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'21-'22 Roster Construction

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  • golden
    replied
    DanH wrote: View Post

    I suspect the reason, as usual with Nick Nurse, is he doesn't give a hot damn whether it works over 82 games, but whether it can be a game changer for the team over 16 games. Develop a system that, if working perfectly, can strangle an opposing playoff team's offence for 4 of 7 games. Whether this system can do that we have yet to see, but that I think is the answer.
    That makes a lot of sense, because in the playoffs, Nurse has shown he'll go to a 6-7 man rotation if need be, i.e., no weak links.

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  • DanH
    replied
    golden wrote: View Post

    For sure, but like Limited Upside (awesome handle, lol) said... small sample size. I fully expect the Beal/Kuzma and DD/Lavine led defensive juggernauts to regress to the mean.

    But to the Raptors.... I suppose the question is: why use a scheme so fragile to where one weak link can hurt us so easily, while at the same time the scheme neuters our elite defensive personnel?

    I expect the answer is: IF it all clicks, then we can actually use defense to generate offense, instead of just stops. That's the bet, I guess. Time will tell.
    I suspect the reason, as usual with Nick Nurse, is he doesn't give a hot damn whether it works over 82 games, but whether it can be a game changer for the team over 16 games. Develop a system that, if working perfectly, can strangle an opposing playoff team's offence for 4 of 7 games. Whether this system can do that we have yet to see, but that I think is the answer.

    Leave a comment:


  • DanH
    replied
    LJ2 wrote: View Post

    Always some great points that you raise Dan.

    I think if you introduce a KAT or JV type you're going to have to change the systems you run on both offense and defense. Instead of the quick pace, cuts, passes and lots of turnovers they are trying to force you slow the game down much more into a half court game. Seems to be the opposite of what they are trying to achieve. Also, they may use Birch a certain way on defense but they have the ability to use him other ways, he's capable of it. Not the case with KAT or JV who are more limited by quickness/mobility, so teams can adjust and attack based on what the player can't do.

    It seems like despite the length a natural C would provide, the Raps prefer the quickness and mobility of a forward.

    If Biyombo was younger, and better of offense he'd be a perfect fit.
    Biyombo? See this is where I don't understand this stuff - and you are not alone at all here, it's a commonly held belief it seems. But Biyombo was very not able to switch, and couldn't really recover off hedges much better than JV. He was as drop big as a drop big gets. Same goes for Serge, people seemed to think he moved to C so they could have a quicker player there - nope, he was just getting too slow to play PF and they had to put him at a position where he could *gasp* drop his pick and roll coverage.

    I agree that you'd have to play drop defence. I don't agree that you'd be changing the current system much, since they already do a lot of drop when the C is involved in the action. As for Birch, I wouldn't be advocating for having JV be your only option at C. The whole point is to be able to match up with anyone and play multiple styles of offence and defence, that's how you go on a deep playoff run. Against some teams maybe JV (or KAT, or insert big C here) gets very limited run, and you lean heavily on your small looks, but there are very few teams even at the very top that would necessitate that.

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  • golden
    replied
    LJ2 wrote: View Post

    The scheme the Raps are going with seems (to me) highly depended on rotations, so yeah in this scheme I think one weak link can hurt them. I mean if they just wanted length they could have picked up a traditional C, but it's pretty evident they want the mobility and quickness of a forward out there.

    As far as the teams right now that are ranked as top defensive teams, I think some of those teams will return to their normal standings given more time. Beal and Kuz aren't anchoring their defense LOL. Take a look at the teams they've played so far, more or less a whose who of teams that are struggling right now.
    For sure, but like Limited Upside (awesome handle, lol) said... small sample size. I fully expect the Beal/Kuzma and DD/Lavine led defensive juggernauts to regress to the mean.

    But to the Raptors.... I suppose the question is: why use a scheme so fragile to where one weak link can hurt us so easily, while at the same time the scheme neuters our elite defensive personnel?

    I expect the answer is: IF it all clicks, then we can actually use defense to generate offense, instead of just stops. That's the bet, I guess. Time will tell.

