Nogueira: Sleeping in Biyombo's old bed has rejuvenated my career
Dave Sandford / National Basketball Association / Getty

If it feels like the Toronto Raptors haven't missed Bismack Biyombo like many expected, it's because someone has quite literally taken his place.

Not only has third-year center Lucas Nogueira flourished in Biyombo's former role as backup center, the Brazilian shot blocker also moved into Biyombo's old apartment.

Nogueira credits the move for his sudden career turnaround.

"I don't know if it's a magic, but now I have a great moment in my life and I live in (Biyombo's) apartment," according to Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic. "I think he's a part of it … I think this is the reason I'm playing well - I sleep in the same bed as Bismack."

Biyombo flourished in his lone year with the Raptors before joining Orlando on an expensive $72-million deal that was outside of Toronto's price range. That thrust the unheralded Nogueira into that role and he has thrived in his former friend's role - exactly as Biyombo urged him to.

"I know Biz since I was 15, playing in Spain against each other. So we have much respect for each other. But especially now he's gone, he told me 'It's your time, go get it' and I took it serious and now things go well for me."

Nogueira has scored 33 points on 15-of-17 shooting while adding 29 rebounds, seven steals, and 10 blocks over the last four games. He also ranks as a plus-46 in those 103 minutes.

Owing to his defensive talents, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has even tabbed Nogueira to close out the last two games ahead of entrenched starter Jonas Valanciunas.

So having answered the call to replace the outgoing Biyombo, there was only one question left: Why did Nogueira choose to stay in his friend's old apartment?

"The reason I moved there is because of my baby mama. She wanted space for the daughter, not because I wanted Bismack's apartment."

But given how well the transition has worked out, Nogueira now plans to buy the place.

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Nogueira: Sleeping in Biyombo's old bed has rejuvenated my career
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