Raptors HQ: Cause For Concern
Old 08-04-2009, 12:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

Retired Administrator
 
Dr. J. Naismith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Almonte
Posts: 10,246
Representing:
Default Raptors HQ: Cause For Concern



Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptors HQ
There are a lot of positive vibes right now about this team and the potential season ahead. Although Howland likes some of the moves made this off-season he still thinks there are two glaring holes which will inevitably be the downfall of this team.

Heading into the 2009/2010 season the Raptors roster will look very different from the one that finished-up the 2008/2009 campaign. Not only will there be two new starters in the line-up but the bench has been completely revamped. There will be at least 6 new faces on this year’s squad.

It’s been a major overhaul. It started with the Jason Kapono trade and the changes keep on coming, the latest move being the acquisition of Marco Belinelli. There has been a lot of money spent and many a deal made.

The result?

At first glance it’s hard not to believe that great things will happen for this team. For starters, this years Raptors squad looks like an offensive juggernaut. Based on last years stats, four of the sure fire starters (Bosh, Bargnani, Calderon and Hedo) averaged a combined 68 points per game. Whether it is Wright, DeRozan or Belinelli at the starting at the two, opposing teams have to be concerned with what is shaping up to be a very talented starting five – at least on the offensive end. You would be hard pressed not to believe this team wins more games than last year on the quality of the starters alone.

There is also firepower coming off of the bench. Jack, likely to be the first guy off the pine, has the ability to score the rock from all over the floor and should Wright start, both Belinelli and DeRozan look to have the ability to score. Let’s just say I am not concerned about this team from an offensive output standpoint.

Of course scoring the basketball has not really been a concern for the Raps over the past few seasons. Last years Raps, despite being led by an injured PG for most of the season still finished in the middle of the pack when it came to points per game (99.03). Over the course of the year Toronto averaged more points per game than Houton, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Antonio, New Orleans and Detroit, all 2008/09 playoff teams.

The major needs heading into the offseason, as identified by BC himself were threefold – a player who can both create offensively, a solid defender to help protect Jose at the 2, and a rebounder. The other obvious issue heading into the off-season was that this team was soft.

At first glance, it looks like BC has done a tremendous job addressing these things.

A player who can create? Signing Hedo. Check!

A solid defender to help protect Jose at the 2? Acquiring both Jack and Wright. Check!

A Rebounder? Acquiring Evans. Check!

Getting tougher? Acquiring Evans, Wright and Jack. Check!

Looks like a Grand Slam. BC should be lauded for his off-season activity. I don’t doubt that this team is going to be better than last years squad, but I am worried that fans, once again, are going to be disappointed with the outcome of this upcoming season.

Why?

Defense and Rebounding. Let’s take a look.

REBOUNDING
Despite having added Evans and bringing back Rasho, this Raps team, in particular the starters, look to be a very weak rebounding unit. Rather than lay out the gruesome details myself I will point you in Raptorblog’s direction where Scott Carefoot did a bang-up job looking at the rebounding woes of Toronto’s front court. Based on his analysis (which will have changed somewhat since the time of publication with certain player movement) Toronto will be starting the worst rebounding front-court in the Eastern Conference. The most poignant part of the article is as follows:

Quote:
"Just how important is rebounding in the grand scheme of things? Well, the top five teams in rebound differential last season were Portland, Boston, Cleveland, Houston and the Lakers (average wins:60). The bottom five were Miami, New York, the Clippers, Sacramento and Golden State (average wins: 28). So, yeah, I'd say it's pretty important."
This is one area where the changing of the guard at the SF position will really be felt. The impact of replacing Marion with Turk will be felt more on the glass than perhaps anywhere else. Marion is a fantastic rebounder. Even in his short stint with the Raps he was nabbing more than 8 boards a game. By way of comparison, Turk’s best season from a rebounding perspective doesn’t even come close to matching Marion’s rookie season numbers. This is a big drop-off and one the team can ill afford given last season it was in the bottom third of the league in terms of rebounds per game.

Furthermore, I don’t think Evans and Rasho are going to make that significant of a difference. Evans, although he has great rebounding numbers over 48 minutes will never play close to 48 minutes, or at least he shouldn’t given his limitations in other areas of his game. Rasho has never been a great rebounder either. Three seasons ago as the Raptors starting centre, he only managed 4.5 boards a game. Last year in Indiana he managed only 3.4 in about the same number of minutes I expect him to get this coming season (15-18 mins).

To put it bluntly, this team is going to continue to struggle when it comes to rebounding the ball. The only way this changes is if Bargnani spends more time in the paint and uses his massive frame to increase his production in this area. Another season averaging 5.3 boards a game just is not going to cut it. To put that number in perspective, there were 87 guys in the league who averaged more rebounds a game than Bargnani. Players ahead of him? Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Dominic McGuire and Mike Miller are some of the guys who averaged more rebounds a game just to name a few. If he can’t get upwards of 8 rebounds a game this team is going to find itself consistently outrebounded which will lead to more second chance opportunities for the opposition and less opportunity for this team to get out and run.

