Liston: 45 Wins Won’t Be a Layup
Old 09-22-2009, 11:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Liston: 45 Wins Won’t Be a Layup



P.S. Sorry Tom that your chart didn't translate properly in my copy and paste, but hopefully people get the point.

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Originally Posted by Liston via Raptors Republic
Tom is an Equity Research Analyst by day and a long-time Raptors supporter at night. You can contact him by email (tomliston at hotmail.com) or follow him on Twitter

45 Wins

There is a ton of speculation on where the Raptors will land in the standings next year. There is a low of 39 wins – and just out of the playoffs – and plenty of optimistic 50+ win predictions on the chat boards.

I, like many, think it’s difficult to speculate. However, I believe there are a few keys IF the Raptors are to get somewhere in the 45 win range – which would likely place them in the 4 to 6 spot in the East. However, I believe meeting this goal may be a stretch.

So, what needs to happen in order to get there (i.e. ~ 45 wins)?

1) Defence – reduce the opponent’s FG percentage by 1% from last year. Doesn’t sound like much, but over the last few years, holding your opponent’s FG to 45.5% or better generally translated into 45 or more wins. See my earlier article for some further detail.

In Toronto’s wins last year, the Raptors held its opponents to a 42.3% FG% while losses on average were due to 49.3% FG% shooting by its opponents.

So what about that “magic” number of 45.5% above? It seems it was a key number for the Raps last season as well:

>45.5% Opponent’s FG

Wins 8 17%

Losses 39 83%



<45.5% Opponent’s FG

Wins 25 71%

Losses 10 29%

Jay Triano, in an excellent interview by TSN’s Tim Chisholm, seems to agree:

“We have to have a toughness and a desire to want to play defense. I mean, the best teams in the league are the best defensive teams. We were twenty-first in field goal percentage allowed last year, and that’s why we weren’t in the Playoffs.”

The key here, I believe, is to have our perimeter defence force the PG or wings away from the middle. It’s much easier to trap in the corners, while allowing penetration up the middle most often leads to an easy dish for a score or foul.

2) Andrea Bargnani stepping up. Bear with me here – we’ll take a couple of different angles. First I tried the “Wins Produced” approach on the new Raptors roster and had a result of 46.7 wins. Before we all get excited there are two significant issues: 1) it is tough to use last year’s numbers to project forward given all the changes to the roster and 2) the author (Berri) properly noted to me that the error rate goes up (long story) by calculating it this way. So, let’s keep it simple. In past years, using Berri’s work, Calderon and Bosh produce roughly 23 wins when reasonably healthy. Thus, we need to “find” 22 more. Last year, Turkoglu “produced” 6.7 wins while Evans was pegged at 2.6 wins produced. Given that both will likely see even a small bump in rebounds, we’ll round this number to 10. Jarrett Jack (3-4), Amir Johnson (~2, but has upside), Rasho Nesterovic (~1), and Marco Belinelli (~1) give us another 7 or so. Thus, we more or less need Bargnani to account for at least 5 wins.

So, Andrea Bargnani needs to become….. Brad Miller?!!

Brad Miller didn’t get a lot of national TV attention in his career given he was stuck in Sacramento the last number of years. However, in the playoffs (especially vs Boston, game 6) we saw his versatility. While everything but flashy (and despite the bad tattoos), he is an effective center. And I submit that if Bargnani could replicate his effectiveness, we would have a solid shot at producing > 45 wins. Below is a comparison – with several metrics using a per 48 minute base.

Player Age G MP FG% 3P% FT% ORB/48 DRB/48 REB/48

Bargnani 23 78 2453 45.0 40.9 83.1 1.4 6.8 8.1
Miller 32 70 2100 47.6 41.1 82.4 3.4 9.0 12.5
% Difference 17% -5% 0% 1% -60% -25% -35%

AST/48 PTS/48 Win Score PAWSmin
Bargnani 1.8 23.5 400.5 -0.062
Miller 5.3 19.0 571.5 0.047
% Difference -66% 24% -30%

What is clear is Andrea’s rebounding and passing deficiencies. Certainly after the Jermaine O’Neal trade, Andrea’s rebounding numbers increased. However, I believe we still need to see his total rebounds number above 10 over 48 minutes. With that change and another assist per game, Andrea would be above the 5 “wins produced” metric. Even if you may not buy into Berri’s work, the comparison alone should highlight where Bargnani needs to improve – which should translate into additional wins.

