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  • Building a contender on a knife's edge?

    By now, most people have seen the article from SI's The Cauldron, provided by Raptorsnz in the Everything DD thread. It was pretty universally praised by RR members and is definitely worth the read.

    Raptorsnz wrote: View Post
    Here's a nice little article on how DeMar remains such a great offensive player without a 3 point shot.

    https://thecauldron.si.com/meet-dema...785#.8q6pisvh2

    Really highlights how he's top 3 in the league in things like post up efficiency for guards, distance travelled on offence and drawing fouls.
    The margin for error becomes extremely small without that 3-point shot..."

    "DeRozan also is lucky to play in an offense that surrounds him with plenty of complementary pieces."

    "There are plenty of offenses where DeRozan, as skilled as he is, would likely flounder because of an ill-fitting system and parts around him."

    "Dwane Casey and his staff deserve plenty of credit for helping DeRozan figure out how to be the best version of himself this season."

    These little notes, which served the purpose of framing how unique Demar is, also shed a bit of light on another concern. One RR member, mentioned the very same thought the other day (not directly attributed to the article);

    OldSkoolCool wrote: View Post
    The team that pays DD is going to suffer.

    Offensively, he is having a good year but his production is largely predicated on the system putting him in the best position possible (for him), at the expense of many of his teammates.

    We can pretty much all agree that the system needs to change, so where does DD fit in that new system?
    Which of course, wasn't particularly well received...

    JWash wrote: View Post
    So tired of this narrative, it's not based in any kind of fact, just grasping at straws pretty much.

    Don't you get it by now? This version of DeRozan is a star player, those players can be made to work in pretty much any system with the right coaching.

    So tired of hearing that he can't play in any other system, I call BS on that.
    Primer wrote: View Post
    This is nonsense. I think DD plays even better with a true offensive system. Scoring in iso is the hardest thing to do on offense in the NBA, so how is consistently putting him in that situation putting him in the best position possible?
    (At this point I recommend going back and re-reading the quotes from the article above)

    And while this one wasn't directly related to the above, it certainly summarizes the larger picture here and how people responded to the article.

    JWash wrote: View Post
    People see what they want to see.

    All about perspective.


    Demar has played great this season, and has played well enough to likely merit the max offer. The article explains exactly how Demar has done that and kudos to Casey for getting the "system" in place to do it. But if Demar is this enormous outlier, statistical unicorn with a small margin for error, isn't that a cause for concern from a team perspective?

    The entirety of the article talks about how Demar has over-come his limitations and Casey has used him to ensure that Demar is the best version of himself. But the article doesn't cover the difficulty in building a team around a player who can achieve such high level of play but only with the team building itself to cater to that skillset.

    Most max players are unique in some way. Curry's quick release and accuracy from deep. Dirk's size and shooting. LeBron's passing, size and finishing. And all players have limitations; Curry's size/frame, Dirk's defence, LeBron's perimeter shooting.

    But Demar might be the most unique of them all in the sense that his limitation and his strength are so intertwined and, unlike many max guys, Demar's strength doesn't offer a significant competitive advantage that can be built around to improve the other guys. Instead, the other guys are built around to create his strength (relative to max level productivity). This creates a bit of a problem. How do you improve the ceiling of this team when a significant amount of roster planning needs to focus on creating a roster that can bring out the best in Demar?

    With Demar, we essentially MUST employ a stretch 4 PF.

    It's not a coincidence that Luis Scola has attempted 62 3PA this season in 39 games while his previous 8 seasons combined for 60 3PA. Scola is the PF on Demar's Top 3 most used lineups and 4 of 5 most used DD lineups. Patterson meanwhile, shoots 3.9 3PA per game, tied for 25th of all non-guards. The spacing of DD (as described in the article) requires another perimeter threat for it to work. Without it, the defence isn't pressured and can send multiple defenders into the paint.

    With Demar, we need a PG who can play well off-ball. As this position is usually ball dominant, we need to find the guys that are atypical. It's almost an inversion of the relationship, the PG creates space for the SG with his 3 point shooting and off-ball work, rather than the more traditional roles.

    With Demar, we need a SF in the 3&D mold, to create space on offence and to matchup defensively.

    All of these things can be found, but stretch 4s and 3&D wings are premium commodities. "Over-paying" is more common on these types of players because the supply doesn't match the demand. The PG position is fine with Lowry, but life after KL looks very different, as it is hard to find good value on a PG contract when you are looking for atypical players.

    None of this is to say that we can't build a contender with DD on a max (or near max) deal, just that the popular saying "more than one way to build a contender" may not actually apply here. If we want max $ level of productivity from Demar, we may need to build a contender in a very specific manner. The margin of error for Masai is smaller.
    Heir, Prince of Cambridge

    If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

  • #2
    Axel wrote: View Post
    By now, most people have seen the article from SI's The Cauldron, provided by Raptorsnz in the Everything DD thread. It was pretty universally praised by RR members and is definitely worth the read.