For those of you who think adding Pops Mensah-Bonsu is the answer it isn’t. I would love to see Pops back but he isn’t going to be the savior here. He can bring energy and hustle but he would likely see limited playing time so his impact would not be significant.

The simple reality is that outrebounding your opponent is key to securing W’s and this problem is only going to be magnified when combined with the next issue…

DEFENSE

Last years Raps squad was pretty atrocious defensively, in particular on the wing. Due to injury Calderon’s best defense was a solid clap of the hands and Parker started to slow and was simply "average". Adding Marion gave the team a good boost but on a whole opposing teams had little problem getting into the paint to create opportunities. The Raps were generally in the bottom third of the league in all major defensive categories.

BC has clearly tried to address this glaring weakness by securing the services of Jarrett Jack and Antoine Wright. Although I am not sure why reader’s need to know whether Antoine Wright likes smooth or crunchy peanut butter, or knows whether Texas is bigger than Canada, this interview gives you a good idea of what sort of defensive player the Raps have in Wright.

Even with these two additions and a healthy Calderon will the Raps be that much better defensively on the perimeter? Well the loss of Marion doesn’t help. For all of Hedo’s offensive talent he will never come close to being Shawn Marion when it comes to defense. Marion is extremely active on the defensive end and a tough match-up for even the best offensive players.

Some people have suggested that Iavaroni will be the answer for the Raps on the defensive end. I believe that having a defensive minded coach is an asset but we have argued time and time again that a defensive system is only worth the effort the players put into it. As fans we have been witness to some pretty weak defensive efforts. Iavaroni is a great hire but lets not forget his resume includes senior coaching positions on the Suns and the Grizzlies who were not exactly known for their defense during his tenure. He is not a miracle worker.

Now I do think this years Raptors squad has some better one-on-one defenders, in particular in the backcourt. The major problem I see is the lack of a shot blocking presence. Statistically the Raps best shot blocker is Bargnani who last season ranked 31st in the league. I think it is fair to say that 90% of his blocks were in one-on-one situations and very few were as a result of him helping defensively. Jermaine O’Neal may not have brought much but he was a presence on the defensive end and was willing to challenge opponents heading to the rim. The Raps clearly don’t have that sort of player and opposing teams will be able to expose this lack of "presence" in the paint. The core of the Raps defense continues to be soft and ready to be exposed.

Now this is not meant to be a downer article. I am excited for this team to start playing and I think it will be involved in some high scoring and exciting affairs. They will definitely be more enjoyable to watch than last season. However, this team will be measured by how it does come playoff time and it would be to our own detriment to forget the famous and undeniably true adage that Defense Wins Championships. This Raptors team may be able to get by during the upcoming regular season with less than stellar rebounding and questionable D, but when the games really count and next spring is upon us, these weaknesses will be exposed and it won’t be pretty.

I see problems ahead. I also don’t see how BC is going to solve them with what assets he has left. This season could be fun, but with all the money spent and all the deals made I was sort of hoping for more than that.

I didn’t want to have cause for concern.
Source - Cause For Concern - Raptors HQ
Dr. J. Naismith is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 01:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
Bmats7
is pounding the rock! (Edit)

Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Representing:
Default

Good article.

The most important thing I think in this article is Bargnani needing to rebound this year. He can't start every play outside the arc anymore. He's gotta grab 8 rebounds... and if he does.. we'll be awesome. Averaging less rebounds than Chris Paul is not going to help us win this year. He's gotta stop being an SG and play Center.. but still extend the slower centers when he can.
  Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
is pounding

Senior Member
 
VanCity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 3,941
Representing:
Default

good read...
VanCity is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
set adrift on a memory bliss of you.

Reptars
 
AR1815's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 889
Representing:
Default

Yea, good article; although, it's nothing that hasn't been said here before while discussing the value of Sean Marion.

If Bargs can improve his rebounding, we'll be fine. Bosh will get his, as will Evans. Rasho isn't an athletic guy that will leap over the defender, but you can bet your ass he will be boxing out and not letting the opponents get offensive rebounds, which was one of our biggest rebounding woes last year. And Rasho is also a good shot blocker and won't let the opposing team drive into the paint and get uncontested lay-ups.

Yes, I agree that we're still only okay at best when it comes to interior defense and rebounding, but we're miles ahead of where we were last year.

Besides, Evans' and Rasho's impact on the team will be felt not only in the games but during practice. Bargs and Bosh will have a much more competitive time going against those two than they would going against Pops and POB.

