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Raptors' Nurse 'disappointed' in Davis, Thomas' defense

Scott Audette / National Basketball Association / Getty

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said there's a reason journeyman wing Stanley Johnson has received a larger role in the rotation over sharpshooter Matt Thomas and the athletic Terence Davis.

"I'm disappointed in Matt. I'm disappointed in Terence," Nurse told reporters prior to Monday's game versus the Boston Celtics, per TSN's Josh Lewenberg. "They've made way too many mistakes defensively.

"They're our two best shooters, probably, but they're coming out fouling and giving up boatloads of points in short minutes, and they can't get that many back."

Despite averaging just 1.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, Johnson has still logged 48 minutes across four appearances - ahead of Thomas (47 minutes in three games) and Davis (24 minutes in three games) - through the Raptors' first five outings.

Nurse reiterated he was "totally leaning toward" Johnson as the team's backup wing for now, per Lewenberg.

In terms of advanced stats, the difference between the defensive impact for each this season is obvious: Toronto has held opposing offenses to a stingy 86.5 points per 100 possessions with Johnson on the floor, while Davis' on-court defensive rating sits at 103.8 and Thomas' at 111.7.

Thomas, playing in his second year, has hit 53-of-111 (47.7%) threes in the regular season to start his career. Still, that floor spacing hasn't stopped him from recording "DNP - Coach's Decision" in each of the Raptors' past two games.

Davis, who went from being undrafted to securing a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team last season, hasn't played much this year outside of garbage time. The 23-year-old's only appearance longer than five minutes came in the Raptors' 17-point win over the New York Knicks on New Year's Eve.

Davis is dealing with off-court legal issues. He was arrested on Oct. 27 in New York and faces seven charges - including third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child - after an incident involving his girlfriend.

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