The one Toronto Raptors player that had at least a puncher’s chance at taking home an award this season was power forward Chris Boucher, who had his eyes set on the Sixth Man of the Year award. Given Boucher’s defensive impact to go along with his improved offense, he certainly had a compelling case.
Boucher averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, a testament to his quality and improvement on the offensive end, and the fact that he was fourth in the NBA in blocks per game at 1.9 shows that he is becoming one of the best defensive frontcourt players in the game.
Boucher has already voiced his displeasure at the fact that New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose and a pair of Utah Jazz snipers in Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson, the latter of whom ended up winning the award, were named the finalists over him. Boucher will be even angrier after he saw the final vote tally.
Boucher finished eighth in the voting, as the likes of Montrezl Harrell and Carmelo Anthony managed to barely beat him out in the voting. This shows how much the voters really watched the Raptors this year and examined their style of play.
Toronto Raptors stud Chris Boucher deserved better than eighth place.
Boucher was putting up those numbers on a Raptors bench that was in complete chaos. When healthy, such standouts as Stanley Johnson and Aron Baynes ate up tons of minutes. When COVID-19 ravaged this team, the Raptors had to play some games with eight or nine players in total.
Boucher has taken the step some expected of him, as his ability to rise up from 3-point range, pull down rebounds with regularity, and swat away any shot that comes near him, despite the limited support, should be viewed as more impressive than players with better scoring averages on teams with shooters and scorers galore around them.
Boucher’s numbers were actually not as impressive as they could’ve been, as it took a while for him to really break into the rotation and he struggled with injuries near the end of the season. When healthy, Boucher’s performance was much better than eighth place would suggest.
The league as a whole must’ve looked at Toronto’s overall record and passed Boucher over for award consideration. The one guy who had Boucher in second place is one of the few in this circle who understands the impact that he had on the season in a nearly impossible situation.