Toronto Raptors: Can John Lucas III Contend for the 6th Man of the Year Award?

Patrick Yaghoobians@PyaghoobiansAnalyst IIOctober 11, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 08: John Lucas III #15 of the Chicago Bulls drives against Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 8, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 77-69. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors have played two pre-season games so far.  One ended in a win, while the other ended in a very close loss.

The fact that the Raptors have only played two pre-season games is why this article may be a little biased towards John Lucas' play so far.

Lucas has shown he can take over in the offensive game. His ability to shoot the jumper, as well as make smart passes, has him being one of the better Raptors.

As mentioned earlier, two games in pre-season isn't anything to rave about, but even last year in Chicago, Lucas showed that he could be a go-to guy on offense.

He brings three-point shooting to a team that lacked it last year,  making five out of the ten three pointers he has attempted so far. He is also shooting over 50 percent overall.

The problem here is that Kyle Lowry has not been playing, so Lucas has been getting more minutes. When Lowry comes back, Lucas will be behind Jose Calderon on the depth chart, making him the third point guard. 

Last year, Anthony Carter had the honor of being 3rd string and he barely played.  But Lucas is obviously a better player and more reliable than the veteran Carter, so he will be playing more minutes than Carter did.

One can say that Lucas has outplayed Calderon so far this pre-season and that his play might make Calderon expendable. 

Let's just say Calderon gets traded. This means that Lucas gets more minutes and will be used much more effectively in Toronto than he was in Chicago.  He will be putting up better numbers and possibly leading the bench.

So far, Lucas is averaging 16 PPG on 59 percent shooting, to go along with 3.5 APG. These numbers aren't CP3 or D-Rose numbers, but they are very good for coming off the bench in almost 23 minutes per game.

If Lucas can transition his pre-season game to the regular season, the Raptors are in good hands off the bench.

I write a blog with all up-to-date news on Toronto sports, including the Raptors, Maple Leafs and Blue Jays.