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Game #16: Washington Wizards 91 - Toronto Raptors 100

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  • Nilanka wrote: View Post
    Seems to be a common theme here...
    I framed it that way because a) that's the argument being made, that that frontcourt pairing doesn't work, and b) we've seen substitutions specifically within the big man usage over the past few years where JV-Pat for example was amazing, and Biyombo-Scola was garbage. The common theme shows JV there because he's the starting C and PF has mostly been a revolving door pu-pu platter. I could have put Lowry or DD in the same place and that would be a common theme, but it just wasn't the topic at hand, and it would be just as informative (read: not very) as to the issue.

    That said, JV-Ibaka should be way better than a break even pairing. The fact that they are not this late into the season is definitely concerning. They could certainly turn it around with some good games against the softer schedule coming up, and if they do, great. But if they don't, we're getting to the point where we've seen enough of that pairing and something else might need to be tried.

    In previous years, the obvious choice was to fix the starting PF. This year the choice is not so obvious, even if JV being removed is the most likely path. JV hasn't gotten very many minutes away from Ibaka (46 MP), and has done moderately well in them (+5.1 net rating, lower but still poor DRTG). While Ibaka has played more away from JV (175 MP) but has had almost identical success to JV when they are apart (+5.6 net rating, with a far better DRTG but with the ORTG dropping significantly too). Both samples are flawed, with teammate and matchup context involved. And whether to start BeBe/Poeltl, both of whom have struggled against better opposition, or Siakam, who has been great but would force Ibaka into the starting C role and matchups he's shown no interest or capability for...

    The good news is the team has far more flexibility to manage any starting variation due to OG and Siakam both playing so well at the 4. So even with all the pitfalls of the various choices, it's worth a shot come, say, December 8th. Try the option we think is best for ~20 games (unless it's a dramatic failure far beyond what we've seen with Ibaka-JV) and see where the team sits come the half way mark. That leaves plenty of season to pick a rotation and get into a groove heading into the playoffs. And it's not like there are any likely combinations that will kill the team's chances of winning games in the meantime - even the much-bemoaned JV-Ibaka pairing is essentially a league average one.
    twitter.com/dhackett1565

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    • Nilanka wrote: View Post
      I was at the game, but missed the entire 1st half thanks to the Santa Clause parade. Took me an hour to get from Spadina to the ACC. Next time, I'll remember people's love of celebrating Christmas in November.
      Gutsy call to drive into the ACC. I usually take the train if I'm heading out that way.

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      • What worries me about JV-Ibaka is they are killing their already tepid trade value. Need some good games out of them if we are going to have any flexibility on the trade front.
        It's the Spicy Show! Time to cook.

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        • Scraptor wrote: View Post
          What worries me about JV-Ibaka is they are killing their already tepid trade value. Need some good games out of them if we are going to have any flexibility on the trade front.
          They never had any real trade value, so I'm not concerned on that front.
          twitter.com/dhackett1565

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          • Scraptor wrote: View Post
            What worries me about JV-Ibaka is they are killing their already tepid trade value. Need some good games out of them if we are going to have any flexibility on the trade front.
            Personally, I don't want a trade this season. Ibaka's coasting right now, but he has by far the most playoff experience of anyone on the team, and he'll turn it up when it matters. JV also plays well in big games, and at some point we're going to need his size to bang with a bigger, traditional centre. I'd like to see this team, as is, show what it can do.
            "Stop eating your sushi."
            "I do actually have a pair of Uggs."
            "I've had three cups of green tea tonight. I'm wired. I'm absolutely wired."
            - Jack Armstrong

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            • DanH wrote: View Post
              You know what's crazy to me? JV and Ibaka have looked about as bad as I think they can for the early part of the season and have somehow posted only a -1 net rating in 200+ minutes. It's been a disappointing start for them for sure, even with early season struggles from Lowry and Powell, and injuries.

              I think it would be worth trying a different look fairly soon (in say another couple of weeks once the schedule has balanced out and we have a sample of average opponents, plus hitting that quarter mark for the season), but I'm starting to doubt Casey will do that. He stuck to pairings of JV-Scola and JV-Siakam the past two seasons for most of the year in spite of significantly worse performances than the -1 JV-Ibaka have been posting against a tough schedule.
              The risk with this is two-fold: first, if you move one of them to the bench you could risk losing that guy's buy-in. Especially Ibaka. I get the feeling that if you're moving him to the bench you may as well trade him. JV is probably less a risk but who knows. If one of those guys checks out mentally this early in the year, the team gets hurt, regardless of +/- ratings. Second, Siakam looks great now but he's never done it over 82 games. Bebe is inconsistent and Poeltl struggles in certain matchups. If Siakam goes into a downturn and plays himself out of the rotation and JV or Ibaka says, fuck you coach, I think I'll go 70% till I get traded, then you've got a big problem.

              Maybe technically it makes sense but I'm just pointing out that there is definitely an aspect of player management that needs to be considered. Personally, if I'm the coach, I'm not pulling a trigger on moving one of my vets out of the starting lineup unless my hand is forced. 20-odd games isn't enough to do that. The better answer is probably what Casey has done - simply go to the closing lineup that is best on that given day.

