Oshae Brissett helping Raptors survive injuries; Heat could ‘reintegrate’ Dion Waiters: Syracuse in the NBA


Syracuse, N.Y. — With Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norm Powell all missing time with injuries, the Toronto Raptors have needed someone new to step up.

Oshae Brissett has been that guy.

The former Syracuse basketball forward has been making the most of his two-way contract with the Raptors recently, regularly filling in for injured starters while playing smart basketball and good defense.

Brissett has played double-digit minutes in three of Toronto’s last four games, and helped the Raptors rally for a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

“I needed a defender,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said, according to The Toronto Star. “I was just kind of searching for somebody that could go in there, not make mistakes and play defense and he did.”

Brissett will likely spend more time with the G League roster when several of the Toronto regulars return from injury, but Nurse says Brissett may find a way to play.

“He’s smart, he rebounds, he defends really well and, again, he doesn’t seem to be too mistake-prone, which is good,” Nurse said. “He’s a good fit with those other guys.”

Here’s how former Syracuse players are doing in the NBA:

Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Jones Jr.


Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) looks for an opening past Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

After more than a year away from the NBA, Anthony has settled in with the Blazers and played surprisingly well. He’s shot the ball well from 3-point range and rebounded the ball well as the Blazers attempt to salvage a terrible start to the season.

Season totals: 22 games, 16.0 PPG, 42.6 FG%, 6.0 RPG

Last game: Heat 122, Blazers 111

Next game: Blazers at Raptors

With several Raptors regulars injured, Brissett has earned more consistent minutes in recent weeks. He’s not relied on to score much, so his stats don’t look amazing. He’s earned great reviews from head coach Nick Nurse, though, so that’s a positive for the former Orange forward.

Season totals: 10 games, 1.8 PPG, 37.5 FG%, 1.3 RPG

Last game: Raptors 121, Nets 102

Next game: Blazers at Raptors

Carter-Williams settled in as the fourth guard for the Magic, earning consistent minutes before suffering a shoulder injury. He’s missed the last two games for the Magic and a timetable for a return is unclear.

Season totals: 19 games, 5.2 PPG, 37.6 FG%, 3.2 RPG, 2.0 APG

Last game: Jazz 109, Magic 96

Next game: Nets at Magic

Johnson is on a two-way contract with the Orlando Magic, but has struggled to find playing time. He’s appeared in just one game so far this season and didn’t record any stats.

Season totals: 1 game, no stats

Last game: Jazz 109, Magic 96

Next game: Nets at Magic

Jerami Grant


Denver Nuggets forward Jerami Grant (9) dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Grant plays on one of the deepest teams in the NBA and has earned a role as a versatile defender for the Nuggets. Along with strong defense, Grant has continued to shoot the ball well after a career-best season in 2018-2019.

Season totals: 35 games, 9.8 PPG, 46.6 FG%, 3.1 RPG

Last game: Wizards 128, Nuggets 114

Next game: Nuggets at Hawks

According to The Athletic, Miami is trying to get Waiters back into the rotation after repeatedly suspending the guard for a variety of reasons earlier this season. Waiters has yet to play this year, but a return is reportedly still possible.

Season totals: N/A

Last game: Heat 122, Blazers 111

Next game: Heat at Pacers


Ben Burrows is a sports reporter for syracuse.com/The Post-Standard. He can be reached @BenMBurrows and via email.

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