HHH GameTime: Five Questions With Raptors HQ

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Campsall of Raptors HQ was kind enough to trade off some Q&A with me in preparation for tonight's matchup. Read on to find out if this is the year DeRozan puts it all together, and who's the guy to look out for when the game is on the line.

Kevin (HHH): You seem to have a very good rebounding bunch, with five guys averaging six or more boards per game in the early going. Do you see control of the glass as a game changing factor in the possible outcome of tonight's matchup?

Scott (THQ): That is an interesting point. The Raptors are currently averaging 50 rebounds a game through their three games. The Heat on the other hand are a notoriously poor rebounding team in the LeBron era and are averaging only 33.3 per game in their four games.

All of this is to say that I expect the Raptors to outrebound the Heat, but I don’t know if it will play much of a factor in the outcome of the game.

Kevin: So, DeMar DeRozan seems to be the guy this year. All of his metrics are up from last season (excepting free throw percentage, go figure). This includes his current 16.1 player efficiency rating, which, if maintained, would be his first season above the "average player" mark of 15.0. Is this the season he finally realizes his full potential and gets, I don't know, maybe an all-star invitation?


Scott: I think it’s too early to tell. It seems like just about every season DeRozan bring something new to the table whether it be improved midrange shooting, improved passing, a near-lethal post game and now finally a three-point shot. This year, it does seem like he has put it all together and although an All-Star invitation may be a bit of a longshot, I would say that an above average season out of DeRozan is not out of the question.

Kevin: The Raptors haven't tasted the postseason since 2008, when they lost to the Orlando Magic in the first round. In fact, the team has only made it to the second round of the postseason one time in their first 18 seasons (in 2001, where they took out the New York Knicks before losing in seven to the Philadelphia 76ers). Does this group possibly contain the seed for a deep playoff run in the near future?

Scott: This group is probably the best Toronto has seen since Chris Bosh left – that’s not really saying much – and if healthy, they certainly should be in the conversation for playoff contention. That’s pretty much where it stops.

Kevin: What can you tell us about rookie Dwight Buycks?

Scott: I am still waiting to see more of Dwight Buycks. He played for the Raptors in the Vegas Sumer League and he showed that he has a quick first step and can finish around the basket. In the few preseason games he played for Toronto, he struggled to adapt to the NBA game and I’m still not quite sure what we have in Buycks. The jury is still out.

Kevin: Which Raptor do you want holding the pill when Toronto's down by two with five seconds remaining?

Scott: Despite his early season struggles, I think the right answer is still Rudy Gay. He has a better handle than DeRozan and can create his own shot much more efficiently. He also has a knack for hitting those shots late in the game.

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