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Old 11-30-2013, 08:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
LX
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some interesting numbers in the piece kinda point to Valanciunas being a problem beyond how the coach has used him. And Amir has been pretty disappointing this season as well.

Quote:
The Raptors - who used 22 different starting lineups last season, sixth most in the NBA - have started the same unit in each game to begin the campaign. After experiencing some success on the floor together - specifically on the defensive end - towards the end of last season, the group of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas has underachieved through 15 contests this year.

That unit - the Raptors most used, both this season and last - outscored opponents by 85 points when they were in the game together a year ago, starting 21 of the team's final 25 games. They ranked third in the NBA in defensive efficiency among five-man units that played a minimum of 300 minutes together (only the Spurs and Grizzlies' starting fives had a better defensive rating). This season they are a minus-35, per NBA.com/stats, and are allowing opponents to shoot 52 per cent from the field. They have shared the floor for 229 minutes while the team's second most-utilized unit - Lowry, DeRozan, Gay and Johnson with Landry Fields - has played just 34 minutes together.

As a team, Toronto has been least effective in the first and third quarters, with the starters playing the bulk of the team's minutes. The Raptors are a plus-three in the opening frame and minus-39 in the third. Their best quarter has been the fourth - a period in which the starters have rarely played together - where their plus-45 mark is third best in the NBA (behind only the Pacers and Thunder).

"I think you have to look at the chemistry, skill set, what they bring to the table, a little bit of everything," Casey said of a possible change. "I don't question our guys' fight. It's not that we're not playing hard, it's just not meshing together with the first group."
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