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Raptors to start Patrick Patterson over Luis Scola against Pacers

Pacers Raptors Basketball

Toronto Raptors’ Patrick Patterson (54) celebrates a 3-pointer against the Indiana Pacers during the first half in Game 1 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs in Toronto, Saturday, April 16, 2016. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

AP

Dwane Casey just made a lot of Raptors fans happy.

Finally.

After months of calls for Casey to start Patrick Patterson over Luis Scola, the Toronto coach will finally swap the power forward for Game 5 against the Pacers tonight.

Raptors media relations:

Most of all, Patterson deserves a bigger role than Scola. Patterson has outplayed Scola for a while, including this series, which is tied 2-2. By starting, Patterson can handle more minutes with his rest coming at more regular intervals.

Plus, the fit improves with the rest of the rotation. Patterson’s ability to defend the perimeter better complements starting center Jonas Valanciunas, who’s not so quick. The Raptors can now hide Valanciunas on whichever Indiana big is less of a pick-and-roll threat. Backup center Bismack Biyombo, with his rim protection, can better cover for Scola’s defensive deficiencies.

This should also open the door for Toronto to play three wings at a time more often. Between DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Norman Powell and Terrence Ross, the Raptors have the personnel. That could be a better alternative to relying heavily on Scola off the bench.