When the Toronto Raptors traded All-Star DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs, not many paid much attention to the other guy who came with Kawhi Leonard. Aside from Leonard, the Raptors also acquired the services of Danny Green.

Aside from being a streaky shooter, Green is a very good defender and has high basketball IQ. New Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has recognized him as being the team’s glue guy, a player whose effect on the game is more than just what you see on the stat sheet.

So it comes as no surprise that the Raptors’ recent losses to the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics were games where Green left the game early because of injury or fouling out. In an article from Eric Koreen of The Athletic, Nurse discussed Green’s role and the negative effects of him leaving the floor:

“He’s very much the glue to our team,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said after the loss on Friday. “I realized that … the (last) game totally changed (when he went out) and it had a similar effect tonight. Unlucky for him.”

Make no mistake about it, the Raptors are still Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry’s team, but the contributions of Danny Green, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas are critical for their success. Plus, the young players who have stepped up this year for them like Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby will bring much-needed depth when they inevitably face teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics in a playoff series.