Raptors lack "adaptability"
Old 11-14-2008, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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This is something that has bugged me about this team for AGES.... not just this season. I feel like every time that I watch this team play they come out with a gameplan and seem DETERMINED to run it from tip off to final buzzer, regardless of what the other team does.

Same plays.

Same defense.

Same rotation.

The thing that I feel REALLY separates us from the better teams out there is that most good teams (like the Spurs, like the Pistons, like the Lakers, like the Celts) and good coaches can recognize what the other team is doing and counteract it ON THE FLY.

I can't count the number of games where I've seen a hot player get taken out and then sit for a whole quarter because "that's the way that the rotation goes".

It also frustrates me when a team scores on us over & over & over again and we continually use the same defense rather than switching to something else.

Sam may be a decent coach.... but I think that this is his greatest flaw. And if he can't correct it, then he and/or his staff need to be fired and some new eyes need to be brought in to take a look at things because we seem to be going nowhere fast.

Just an observation.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's funny how it makes Popovich a great coach.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's funny how it makes Popovich a great coach.
Ummm.... when you have a team that's won multiple championships you rarely need to change anything lol.. even so... when the Spurs are down at halftime and need to make a run they come out and make adjustments.

Every good team does.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Actually Pop tells them to keep playing Spurs basketball.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Actually Pop tells them to keep playing Spurs basketball.
Somehow I find it difficult to believe that Pop's halftime speech every single night consists of nothing more than him saying "Let's play Spurs basketball".

lol.

You know what I'm saying LX. Stop trying to bait me.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Somehow I find it difficult to believe that Pop's halftime speech every single night consists of nothing more than him saying "Let's play Spurs basketball".
just like how i doubt that Mitchell's halftime speech is about "making more shats."

I'll agree with you that at times Mitchell seems a little one-dimensional, but at the same time, it's still early in the season and a good number of our players are still finding their comfort zone (not at the fault of coaching).

mind you, I'd prefer it if we saw more zone Defense.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ToRap .... when you achieve that level, it means you are a very good team. I think Raptors is at that level where they are more concerned with sticking with basic basketball skills. They don't have in their arsenal that many options to switch good strategies within the same game.

To do what you present, you have to have a core team that knows each other very well, playing together for a while. In the last few seasons, they changed many times players. For example, only Bosh was a Raptors 4 seasons ago. Spurs and Detroit have their core playing together for years, they can alternate different strategies within the same game without too much trouble. At this time Raptors has problems to integrate the newcomers into ONE STRATEGY (JO/Roko/Solomon).
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i kind of understand how they lack adaptability, but in a way that is the wrong mentality because your team shouldn't really be adapting so much as it should be commanding the play on the court so the other team has to adapt
i understand what you're trying to say in that when a team comes at you offensively you need to change our defense to defend their plays, but at the same time offensively you shouldn't really adapt so much as you should be pushing your game plan
but there should be some adaptation to maybe start using another set of our plays
but this kind of goes with the players you have, usually being able to adapt has to do with having athletic players on the floor because they mainly run and defend, our offense is to give it to the bigs or to swing and kick for jumpers, we don't really have the athletes and slashers to create and move according to the defense, that was what TJ was for but when he started adapting and creating everyone else got confused and now he's not here anymore
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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ToRap .... when you achieve that level, it means you are a very good team. I think Raptors is at that level where they are more concerned with sticking with basic basketball skills. They don't have in their arsenal that many options to switch good strategies within the same game.

To do what you present, you have to have a core team that knows each other very well, playing together for a while. In the last few seasons, they changed many times players. For example, only Bosh was a Raptors 4 seasons ago. Spurs and Detroit have their core playing together for years, they can alternate different strategies within the same game without too much trouble. At this time Raptors has problems to integrate the newcomers into ONE STRATEGY (JO/Roko/Solomon).
I understand what you're saying insight.... I guess I just feel as though this team should be PAST the point of "learning basic bball skills".

The Raps are a capped out team with 3 all-star calibre players... By now we should be pushing towards a conference title... not limping into the playoffs every season and trying to eke out close wins against mediocre teams.

