If Fred VanVleet does fit the bill in this series as the Raptors secret weapon, Lucas Nogueira has already taken over the role of Raptors luxury item/wild card.
For the most part, Dwane Casey has a two-man rotation at centre, but in Game 1 with John Wall and company having too much success driving to the tin, the Raptors coach extended that rotation to three and Nogueira’s arrival coincided with the game moving heavily in Toronto’s favour.
“He’s unique, he’s very unique,” Casey said of his Brazilian centre. “A seven-footer, very smart, very personable. High basketball IQ, very personable as you guys know and a great feel for the game. It’s unusual his feel for the game. His passing is unbelievable, to make foul shots. He’s very unique from that standpoint.
“He’s a wild card. He’s a luxury,” Casey continued. “I give our front office all the credit in the world to have a guy like that, a third centre that’s as versatile as he is. At some point in his career he’s going to start shooting the three at a high rate like Jonas (Valanciunas) . Jak (Jakob Poeltl) is probabably third in line in that group, but very unique from that standpoint. He’s a luxury. Not a lot of teams have a guy Lucas sitting there that’s ready to go.”
Casey had one Saturday night and Nogueira came in and helped change the game in the Raptors’ favour.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies