If you’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Toronto’s forward lapping up more minutes recently then you must have seen the 26-year-old take it a step further last night, dunking all over Darius Bazley.
The astonishing footage shows Boucher, who went undrafted in 2017, catching a high pass from teammate Terence Davis and slamming it down over the head of the OKC forward.
However, this is just one clip in a montage of highlights the St Lucian-born Canadian baller has laid out for fans since stepping up to more minutes in the wake of multiple Raptors injuries. The Six are without big man Pascal Siakam, who suffered a groin injury before Christmas, and Marc Gasol.
Boucher has grabbed every opportunity thrown his way, experiencing a string of stellar performances over the past five games, including a career-high 24 points over the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day, which came only three days after another 21-point career-high against the Dallas Mavericks.
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But the story of Boucher’s tirade started back in November when he eagerly filled the gap left by injured Serge Ibaka and proved himself as both a valuable shot-blocker and fearless rebounder. He walked away from two games with back-to-back double-doubles against the Charlotte Hornets (18/11) and Orlando Magic (20/11), as well as experiencing two straight multiple-block games on November 10 and 11.
The former University of Oregon player has also demonstrated his merit as a centre with a sharp three-point ability, shooting at 33% from beyond the arc this season. Although his 46% from the field isn’t the most impressive, a career 78% from the free-throw line, and his evident determination to improve, definitely provide a balance.
It appears the Raptors are benefiting from Boucher’s growing dominance on both ends of the court as he becomes the shining star in a couple of recent losses, we may even see him enjoying more minutes once the original lineup returns. But the difficult prediction now is whether he continues to use his hunger for game time as encouragement to improve or will he simply fade away on the bench? We hope it’s the former!