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Dinos & Digits: DeMarre Carroll or P.J. Tucker to start?

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This week, we look at the Raptors’ improved defense, the small forward position battle, and some big records for some big dudes.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Dinos & Digits, a column where we dive into the box scores and find five interesting or strange Raptors statistics and put them on front street for discussion.

We like to explore a mix of both individual player and team statistics, ranging from raw box score numbers to some interesting and funky advanced metrics. The goal is to present the numbers without too much opinion attached, leaving those debates for the comment section.

OK, let's get down to it. Here are this week's interesting digits:

The Raptors are currently fourth in the NBA in offensive rating at 110.0 and eighth in defensive rating at 105.1.

The only other teams in the Association that rank in the top-eight in both offensive and defensive efficiency are the Golden State Warriors (first and second, respectively) and the San Antonio Spurs (seventh and first).

The Raptors are also fourth in the league in net rating at 4.9, trailing only the Warriors at 12.0, the Spurs at 8.6, and the Houston Rockets at 6.4.

The Raptors’ most used lineup since the All-Star break — Cory Joseph, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Serge Ibaka, and Jonas Valanciunas — has a net rating of -2.6 (104.8 offensive rating, 107.4 defensive rating) in 179 minutes together.

The same lineup with P.J. Tucker in place of DeMarre Carroll has a net rating of 9.3 (111.2 offensive rating, 102.0 defensive rating) in 78 minutes together.

For anyone making the argument that Tucker should start over Carroll, there’s some fuel for you.

With 36 points scored against the Orlando Magic on Monday, DeMar DeRozan has now registered 35 or more points in 12 games this season, setting a new franchise record.

The previous record of 11 was held by Vince Carter, which he pulled off in both the 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons.

DeRozan has also set the record for most 40-plus-point games in a season this year with six, and is now only one 30-point game away from tying Vince Carter’s record of 30 such games in a season, which he set in 2000-01.

Jonas Valanciunas has a total rebound percentage of 20.8% this year, which is on pace to tie the franchise record for a single season that Bismack Biyombo set in 2015-16.

Valanciunas is already the team’s career leader in total rebound percentage (minimum 100 games with the team) at 18.7%.

Lucas Nogueira is on pace to set team records for field goal percentage (67.3%), effective field goal percentage (67.3%), true shooting percentage (69.3%), offensive rating (126), and defensive box plus/minus (5.6).

Unfortunately, those records won’t count because he’ll fall short of the minimum statistical requirements for each of those categories.

All stats courtesy of basketball-reference.com, NBA.com/stats, and statmuse.com.