Back-to-back home losses to Milwaukee and Brooklyn in itself shouldn't really spark much panic. These types of stretches happen throughout an 82-game season. But anyone watching the Raptors on a nightly basis knows that things have not been rosy for awhile now, even during a six-game winning streak prior to these two disappointing losses at the Air Canada Centre.
There are bigger picture questions as to the fit between the roster and Dwane Casey's defensive schemes, and whether there is a five-man lineup that can give Casey what he wants in terms of a balance between offensive and defensive efficiency.
Of course, the Raptors have been lingering as a bottom-ten defensive team all season long, so perhaps lineup changes would be worth a try?
Prior to yesterday's loss to Brooklyn, Casey said he was encouraged by Terrence Ross's play since moving to the bench. He was one of the few bright spots last night against the Nets, scoring 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting in 29 minutes. Casey also said that nothing was permanent about the current starting five, perhaps hinting at the fact that swapping Ross back into the starting lineup and sending Greivis Vasquez back into a bench role would happen sooner rather than later.
Our own Daniel Hackett made his case for starting Patrick Patterson last week. Today, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun suggested inserting Patterson along with James Johnson (when he returns from his groin injury) into the starting lineup.
Of course, the counterpoint here is that it would send Amir Johnson to the bench. No one will ever call Amir a selfish player, but you have to wonder how he'd take a "demotion" to the second unit, especially as he enters free agency this offseason.
Regardless, the Raptors need some sort of a jolt. Be it a change in the starting lineup or something else.
What do you think?