Last edited by AR1815; 08-04-2009 at 01:58 PM.
AR1815 is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 02:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
Unacceptable?! Did you see the pool? They flipped the bitch!

Get off my lawn
 
Renihan_00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,363
Representing:
Default

See this is the difference between hating and actually backing up your needs for improvement on the team.

Excellent article
Renihan_00 is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 08:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
whatever

Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: toronto
Posts: 9,388
Representing:
Default

I don't think this is a good article - to me it sounds like someone trying to find arguments for preconceived opinion. The reality is that whatever ranking criteria, good teams will tend to rank high, and bad teams will rank low and it's rare that an elite team is good at everything.

For example:
top 10 rebounding includes boston, lakers, houston, Dallas, Cleveland, but also Indiana, NY and Oklahoma. In the bottom ten you have miami, NO, Atlanta which are average to good teams.

top 10 FG% includes boston, lakers, orlando, denver, SAS, Dallas, Cleveland,but also GSW and Phoenix


and the same situation in other rankings. I would argue that rebounding seem so important for some fans because they suffer from the green grass syndrome.
moremilk is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 09:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
is all bout dat life

Can't knock the Hustle
 
Nites's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 14,288
Representing:
Default

Turk is a top ten rebounder at the SF position. However, if you take in consideration that he's only a hair shorter then 6'10" his rebounding average is pretty bad. Then we have Bosh who just get's the easy rebounds....
Nites is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 09:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
a baller

Senior Member
 
bjjs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,219
Representing:
Default

As he said, the concern is with the starters. With Derozan, Jack, Evans, and Wright we should be able to hold our own for most the game, but the last five minutes the starters are going to have to hold down the fort with the rebounding and defense.

As for Bosh grabbing the easy ones..I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that was sarcasm.
bjjs is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 09:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

Senior Member
 
jeffb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: YO MAMMA
Posts: 73,928
Representing:
I've said this before- as long as we cut down on 2nd/3rd chance points against we'll be fine because that absolutely killed us last season. Alot of that has to do with coaching (which scares me), this front court of Bosh/Bargs/Hedo is big and they need to put emphasis on boxing out and cutting down on those extra chances. Let's hope Ivaroni helps on that end.
jeffb is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 10:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
mooing

Senior Member
 
babyface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,102
Representing:
Default

BC can only do so much to address these "holes". It's up to the coaching staff and players to really get on board with a defensive/rebounding mentality.
babyface is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 10:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

Senior Member
 
jeffb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: YO MAMMA
Posts: 73,928
Representing:
Quote:
Originally Posted by babyface View Post
BC can only do so much to address these "holes". It's up to the coaching staff and players to really get on board with a defensive/rebounding mentality.
I think with Bosh/Hedo/Evans/POPS?/Rasho and guys like Wright/Jack/Derozan our rebounding should be improved. I also think that Hedo will average more rebounds this season because he doesn't have Howard pulling down 12-15 boards on a regular basis in front of him. But you're right, that it's up to the coaching staff (namely Ivaroni) to put these players in best system to succeed on the defensive end, because offence shouldn't be an issue.
jeffb is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 10:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
set adrift on a memory bliss of you.

Reptars
 
AR1815's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 889
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by moremilk View Post
and the same situation in other rankings. I would argue that rebounding seem so important for some fans because they suffer from the green grass syndrome.

Rebounding is one of the fundamental parts of the game that everyone can be taught to do relatively well, but few actually bother learning it, which is a shame. That's not green grass syndrome, it's what you have to do in order to win. How could we compete with any team if we weren't getting defensive rebounds and letting teams get second chance points?

And a better stat to look at is the rebound difference... Of the teams that got into the playoffs, only Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, and NO grabbed less rebounds than they gave up.
AR1815 is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
LX
present minded

In the Paint


 
LX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 27,923
Representing:
Default

They won't be woeful, and on top of that - rebounding just isn't as important as people like to think, as Milk illustrates.
LX is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 10:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummomd so people stop whining

Senior Member
 
jeffb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: YO MAMMA
Posts: 73,928
Representing:
Quote:
Originally Posted by •LX• View Post
They won't be woeful, and on top of that - rebounding just isn't as important as people like to think, as Milk illustrates.
The fact is our offence will be less of an issue, our rebounding should be less of an issue and our depth should be less of an issue. That all equals fun imo.
jeffb is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 11:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
Gam zeh ya'avor

The Gatekeeper
 
MikeToronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,935
Representing:
Default

If you make a lot of shots, there are less rebounds to be had. In fact, if you allow your opponents to shoot layups all night long, there are even less rebounds available.

