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  • Big-Bully Small-Ball

    It's becoming abundantly clear that our beloved Raptors have coalesced for the time being, and despite the limited changes, new trends emerge. You could argue it's merely an extension of what we called Masai's Wait & See strategy, building assets around Colangelo's (humbler) beginnings, but the upcoming incarnation is especially interesting as Masai seems to assembled one of the youngest, highest potential, guard & big-heavy rosters in the modern NBA.

    With Sullinger in the starting lineup, Casey will be going with an old-school bully-ball lineup to start the game - very much going against the trend. Not since the days of Oakley/AD/Willis have we had such a physically imposing starting bigman combo. That's matched with a bully-ball old-school backcourt in Kyle and DeMar. Then you've got your bully-ball 3, finally healthy, in Carroll. You give them the screening power and finishing power of JV and Sullinger you really might be able combat the small ball trend.(..if they can hit 3s as a unit and move their feet quickly enough)

    But then looky, looky, looky what we have off the bench. It's small-ball all the way, backed up by a seemingly endless supply of bigs and young players. This starts with Norman F---ing Powell - a guy who I now fully expect to be in the running, if not the favourite, for 6th man of the year. He's a guard that can guard 3 positions and is good-to-go. And then you've got Cory, who is likewise ready to produce as one of the better bench-guards in the league. And the small forward? - another 3-position defender in T-Ross - more shooting. And more shooting again in Patterson.

    And that's you 9-man rotation. Then you bring JV or Sully back in, or maybe give Bebe/Poeltl some matchup run here and there. It goes from big and traditional to small-ball and hyper versatile. It's not Casey's first successful experiment with traditional->modernball - last year just happened - but I'd argue it projects to be the finest.

    Why? 1) Because we've never had this good of guardplay before - Delon Wright is ready to start contributing at a high level; and 2) because we've never really had this calibre of bigman (largely thanks to JV), especially on O trading Biyombo for Sully, but also having the depth and athleticism you need to consistently take physical command of the game.

    What am I even trying to say here? I guess I'm trying to say that Masai's new team is going to take Casey-ball to another level. You ram it down their throats with a barrage of screenen drives and a big-boy team. Then you run them out of the gym with a 2nd set of dribble drive guards. And you might round it out with a little Delon-to-Jakob pick and roll and some garbage-time goodness from Bruno and Siamam.

    It's orthodox meets unorthodox. Back to the future in terms of the style and age-makeup of the team. It's big-bully-small-ball.

    And it's going to be glorious.
    Last edited by SkywalkerAC; Sat Jul 16, 2016, 04:38 AM.

  • #2
    Give us the championship now!
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    • #3
      let's hope it plays out like this.

      If Sullinger is able to keep up defensively to an adequate level, then offensively him and JV are going to absolutely terrorize teams.

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      • #4
        SkywalkerAC wrote: View Post
        It's becoming abundantly clear that our beloved Raptors have coalesced for the time being, and despite the limited changes, new trends emerge. You could argue it's merely an extension of what we called Masai's Wait & See strategy, building assets around Colangelo's (humbler) beginnings, but the upcoming incarnation is especially interesting as Masai seems to assembled one of the youngest, highest potential, guard & big-heavy rosters in the modern NBA.

        With Sullinger in the starting lineup, Casey will be going with an old-school bully-ball lineup to start the game - very much going against the trend. Not since the days of Oakley/AD/Willis have we had such a physically imposing starting bigman combo. That's matched with a bully-ball old-school backcourt in Kyle and DeMar. Then you've got your bully-ball 3, finally healthy, in Carroll. You give them the screening power and finishing power of JV and Sullinger you really might be able combat the small ball trend.(..if they can hit 3s as a unit and move their feet quickly enough)

        But then looky, looky, looky what we have off the bench. It's small-ball all the way, backed up by a seemingly endless supply of bigs and young players. This starts with Norman F---ing Powell - a guy who I now fully expect to be in the running, if not the favourite, for 6th man of the year. He's a guard that can guard 3 positions and is good-to-go. And then you've got Cory, who is likewise ready to produce as one of the better bench-guards in the league. And the small forward? - another 3-position defender in T-Ross - more shooting. And more shooting again in Patterson.

        And that's you 9-man rotation. Then you bring JV or Sully back in, or maybe give Bebe/Poeltl some matchup run here and there. It goes from big and traditional to small-ball and hyper versatile. It's not Casey's first successful experiment with traditional->modernball - last year just happened - but I'd argue it projects to be the finest.

        Why? 1) Because we've never had this good of guardplay before - Delon Wright is ready to start contributing at a high level; and 2) because we've never really had this calibre of bigman (largely thanks to JV), especially on O trading Biyombo for Sully, but also having the depth and athleticism you need to consistently take physical command of the game.

        What am I even trying to say here? I guess I'm trying to say that Masai's new team is going to take Casey-ball to another level. You ram it down their throats with a barrage of screenen drives and a big-boy team. Then you run them out of the gym with a 2nd set of dribble drive guards. And you might round it out with a little Delon-to-Jakob pick and roll and some garbage-time goodness from Bruno and Siamam.

        It's orthodox meets unorthodox. Back to the future in terms of the style and age-makeup of the team. It's big-bully-small-ball.