When I say that "we need to adapt" I'm talking about switching defenses or defenders when one opposing player starts to torch us.... or riding a player that's playing well and leaving him out there rather than yanking him and allowing him to cool off. Stuff like that.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i kind of understand how they lack adaptability, but in a way that is the wrong mentality because your team shouldn't really be adapting so much as it should be commanding the play on the court so the other team has to adapt
i understand what you're trying to say in that when a team comes at you offensively you need to change our defense to defend their plays, but at the same time offensively you shouldn't really adapt so much as you should be pushing your game plan
but there should be some adaptation to maybe start using another set of our plays
but this kind of goes with the players you have, usually being able to adapt has to do with having athletic players on the floor because they mainly run and defend, our offense is to give it to the bigs or to swing and kick for jumpers, we don't really have the athletes and slashers to create and move according to the defense, that was what TJ was for but when he started adapting and creating everyone else got confused and now he's not here anymore
Thats the point. Adaptability is just a fancy way of saying this team misses TJ Ford. Now I'm not a Jose hater in the least but I must say TJ was the only player other than Bosh that was able to create his own shot. Jose is a great half court facilitator but a lousy fastbreak player and clearly cannot create his own shot.

With the wings getting exposed now its now more clear than ever that the Raptors need someone that can actually "score at will" for lack of a better term.

Coach Mitchell will have to bite the bullet sooner or later and have to play our bigs all at once for spurts of the game. If this means factoring hump in for 10mpg so be it. With a Parker / Moon / Graham / Kapono wing rotation your looking at exposure on both ends of the floor anyways. Its time to get the 7foot Italian and JO a little more burn in order to "mask" our weaknesses at D.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't know if I agree with that....

If we play disciplined halfcourt bball we should be able to get all the shots that we can handle. We have 2 dominant post men and a ton of good 3-pt shooters.

From what I see we just lack the discipline and the poise to execute our offense consistently.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't know if I agree with that....

If we play disciplined halfcourt bball we should be able to get all the shots that we can handle. We have 2 dominant post men and a ton of good 3-pt shooters.

From what I see we just lack the discipline and the poise to execute our offense consistently.
Well what we have is a team that doesn't fast break. Jose was never a very good fast break guard and the only players I see atempting a fast break is Parker, Moon and at times when needed the bigs. Take a loot at our fast break stats they are horrible (something like 22pts in the season last I checked). When you break down the wing players you see the following:

AP: having a horrible start to the season shooting wise

Moon: with no fast break his game suffers. Moon was always an overrated rebounder and shooter as well.

Kapono: a fantastic 3pt shooter with some offensive game

Graham: well all the skills no BBIQ = useless.


With the exception of AP (who is starting horribly this season) The Raptors basically have a bunch of wings with some skills but no defensive presence IMHO.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I understand what you're saying insight.... I guess I just feel as though this team should be PAST the point of "learning basic bball skills".

The Raps are a capped out team with 3 all-star calibre players... By now we should be pushing towards a conference title... not limping into the playoffs every season and trying to eke out close wins against mediocre teams.
You are right about expectation on paper, still you have to keep in mind that JO is still trying to blend in (only 8 games as Raptor) and Jose is his first year when he is the starter PG, last year he played less than half of season as starter PG only because TJ was injured. Our wing players situation is even worst, Moon is a sophomore who is grounding his game on his athleticism not on strategy or team play. AP is up and down, many times beaten up by more athletic wings. There is no one with creativity, who can create his own shot consistently.

Raptors is still far away from being a contender, they need at least this season to build up the chemistry and maybe, with some good moves to became a better team next year. I think the second round in playoff would be a fair expectation for Raptors, anything more is kind of unrealistic.
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Christ Torap - how am i baiting you?

Pop isn't one to emphasize changing the way his team plays due to a hot shooter or something. At the half I can imagine him insisting that his team play their brand of basketball better, not differently.

The good teams are those that stick to their principles and weather the ups and downs in any game, not the ones that sway back and forth depending on what the other team might be doing. Are we that good yet? Maybe not, but I think it's about the right time to carve out their identity and stand by it. It was you that was bitching about their lack of an identity last season no?

That said - I would agree that on a certain level Sam needs to be able to use his roster better. I wouldn't have minded him using Bargnani more last game. But they are eight games in, and there is a completely different dynamic in place with JO here, and he has to have a bit longer to be able to get a feel for that dynamic. IMO anyway - I would guess that in your opinion Sam should not have had two minutes of the pre-season to learn what he has with this team.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Christ Torap - how am i baiting you?

Pop isn't one to emphasize changing the way his team plays due to a hot shooter or something. At the half I can imagine him insisting that his team play their brand of basketball better, not differently.

The good teams are those that stick to their principles and weather the ups and downs in any game, not the ones that sway back and forth depending on what the other team might be doing. Are we that good yet? Maybe not, but I think it's about the right time to carve out their identity and stand by it. It was you that was bitching about their lack of an identity last season no?

