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Men vs. boys

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  • Men vs. boys

    Reading the news this morning, and this article stood out as I was thinking about "talent" and this year's team.

    I think we might need to take a different tack re: evaluating the roster. I mean, I haven't argued with anyone who says the Raptors simply lack the talent to compete. But is that really true? Every player on the roster has talent, significant talent. But it's how you use it. Are there guys on the roster now who should be evaluated more on the mental makeup than their physical gifts and potential? The young guys who are struggling right now are certainly not lacking in talent, but they may never have the mental makeup to become elite players in the NBA.

    Either way, it's just one more thing to consider when talking about who should stay and who should go. If the goal is to build a playoff team, that mental strength is key. Weak players have no place in the playoffs. Competitive fire along with the ability to keep it in check/harness it.

    Bargnani, Kleiza, JJ all have it in spades. Amir has it.

    Ed Davis has shown sparks of it.

    Bayless has it, but lacks the "harness" part.

    Demar needs to find it.
    Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

  • #2
    With DeRozan, I think it's as much a problem of having an athletic kid who was placed on a pedistal at every level along the way to becoming filthy rich at the age of 19. Then when things go south and people start criticizing him, he doesn't know how to handle it. That's why I think kids should be forced to stay in university for at least 2 seasons, before being able to leave for the NBA; they aren't mature enough to deal with everything. It's also a good reason why teams need to have a veteran presence, to teach the young kids the ropes, both on the court and off it. We've seen this enough in the NBA, I don't mean to pick on DeRozan, I just think another year or two of college would have done wonders for him in the long-term. I hope he finds "it", but after almost 3 seasons, I just don't think he's talented enough to hold onto in the hopes that he will find "it", if a suitable trade opportunity comes along.

    As for Bayless, I said it last season and I'll say it again now, that he is a completely different player and person when he is a starter. *cough* TJ Ford *cough* Jack *cough* selfish point guards *cough* trade him now while value has peaked *cough*

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    • #3
      Completely agree on Bayless, although I don't really think his value is very high around the league, even if it has peaked. I'd just let him walk at the end of the year, personally. He's fun to watch, but he's replaceable.

      Also completely agree on players who come into the league too young and too coddled. I know Demar has the work ethic and athleticism to succeed. But the other piece is that competitive fire. He has it sometimes -- the few games this year when he's scored well, he's been very aggressive. But it's nowhere near consistent. A guy who wants to be elite simply doesn't disappear in games the way he has this year. That said, there are still 40 games to go. I'm not sure how quick I'd be to trade him this year.
      Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

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      • #4
        I don't know if I'd write bayless off so quickly, he's been looking pretty good these past few games, and I've seen some nice drive and kicks. If he can pass a little more, he can really open the defence

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        • #5
          jimmie wrote: View Post
          I think we might need to take a different tack re: evaluating the roster. I mean, I haven't argued with anyone who says the Raptors simply lack the talent to compete. But is that really true? Every player on the roster has talent, significant talent. But it's how you use it. Are there guys on the roster now who should be evaluated more on the mental makeup than their physical gifts and potential? The young guys who are struggling right now are certainly not lacking in talent, but they may never have the mental makeup to become elite players in the NBA.
          Every player in the league has talent. The difference between the level of talent on this team compared to a contender is vast. Potential and competency are entirely different. The Raptors collectively are incompetent but have the potential to be competent one day. The young players who are struggling are having troubles beyond "mental makeup". It's going to take a lot more than a "killer instinct" for Jose Calderon to tomahawk the ball in Kendrick Perkins face for example.

          jimmie wrote: View Post
          Either way, it's just one more thing to consider when talking about who should stay and who should go. If the goal is to build a playoff team, that mental strength is key. Weak players have no place in the playoffs. Competitive fire along with the ability to keep it in check/harness it.
          70% of this roster won't be here in 3 or four years. You won't know who is mentally strong until they're tested. That won't really happen until they get back into the playoffs. The mentally soft players will fade away as this team improves. Its a natural process of growing from a free meal to predator.

          jimmie wrote: View Post
          Bargnani, Kleiza, JJ all have it in spades. Amir has it.

          Ed Davis has shown sparks of it.

          Bayless has it, but lacks the "harness" part.

          Demar needs to find it.
          All those guys are worth keeping around. I won't be heart broken is any of them are dealt if the right offer comes along though.

          Heart is something that can't be "taught" but it is something that can be found. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

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          • #6
            Apollo wrote: View Post
            The young players who are struggling are having troubles beyond "mental makeup". It's going to take a lot more than a "killer instinct" for Jose Calderon to tomahawk the ball in Kendrick Perkins face for example.
            I disagree. Jose simply has to envision facing Perkins and the rest will follow

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            • #7
              Apollo wrote: View Post
              Every player in the league has talent. The difference between the level of talent on this team compared to a contender is vast. Potential and competency are entirely different. The Raptors collectively are incompetent but have the potential to be competent one day. The young players who are struggling are having troubles beyond "mental makeup". It's going to take a lot more than a "killer instinct" for Jose Calderon to tomahawk the ball in Kendrick Perkins face for example.



              70% of this roster won't be here in 3 or four years. You won't know who is mentally strong until they're tested. That won't really happen until they get back into the playoffs. The mentally soft players will fade away as this team improves. Its a natural process of growing from a free meal to predator.



              All those guys are worth keeping around. I won't be heart broken is any of them are dealt if the right offer comes along though.

              Heart is something that can't be "taught" but it is something that can be found. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
              Great Post Apollo. Couldn't agree more.

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