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              • slaw wrote: View Post
                The risk with this is two-fold: first, if you move one of them to the bench you could risk losing that guy's buy-in. Especially Ibaka. I get the feeling that if you're moving him to the bench you may as well trade him. JV is probably less a risk but who knows. If one of those guys checks out mentally this early in the year, the team gets hurt, regardless of +/- ratings. Second, Siakam looks great now but he's never done it over 82 games. Bebe is inconsistent and Poeltl struggles in certain matchups. If Siakam goes into a downturn and plays himself out of the rotation and JV or Ibaka says, fuck you coach, I think I'll go 70% till I get traded, then you've got a big problem.

                Maybe technically it makes sense but I'm just pointing out that there is definitely an aspect of player management that needs to be considered. Personally, if I'm the coach, I'm not pulling a trigger on moving one of my vets out of the starting lineup unless my hand is forced. 20-odd games isn't enough to do that. The better answer is probably what Casey has done - simply go to the closing lineup that is best on that given day.
                I'm fine with riding it out. But I have zero concern about JV's buy-in, he's always been very team-first, and had great success coming off the bench in the playoffs last year. I agree there's no way Serge would put up with a bench role.

                I think Casey agrees with you and will wait to see if they can pull it together with time, and even now I'm saying they should wait another couple of weeks before making any changes. But I'd rather try something in the 2nd Q of the season rather than the 4th (or the 1st, as I've been clear on), so even if trying something doesn't work out, and we want to switch back, we have loads of time to get back into rhythm.

                Zero issue with variable closing lineups, so long as they are the right ones. They haven't been in the past sometimes, but this year, so far so good (with the exception of the 1st WAS game).
                twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                • All I know is that if I'm playing either Washington, Boston or Cleveland in the playoffs, JV should be coming off the bench. I don't know if that adjustment gets made in game 1, but definitely should come in game 2 if we sh!t the bed in game 1 (which is par for course for this team).

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                  • planetmars wrote: View Post
                    I have a feeling all those missed shots were because it was a 3:30 game. Like I said earlier, I hate afternoon games.

                    JV sucks against Washington. Gortat is so good in the PnR and JV just does not know what to do. Glad he got benched in that second half. Wish that happened the first time around.

                    Yet JV is so good against a lot of other teams.. like against New Orleans for example. Without him, we'd probably lose both those games.

                    DD was insanely good.. yet he only got 1 free throw (and it was a tech). But then I figured it out real quick. Ed Malloy was reffing. Worst ref in the NBA.

                    We needed Siakam's energy and got a tonne of it. That block on Scott (I think) was awesome.
                    The one f/t for DeMar was weird. I wasn't even aware of it til they stated it near the end of the game. Then again, DD was getting his open looks and didn't need to create contact too often as he likes to do. If he was jumping into guys or crashing the paint and not getting the calls, that would be different.
                    Last edited by G__Deane; Mon Nov 20th, 2017, 12:32 PM.

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                    • The Raptors are heading out on another 3 game road trip. At the end of which they will have played 7 home games and 12 road games.

                      And the Raptors love their home cooking - they have the best home court net rating in the NBA right now at +12.9. 7th best road net rating at +2.6. Once the schedule starts swinging in their favour, they could have to chance to improve rather significantly on their already impressive 11-5 record.

                      Unfortunately, the road-heavy schedule sticks around until about the new year. On Jan 8th, they will play their 23rd road game, and will have played only 15 home games. If they continue winning the way they have been and are sporting a .600+ record at the time, they could see the wins pile up fast at that point. The start of the new year is especially nice, with 15 of 21 games at home between Jan 9th and the end of Feb.
                      twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                      • DanH wrote: View Post
                        They never had any real trade value, so I'm not concerned on that front.
                        I think JV has a tiny bit, Ibaka has zero.

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                        • DanH wrote: View Post
                          The start of the new year is especially nice, with 15 of 21 games at home between Jan 9th and the end of Feb.
                          Great. That's exactly when the players would sooner be on the road .... in Miami and Orlando

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                          • G__Deane wrote: View Post
                            Great. That's exactly when the players would sooner be on the road .... in Miami and Orlando
                            Same goes for the opposition, of course.
                            twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                            • JimiCliff wrote: View Post
                              Personally, I don't want a trade this season. Ibaka's coasting right now, but he has by far the most playoff experience of anyone on the team, and he'll turn it up when it matters. JV also plays well in big games, and at some point we're going to need his size to bang with a bigger, traditional centre. I'd like to see this team, as is, show what it can do.
                              I really want to believe that Ibaka is conserving energy for the playoffs. Still, that isn't a good look, but the alternative truth is much worse.

                              By now, we know what JV is and what he will never be. It's more that Ibaka isn't what many thought he would be, i.e., the ultimate mobile PF who can guard on the perimeter and recover to the protect the rim on D, while stretching the floor and finishing above the rim on O. Did that Ibaka ever exist, even on OKC in his prime?

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                              • planetmars wrote: View Post
                                Gutsy call to drive into the ACC. I usually take the train if I'm heading out that way.
                                Normally, it's a seamless process. Park in the RBC South Tower (right across from Union station), walk underground (avoiding the winter elements), and I'm in my seat in 10-15 mins. $20.

                                But yesterday was a disaster. Argos game didn't help matters either.

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