3) Matchups (coaching strategies). Jay Triano is lacking solid defenders. But he does have a few. Bosh, Nesterovic, Evans, Johnson and Wright are all reasonable. Triano also has many opportunities for mismatches – big lineups that can handle the ball (i.e. the proposed started lineup) or tougher lineups (with Jack, Evans, Johnson). Plenty of great shooters as well. On defence, having our (slower) perimeter defenders force the action towards the corners/baseline will allow proper help from our bigs, with less easy dishes for easy scores.

Thus, I submit that 45 wins will be anything but a “layup”. I think our expectations are best set at a 500-ish team (i.e. ~ 41-41). Several of the top teams have had serious injuries to some of their top players (Garnett, Brand, Arenas, O’Neal etc), many of whom are predicted by “experts” to bounce back to normal form. As we learned from our own O’Neal example, this is often difficult on old legs (Arenas may be the exception given his age). Thus, we may see a few more wins as our younger team hopefully will hold up better than some of the ageing key players on teams above us. However, we obviously cannot depend upon it.

As always, I welcome your thoughts. And I’ll leave you with this:

Q: How do you tell the introverted statistician from an extroverted statistician?

A: The extroverted statistician is the one staring at the other person’s shoes.
Source - Liston: 45 wins won&rsquo;t be a layup – Raptors Republic - Raptors Blog ESPN TrueHoop
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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this adds the numbers to what most of us are saying. the difference between winning and losing is very small. This Raptors team should be able to play the type of defense that will put it in a position to win many more games this season. it will be up to the guys to bust their ass on defense to take advantage of that opportunity. I still believe that 50+ is possible with this group. Defense!! Defense!!
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Tom is an Equity Research Analyst by day
Well, that explains everything... As if one Hollinger wasn't quite enough...
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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500ish?

Is this guy on crack?

+ i would add Jack & Bargnani to the "reasonable" defenders. If we get less then 45wins i'll be shocked and absolutely disapointed.Oh and Bosh will be as good as gone if we're .500ish because there is no way we'll have playoff success being a 7-8th seed.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
500ish?

Is this guy on crack?

+ i would add Jack & Bargnani to the "reasonable" defenders. If we get less then 45wins i'll be shocked and absolutely disapointed.Oh and Bosh will be as good as gone if we're .500ish because there is no way we'll have playoff success being a 7-8th seed.
+1
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
is.....

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i dont think its reasonable to think we will win less then 45 games this year.....if people think that, well then like jeffb said, your doing crack
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Shit, it's not unreasonable to think that without all our injuries last season we could have been around .500ish (5-6 more wins?)

And our team had players like Ukic, Adams, Kapono, Graham, Soloman.

This team is a hell of alot better then that sorry bunch.

Hedo>Marion (for what we needed imo)

Jack>>>>>UKic

Belinelli>>Kapono

Wright>>> Moon

Rasho>>POB

Evans/Johnson>>>Voskhul/Hump

We've improved at every backup position, added a young top 10 prospect, and add to that Bargs goes into a season for the first time without any question marks about where he fits in.....and Bosh is now going to be playing for his next contract.

= 45+ win season
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What happens if the team doesn't gel? They get worst defensively?

We haven't played a game yet, yet it's set in stone that we're better than a 45 win team somehow?
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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if this team doesn't gel, and i do appreciate how important that is, but many teams win without getting along! chemistry is great when you have it, but it is a bit over-rated at the pro level, IMHO... these guys only need to be focused on their job which will be to play defense and score lots! pretty simple and you don't have to like someone to play with them, ask anyone AI has played with! MR. NICE GUY Reggie Miller won how many titles?? hmmm yet the tough to be around Kobe Bryant has how many?? ... thoughts to ponder on this first day of autumn...
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
Is this guy on crack?
No, but thank you for the feedback on the post
My point was there is signficant improvements thay need to be made - that's my view and I realize you disagree.

