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Improvement Versus Regression

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  • Improvement Versus Regression

    In the front of the site, in the article about the teams achievements, Casey talks about watching the young guys develop and improve over the last few years, and how much pleasure that has brought to him and the staff. Then he said he was looking forward to how much they might improve by next year. It got me thinking. How much improvement could be reasonably expected?

    I know the makeup of the team may change but, as DanH has suggested many times, it seems reasonable to expect the "core" to stay the same, and the younger (cheaper) team members to be retained. Because the team is so young, it seems likely that improvement to be expected in most cases (Norm is the anomaly here). Will expected improvements offset expected regression?

    Given his age and style of play, you would expect Lowry to regress. However, given the depth of the team, and lowered minutes per game, will he be a significantly worse version of himself next year? I think the key metric to consider would be per 36. By that measure, his scoring is down to 2014-2015 levels but his 3pt%, FT%, and assists are all up. Turnovers are down. If there is no drop off in the backups at PG, his minute reduction can continue. The shape he has come into training camp the last couple of years suggests he is approaching his off season work responsibly. I don't see significant regression next year for Kyle.

    Demarr, much the same argument. Except I expect him to improve something for next season.

    Serge is the most likely to regress. The difference between rested Serge and back to back Serge has been stark. If the team starts managing his minutes and/or giving him rest days, his performance may not drop off a cliff.

    Everyone else still on the team should be better. Of the regular rotation, I think Fred has the least upside, but he is already playing at a high level. This years added experience should improve his play incrementally.

    Jonas is likely to improve a bit. Better 3pt shot, better passing and more experience with his widened role.

    Siakim, OG, Delon and Jake I expect to all show significant growth with this years playing time and serious off season work.

    Bebe and Norm I'm not sure of. Possibly gone. The rest of the roster would reasonably be expected to improve with their 905 stints and time with the team, but I can't speculate much based on limited time watching them. I can only say that just about anyone who has been dropped into the Raptors development funnel has improved markedly.

    I'm really happy with this years results to this point. I think what I like best about this year is the very real chance for the team to come back as a better version of itself next year.

  • #2
    We are ready for 3 years from now when the old guys get shipped out of here.


    • #3
      Truth Teller wrote: View Post
      We are ready for 3 years from now when the old guys get shipped out of here.
      The organization will certainly have a lot more options and wiggle room financially, but I think the team is better next year than it is right now, assuming Masai can solve the Fred, Norm and CJ puzzle. Losing Fred would hurt. Losing CJ not so much, with incremental improvement in shooting from Delon, Siakim, JV, OG, and if Yak can get his shooting solid out to 15 feet.


      • #4
        Hard to say at this point. Candidates for improvement:


        Lowry (a little)

        Possibly gone:
        Norm (or JV)

        If OG makes a Leap then I think we'll be better next year. If he ends up being neutral I think we end up neutral, barring a trade/shake-up. Much harder to go from 55-62 wins to that next level of 63-70 wins than to do what we did this year. Last mile is always the hardest.


        • #5
          I think there is a lot of room for improvement. If you look at the difference between rookie Pascal and Poeltl vs 2nd year Pascal and Poeltl and OG can even make half the leap that those two did then that alone will make a huge difference. But you should expect more improvement from Pascal and Poeltl next season, and Delon can get better as well. I'm not sure how much better FVV can get, but it would be nice to retain him. If not, then fingers crossed that Powell can get back to his previous self, as that will be a boost as well. Plus, I think we will see Demar and JV improve a little as well. I'd expect Lowry to be about the same and maybe Ibaka regresses a little. Overall though, if we have the same roster I'd expect the team to be better, although that wouldn't necessarily mean more wins or even a 1 seed, other teams will likely get alot better as well.


          • #6
            JawsGT wrote: View Post
            I think there is a lot of room for improvement....Overall though, if we have the same roster I'd expect the team to be better, although that wouldn't necessarily mean more wins or even a 1 seed, other teams will likely get alot better as well.
            The teams hands are tied financially next year, so any improvement pretty much has to be internal. And as you say, there is room for that. Even if they don't get #1 seed again, I want them to stay relevant. I have confidence that the season after next, Masai will have a few more options. If the team doesn't regress, they will still be in the hunt.