        And it's going to be glorious.
        I don't know about that. Fun fact, Luis Scola, in 8 years in the NBA took a total of 60 3pt shots. Last year in Toronto, his 9th year in the NBA, he took 161 3pt. shots.

        I think they will try and use Sully much in a similar manner. Will be interesting for sure though. I think the playoffs showed the importance of being able to switch from bully ball to small ball depending on the match-ups.

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        • #5
          It is quite stunning how different the starters are from the bench when you describe it like that. And it certainly gives Casey the ability to match anything another team throws at him or (horrors) set the pace with a different look to start working on another teams weaknesses right off the jump. Imagine having an opposing team game plan to play the Raps and then have a completely different starting five show up at the jump to start the game.

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          • #6
            LJ2 wrote: View Post
            I don't know about that. Fun fact, Luis Scola, in 8 years in the NBA took a total of 60 3pt shots. Last year in Toronto, his 9th year in the NBA, he took 161 3pt. shots.

            I think they will try and use Sully much in a similar manner. Will be interesting for sure though. I think the playoffs showed the importance of being able to switch from bully ball to small ball depending on the match-ups.
            Luis Scola also had 109 post up plays and 130 plays as the roll man in the pick and roll, plus 84 offensive boards. There will be plenty of opportunity for inside play for Sully, though yes it will be important for him to also spread the floor a bit.
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            • #7
              I agree with the overall take away. We've got a deep and versatile roster, and that's with no real idea on what we can expect from the Yak/Bebe/Bruno group just yet.

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              • #8
                KHD wrote: View Post
                let's hope it plays out like this.

                If Sullinger is able to keep up defensively to an adequate level, then offensively him and JV are going to absolutely terrorize teams.
                If Sullinger shows up in shape....last year he was basically worse than Scola offensively.

                Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  white men can't jump wrote: View Post
                  If Sullinger shows up in shape....last year he was basically worse than Scola offensively.

                  Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
                  yeah.

                  He played mostly C last year, after playing mostly PF the year previous. the numbers last year look bad compared to the years he's played at C. It's definitely a concern.

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                  • #10
                    KHD wrote: View Post
                    yeah.

                    He played mostly C last year, after playing mostly PF the year previous. the numbers last year look bad compared to the years he's played at C. It's definitely a concern.
                    I don't think position had much to do with his offensive struggles. He was just too heavy. He shot badly from every range and took too many jumpers. I still think that has to be mostly related to the weight/conditioning issues. No lift and easily settles for lazy offence...

                    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      white men can't jump wrote: View Post
                      I don't think position had much to do with his offensive struggles. He was just too heavy. He shot badly from every range and took too many jumpers. I still think that has to be mostly related to the weight/conditioning issues. No lift and easily settles for lazy offence...

                      Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
                      yeah im not saying it did. Defensively this year he was better at C than he was the previous year at 4.

                      He doesn't have the athleticism for the 4 at the moment, it would seem.

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                      • #12
                        LJ2 wrote: View Post
                        I don't know about that. Fun fact, Luis Scola, in 8 years in the NBA took a total of 60 3pt shots. Last year in Toronto, his 9th year in the NBA, he took 161 3pt. shots.

                        I think they will try and use Sully much in a similar manner. Will be interesting for sure though. I think the playoffs showed the importance of being able to switch from bully ball to small ball depending on the match-ups.
                        He's definitely going to be asked to shoot the 3, so it's modern in that regard. Even Amir was asked to shoot the 3. But it's old school in terms of size and physicality.

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                        • #13
                          As it doesn't seem to be generating much disagreement, I'm open to this being merged with Is Big Men in the NBA Dead? and/or the How is this squad a downgrade? threads.

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                          • #14
                            Im not sure what you mean by bully-ball backcourt and Carroll?

                            Carroll is a very slight frame at the 3 and certainly isn't bullying (which I presume relates to overpowering) anyone. He's a fundamentally sound player but he won't beat anyone using strength or athleticism.

                            For our backcourt, neither one seems to leverage size/strength very much. Both would project well to use post-ups but neither do very often.

                            So what aspect is "bully ball"?

                            Seems quite likely that Sullinger will be expected to set lots of screens on offence and otherwise take on Scola's touches.
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                            If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

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                            • #15
                              Axel wrote: View Post
                              Im not sure what you mean by bully-ball backcourt and Carroll?

                              Carroll is a very slight frame at the 3 and certainly isn't bullying (which I presume relates to overpowering) anyone. He's a fundamentally sound player but he won't beat anyone using strength or athleticism.

                              For our backcourt, neither one seems to leverage size/strength very much. Both would project well to use post-ups but neither do very often.

                              So what aspect is "bully ball"?

                              Seems quite likely that Sullinger will be expected to set lots of screens on offence and otherwise take on Scola's touches.
                              Bully ball in the backcourt - getting into the paint and drawing contact, two of the best in the league.

                              Carroll - I'll give you that he's a tad undersized relative to many starting 3s, but healthy he can be JYD 2.0, I think that qualifies.

                              But the bully really comes from our starting 4/5 combo, if Sullinger can get there. And the over pound-the-rockness of our starting 5 overall.

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