Quote:
+ i would add Jack & Bargnani to the "reasonable" defenders. If we get less then 45wins i'll be shocked and absolutely disapointed.Oh and Bosh will be as good as gone if we're .500ish because there is no way we'll have playoff success being a 7-8th seed.
Jack is - Bargs is prob "close". I would not be shocked if we get less than 45 wins, although I'm hoping we do much better than that.

Last edited by Liston; 09-22-2009 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
What happens if the team doesn't gel? They get worst defensively?

We haven't played a game yet, yet it's set in stone that we're better than a 45 win team somehow?
Who said anything is set in stone. Obviously anything can happen, team won't gel, injuries, shitty coaching? But everything we're talking about is based on predictions and opinion or do we all have to put IMO after ever comment? lol

I do think that this team is at least good enough to get 45 wins. And IMO thinking otherwise is probably looking at what could go wrong rather then look at the overall talent and predicting based on that. Nobody can predict how the team will gel or how many injuries will occur, how Derozan will develop. But in September we as fans look at the talent and predict.

As far as defence being worse, that i highly doubt IMO.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Stop being a douche.

Everyone here is saying that's its set in stone, or somewhat implying or inferring it in their opinions. So far the majority of opinions here are stating that to say that they won't win 45 games is a travesty against this team and being nearsighted.

I'm saying that it's entirely possible that they won't win 45 game and could conceivably win 39-40.

And I'm curious, why do you highly doubt our defense could get worse? What's the evidence you can site?
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
lol

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72-10
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The Raps replaced Marion with Turkoglu and Parker with DeRozan/Wright/Belinelli - of course the defense could get worse. The bench is better on that end, obviously, but they don't eat up most of the minutes.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think 45 wins is the reasonable expectation. 41 or less is if more than a few things go wrong. 50+ is if more than a few things go right. Based on the quality of the roster, we are better than atlanta, miami and whasington (if arenas is not 100%).

and wright and amir are considered very good defenders, and jack is a good to very good defender too. At least that's my understanding of the league wide opinion of these two.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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on a more statistical approach, it's very likely that bosh, Bargnani and Calderon will be better than last season. There's a good chance that amir, wright and jack will be hugely better than ukic, kapono and graham, and a 50/50 chance that derozan will be better than parker of 2008.

Last season's team was a .500 team if there only was more depth. We went in the tank when Calderon injured his leg in november, and wasn't nearly 100% (not to mention bosh's horrible december when he was knee deep in his personal issues).

Yes, there's a chance we suck, hedu is a very important piece and he must be healthy and able to gel. But, for example, it's much more likely that wade or arenas miss a ton of games than hedu. And we're much more able to sustain injuries than both miami and atlanta, and probably better than the wizards too.

I strongly believe that 45 wins should be the reasonable target, and anything else would be a major dissapointment.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m5racer View Post
i dont think its reasonable to think we will win less then 45 games this year.....if people think that, well then like jeffb said, your doing crack
It is "reasonable" - although what does that mean exactly? Point being is that I think those three keys more or less NEEED to happen to get 45+ wins. And those are all large improvements on last year. Can we achieve those goals? Absolutely. But is it a given? By no means - there are a lot of improved teams in the East - including us. 45 wins means 12 more than last year. It's not given. I sure as heck hope we do much better, but its a challenge for sure.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think there's enough promise to win 50, but it will take some bad things happening elsewhere, and some good breaks for Toronto. There is no good way to predict a full NBA season. The only safe bet is to see the team as being better than last season.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by moremilk View Post
and wright and amir are considered very good defenders, and jack is a good to very good defender too. At least that's my understanding of the league wide opinion of these two.
You're right, I should've included Jack in that group.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
everybody get off ur arses and vote CB4 to the All Star Game!

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I've been saying...a lot of fans are overly optimistic about the upcoming season, maybe rightly so. But the fact that a lot of fans are predicting 50+ wins, means they are setting themselves up for possible disappointment.

I mean I love the hype and the feeling of optimism leading up to the season just as much as anyone, and I should add that I too am hoping for 50+ wins. Realistically though I think that might be a stretch. That would be an improvement of 17+ wins in one season. How often does that happen?

To be honest, as long as the Dinos make it to the playoffs with the 5th seed i'd be happy as hell, cuz that means they would actually have a fighting chance to make it out the 1st round!
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