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Matt Devlin Q&A
RAPTORS: Matt Devlin’s Blog
August 28, 9:12 a.m.
First off, congrats to Team Canada for their dominant win over Mexico. Andy Rautins led the way with 18 points in their 95-40 victory!
I'm a big Raps fan and I live in Australia. I really enjoy the moves that they have made this summer. The proposed lineup of Calderon, DeRozan (or Wright), Turk, Andrea, and Bosh seems good. Its just that the biggest need for the off -season was to get tougher and have more rebounding; but Evans is not a first unit guy. It seems the the teams that win have excellent rebounding within their main group.
If the need arises, do you think it'd be a good idea to run Turk at the two sometimes and have Evans come in at the four (moving Bargs to the three)?
Answer: Rahul, rebounding is key because it limits opponents to one shot and it gives you extra possessions on the offensive end. At it's best, rebounding is done by a team as a collective effort, it's a mindset that is preached daily by the head coach, starting in training camp and it eventually becomes a part of the culture of the team. Take Orlando as an example, while Dwight Howard led the league with 13.8 rpg the Magic's second best rebounder was Rashard Lewis at 5.7 rpg. Lewis was ranked 47th in the NBA in rebouding. Orlando's third best rebounder was Hedo at 5.3 rpg. As a team Orlando was ranked 3rd in the league. The best rebounding team, the NBA Champs, the Lakers. L.A. had to players ranked in the top 20 in the league in rebounding, Pau Gasol at 8th and Lamar Odom at 19th. The Raptors ranked 21st in the NBA in rebounding last season. CB ranked 6th in the league in rebounding, one of only two players in the league to average 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds. I expect Bosh to grab at least his 10 a game. Andrea Bargnani improved to 5.3 rpg last season, just outside the top 50 and I expect Bargnani to be flirting with 7 a game this season. Plus the addition of Hedo's 5 plus rpg, Rasho is back and Reggie Evans brings his grit. I like the Raptors chances on the glass this season, they added key players and I know Jay Triano will stress getting boards from day one. As far as the match ups you mentioned, with the versatile players Bryan Colangelo has brought in, it will be interesting to watch the rotations and match-ups develop.
Why did Pops go to the Rockets. He should have stayed with the Raptors, yes he may not have had much playing time but he will have less with the Rockets. He was an energy boost for the Raps last season so I don’t see why but whatever.
Answer: Jamyson, it's simple, the Rockets appear to be the only team in the league that was willing to offer Pops a deal. While he did provide a spark in the 19 games that he played for Toronto, the Raps didn't make Pops a priority. However, the inside additions of Rasho, Evans and Amir Johnson are solid and each brings a specific quality to their inside presnce. Rasho the crafty veteran, Evans the grit and determination and Amir the length and athleticisim.
I was just wondering whether you can give me an indication on how the Raptors coaching staff assessed and also get your own assessment on how Patrick O'Bryant performed at the NBA Summer League 2009? Has he continued working out over this summer? If so in what areas (i.e., weight or skills training)? Is there a chance that he will finally have a break out season in 2009/10 (like Bargnani did last season)?
Thanks and regards,
Answer: Reggie, personally I don't put much stock in Summer League. I have announced Summer League games in the past and have seen plenty of players light it up and were never heard from again. Jay Triano told me he had a conversation with Patrick O'Bryant about how important this year is for him and where he stands in the organization. Jay laid out what exactly Patrick needs to work on and do to make an impact on this team. Triano also mentioned that if he needed any inspiration, Patrick could hang a Warrior and Celtic logo in his locker. Maybe prove a couple teams that they were wrong to give up on this lottery pick. Patrick came out of nowhere to lead Bradley to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, maybe it happened to fast for him, he had to take advantage of the notoriety and jump to the NBA. But he's been around now and OB has to have a strong training camp. There are too many guys in front of him not to make an early impression. If he doesn't, than I think it will be tough for him to get time.
First off congrats to BC for fine revamping of the roster.
However, I just read that Pops has come to a verbal agreement with the Houstan Rockets.
In the Midst of our beyond terrible season last year Pops was the only thing I as a Raptors fan had left to cheer for. His instant energy off the bench and ability to force himself between the man and the basket will be soared missed. Keeping both Patrick O'Bryant and Marcus Banks makes no sense as neither one proved they deserve a spot on the roster. Also Pops over Reggie Evans anyday of the week. Pops will have a better season and probably a bigger role in Houstan then Reggie does in T.O. Your thoughs?
Thanks for your time,
Derek from Barrie
Answer: Derek, Pops is expected to finally sign his deal with Houston possibly as soon as tomorrow. We certainly wish him all the best. Pops was a bright spot in the 19 games that he played here. First, if you want to buyout a player, they have to agree and given the current environment in the NBA, I don't know if there are too many players that would take a buyout during these times. The essence of a buyout is that you as the player believe you can go and get another job. It's rare that a team will give a player all the money on his deal to walk, so what's the incentive if you’re a player like Patrick or Marcus? More playing time some place else? More money some place else? Or at least enough to make up for the money lost in the buyout. Just look at how long it took Pops to get a deal. Joey Graham is still looking for one. As far as Pops or Reggie, they bring different qualities to a team and a game. One of priorities that Bryan Colangelo and Jay Triano wanted to address this offseason was toughness, you get that with Reggie Evans.
Game show host, no?
Last edited by jeffb; 08-28-2009 at 07:02 PM.