    Leave a comment:


  • LJ2
    replied
    golden wrote: View Post

    No, Jokic and Curry are not "good" defenders, but they don't hurt their schemes. MPJ and Jordan Poole are also bad defenders on those 2 top-ranked defensive teams. That was my original question about the "one weak link" destroying the team defense question: is that fact or fiction?

    BTW - Beal and Kuzma are "anchoring" the #4 ranked defense.

    I forgot WAS on the original DRTG ranking.. top 7 should be: GSW, DEN, LAC, WAS, BRK, PHX, CHI. All of those teams have multiple "weak links".

    Which begs the question: why are Raptors #18?
    The scheme the Raps are going with seems (to me) highly depended on rotations, so yeah in this scheme I think one weak link can hurt them. I mean if they just wanted length they could have picked up a traditional C, but it's pretty evident they want the mobility and quickness of a forward out there.

    As far as the teams right now that are ranked as top defensive teams, I think some of those teams will return to their normal standings given more time. Beal and Kuz aren't anchoring their defense LOL. Take a look at the teams they've played so far, more or less a whose who of teams that are struggling right now.

    Leave a comment:


  • golden
    replied
    Limited Upside wrote: View Post

    Because the sample size is 1/8 of the season. The Raptors were top-3 DRTG like two weeks ago, weren't they?
    Sure, one or two blowouts could shift a team up/down a few spots at this point in the season. But I believe we peaked around top 8 and have been trending down.

    Leave a comment:


  • Limited Upside
    replied
    golden wrote: View Post

    No, Jokic and Curry are not "good" defenders, but they don't hurt their schemes. MPJ and Jordan Poole are also bad defenders on those 2 top-ranked defensive teams. That was my original question about the "one weak link" destroying the team defense question: is that fact or fiction?

    BTW - Beal and Kuzma are "anchoring" the #4 ranked defense.

    I forgot WAS on the original DRTG ranking.. top 7 should be: GSW, DEN, LAC, WAS, BRK, PHX, CHI. All of those teams have multiple "weak links".

    Which begs the question: why are Raptors #18?
    Because the sample size is 1/8 of the season. The Raptors were top-3 DRTG like two weeks ago, weren't they?

    Leave a comment:


  • golden
    replied
    LJ2 wrote: View Post

    I think the saying applies to this version of the Raptors that are so reliant on rotations and helping the helper. The teams in that top 5 right now are all veteran teams that have been together for a bit (except Chi), there isn't much of a feeling out process needed there unlike the Raps that are starting two new, young players...3 prior to Siakam returning.

    It's still early and some notable defenses like Milwaukee and Utah aren't on the list. Chicago....I'd be impressed if they were in the top 5 by end of season. Getting a DeMar lead team to be a top defense is something Casey, Nick and Pop could not achieve. Hats off to Chicago if they can.

    Jokic and Curry are good defenders aren't they?
    No, Jokic and Curry are not "good" defenders, but they don't hurt their schemes. MPJ and Jordan Poole are also bad defenders on those 2 top-ranked defensive teams. That was my original question about the "one weak link" destroying the team defense question: is that fact or fiction?

    BTW - Beal and Kuzma are "anchoring" the #4 ranked defense.

    I forgot WAS on the original DRTG ranking.. top 7 should be: GSW, DEN, LAC, WAS, BRK, PHX, CHI. All of those teams have multiple "weak links".

    Which begs the question: why are Raptors #18?

    Leave a comment:


  • golden
    replied
    inthepaint wrote: View Post

    Yeah my theory is that we've become a little over-obsessed with defence over the past few years. There's a timeline that explains why: we had a good offence, a 50+ win team that was always in the playoffs, but was getting exposed on defence, and swept on consecutive years. So we traded our most potent offensive player for a DPOY caliber, and won a title.

    So after that, we developed some sort of phobia around players that are offence-first. We gladly tolerate 1-dimensional offence black holes that can guard, but if it's as much as a so-so defender, there's an immediate flag, even if it's a bucket getter.

    Personally, I like that we developed a strong defensive culture/mentality for the young guys to develop. That's important. However, I also sometimes question if the pendulum has swung too far. Someone needs to put the ball in the hoop. That's why I'm not opposed at all to guys like KAT, JV etc... They may not be world beaters on defence, by they sure know where the basket is, and can get an unassisted bucket from time to time that doesn't always depend on a defensive steal or running-and-gunning in transition all the time.
    Pendulum swinging a bit too far might be a good way to put it. To the point where we now have an excess of elite defenders, but we have them double-teaming and over-helping in a college pack-line defensive scheme as a primary strategy... which puts our elite defenders out of position vs. NBA spacing and shooting talent.





