Shakeup doesn't help Raptors

Rudy Gay of the Raptors looks for room to move against Nuggets' Darrell Arthur on Sunday at the...

Rudy Gay of the Raptors looks for room to move against Nuggets' Darrell Arthur on Sunday at the ACC. The Raps got off to a quick start before the Denver bench did its thing, leading the visitors to a 112-98 win. (Mark Konezny, USA Today Sports)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:10 PM ET

There was a significant change Sunday as the Raptors got settled for the opening tip against the Denver Nuggets more notable than Denver’s eventual 112-98 win on Saturday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre.

 

Amir Johnson, the heart-and-soul everyman who had started 27 straight contests for the team was on the bench, receiving high fives from teammates who were trying to cheer him up, while Tyler Hansbrough started in his place.

Though Johnson has arguably been Toronto’s best overall player each of the past three seasons (efficiency numbers at both ends have been far better when he has been on the court versus when he’s been off), he was off to a start this season far below his usual standards and head coach Dwane Casey has been in search of a way to shake the lethargy his squad has shown beginning games.

The move seemed an inspired choice early, when the Raptors cruised out to a 27-12 lead and a 31-25 edge after a quarter, but it didn’t last.


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