Hollinger: Improved D has Raptors eying playoffs
Old 01-04-2010, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Hollinger: Improved D has Raptors eying playoffs

An Insider article. Here are some excerpts.

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It says almost all you need to know about the Toronto Raptors that "O" appears four times in their name while "D" doesn't make a single appearance. For the first five weeks of the season, the Raps embodied that theme to a historic extent. I wrote about their impotent defense in mid-November, and it worsened in the following days.

Yet teams can and will change trajectories during the course of the season, and the Raptors' shifting defensive fortunes have enabled them to make a charge in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Yes, I'm using the Eastern Conference playoff hopeful definition of "charge" here, as in "briefly compiling more wins than losses and thus gaining several games on the competition." Regardless, the Raps have looked much better lately.


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As you might expect, very few Raptors fans consider this just a coincidence. As bad as Toronto has been on defense this year, it has been orders of magnitude worse with Calderon playing. The Raptors are 11.2 points per 100 possessions worse with Calderon on the floor than when he's off it -- roughly the difference between Golden State and the Celtics on defense. Subjective evaluation backs up the numbers -- he's been beaten off the dribble as easily as any other point guard I've seen this season, and that's been the case ever since he tore his hamstring early in the 2008-09 campaign.

Of course, Calderon's supporters will argue that part of the reason his on-court versus off-court numbers are so bad is that he has been out of the lineup when his teammates have finally started defending with some zeal. And it might be a fair point: As bad as he's looked, it's extremely unlikely that a single player could have an impact as profound as Calderon's on-court versus off-court numbers imply.

In other words, even if Calderon was the problem, he can't hurt Toronto as much going forward unless the Raptors use him the way they did pre-injury. Given recent developments, that seems unlikely.

With or without Calderon, this will never be an elite defensive team, given the shortages of stoppers up and down the roster. But the Raptors can be good enough on defense to ride their offense into the playoffs, and suddenly that seems much more realistic than it did a month ago.
LINK - ESPN.com
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's all about improvement. Who's he to say we will never be an "elite" defensive team
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For an american sports writer this schmuck spends alot of time talking about the Raptors. Usually for the specific reason of shredding us apart.

What an asswipe!
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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this guys a dumass but still he is right about the improving d
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

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this guys a dumass but still he is right about the improving d
Yes and no. The fact is our D is looking better, but at the same time we've played a few undermaned teams and a few team on the back end of back2back's. I'm not trying to deminish our imrovements, just saying that there is more to it then just we're better now.

Tomorrow's a big test, if we can keep Orlando around 100pts then maybe we've turned a corner.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
Yes and no. The fact is our D is looking better, but at the same time we've played a few undermaned teams and a few team on the back end of back2back's. I'm not trying to deminish our imrovements, just saying that there is more to it then just we're better now.

Tomorrow's a big test, if we can keep Orlando around 100pts then maybe we've turned a corner.
So holding SA to in the 80's wasn't? What's so special about that one game? Granted our schedule has been lighter of late but if you are watching the games, the team IS defending better than they have all year.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

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So holding SA to in the 80's wasn't? What's so special about that one game? Granted our schedule has been lighter of late but if you are watching the games, the team IS defending better than they have all year.
I agree completely. I'm just saying that our circumstances and luck have improved as well. I'm just thankful that we're playing better and taking advantage of the above mentioned things.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I honestly hope that people don't start jumping off bridges again IF we lose to ORL tomorrow....
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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haha blaiming Calderon for all our defensive problems haha. Come on, he has a hate for Calderon as much as the next person on this forum. This guy takes hell when he gets injured. We would have beat all those teams with or with Jose. It wouldn't of mattered is all I am saying.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
wondering why he gets so much hate???? Freedom of speech right???

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one step at a time
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Our "improved" defence can easily be explained by a relative weakness of the opponents' during the "improvement period". As in - it's easier to defend well against a weak or tired team at home. A game in Boston would be a prime example of the "improvement".

As for Calderon being the root of all evil - sure, watching Parker run circles around Jack last night should be enough for anyone to realize what a load of crap that is. Calderon is not a great defender, but neither is Jack. Banks, when he is on, defends much better on the ball than either of those two, but he can't be as good offensively. So, all in all, it's up to the team defence concept on the perimeter and especially on the pick-and-rolls, otherwise Orlando is going to shred us to pulp, again.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MikeToronto View Post
Our "improved" defence can easily be explained by a relative weakness of the opponents' during the "improvement period". As in - it's easier to defend well against a weak or tired team at home. A game in Boston would be a prime example of the "improvement".

As for Calderon being the root of all evil - sure, watching Parker run circles around Jack last night should be enough for anyone to realize what a load of crap that is. Calderon is not a great defender, but neither is Jack. Banks, when he is on, defends much better on the ball than either of those two, but he can't be as good offensively. So, all in all, it's up to the team defence concept on the perimeter and especially on the pick-and-rolls, otherwise Orlando is going to shred us to pulp, again.
Parker runs circles around everybody, but Jack did manage to cut off his penetration 5 or 6 times. Every little battle counts when you're defending an offensive player who is constantly in attack mode.

People shit on Jack by comparing his defense to Calderon which is laughable. He's a solid defender, Caldy isn't even close.

Banks has the luxury of not having to worry about foul trouble, he can come on and be super aggresive. But when it comes down to the last 2-3 minutes of the game, I would still want Jack out their on the offensive end and the defensive end.

Last edited by bjjs; 01-04-2010 at 06:58 PM.
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