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Toronto Raptors Bay Street Journal: Chris Boucher is more than a token Canadian

Before I get into whose stock has risen and whose has fallen post back-to-back, I would like to give a special shoutout to the Boston Celtics Head Coach, Brad Stevens. Before Thursday’s 120-106 loss to Boston, Stevens had a quote directed at, I would say, 50 percent of Raptors Twitter:

Thank you, Brad. Thank you so much. If you were one of the many tweeting out stuff like #FadeForCade or yelling at Masai Ujiri to blow up the team I would advise you to take a look at the standings. All of a sudden Toronto’s 2-8 start to the season feels like just a bad dream as they are now in the 5th spot in the East, with a lot of credit going to one guy in particular.

Stock Up: Chris Boucher

What a breakout season this guy has had. His play tended to fluctuate at the beginning of the year, and you never really knew what you were going to get from him. As the centre has played more, he has started to look way more comfortable on the floor and his stats are starting to prove that.

Over the last five games, Boucher has 87 points and 51 rebounds. All off the bench. Not to mention that he has seven double doubles on the season (more than any other player coming off the bench). The Canadian centre is making a serious case for 6th Man of the Year.

So Why Isn’t He Starting?

Honestly that’s a good question. It could be that Nick Nurse doesn’t want to mess with a good thing, but at what point should he just bite the bullet and switch things up? With Aron Baynes struggling as the Raptors starting centre, how much harm would it be to replace the Australian big man with a Canadian one?

Stock Down: Stanley Johnson

There’s not much to say about Stanley Johnson other than he hasn’t really been doing a whole lot. The former lottery pick was a bright spot for Toronto in their early struggles but as more players begin to play better – especially guys who can contribute offensively as well as defensively – Johnson has become insignificant.

I don’t think this is a bad thing really, if Stanley Johnson’s stock is going down it means he probably isn’t getting a lot of minutes to begin with. If he isn’t getting a lot of minutes then that means that the right players are playing good basketball for once.

Johnson isn’t a bad guy to have stashed away on your bench – we have been proven that earlier this year, but I can think of a few guys I’d rather want out there than him.

Future’s Option : Fred VanVleet

If you weren’t betting on this guy last week, it’s time to buy in now.

It’s no secret Fred has been doing his thing and now he is finally getting some recognition for it from people other than Raptors fans.

It is likely that all 255, 616 of those votes could have came from Raptors fans but you get the point. After the second round of returns came back from this year’s All-Star voting, Freddy has rightfully been placed on the list. Although, it’s the bottom of the totem pole, but I would expect VanVleet to use this as motivation to start playing for some more votes.

The fifth-year guard has yet to be an All-Star and I’m sure even seeing his name up there will elevate his play.

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