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  • KeonClark
    replied
    inthepaint wrote: View Post

    Yeah my theory is that we've become a little over-obsessed with defence over the past few years. There's a timeline that explains why: we had a good offence, a 50+ win team that was always in the playoffs, but was getting exposed on defence, and swept on consecutive years. So we traded our most potent offensive player for a DPOY caliber, and won a title.

    So after that, we developed some sort of phobia around players that are offence-first. We gladly tolerate 1-dimensional offence black holes that can guard, but if it's as much as a so-so defender, there's an immediate flag, even if it's a bucket getter.

    Personally, I like that we developed a strong defensive culture/mentality for the young guys to develop. That's important. However, I also sometimes question if the pendulum has swung too far. Someone needs to put the ball in the hoop. That's why I'm not opposed at all to guys like KAT, JV etc... They may not be world beaters on defence, by they sure know where the basket is, and can get an unassisted bucket from time to time that doesn't always depend on a defensive steal or running-and-gunning in transition all the time.
    KAT may be on the move sooner than we think. Notice how disinterested he is in this Ant Edwards iso

    Leave a comment:


  • LJ2
    replied
    inthepaint wrote: View Post

    Yeah my theory is that we've become a little over-obsessed with defence over the past few years. There's a timeline that explains why: we had a good offence, a 50+ win team that was always in the playoffs, but was getting exposed on defence, and swept on consecutive years. So we traded our most potent offensive player for a DPOY caliber, and won a title.

    So after that, we developed some sort of phobia around players that are offence-first. We gladly tolerate 1-dimensional offence black holes that can guard, but if it's as much as a so-so defender, there's an immediate flag, even if it's a bucket getter.

    Personally, I like that we developed a strong defensive culture/mentality for the young guys to develop. That's important. However, I also sometimes question if the pendulum has swung too far. Someone needs to put the ball in the hoop. That's why I'm not opposed at all to guys like KAT, JV etc... They may not be world beaters on defence, by they sure know where the basket is, and can get an unassisted bucket from time to time that doesn't always depend on a defensive steal or running-and-gunning in transition all the time.
    I don't look at it like the Raps are too obsessed with defense. I can guarantee Masai and Bobby don't make decisions based on obsessions or phobia for that matter.

    I look at it like they are not afraid to try new things (set the trend, not follow it) with an underlying attempt to get around what has been the huge obstacle of attracting star players in free agency. They are attempting to go a route that doesn't require a superstar to win an NBA championship and they doubled down on that by picking Scottie in the draft instead of a bucket-getter.

    Obviously I could be wrong, but I don't think the Raps would bite on a trade offer for a Beal, Lillard or KAT type player even if it was on the table.

    Leave a comment:


  • inthepaint
    replied
    golden wrote: View Post

    Is the "one weak link" old adage really true?

    Top 5 teams in defensive rating this year: GSW (Curry), DEN (Jokic), LAC (Jackson/Kennard), BRK (Harden), PHX (Booker), CHI (DD/Lavine)

    Vaunted Raptors are 18th in DRTG, boasting all-NBA caliber defenders up and down the lineup.
    Yeah my theory is that we've become a little over-obsessed with defence over the past few years. There's a timeline that explains why: we had a good offence, a 50+ win team that was always in the playoffs, but was getting exposed on defence, and swept on consecutive years. So we traded our most potent offensive player for a DPOY caliber, and won a title.

    So after that, we developed some sort of phobia around players that are offence-first. We gladly tolerate 1-dimensional offence black holes that can guard, but if it's as much as a so-so defender, there's an immediate flag, even if it's a bucket getter.

    Personally, I like that we developed a strong defensive culture/mentality for the young guys to develop. That's important. However, I also sometimes question if the pendulum has swung too far. Someone needs to put the ball in the hoop. That's why I'm not opposed at all to guys like KAT, JV etc... They may not be world beaters on defence, by they sure know where the basket is, and can get an unassisted bucket from time to time that doesn't always depend on a defensive steal or running-and-gunning in transition all the time.

