The Raptors are in a bit of a pickle. Somewhere around the time Toronto realized they'd have DeMarre Carroll back in some capacity, and Norman Powell decided to be an exceedingly competent wing, the playing rotation has been, ahem, discombobulated. Some would say this is a good problem, but as we prepare for Game 2 against the Pacers it is a problem nonetheless.
The troubles here are three-fold:
First, it's clear that DeMar DeRozan needs to get away from Paul George on both ends of the floor. He can't guard him, and he can't be guarded by him. That much is clear. DeRozan is the Raptors' second most important player, so he's still always going to get his 30-35 minutes, but Toronto has to figure out ways to get him moving away from George. Give DeRozan a different defensive assignment, play him only when George hits the bench, just do something different.
Second, there is a real crisis going in the 3-spot now. Carroll is presumably the team's best wing stopper, but no one is entirely sure on his health, or his minutes restriction, or, to be honest, his shooting. Carroll's been on the shelf awhile now and to suddenly toss him in for 20, 25, 30 minutes (?) against one of the premier wings in the league is a tough ask. But that leaves the small forward position to a choice between Powell, who looked steady, and Terrence Ross, who looked like, well, Terrence Ross. Choosing between these two sends a clear signal that one will be trusted for the rest of the playoffs and the other... will not.
Third, would you believe there's a bit of a bind at power forward? Obviously, Patrick Patterson has to play and play a lot. And it's becoming clearer by the second that Luis Scola has no place in this series at all. But the team's only other power forward is, gulp, Carroll in some small-ball configuration. (It seems very doubtful Jason Thompson will get a look. Ten men is enough, people!) As a result, someone has to play those PF minutes.
So, now we arrive at the question of the day: If the Raptors' substitutions looked all over the place in Game 1 (and boy howdy did they ever), then what can be done to change things up? Who gets benched? Who should play more? What changes will actually be made? Like I said, a real pickle. This may be the longest Monday of all time.
Credit to Eric Koreen for starting this poll to begin with. You can see his here. But let's roll it out below and see what kind of takes we get.