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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors Report Card: Grading each player's performance this season

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With a 43-16 record, the Toronto Raptors trail the Milwaukee Bucks by just one game in the Eastern Conference and have a real shot at claiming the best record in the league heading into the playoffs.

With 23 games left in the season, the Raptors have the weakest remaining schedule going by their opponents' winning percentage, but with two new faces in the lineup in Jeremy Lin and Marc Gasol, there won't be any room for error as they try to build chemistry for a postseason run.

We here at NBA.com took a look back at what each individual Raptor has done so far this season and gave them a mid-term report card mark.

Kawhi Leonard

Grade: B

Having a full season with a player of Leonard's stature has been invaluable for Toronto - that's not a shot at DeMar DeRozan, either, it's just reality.

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Leonard is a bonafide MVP talent and there are very few times where he steps on the floor as the second best player in the game. He's averaging a career-high 27.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game, MVP numbers for a team who has the second-best winning percentage in the league.

But Leonard hasn't been an everyday player this season for the Raptors. The time he's missed has taken him out of the MVP race. Whether that matters or not remains to be seen, but ultimately the reason why Kawhi was brought in was to help the Raptors get over the hump in the playoffs.

One other area for improvement is in the clutch. While his numbers aren't bad when the game is on the line - only James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker have scored more clutch points this season - the Raptors just look stagnant and lack creativity. Kawhi tends to have a lot on his plate in those moments, which is why he was brought to be the man in those situations, but against good defences such as the Bucks, he just hasn't been able to break through.

The additions of Jeremy Lin and Marc Gasol should help because they are two players who can get their own looks and create for others.

Kyle Lowry

Grade: B

A "B" grade might seem harsh for a player who made the All-Star Game, but you have to break up Lowry's first part of the season into two semesters.

The first semester you could argue that he deserved an A-plus. Through 23 games, Lowry averaged 15.4 points, 10.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game on 45.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.8 percent from long range. His assist average led the league for the first few months.

In the second semester, Lowry saw those numbers dip as he was in-and-out of the lineup fighting a nagging back injury.

He had a rough stretch before taking an extended period of time to heal up but had a strong ending leading up to the All-Star break.

Lowry is the motor that makes the Raptors go and this team will make it as far as its captain takes it.

Pascal Siakam

Grade: A+

Siakam has been the most consistent Raptor all season and quite frankly should've been rewarded with an All-Star selection. He's likely going to be the league's Most Improved Player and there's an argument to be made for him to get selected to an All-NBA team - no really, there is.

Siakam's averages of 16.1 points and 7.0 rebounds on 56% shooting from the field almost don't do justice to how important he's been this season to Toronto. They've been a completely different team on both ends of the floor with him on the court, going from being outscored by 3.7 points per 100 possessions with him on the bench to outscoring opponents by 10.0 points per 100 possessions with him in the lineup.

A strong second post-All-Star break for Siakam is pretty much a given at this point. The question is now will he be the same player in the playoffs - although if you've watched him all year, you're slowing starting to learn not to doubt Spicy P.

Danny Green

Grade: A

Green passed the first part of the season with flying colours.

At first glance of the DeRozan-Leonard trade, it seemed like Green was an add-on to make the deal work salary cap-wise. After a deeper look, it was evident that he was going to be the perfect fit for this roster, and he's proved that and then some.

He's been lights out from beyond the arc, knocking down 3-pointers at a 42.1 percent clip - good for top-15 in the league. Green has already hit two game-winners and countless clutch shots, and with the confidence he's shooting with, you know there's more to come on that end.

His defence has been fantastic and he's been readily available, playing in 57 of the Raptors' 59 games thus far.

His veteran presence and playoff experience will be invaluable the rest of the way.

Serge Ibaka

Grade: A

You could argue that Serge Ibaka has quietly been the Raptors' most consistent player this season.

In under 29 minutes per game, Ibaka is averaging a career-high 16.0 points to go along with 8.0 rebounds per game - his highest rebounding average in the last five seasons.

In his 10th season, Ibaka is attempting the fewest 3-pointers per game since leaving Oklahoma City and reverting to the staples of low-post and mid-range scoring have done wonders for him offensively.

Ibaka is shooting 52.7 percent from the field this year and connecting on 50.6 percent of his mid-range attempts. He's one of just five players in the NBA this season to shoot over 50 percent from that area while attempting more than two mid-range shots per game.