    Leave a comment:


  • chris
    replied
    LJ2 wrote: View Post

    Jokic and Curry are good defenders aren't they?
    curry is pretty underrated defensively i think. i would say he's about average, and is above average when he exerts himself on that end (which he can't do all the time because he has to expend more energy on offense than just about anyone in the history of the sport with his constant off-ball movement). people remember the cavs running pick and rolls over and over again to isolate him in the finals and assume he sucks, but of course they picked on him as the weakest link in a lineup of all-defensive players. that doesn't make him a terrible defender. it's hard to win a championship with an actual bad defender playing significant minutes.

    Leave a comment:


  • LJ2
    replied
    golden wrote: View Post

    Is the "one weak link" old adage really true?

    Top 5 teams in defensive rating this year: GSW (Curry), DEN (Jokic), LAC (Jackson/Kennard), BRK (Harden), PHX (Booker), CHI (DD/Lavine)

    Vaunted Raptors are 18th in DRTG, boasting all-NBA caliber defenders up and down the lineup.
    I think the saying applies to this version of the Raptors that are so reliant on rotations and helping the helper. The teams in that top 5 right now are all veteran teams that have been together for a bit (except Chi), there isn't much of a feeling out process needed there unlike the Raps that are starting two new, young players...3 prior to Siakam returning.

    It's still early and some notable defenses like Milwaukee and Utah aren't on the list. Chicago....I'd be impressed if they were in the top 5 by end of season. Getting a DeMar lead team to be a top defense is something Casey, Nick and Pop could not achieve. Hats off to Chicago if they can.

    Jokic and Curry are good defenders aren't they?

    Leave a comment:


  • LJ2
    replied
    DanH wrote: View Post

    JV has always graded out as a positive contributor on defence. The issue people have is you have to play a specific style with him - you can basically only defend PnR with a drop defence with him - you can ice, or deep drop, but you can't be aggressive with him hedging up high in the middle of the floor, not very often anyway.

    But the argument for being able to use him in that role is easy: that's how we use Birch 90% of the time. Yeah, he can switch out sometimes, but most of the time we drop him to the FT line and ask our perimeter defenders to fight over screens and bring help from the corners. We bring help from the corners regardless, but also when Birch is dropping. And it's no coincidence our defence is nearly 5 points better with Birch on the floor than off.

    And drop defence gets a bad rap for not being able to be used in the playoffs, but it's simply not true. It can't be used in the playoffs if you have poor perimeter defenders. You need your bigs to be aggressive to kill actions to cover for you perimeter guys if they can't hold their own around screens. But our team is actually perfectly built to be able to incorporate some drop defence (which as noted they already do) because we're basically 12 deep on long wing defenders (and pesky guard defenders).

    Towns is similar, though he in contrast has usually graded out between average and absolutely awful from a defensive impact perspective. More awful than average, though skewing more to average lately than earlier in his career. In theory Towns can play more varied defensive styles but he's just not shown he can be a positive contributor there in any defensive scheme.

    Now, that said, Towns is a world bending offensive impact guy (had a dip last year but the year prior was borderline top 5 in several metrics), so if you think you can get anything close to average defence from him it's totally worth it. But for him, the argument that you don't want to introduce a weak link defensively, that's a real concern. You have to be confident the Raps can make him something he hasn't been very often in his career thus far to not have to consider the offence and defence a bit of a tradeoff.
    Always some great points that you raise Dan.

    I think if you introduce a KAT or JV type you're going to have to change the systems you run on both offense and defense. Instead of the quick pace, cuts, passes and lots of turnovers they are trying to force you slow the game down much more into a half court game. Seems to be the opposite of what they are trying to achieve. Also, they may use Birch a certain way on defense but they have the ability to use him other ways, he's capable of it. Not the case with KAT or JV who are more limited by quickness/mobility, so teams can adjust and attack based on what the player can't do.

    It seems like despite the length a natural C would provide, the Raps prefer the quickness and mobility of a forward.

    If Biyombo was younger, and better of offense he'd be a perfect fit.

    Leave a comment:

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