Quote jimmie wrote: View Post
This is kind of why I reacted to his PG article the way I did. It's hard to evaluate a roster position-by-position, because what you have in one position dramatically affects the others. I agree with all of this. I'm still struggling to see how Lowry, Gay and Derozan can co-exist and make this team successful. And I'm usually one of the more optimistic folks around here.

What it takes for each of them to be optimally effective takes away from what makes the others optimally effective. Again, there's no way to coach around this. One or more of them will have to change their game and subvert some of "getting mine" for the good of the team.

Definitely some serious roster decisions to make this summer and leading up to next season's trade deadline. All three have their strong points and arguments for keeping as well as drawbacks and rationale for moving out.

Fields is the biggest wild card of all for next year, to me. If he can rebound close to his rookie numbers, he's starter material for the reasons Chisolm notes: unlike Demar/Gay, he doesn't need the ball to be effective; he can distribute as well as many PGs, and he has a great bball IQ. If he plays to potential, it will make it a lot easier to fix that starting lineup, and to then figure out how to best use Derozan and Gay as assets.

Regarding the perimeter guys in general, if they can't find a way to make it work and show significant progression early on, the writing is on the wall for the future of both Gay and Lowry in Toronto. You simply cannot extend Lowry at the money he'll be asking -- and you definitely can't re-sign a 28yo Gay -- if the results are anywhere near this year's. And that's regardless of whether Derozan is traded.
I agree with what you are saying if the Raptors continue to play the game as Casey has been coaching/running things. Lowry at his best does not mesh well with DeRozan and Gay in that system.

With that said, I see two options:

1) Keep running things the same as they have been (set plays for jumps shots and ISOs) neutralizing Lowry's positives,

2) Change the way the team plays on offense (i.e. more ball movement and off ball movement combined with more freedom for Lowry to punch and kick) and playing to Lowry's strengths,

If they go 1) then one of Gay or DD likely needs to go unless they can start hitting 3 pointers curling off screens or off pull ups in ISO.

If they go 2) then one of Gay or DD likely needs to go unless they can start hitting 3's in catch and shoot situations.

Personally, I like 2) much better for everyone. I don't think DD and Gay have any chance of making 3's in the situations the offense currently places them in. I don't think the chances are high of them hitting 3s consistently in catch and shoot situations but it is better than coming off screens or pull ups in ISO.

Everyone in the NBA is talented. The job of the NBA coach is to maximize his talent. I think taking the shackles off Lowry and showing faith and trust in him is the only way to figure out what the Raptors have in him and for the Raptors to succeed to the best of their ability. In doing that I guarantee you get a happier Lowry who is likely to totally listen and buy in to the other side of the ball (making the assumption he has not, as many here have). I am not implying this is right. But think about any profession where people are asked to do things outside their comfort zone - they get their back up, it is human nature for the majority.