    But there is another side of this story which seems to have been largely missed. A few quotes from the article:

    "DeRozan is important because of what an enormous outlier he is: a shooting guard just coming into his prime that is thriving without a 3-point shot. He’s a statistical unicorn."

    "If a player can’t help a little on the offensive glass, or find open teammates, or take care of the basketball, then the whole ‘not being able to shoot’ thing simply becomes too big an obstacle."

    "The margin for error becomes extremely small without that 3-point shot..."

    "DeRozan also is lucky to play in an offense that surrounds him with plenty of complementary pieces."

    "There are plenty of offenses where DeRozan, as skilled as he is, would likely flounder because of an ill-fitting system and parts around him."

    "Dwane Casey and his staff deserve plenty of credit for helping DeRozan figure out how to be the best version of himself this season."

    These little notes, which served the purpose of framing how unique Demar is, also shed a bit of light on another concern. One RR member, mentioned the very same thought the other day (not directly attributed to the article);



    Which of course, wasn't particularly well received...





    (At this point I recommend going back and re-reading the quotes from the article above)

    And while this one wasn't directly related to the above, it certainly summarizes the larger picture here and how people responded to the article.





    Demar has played great this season, and has played well enough to likely merit the max offer. The article explains exactly how Demar has done that and kudos to Casey for getting the "system" in place to do it. But if Demar is this enormous outlier, statistical unicorn with a small margin for error, isn't that a cause for concern from a team perspective?

    The entirety of the article talks about how Demar has over-come his limitations and Casey has used him to ensure that Demar is the best version of himself. But the article doesn't cover the difficulty in building a team around a player who can achieve such high level of play but only with the team building itself to cater to that skillset.

    Most max players are unique in some way. Curry's quick release and accuracy from deep. Dirk's size and shooting. LeBron's passing, size and finishing. And all players have limitations; Curry's size/frame, Dirk's defence, LeBron's perimeter shooting.

    But Demar might be the most unique of them all in the sense that his limitation and his strength are so intertwined and, unlike many max guys, Demar's strength doesn't offer a significant competitive advantage that can be built around to improve the other guys. Instead, the other guys are built around to create his strength (relative to max level productivity). This creates a bit of a problem. How do you improve the ceiling of this team when a significant amount of roster planning needs to focus on creating a roster that can bring out the best in Demar?

    With Demar, we essentially MUST employ a stretch 4 PF.

    It's not a coincidence that Luis Scola has attempted 62 3PA this season in 39 games while his previous 8 seasons combined for 60 3PA. Scola is the PF on Demar's Top 3 most used lineups and 4 of 5 most used DD lineups. Patterson meanwhile, shoots 3.9 3PA per game, tied for 25th of all non-guards. The spacing of DD (as described in the article) requires another perimeter threat for it to work. Without it, the defence isn't pressured and can send multiple defenders into the paint.

    With Demar, we need a PG who can play well off-ball. As this position is usually ball dominant, we need to find the guys that are atypical. It's almost an inversion of the relationship, the PG creates space for the SG with his 3 point shooting and off-ball work, rather than the more traditional roles.

    With Demar, we need a SF in the 3&D mold, to create space on offence and to matchup defensively.

    All of these things can be found, but stretch 4s and 3&D wings are premium commodities. "Over-paying" is more common on these types of players because the supply doesn't match the demand. The PG position is fine with Lowry, but life after KL looks very different, as it is hard to find good value on a PG contract when you are looking for atypical players.

    None of this is to say that we can't build a contender with DD on a max (or near max) deal, just that the popular saying "more than one way to build a contender" may not actually apply here. If we want max $ level of productivity from Demar, we may need to build a contender in a very specific manner. The margin of error for Masai is smaller.
    **Waits for the malestorm of anger and "Hater" Posts**


    Sidenote:

    This is pretty much exactly what alot of us have complained about for the past multiple seasons.

    Comment


    • #3
      Snooch wrote: View Post
      **Waits for the malestorm of anger and "Hater" Posts**


      Sidenote:

      This is pretty much exactly what alot of us have complained about for the past multiple seasons.
      is a malestorm the the male version of PMS?


      Sidenote: You can't really complain about "Hater" posts with that avatar/sig, can you?

      Comment


      • #4
        Excellent post Axel, really hits home for me on how I feel about DeMar. I like watching this version of him this season, and we're a good team. But we aren't great. And how we get there feels extremely complicated. Most proposed trades have us moving either Patterson or Ross, guys who feel critical to making this team work right now.

