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  • SI article on Raps recent troubles

    http://www.si.com/nba/2015/01/28/tor...-demar-derozan

    Everyone once in a while, an article is worth its own thread. Not only is this one interesting. I think it shows a lot about how far the team has come. Two years ago there would have been screams of "these american writers just hate Canada" but now there is the confidence to look at this article and discuss the faults it describes.
    I think he's on to something with the lack of perimeter protection. We made an impromptu switch to go with a two PG starting five with Demar injured but now we've stayed with it. Other teams with speedier guards (Suns) may be able to do it but GV and Lowry don't quite match that. The article also harps one something that has been troubling for a while, specifically the relative weakness of our starting 5. Depth gets you through a season but when it comes to the playoffs, some starting fives will play 40+ minutes a game. Depth can't fight that. Good read.

  • #2
    Nice find.

    He could quote his entire article and offer a single footnote to the RR forums, as every single point he raises has been discussed/debated at length this season.

    I would argue that the debate goes back to the offseason, when the chemistry and dynamic of the starting unit was a hot topic around these parts. Two guards who require the ball in their hands to be successful in ISO situations, paired with two bigs whose primary role is setting screens, along with a floor-stretching 3&D wing whose primary role is a decoy. Offensively, I still think it's a combination of a poorly balanced lineup running a game-plan that improperly and/or under-utilizes most of the players in the lineup.

    Defensively speaking, there are several threads that are currently very active that have delved even more deeply into the same issues he raises. Is the problem the personnel, the system or a combination of both? Point-of-attack defense has definitely been a weakness, which puts way too much strain on hedges and rotations, leaving guys wide open (for gimme dunks or 3pt shots) way too often.

    Unfortunately, I really don't see either the offensive or defensive strategy being a sustainable recipe for success in the playoffs, when the competition is tougher and has time to develop a game-plan to exploit your weaknesses at both ends of the court.
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Thu Jan 29, 2015, 05:44 PM.

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    • #3
      Slightly disagree with you Calgary -- DeMar is best in offences where he comes of screens without the ball or penetrates from the point and penetrates the paint -- I actually think he's only a slightly above average iso player.

      The defensive issues are the real issue. Putting DD against bigger SFs is not a resolution. GV plays better offensively as a starter, but the bench loses a real PG, and his defense is sad. Moving DeMar to the 2 improves that a bit. The biggest hole is at SF -- they really need a real starting SF. Taking my fandom and hopes for Terrance out of it -- the most obvious step would be to trade Ross and parts for a real starting SF. I really like JJ as the first SF off the bench -- I think it's the best place to exploit his skillset -- I'm not against him starting but ...

      Then the question becomes -- is Pat Pat a legit starting PF?

      We also have to remember that DeAndre Daniels may be a future option at the 3 as well.

      With all the personnel issues on the court I find it tough to figure out if it's Casey, Ross, or something else wrong.

      Quick question: What is the Raptors best lineup strictly looking at +/-, and is it worth considering as a starting lineup?

      Great find on the article Jclaw.

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      • #4
        Yeah, it really comes down to the D on the opposing ball handler. The reason Amir and Patterson are expected to hedge as much is to prevent that penetration from the ball handler when using a screen, and they do a pretty good job of it which is why alot of teams started getting Jonas' matchup involved in the PnR. Jonas can't hedge, so the ball handler gets in the paint wreaking havoc. But even with Amir and Patterson doing a good job hedging their rebounding positioning is often poor relative to their cover as pointed out in the article. That's something I haven't really considered when thinking of the rebounding numbers coming out of our PF's. They seem to recover quite well, but I have only really thought about it in terms of preventing the ball handler from hitting the roller, but not in terms of their ability to get prime positioning for rebounding.

        Has our defensive scheme changed between this and last season? I'm almost sure we played this way last year no? So if we were able to achieve a top 10 defense last season, then what is really going on? It must be that Lowry and Ross are playing more poorly at the point of attack, because if anything Demar seems to have improved in that regard this season. He isn't a stopper by any means, but last season his defensive effort on ball handlers was low and he let guys get by him frequently. Hopefully now that he has returned, Lowry can step it up a bit defensively given he doesn't have to carry the team on his back game in and game out.

