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Old 12-09-2007, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
Dr. J. Naismith
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Default NBA Scouting Report: Life without stars for Cavs, Raptors

Interesting take and opinion from an outsider and I'd have to say that Ryan's pretty much bang on regarding this Raptors this season.

Originally Posted by Ryan Fagan

Why have the Raptors been able to play better than the Cavs?

"I think their offseason additions of Jason Kapono and Carlos Delfino have obviously helped. They're getting exactly what they thought they would get out of Kapono, which is 3-point shooting. Delfino is actually playing better than he ever did in Detroit. He's making 3-point shots now, and he can also take you off the dribble and he's good in the open court. It's probably the change of scenery. He's getting more consistent minutes, he has a little more freedom because he knows he can make a mistake and still get his minutes.

"Toronto's system is not totally built around Bosh. Obviously he's a focal point, but their biggest thing is they don't turn the ball over. They defend and they don't turn the ball over. They share the ball. They get solid contributions from Jamario Moon from out of nowhere, and Kapono and Delfino off the bench. They don't run anything complicated, it's pretty simple stuff -- pick-and-roll, space the floor and then bomb away from the 3-point line."

Why has Jose Calderon been so successful?

"Calderon is leading the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (7.9 assists per game, 1.4 turnovers per game) by far above anybody else. He doesn't take chances. He pushes the ball and in a split-second decides if they have a fast break or if they don't, and if they don't, he immediately backs up and calls a set. You'll rarely see those guys get a bad shot in transition because they're just not running anything wildly. He'll pull the out and get them into a set offense.

"There are guys across the league who think that Calderon might have more value than T.J. Ford. They arguably have the best two-point guard combination in the league. Obviously there are better point guards, but with those two guys, there's not a big drop-off. Calderon's a little more solid, but T.J. Ford has the speed and his ability to penetrate is better. It's a pretty good combination to have."

How good can they be when they're healthy?

"They're probably realistically in the top five in the East if they're healthy. They're very similar to what Chicago was last year. They're very perimeter-oriented, and if they're making shots, they're very difficult to beat. And they defend very well. They have Bosh, but he's not a huge post-up guy, and he's basically their lone post-up threat. They'll post their guards up a bit, but if they're executing shots and being patient and not turning the ball over, they're pretty tough to beat."
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