Arsenalist: Some Things The Raptors Should Do
Old 10-27-2008, 09:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arsenalist shares his thoughts on eights small things he'd like to see from this season's edition of the Toronto Raptors.

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Originally Posted by Raptors Republic
There are a few small things I’d like to see from this edition of the Raptors, I’ve narrowed them down to 8:

1. Find an identity. Find some things that you’re good at and become great at them. Whether it be three point shooting, low-block scoring, man-defense or rebounding. You can’t be great at everything but you can focus on a few things and become very good at them. For example, Colangelo’s 2005-06 Raptors developed an identity of an offensive juggernaut that relied on three point shooting and when they played that style they usually won. Similarly this team needs to find a way to play which is best suited to them and force that style on play on opponents. Easier said than done but that should be Sam Mitchell’s #1 priority.

2. If somebody gives you a hard foul, get mad. If you’re not going to get Ron Artest mad, at least get Rasheed Wallace mad.

3. Script the first five plays of the first and third quarters so you get movement, continuity and some rhythm coming out of the gate. We’re not a team that plays catch-up very well and getting off to good starts in the first and third quarters is half the battle.

4. Give O’Neal space to operate. We need to establish him in the post by clearing out space for him (this mean’s moving Bosh to the other side of the court) and avoiding spacing that makes it easier for defenders to help on him. This was lacking for most of the preseason.

5. If Calderon isn’t cutting it defensively, yank him. It sounds harsh given our backup PG situation but he needs to understand that when he gets broken down it has a domino effect on the team. PG penetration was a big problem last year and although we have improved help defense this year in the form of O’Neal, it does not mean we can repeat our performances from last year.

6. Get fast-break points. We didn’t get nearly enough last year because of our rebounding but this year with O’Neal around we can grab the rebound and throw a quick outlet to jump-start the break.

7. When playing offense/defense, favor the offense. We lost at least a dozen games last year because of a stalling fourth quarter offense. I remember Jamario Moon taking too many bad, bad shots because he was left wide open by the defense. Flip that strategy around this year even if it means you’re putting someone like Kapono in a vulnerable position. You can’t always hide your weaknesses but you can exploit all your strengths.

8. Acquire a small forward. This is the NBA and one can make a case that you’re only as good as your talented athletic wing players of which we have none. Unless the Raptors are tearing through the competition in the first half of the season, a silent trading deadline will surely be the wrong move.

These are all technicalities though. At the end of the day as Jack Armstrong pointed out, we need two of Jason Kapono, Andrea Bargnani or Anthony Parker to have career years if we want to make up for the lack of depth. Sam Mitchell’s echoing the exact same sentiments here when he says that two of Kapono, Parker and Moon need to step up. If the preseason is any indication of where things lie we’re going to struggle because of all the players mentioned in this paragraph only Andrea Bargnani looked somewhat in form. We’re all desperately hoping for a big jump in the quality of play from preseason to regular season which means that the practice sessions going on these days are paramount to getting off to a good start.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Number 8 sounds great, but I think team needs a SG more than a SF.

Got 4 guys on roster 5 including Bargs who can play SF and only a couple at the SG, Parkers getting old and should be coming off the bench to solidify the second unit. Moon ar Kaps is sufficient at the SF to compete, provided there was a good SG. Like a Parker of 5 years ago even.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think we're more than fine with AP starting at the SG spot this season, but definitely this summer its a position that certainly needs to be addressed. The SF spot is definitely the "black hole" of our starting line-up and even the back-up situtation at this point too. Night in, night out its going to be a crap shoot when it comes to production and what to expect. I'd like a little more certainty at SF going into this season.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dunno, Kapono has been playing the preseason games as a SG.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Dunno, Kapono has been playing the preseason games as a SG.
And has been his usual terrible self. Definitely not the same player we saw against the Magic last spring.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Moon will come around and will shoot only about 40%, but bring down 6-7 rebounds and block 1 a game. He will play comparible to last season. I think AP's production is gonna drop, especially on the defensive end, he is slowing loosing his speed and is going to get burned night in night out.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd love to see a little bit of #2.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd love to see a little bit of #2.
Here ya go
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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touché
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