        So, better D at the point of attack and more rebounds from the wings. That's a tall order with guys like Vasquez and Lou getting major minutes.

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        • #5
          blackjitsu wrote: View Post
          Quick question: What is the Raptors best lineup strictly looking at +/-, and is it worth considering as a starting lineup?.
          Quick answer - no.

          Best 5 that have played at least 50 minutes together is:

          Hansbrough,Vasquez,JJ, PPat, Lou +15.6/48minutes

          Next best exchanges TRoss for JJ +10.7/48

          Basically our bench butchering opposing benches.

          Problem is our starting lineups have ranged from mediocre to bad. But all are small sample sizes


          http://www.basketball-reference.com/...er_by=diff_pts


          Edit: Just out of curiosity I used our #1 lineup with it's 185 minutes as a base to see where it ranks league wide.

          It's #6 behind the 2 GS stating lineups, one with Bogut, the other with Speights.

          3rd place is the Kings starting lineup. That totally shocked me. God, their bench must be killing them.

          4th/5th are Clips and Thunder starters.
          Last edited by 3inthekeon; Thu Jan 29, 2015, 08:44 PM.
          If we knew half as much about coaching an NBA team as we think, we"d know twice as much as we do.

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          • #6
            3inthekeon wrote: View Post
            3rd place is the Kings starting lineup...their bench must be killing them.

            4th/5th are Clips and Thunder starters.
            It should not be a big surprise. Sacramento's bench now plays for Toronto. Thank you, Mr. Ujiri!

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            • #7
              caccia wrote: View Post
              It should not be a big surprise. Sacramento's bench now plays for Toronto. Thank you, Mr. Ujiri!
              The surprise was that the Kings starting 5 are the 2nd best starting 5 in the NBA, considering only GS is better.
              If we knew half as much about coaching an NBA team as we think, we"d know twice as much as we do.

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              • #8
                3inthekeon wrote: View Post
                The surprise was that the Kings starting 5 are the 2nd best starting 5 in the NBA, considering only GS is better.
                They're the second best starting 5 at this very selective and small sampled statistic. Let's make that clear.
                It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

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                • #9
                  KeonClark wrote: View Post
                  They're the second best starting 5 at this very selective and small sampled statistic. Let's make that clear.
                  Yes and no.

                  They've played 377.8 minutes together. How many 5 man combo's do you think have played more together this year?
                  If we knew half as much about coaching an NBA team as we think, we"d know twice as much as we do.

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                  • #10
                    You deliberately sidestepped my point: Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes, and James Johnson are all former Kings who now suit up for Toronto. In Johnson's case, it was two years ago, the other three came over in The Trade. You can argue that that transaction strengthened their starting lineup, since it is doing so well this year, but their bench looks pitiful.

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                    • #11
                      caccia wrote: View Post
                      You deliberately sidestepped my point: Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes, and James Johnson are all former Kings who now suit up for Toronto. In Johnson's case, it was two years ago, the other three came over in The Trade. You can argue that that transaction strengthened their starting lineup, since it is doing so well this year, but their bench looks pitiful.
                      Yes, their bench is pitiful
                      If we knew half as much about coaching an NBA team as we think, we"d know twice as much as we do.

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                      • #12




                        Mamba Mentality

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                        • #13
                          TRex wrote: View Post




                          Join RR Casey and we'll talk about it! He's already on here somewhere isn't he? How else would he know people got concerns about the team?

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                          • #14
                            Does Casey have an Id on RR?

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                            • #15
                              TRex wrote: View Post




                              Because you're playing shitty basketball that was already exposed once in the playoffs.

                              Because you have a losing record versus eastern conference playoff teams.

                              Because your team has been found out by Zach Lowe of all people.

                              Because you refuse to adapt.

                              Because you have shown to be inflexible.

                              Because you play double standards and talk out both sides of your mouth.

                              Because your actions are very different than your words.

                              Because you constantly match up to the other teams strategy versus dictating the play.


                              Is that a start?

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