ESPN: Five Teams at a Crossroads
Old 10-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Interesting.

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Toronto Raptors
Head coach Dwane Casey got the hard work out of the way in Season 1, taking a team ranked dead last in team defense and catapulting it to 12th by installing some conservative principles and demanding full effort from the entire roster.

There were other bright spots, with more on the way. When Andrea Bargnani was healthy, he played some of the best basketball of his career. Once Jonas Valanciunas gets a feel for the NBA game, he'll demand attention down low. New acquisition Kyle Lowry can generate instant offense, which should also help.

There's a lot to like here, but still a ton of work to do to improve upon a 25th-ranked offense. The Raptors desperately need to open up some space in the half court to prevent the rigor mortis that bogged them down last season. Bargnani, when he's out there, helps inordinately, and Lowry can hit a shot from the perimeter and break down defenses off the bounce. But the Raptors simply can't build the kind of offense they want with their current supply of wings -- and that sober reality starts and ends with DeMar DeRozan, who enters the final guaranteed year of his rookie deal.

DeRozan, the Raptors' leader in minutes played each of the past two seasons, has never posted a player efficiency rating (PER) above the league average and it's not as if he's making up for it as a defender. He's not a proficient outside shooter, makes iffy reads on the pick-and-roll and is a ball-stopper in isolation with a less-than-stellar track record of converting those opportunities into anything -- a creator without much creativity.

To put it bluntly, there are very few things DeRozan is doing to help the Toronto Raptors win basketball games and it's hard to imagine an efficient offense that relies on him for a significant chunk of possessions.

The Raptors raised eyebrows by selecting Terrence Ross with the No. 8 pick in June. While Ross is no polished product on the offensive end, he's a Casey type of player, with quick feet on defense and a heady awareness of what's happening on the floor. Ross could watch tape of Tony Allen and craft a career as a stopper with a few offensive tricks. He'd be a natural replacement for DeRozan, provided he can find his shot or, at the very least, recognize his limitations and minimize mistakes. That would be an easier proposition if there was another wing on the floor who could create.

If the Raptors let DeRozan walk, they'd have some dough to find someone -- anyone -- who can score efficiently at the wing. Once that happens, the ball will start to move again in Toronto, this time with a stalwart defense to complement it.
Five teams at a crossroads - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well done article regarding DD. He still has so many limitations.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If only he could dribble
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd be curious to see what we could get for a package of Derozan, Davis, Calderon. Part of me would rather we get a legit SF through trade or FA and go with Ross/Fields/Anderson at the SG position. Now obviously it would all depend on how good Derozan is this season especially defensively and how Ross shows.

I would love to see Ross be a Sefolosha type of player at SG w/a better shot. If Ross develops well it makes Derozan expendable and it might allow us to finally get that elusive stud SF this team has been lacking for years.

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Old 10-27-2012, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wouldn't pull the trigger on a DD trade yet unless something ridiculously good came along. He's shown signs of improving his game.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
I'd be curious to see what we could get for a package of Derozan, Davis, Calderon. Part of me would rather we get a legit SF through trade or FA and go with Ross/Fields/Anderson at the SG position. Now obviously it would all depend on how good Derozan is this season especially defensively and how Ross shows.

I would love to see Ross be a Sefolosha type of player at SG w/a better shot. If Ross develops well it makes Derozan expendable and it might allow us to finally get that elusive stud SF this team has been lacking for years.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wouldn't pull the trigger on a DD trade yet unless something ridiculously good came along. He's shown signs of improving his game.
I agree,he will emerge as the team's best player as I suggested all summer and so far through preseason he's made a legitimate case for that claim. Now that he has a PG in Lowry who better compliments his game,we'll see improvements from DeRozan offensively.

The main problem is Toronto is starting two shooting guards(DD+LF) so opposing teams are sending their Small Forwards to guard him. For the better of the team,I'd trade DeRozan in a package deal with others for Rudy Gay because he's the best player at that position who's realistically acquirable.

Other than that,I believe they should keep DeRozan,he's the least of the Raptors problems.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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yeah, i've really liked derozan so far. We'll see, and he does like toronto, but never know with these mericans. :P
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The guy's been playing really well this pre-season. Probably our best player. Him and Lowry. Let's see what he's like around the trade deadline.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KoolAid View Post
If only he could dribble
To DeRozan's defense he has shown a little more handles this preseason. I just hope it translates to the regular season. & his defense has been solid in preseason.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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To DeRozan's defense he has shown a little more handles this preseason. I just hope it translates to the regular season. & his defense has been solid in preseason.
i too noticed the "little more handles" problem is what i've seen is the improvement is very little, i definitely see an improvement, just that its so little there's basically no difference, and its definitely not at a good enough level to do anything with it, when he dribbles its a lot of bouncing the ball but its going nowhere and its faking out nobody
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i too noticed the "little more handles" problem is what i've seen is the improvement is very little, i definitely see an improvement, just that its so little there's basically no difference, and its definitely not at a good enough level to do anything with it, when he dribbles its a lot of bouncing the ball but its going nowhere and its faking out nobody
May not be as much of an issue if his post game continues to develop and he uses his strength to get to the hole.

That'll prob. be better for him than facing up from 20ft out trying to take his man off the dribble.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TORaptor4Ever View Post
May not be as much of an issue if his post game continues to develop and he uses his strength to get to the hole.

That'll prob. be better for him than facing up from 20ft out trying to take his man off the dribble.
He needs to play to what the defense gives him. Smaller player? Post him up. Larger/slower player? Blow by him to the hole. Someone like LeBron? Call a play and get someone to set you a pick or something.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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i agree with the comments about DD..have not been impressed with him since we drafted him. i am not saying hes a good player, i think hes a great finisher and knows how to draw contact but.. moving forward we need someone else.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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He will need to demonstrate this year that he is a legit starter with differentiating skills on both ends of the court. There have been signs in the pre-season, but heck it's a way too small sample size.
I think it's a coin toss on weather he makes the grade ... I certainly hope he does ..
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think DeMar's improved confidence handling the ball makes a substantial difference. Not in terms of faking anybody out, but rather in being better able to keep his head up, read the defense, and be a much more effective facilitator.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think DeMar's improved confidence handling the ball makes a substantial difference. Not in terms of faking anybody out, but rather in being better able to keep his head up, read the defense, and be a much more effective facilitator.
which I think is one of the reasons casey said he'd be looking to have some pick and roll's with derozan and a big. I think he noticed the ball handling improvement, and with that, as you said, comes the ability to bring others into play, rather than focus on not losing the ball.

with the ball in derozan's hand, on a pick and roll or in the post, it opens up opportunities for our best 3 point shooters in lowry and Bargnani to drain from deep if ever their man leaves to help. I can't stress this enough, but it's going to improve our offence, a heck of a lot, since we won't rely on derozan shooting, but rather playing to his strengths, allowing the rest of the team to play to their strengths. as well, it will help our offence be less predictable.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This season is going to be a good one fo rus, a lot of good clos games, sturggling too.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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i agree with the comments about DD..have not been impressed with him since we drafted him. i am not saying hes a good player, i think hes a great finisher and knows how to draw contact but.. moving forward we need someone else.
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