        James Johnson is a capable rotation player, solid defender who can cover tough 3/4 and bigger 2s, but is somewhat unplayable on this team because his limitations are the same as DeMar's.

        Reading Zach Lowe's article, I couldn't help but think that swapping DeMar for Horford this summer sounds amazing, because a Lowry/Ross/Carroll/Horford/JV lineup would be insanely scary and less limited than our current team.
        twitter.com/anthonysmdoyle

        Comment


        • #5
          Snooch wrote: View Post
          This is pretty much exactly what alot of us have complained about for the past multiple seasons.
          Which is why I found it interesting that the hints of it were completely missed (or ignored) from the SI article, which was generally received so positively. It is something that has been "discussed" for years, but perhaps under slightly different angles since DD wasn't doing what he is now.
          Heir, Prince of Cambridge

          If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

          Comment


          • #6
            yeah, i think that's pretty fair.

            first and foremost, i love Demar. i love that he seemingly loves being a raptor and reps the city the way he does. i love his work ethic and how much he's improved his game over the year. it's pretty crazy to see how far he's come, it seems like just yesterday he was the rookie that was the 5th option on offense and only scored by driving and getting to the line since that was literally all he could do. i'm extremely proud of Demar.

            that said.. if the raptors want to be an actual contender (championships, not making playoffs) i'm not sure how DD fits in those plans. as axel mentioned you essentially have to tailor the team specifically to him because of his flaws, which are glaring, because they're not weaknesses typically associated with your standard shooting guard.

            simply, it is what it is. i don't envy the hard choices MU's going to have to make in the next couple years.
            @sweatpantsjer

            Comment


            • #7
              Axel wrote: View Post
              Which is why I found it interesting that the hints of it were completely missed (or ignored) from the SI article, which was generally received so positively. It is something that has been "discussed" for years, but perhaps under slightly different angles since DD wasn't doing what he is now.
              of course it was received positively, it's a one-sided view that glosses over how limiting it is having to design your entire system around Derozan, who, as well as he's playing, is not a guy who's good enough to warrant an entire system designed around him like a Durant, Dirk, Lebron, etc.

              Thanks for the additional commentary.

              Comment


              • #8
                KHD wrote: View Post
                is a malestorm the the male version of PMS?


                Sidenote: You can't really complain about "Hater" posts with that avatar/sig, can you?
                I have become what have been called.

                I was created.

                Comment


                • #9
                  KHD wrote: View Post
                  of course it was received positively, it's a one-sided view that glosses over how limiting it is having to design your entire system around Derozan, who, as well as he's playing, is not a guy who's good enough to warrant an entire system designed around him like a Durant, Dirk, Lebron, etc.

                  Thanks for the additional commentary.
                  Yeah it's supremely limiting to have to play a 3-D guy, a stretch 4 and a PG who can shoot because of DD. No other team has to do that to make their system work. /sarcasm

                  (I bet they'd all gladly play them no matter who was at the 2).
                  Two beer away from being two beers away.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mess wrote: View Post
                    Yeah it's supremely limiting to have to play a 3-D guy, a stretch 4 and a PG who can shoot because of DD. No other team has to do that to make their system work. /sarcasm

                    (I bet they'd all gladly play them no matter who was at the 2).
                    Do you really look at our teams offense and think it's a good system?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ceez wrote: View Post
                      yeah, i think that's pretty fair.

                      first and foremost, i love Demar. i love that he seemingly loves being a raptor and reps the city the way he does. i love his work ethic and how much he's improved his game over the year. it's pretty crazy to see how far he's come, it seems like just yesterday he was the rookie that was the 5th option on offense and only scored by driving and getting to the line since that was literally all he could do. i'm extremely proud of Demar.

                      that said.. if the raptors want to be an actual contender (championships, not making playoffs) i'm not sure how DD fits in those plans. as axel mentioned you essentially have to tailor the team specifically to him because of his flaws, which are glaring, because they're not weaknesses typically associated with your standard shooting guard.

                      simply, it is what it is. i don't envy the hard choices MU's going to have to make in the next couple years.
                      I would be happy for Demar to stick with the bolded, unfortunately, his pending pay grade should mean more.
                      Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                      If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mess wrote: View Post
                        Yeah it's supremely limiting to have to play a 3-D guy, a stretch 4 and a PG who can shoot because of DD. No other team has to do that to make their system work. /sarcasm

                        (I bet they'd all gladly play them no matter who was at the 2).
                        Can you provide examples of other max~ish players that support this?

                        Seems to me, most max players provide a competitive advantage that you build off of, but if you don't, then your team may not be as good as it can be, but that max player is still productive at a max level. I'm not convinced that Demar is at that level and that he may, somewhat, be a product of the system.
                        Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                        If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          KHD wrote: View Post
                          Do you really look at our teams offense and think it's a good system?
                          It's not always pretty to watch and at times and DD can revert to making frustrating decisions but I mean, the other new thread today states we're top 10 so I don't know. Define "good"?