That said - I would agree that on a certain level Sam needs to be able to use his roster better. I wouldn't have minded him using Bargnani more last game. But they are eight games in, and there is a completely different dynamic in place with JO here, and he has to have a bit longer to be able to get a feel for that dynamic. IMO anyway - I would guess that in your opinion Sam should not have had two minutes of the pre-season to learn what he has with this team.
You misunderstand what I'm staying.

The Spurs have little to change when it comes to their STYLE of play. They're a championship team, have 3 all-stars and one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.

Their rotation is clearly established because they know what they're going to get from each and every player night in and night out.

We don't. So for now we have to improvise.

What I'm getting at isn't so much changing a team's IDENTITY but making small adjustments that disrupt what the other team is trying to do.

I'll give you an example.

Remember back about 10 years when MJ's Bulls played Reggie's Pacers in the ECF? The Bulls coud have easily said "hey, we're the champs. We're going to play our game and let other people adapt to US..." but they actually made a radical change in Game 1 and continued to use it throughout the series.

They let Pippen guard Mark Jackson even though Pip was a "3" and Mark was a "1". Brilliant coaching strategy. And it won them the first 2 games before IND started to get used to it.

That's the kind of thing that I'm talking about.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
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please stop comparing mitchell with popovich, it's blasphemous ... What SAS is doing right now is unbelievable, with a roster full of players most nba fans never even heard of, they're winning against quality teams like Houston.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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please stop comparing mitchell with popovich, it's blasphemous ... What SAS is doing right now is unbelievable, with a roster full of players most nba fans never even heard of, they're winning against quality teams like Houston.
If you would like to point out where there is any comparison made then I would gladly abide. And you merely prove my point Milk - Pop doesn't need the tremendous team that ToRap alludes to in order to stick to his principles. It's simply how good teams operate. If you would like to explain how criticizing Mitchell for what great coaches do is in any way fair, I'm all ears.

Hubie Brown made a nice comment last night (and I can't wait for you to bitch about blasphemous comparisons again Milk). While working the LA v Detroit game, he said that Phil likely looked at Detroit's good start as something that the team could weather, and that he would be telling his team to "stay patient and stick to their game".
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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On a related note we ran the pick' n roll 25 times in a row against Boston in the second half. We got blown out 58-39 in the half.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If you would like to point out where there is any comparison made then I would gladly abide. And you merely prove my point Milk - Pop doesn't need the tremendous team that ToRap alludes to in order to stick to his principles. It's simply how good teams operate. If you would like to explain how criticizing Mitchell for what great coaches do is in any way fair, I'm all ears.

Hubie Brown made a nice comment last night (and I can't wait for you to bitch about blasphemous comparisons again Milk). While working the LA v Detroit game, he said that Phil likely looked at Detroit's good start as something that the team could weather, and that he would be telling his team to "stay patient and stick to their game".
When you say that the things that Sam do make popovic a great coach, you kind of imply that. My point is that you can't use popovic to validate anything Sam does, even if they do the same thing, they probably have different reasons ...

Going back to the topic, I don't know whether he should or shouldn't stick to a principle - there is probably no inherent good or bad in either approach. But I believe sticking to a system, doesn't mean you never change ANYTHING. If you have a mismatch, you exploit it, if a player is hot, you ride it. If something doesn't work in a particular game, you stop doing it.

I agree that when a proven tactic doesn't work because of the randomness of the game (open shots don't fall, botched layups etc), you should continue with it. But when your tactic doesn't work because the other team has a successful counter for it, it's kind of stupid to keep doing it, don't you think?
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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When you say that the things that Sam do make popovic a great coach, you kind of imply that. My point is that you can't use popovic to validate anything Sam does, even if they do the same thing, they probably have different reasons ...

Going back to the topic, I don't know whether he should or shouldn't stick to a principle - there is probably no inherent good or bad in either approach. But I believe sticking to a system, doesn't mean you never change ANYTHING. If you have a mismatch, you exploit it, if a player is hot, you ride it. If something doesn't work in a particular game, you stop doing it.

I agree that when a proven tactic doesn't work because of the randomness of the game (open shots don't fall, botched layups etc), you should continue with it. But when your tactic doesn't work because the other team has a successful counter for it, it's kind of stupid to keep doing it, don't you think?
YES.

This is what I'm talking about. Great teams see what you do well and take that away from you. If it's post play... 3 pt shooting... fastbreaks... etc....

The Spurs and the Raps are in such different situations that you can't even compare them. One team is a perennial title contender. The other is trying just to make the playoffs.
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