To take it a step further, 96.7 percent of Ibaka's mid-range attempts have been assisted, highlighting his presence as a pick-and-pop threat. As the postseason nears, Ibaka will often be an X-factor when teams key in on Lowry, Leonard and Siakam.

Fred VanVleet

Grade: B

VanVleet's shooting numbers have regressed from last season, but he deserves a lot of credit for his ability to adjust on the fly and do all that has been asked of him this season.

Entering the year, it was assumed that VanVleet would be locked into a static role as the team's sixth man - he came off the bench in each of the 76 games he appeared in 2017-18 and was a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year.

This season, VanVleet has already started in over 40 percent of the games that he has appeared, filling in for Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the starting lineup.

Despite the ways in which his role has varied, VanVleet has averaged 10.5 points and 4.6 assists, dishing out five or more assists on 23 different occasions and leading the team in assists seven different times.

Assuming the team is fully healthy, VanVleet's experiences this season put him in a great position to lead the second unit throughout the playoffs.

Marc Gasol

Grade: B-

Gasol's presences alone gets him a passing grade with the Raptors. In three games he's averaging 10.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 20.0 minutes. Whether or not Nick Nurse continues to use Gasol off the bench remains to be seen, but he should be the one closing games.

Toronto has struggled in close game situations, relying heavily on Kawhi Leonard to get them a bucket down the stretch. According to NBA.com, Leonard's usage rate skyrockets to 38.7% in the last five minutes of a five-point game, which is one of the highest rates in the league.

Gasol can alleviate some of that pressure and responsibility not only with his scoring but his playmaking as well. It will allow Leonard to not have to play so much iso ball and give Lowry, Green, Siakam the option to spot up or slash.

By the season's end, don't be surprised if Gasol's grade up to an A because of his value in the clutch.

Jeremy Lin

Grade: N/A

He's played one game. We can't really grade him on that sample size, can we?

That being said, Lin's value already went through the roof with the news that Fred VanVleet will miss time with the thumb injury.

Ultimately once he gets acclimated to the team, Raptors fans will realize he's the perfect guard to bring off the bench. He can play either on or off the ball and shoots well enough to help space the floor. His defence, of course, isn't lockdown by any means, but with the team possessing some long, lengthy defenders, he'll always have support for any mistakes that do arise on that end of the floor.

Chris Boucher

Grade: A

In his latest blog for NBA.com, Boucher wrote that he wanted to be a part of the Raptors' playoff run.

Well, he'll have that opportunity after signing a standard NBA contract just a week ago.

Boucher was flat out dominating in the G League this season, and that's the main reason for his grade. Now it's time to maintain that high grade and continue to develop with the big squad.

With Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol on the roster now minutes will be few and far between, but as he's proven all season long when his number is called, Boucher will be ready to produce.

Norman Powell

Grade: B

After a down year last season, Norman Powell has quietly bounced back this season with a really good pre-All-Star break campaign.

Powell is averaging 16.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per 36 minutes this year. He looks and feels like he's more comfortable in his role playing behind Kawhi Leonard. He's defending well when called upon to take over the toughest matchup on the floor. His 3-point shooting has improved after being down the last two seasons and overall his shot selection has been better, leading to a career-high 47% field goal percentage.

The key for Powell is to have this carry over to the postseason where he was non-existent last year.

Patrick McCaw

Grade: C-

McCaw probably had the most upside of any Raptor not named Pascal Siakam when he arrived from the waiver wire. However, he's done very little to show any sort of added value to the team on the court.

His experience playing with the Golden State Warriors and seeing the grind of a championship run may come in handy in the playoffs, but with how deep and talented the Raptors are, his playing time will be limited.

The hope is McCaw can build on his performance against the Brooklyn Nets before All-Star Weekend, when he scored a season-high 13 points in 20 minutes of action. That McCaw, who was getting out in transition and making hustle plays all over the court, could be a difference-maker on this team.

OG Anunoby

Grade: B-

It's hard enough to grade second-year players, so it's nearly impossible when a second-year player finds himself in a very different situation than in Year 1.

While his efficiency has taken a slight dip, playing in a different role under a new head coach hasn't kept Anunoby from improving upon his production from his rookie year; he's shown a few flashes of excellence, too.

In the last game before the All-Star break, Anunoby scored a season-high 22 points (on 9-for-14 shooting) to go along with five rebounds in a season-high 35 minutes of action.

Anunoby's big game going into the break and participating in his first All-Star Weekend could be the perfect formula for him to breakout down the season's stretch run.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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