Rebounding is important, at both ends of the floor. However, just like any other stat, it must never be taken out of context of an overall game plan and its execution. In the end, the only stat that really matters are those Ws...
MikeToronto is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 11:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
whatever

Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: toronto
Posts: 9,388
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AR1815 View Post
Rebounding is one of the fundamental parts of the game that everyone can be taught to do relatively well, but few actually bother learning it, which is a shame. That's not green grass syndrome, it's what you have to do in order to win. How could we compete with any team if we weren't getting defensive rebounds and letting teams get second chance points?

And a better stat to look at is the rebound difference... Of the teams that got into the playoffs, only Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, and NO grabbed less rebounds than they gave up.
and from the teams that made it to the playoffs, most have scored more points than have allowed, most have had better FG% than their opponents, most have had more blocks, better 3pt defense and so on.

Good teams tend to out rank bad teams by most criterias, counterintuitive as it might sound

For example, rebounds are JUST as important as TOs. If you get one rebound more than the opponent is the same as making one TO less than your opponent. And the Raptors are usually top 3 in terms of TOs, which more than compensates for the worse rebounding.

If we shoot 5% more than our average opponent, we will win the conference regardless of how we rebound. Of course, we won't, but the point is that rebounds are not a tell all stat, none is really. They all have the same weight and NO TEAM is top of the league in all categories.


Not to mention that nobody thinks we will a title this year. We are heavy favorites to make the playoffs, and if we win a round 99% of fans will be very happy. Once we get there and resign bosh, BC can continue tweaking. Twice in 4 years he's built something out of almost nothing here, think about the possibilities when we actually have something, as we have a ton of assets on our roster right now.
moremilk is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 11:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
Gam zeh ya'avor

The Gatekeeper
 
MikeToronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,935
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by moremilk View Post
and from the teams that made it to the playoffs, most have scored more points than have allowed, most have had better FG% than their opponents, most have had more blocks, better 3pt defense and so on.

Good teams tend to out rank bad teams by most criterias, counterintuitive as it might sound

For example, rebounds are JUST as important as TOs. If you get one rebound more than the opponent is the same as making one TO less than your opponent. And the Raptors are usually top 3 in terms of TOs, which more than compensates for the worse rebounding.

If we shoot 5% more than our average opponent, we will win the conference regardless of how we rebound. Of course, we won't, but the point is that rebounds are not a tell all stat, none is really. They all have the same weight and NO TEAM is top of the league in all categories.


Not to mention that nobody thinks we will a title this year. We are heavy favorites to make the playoffs, and if we win a round 99% of fans will be very happy. Once we get there and resign bosh, BC can continue tweaking. Twice in 4 years he's built something out of almost nothing here, think about the possibilities when we actually have something, as we have a ton of assets on our roster right now.
MikeToronto is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2009, 08:49 AM   #18 (permalink)
you

Junior Member
 
Spoof'22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 27
Representing:
Default

Rebounding is very important. If you wanna run you have to defend and rebound. A team that cant rebound for shit is very frustrating to watch. I doubt Derozan is gonna be anything more than average this year - atleast as far as rebounding goes. Hedo is average - little above average. Jose is ok i guess but bargnani, wright and belinelli are poor rebounders. Rasho is not that good of a rebounder as well hes just okay at it. We only have evans and Bosh that are "good" rebounders and are going to contribute significantly. We need Bargnani to get better if we want to make some noise and all our guards need to chip in as well. I think this is where we are gonna miss delfinos return but how could BC say no to belinelli?
Spoof'22 is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2009, 10:54 AM   #19 (permalink)
the anti BC lol

Senior Member
 
leftcoastbballfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 526
Representing:
Default

Wow great article........hard to believe Mike Miller had more rebounds then Bargs!


Coaching is not going to make a difference. You either want to rebound or you do not. Bargs and Turk will not and will never be rebounder's or defenders.......there are sharp elbows down in the paint!

Maybe will will try and enact the old days when the best defense was a good offense!
leftcoastbballfan is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2009, 11:07 AM   #20 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

Senior Member
 
Superjudge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,592
Representing:
Default

Toronto averaged a couple boards less than other teams in the top ten, that ain't a big deal.

Articles like this bug me, so much energy place din all the wrong area's if you ask me.

Toronto needs to learn to play ball, period. A few guy need to wake up on Defence (andea, are you listening??)

Bosh needs to stop worrying about fouling out, he has support, quit using it as an excuse not to get your hands dirty.

Calderon, has to get back physically, and be the guy that screamed at Garnet...evry night.

Dude didnt point out that Derozan was a top rebounding guard at summer league, he will grab his share, and he will compete, as will Wright, Evans, etc.

I think it's about getting guys who know how to win. Period.
Superjudge is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wizards: Fatigue Not A Concern Yet Dr. J. Naismith NBA Talk 0 12-03-2007 08:35 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright RaptorsForum.com 2005-2011

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24