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Zach Lowe: Toronto's Master Plan - Raptors are here to stay

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  • Zach Lowe: Toronto's Master Plan - Raptors are here to stay

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/th...s-master-plan/

    A little more coverage on GL.
    The Double Champ is here!
    Dynasty King: RRNBADLS7
    Raptors: Larry O'Brien

  • #2
    Those GIFs make me cringe....and almost every one of them involves Vasquez running around aimlessly :|
    Last edited by Nilanka; Wed Jan 7, 2015, 08:52 AM.

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    • #3
      Love Lowe's work. Good guy.

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      • #4
        “We made the Rudy trade to see where we would be,” says Masai Ujiri, the team’s GM. “Are we gonna break it all down? That’s where luck comes in. We all walk around thinking we’re geniuses, but in this business, you need that Lady Luck.”
        I recall a conversation about luck. Someone told me there was no luck. Can't remember who but they are likely banned now.


        Would the Raptors deal their first-rounder in exchange for someone who could help today — an extra dose of rim protection for a bottom-10 defense, a hybrid forward, or some scoring juice to slot ahead of Amir Johnson at power forward?

        “That’s a question I can’t answer,” Ujiri says. “It depends on what’s there. But I won’t make decisions that are going to shorten our growth and help us only this year.”
        Music to my ears.


        “We do get a lot of in-between shots,” says Dwane Casey, a coach of the year candidate. “But what kills the analytics geniuses is the fact that we get fouled enough to compensate. We take care of the ball. We get enough buckets, even if they are unassisted.”
        This is why I have little confidence in the Raps offense. You are relying on the refs to blow the whistle. We've seen what happens when the whistle is swallowed. It will cost a game or two in the playoffs, if not more, and that is all it takes to lose a series.


        That last Clippers play is indicative of another scary trend: Teams are getting smarter about attacking Toronto’s defense. That play4 is designed to manipulate Toronto’s defense exactly as it does and to produce that easy look for Barnes. More teams are clearing one side of the floor for simple two-man actions like this Jimmy Butler/Noah pick-and-roll, knowing Toronto will guide them toward the pick and surrender the middle:

        Once Butler gets around the pick, he and Noah are effectively working a 2-on-1 against Valanciunas. Since Chicago has cleared away its three other players, there is no natural help defender; any help must come from shooters in Butler’s direct line of sight.

        Help in the NBA comes from predictable places. Run a high pick-and-roll one way, and you know a defender on the weak side has to crash into the middle to help on the screener. That’s the exact rotation Chicago and its imitators avoid, but teams know they can coax it from the Raptors whenever they want:
        Teams have caught on to what he wants to do. We'll see if Casey is able to adapt.


        There are still some big decisions to come. You never know what might happen if you win the East and encounter some injury luck against whichever team survives the West, but the Raptors for now appear a notch below the league’s top contenders. Maybe that’s fine, considering how far the franchise has come in so short a time.
        That is a fair assessment, imo.

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        • #5
          Mack North wrote: View Post
          Great stuff again from Lowe.
          "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

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          • #6
            More writers should have canadian inlaws, he's been following & writting about the raptors even before the rudy gay trade.

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            • #7
              Wonderfully explained. One too many Drake references...hehe.

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              • #8
                Great article, as always from Lowe:

                Two comments:
                1. I've suspected for a while the defensive drop with Derozan gone has not necessarily been due to Derozan's defense exactly (though Williams and Vazquez are bad defensive substitutes for him). The problem is that Casey's defensive system takes a lot of effort, having to fly for help defense constantly from one side of the court to the other. The issue is, with DeRozan gone, the guards have to take so much more of the offense on themselves that it's draining them, and they just don't have the same energy they need on defense. It also explains the bad 4th quarters recently, as the team has had to expend so much more on the offensive end as well as their usual more-than-average effort on defense that the tank may run out a little earlier than other teams. DeRozan being back should help set that required effort level back within acceptable boundaries.

                2. I wish Casey coached defense more like he coached the offense. He's a defensive specialist, so he has very exact and refined ideas of which types of defense work, and he's really invested in his heavy on the help defense style. However, the players he has on this team just don't have the right awareness to play that style well. On offense, he doesn't have the same expertise, so he basically constructed his offense around the strengths of the players - lots of ISOs and foul shots, while sprinkling enough 3 point shooters and drivers to keep the defense honest. Get the people the ball where they can do the best work with it. On defense, he has a very particular system that he's going to stick to regardless of his personnel. I think that stubbornness to "This type of defense is best" is hurting the team right now.
                That is a normal collar. Move on, find a new slant.

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                • #9
                  i hate the idea of trading draft picks but there's a handful of guys i'd definitely consider

                  jimmy butler, for instance
                  @sweatpantsjer

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                  • #10
                    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/th...s-master-plan/

                    Very good read. Breaks down why Raptors D has struggle without DD and a lot of other insight
                    @Chr1st1anL

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                    • #11
                      http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forum...e-here-to-stay

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                      • #12
                        ceez wrote: View Post
                        i hate the idea of trading draft picks but there's a handful of guys i'd definitely consider

                        jimmy butler, for instance
                        Pretty sure Chicago isn't letting him go any time soon.
                        You come at the King, you best not miss.

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                        • #13
                          My biggest takeaway from this is that JV has only attempted 28 shots in pick-and-rolls, that's staggeringly low considering that was what he used to be best at.

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                          • #14
                            Raptorsnz wrote: View Post
                            My biggest takeaway from this is that JV has only attempted 28 shots in pick-and-rolls, that's staggeringly low considering that was what he used to be best at.
                            To be fair JV isn't as explosive as he once was.
                            @Chr1st1anL

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                            • #15
                              Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
                              To be fair JV isn't as explosive as he once was.
                              it's a lot easier to draw a charge when JV is rolling to the basket. He needs to learn short roll and go for a floater or a jumpshot.
                              Only one thing matters: We The Champs.

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