                          Sure, with a cheaper option at SG (one who can hit 3's) we can spend more at other positions and get slightly more talent and with a new system they could be theoretically be better...or worse. New system, new coach, new & improved 4 man and say, Jerryd Bayless...50+ wins and contender status?
                          Two beer away from being two beers away.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            we really are at the stage that we need to turn our young guys, draft picks into something for a real run.

                            If not this season than over the summer into next. At that point we have to make a decision on Lowry.

                            As much as it breaks my heart, it's time to see what Wright, Powell, Noguiera, Cabolco, Scola, Patterson, Ross, Biyombo and 4 first round picks can turn into.
                            For still frame photograph of me reading the DeRozan thread please refer to my avatar

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Axel wrote: View Post
                              The margin for error becomes extremely small without that 3-point shot..."

                              "DeRozan also is lucky to play in an offense that surrounds him with plenty of complementary pieces."

                              "There are plenty of offenses where DeRozan, as skilled as he is, would likely flounder because of an ill-fitting system and parts around him."

                              "Dwane Casey and his staff deserve plenty of credit for helping DeRozan figure out how to be the best version of himself this season."

                              These little notes, which served the purpose of framing how unique Demar is, also shed a bit of light on another concern. One RR member, mentioned the very same thought the other day (not directly attributed to the article);



                              Which of course, wasn't particularly well received...





                              (At this point I recommend going back and re-reading the quotes from the article above)

                              And while this one wasn't directly related to the above, it certainly summarizes the larger picture here and how people responded to the article.





                              Demar has played great this season, and has played well enough to likely merit the max offer. The article explains exactly how Demar has done that and kudos to Casey for getting the "system" in place to do it. But if Demar is this enormous outlier, statistical unicorn with a small margin for error, isn't that a cause for concern from a team perspective?

                              The entirety of the article talks about how Demar has over-come his limitations and Casey has used him to ensure that Demar is the best version of himself. But the article doesn't cover the difficulty in building a team around a player who can achieve such high level of play but only with the team building itself to cater to that skillset.

                              Most max players are unique in some way. Curry's quick release and accuracy from deep. Dirk's size and shooting. LeBron's passing, size and finishing. And all players have limitations; Curry's size/frame, Dirk's defence, LeBron's perimeter shooting.

                              But Demar might be the most unique of them all in the sense that his limitation and his strength are so intertwined and, unlike many max guys, Demar's strength doesn't offer a significant competitive advantage that can be built around to improve the other guys. Instead, the other guys are built around to create his strength (relative to max level productivity). This creates a bit of a problem. How do you improve the ceiling of this team when a significant amount of roster planning needs to focus on creating a roster that can bring out the best in Demar?

                              With Demar, we essentially MUST employ a stretch 4 PF.

                              It's not a coincidence that Luis Scola has attempted 62 3PA this season in 39 games while his previous 8 seasons combined for 60 3PA. Scola is the PF on Demar's Top 3 most used lineups and 4 of 5 most used DD lineups. Patterson meanwhile, shoots 3.9 3PA per game, tied for 25th of all non-guards. The spacing of DD (as described in the article) requires another perimeter threat for it to work. Without it, the defence isn't pressured and can send multiple defenders into the paint.

                              With Demar, we need a PG who can play well off-ball. As this position is usually ball dominant, we need to find the guys that are atypical. It's almost an inversion of the relationship, the PG creates space for the SG with his 3 point shooting and off-ball work, rather than the more traditional roles.

                              With Demar, we need a SF in the 3&D mold, to create space on offence and to matchup defensively.

                              All of these things can be found, but stretch 4s and 3&D wings are premium commodities. "Over-paying" is more common on these types of players because the supply doesn't match the demand. The PG position is fine with Lowry, but life after KL looks very different, as it is hard to find good value on a PG contract when you are looking for atypical players.

                              None of this is to say that we can't build a contender with DD on a max (or near max) deal, just that the popular saying "more than one way to build a contender" may not actually apply here. If we want max $ level of productivity from Demar, we may need to build a contender in a very specific manner. The margin of error for Masai is smaller.
                              Whether or not you're a fan of Demar; it's (almost) impossible to disagree with this.

                              I only say almost because I'm sure it'll be tried.
                              Last edited by Just Is; Tue Jan 12, 2016, 11:42 AM.
                              "My biggest concern as a coach is to not confuse winning with progress." - Steve Kerr
                              "If it's unacceptable in defeat, it's unacceptable in victory." - Jeff Van Gundy

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