 102-89 win for the New Orleans Hornets, he was 7-of-11 from the floor, including 5-of-5 in triples and scored 19 points.

In the three games prior to that, Lucas had a combined 10 points.

Indications were that he was ready to break out. In two games in late January and early February he scored 19 points against the Atlanta Hawks and 17 against the Los Angeles Clippers. He’s been scoring against some of the best teams in the league. His minutes have gone up slightly, but not dramatically.

It’s an especially intriguing thought for Raptor fans that Lucas III is on his way to a great finish. Toronto may not make the playoffs but if Lucas stays hot, the next few weeks will be very interesting.

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