In the extremely underwhelming Atlantic Division, where the atrocious Knicks are currently leading a race to the bottom, the Raptors have risen to the top. Whether that’s much of an accomplishment is debatable, since Toronto has claimed first place with just a 6-8 record.
Even so, Raptors forward Rudy Gay takes winning — and nothing else — seriously. The Raptors’ second-leading scorer and highest paid player has banned scoresheets from the locker room, declaring that individual statistics should be ignored in favor of wins, and wins only.
“We’re not playing for stats,” Gay said, according to the Toronto Sun. “I wanted to just nip it in the [bud] before it became and issue. We come in here after losses, after wins and people are staring at those stat sheets, but that’s not what we’re about. We’re a team and the stat that matters is the ‘W’.”
The interesting aspect of Gay’s announcement is that the stat sheet has never been particularly favorable to Gay. He has scored a lot of points, obviously, having averaged more than 19 points per game in four of his first six years in the NBA. But a deeper look at the numbers has long suggested that Gay’s production comes at a cost, with the effectiveness of his scoring more than canceled out by the inefficient way in which he gets his points.
None of those advanced statistics are shown on a postgame scoresheet, however. Gay, who took part in turning around a wallowing franchise in Memphis, is bringing a similar win-at-all costs attitude to Toronto. Perhaps this is his effort to try to bring some intangibles that won’t show up in those box scores the Raptors won’t be looking at.