Chisholm: Looking at Raptors' changes in the paint
Old 09-10-2012, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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STARTING CENTER

Last season: Aaron Gray and Amir Johnson
This Season: Aaron Gray and Amir Johnson

This spot is obviously just a placeholder until Jonas Valanciunas is ready to slide into the starting five, but for now (probably this entire season), Gray and Johnson will split the duties depending on matchups and injuries.

Gray is a stellar rebounder, fifth in the NBA last season in rebound rate, and he's the team's only legit seven-footer that is physically equipped to guard against the biggest pivot-men in the NBA. Gray started 40 of 66 games for the Raptors last year (he probably would have started even more had he not missed the start of the season with a rapid heart rate) and he'll likely be the default choice for the Raptors until Valanciunas gets comfortable on an NBA court.

It's worth remembering, of course, that Johnson also started 43 games last year, mostly at power forward as a result of Bargnani's injury problems keeping him out of regular action. General manager Bryan Colangelo has been boastful in the past about how the club's analytics favor a Bargnani/Johnson frontcourt, so one shouldn't rule out Johnson getting a chance to usurp a more permanent role in the starting five from Gray - it's just up to him to earn it with his play.

While Johnson can't match Gray's bulk, he is a more mobile forward and the club has been encouraging him to work on his jumper in an attempt to expand his offensive game. If he can prove himself a more capable back-line defender than he has been in the past while also making himself a more consistent pick-and-pop option, then whatever his role is, he should not have to worry about minutes in Toronto's rotation.
Chisholm: Looking at Raptors' changes in the paint
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Gray and Johnson will split the duties depending on matchups and injuries.
Is it just me, or is he making it sound like Valanciunas is Soloman Alabi?
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If Gray and Amir are splitting the minutes at the 5 that only leaves Val with less than 15 minutes of PT. Even if Amir does slide over to the 4 spot for a while Val still gets under 20 minutes of PT.

Gray: 18 minutes
Amir: 18 minutes
Val: 12 minutes
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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20 minutes at backup C sound about right for Val, no problem there

Ed Davis is going to be forgotten again tho.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Val will be starting just like DeRozan was in his rookie year.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Val will be starting just like DeRozan was in his rookie year.
I doubt it..... that didn't really help elevate Demar's game sooner
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I doubt it..... that didn't really help elevate Demar's game sooner
That's because there isn't much to elevate
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ed Davis is going to be forgotten again tho.
12-15 minutes as backup PF.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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12-15 minutes as backup PF.
Yeah, probably about 15mpg, at least to start the season. He may end up averaging closer to 20 due to injuries and shit as the season goes on.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That's because there isn't much to elevate
props necessary.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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So everything is exactly the same and Valanciunus will only ride the pine? Ed Davis will be worse? This is a pretty awful and depressing artcile and I don't think I agree with most of it.

More of a half full look is...

Bargs at PF and not Centre all year? Plus
Valanciunus will play more than stated and better than Gray for stretches (until he fouls out) - Plus
Ed Davis will be way better - Plus
Amir is strictly off the bench - Plus
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If Valanciunas starts i can see our bigs rotation being:

Bargnani/Davis/Acy
Valanciunas/Johnson/Gray


If so, what a difference a year makes. Gray as the 3rd Center...i hope so

Bargnani (34mpg), Davis (12mpg), Acy (2mpg)
Valanciunas (20mpg), Amir (20mpg), Gray (8mpg)

Last edited by jeffb; 09-11-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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That's because there isn't much to elevate
This.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Given all of the discourse about staying out of foul trouble surrounding Val, this coming of course from Casey, Colonjello, and Stefanski, I think its safe to say Val will be starting and Amir or Ed will be backing up Bargnani.
Chisholm should be reading these forums more closely.....
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Valanciunas wont be starting the season. i believe Casey already mentioned this. Unless he brings something to training camp that changes Casey's mind we're probably not going to be seeing him play as many minutes early on.
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