Per the Raptors, Patrick McCaw will be out with a sprained right thumb for at least three weeks. He will wear a splint during that period and will then be reevaluated. With the playoffs starting in just two weeks, it looks like McCaw can safely be ruled out for the first round of the playoffs.
He is averaging 2.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game. Those numbers don’t do him justice on the defensive end, where his ability to navigate screens, stay glued to his man, and create deflections are among the best on the team. That being said, he probably wouldn’t have a meaningful role in the playoffs regardless. Norman Powell offers most of what McCaw does on defence while also providing far more offensive tools. And one would hope that Nick Nurse would keep the rotations as short as possible. Still, it’s good to have available as many weapons as possible in the playoffs, so the hope is that he returns from his thumb injury quickly and as a superior players, somehow, just like Fred VanVleet did.
In the final six regular season games, McCaw’s absence will be felt. With Kawhi Leonard (personal) and OG Anunoby (concussion-like symptoms) already ruled out of Saturday evening’s contest against the Chicago Bulls, the Raptors are perilously thin on bodies on the wing. Hopefully they can still keep Danny Green and VanVleet’s minute totals low; Jodie Meeks and Norman Powell should receive lots of burn in the near future. With the Raptors 905 eliminated last night by the Long Island Nets, maybe Malcolm Miller or even Jordan Loyd could get some meaningful minutes over the rest of the regular season. Miller especially is intriguing with a mix of diverse defensive skills and accuracy from deep.