Deep Cover

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Without a doubt the Toronto Raptors have the deepest and strongest bench in the NBA.  It has been their strong suit throughout the regular season and is the main reason they are the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.  Regular season?  Yes.  Now we all know the rotation shrinks in the Playoffs and teams tighten up the minutes on the lower end of the depth chart.  So in theory Toronto's bench is a moot point.  But what if it's not?  What if they can give these guys meaningful minutes?  What does that do to the opponent?

What the Raps depth actually provides them is adaptability.  They have more guys that can fit into more situations.  Whenever the opposition adjusts their game plan to stop them, they have numerous 5 man combinations to counter with.

In Game 1 of the Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors series the Raps played 11 guys.  They got 43 points on 56% shooting in 88 minutes from their bench.  In Game 2 they played 13 guys!  The reserves gave them 42 points on 48% shooting in 91 minutes.  There is not a team in the league that can get that kind of production out of their bench.  It is a small sample size and the Wizards haven't played well but if Toronto can continue to even tread water with their bench guys on the court, the whole league needs to be concerned.  Other teams might have more frontline talent but these Raptors have an army.  When things get tight and players we expect to make shots start missing, you have to go into the trenches.  Toronto has reinforcements that come in waves.  When you get into the thick of it, a lot of teams are thin.  The Raptors aren't concerned with depth.  They go Deep Cover.  

Tim Caldwell