Rosen: Raptors' Just Need A Few Tweaks
Old 12-28-2008, 11:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Nice read from Rosen for a change. Points out the negatives of what's wrong with this team, but also notes the positives. Doesn't think we need a whole lot of changes to the roster. Just a few tweaks and as he says it, then we'll no longer be bottom feeders.

BTW, these opinions were after the Kings game, not the Blazers one from last night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley Rosen
Toronto's win revealed plenty of information as to why the Raptors' season has been so disappointing, and also why the team has such a viable upside.

First, the good news:
  • Jermaine O'Neal had a blast-from-the-past performance. Making strong spinning moves in the low-post and attacking the rim he came up with 36 big points. Is he finally healthy enough and willing to do battle in the paint as in days of yore? If so, the Raps might soon be back on the road to respectability.
  • The baseline cross-screens used to situate O'Neal in the pivot were extremely effective as were the UCLA cuts that led to his weak-side duck-ins.
  • Jose Calderon continues to impress with his toughness, his decision-making, his unselfishness, and his caretaking of the ball.
  • Chris Bosh's defense has improved immensely to the point where his help instincts are impeccable. And even though he was hampered by early foul trouble, Bosh remains a dynamic point-maker.
  • It's a major surprise whenever Jason Kapono misses an open jumper. He's even perfected his fake and duck-under moves.
  • Jamario Moon is an extraordinary athlete with extraordinarily quick hands on defense.
  • Andrea Bargnani can still shoot the lights out, but he's also spending more time around the basket, making determined dive cuts, and even posting up. In his one venture into the pivot, Bargnani clearly traveled but was bailed out by a foul called on his erstwhile defender.
  • Anthony Parker is the team's best wing defender, and a creative pull-up shooter going either way. He needs more daylight.
  • Kris Humphries provides a burst of energy off the bench.
  • Joey Graham works hard and maximizes his strength.

Overall, the Raps are much more unselfish on offense than they have been in recent years. This could very well be a major factor in any possible resurgence.

And now comes the bad news:
  • Neither Brad Miller nor Spencer Hawes offered much defensive resistance against O'Neal except when O'Neal failed to meet the entry pass. This occurred three times, resulting in two turnovers and a fortunate deflection.
  • O'Neal is a basket case on defense. So is Bargnani.
  • Because of his lack of stature, Graham has trouble finishing among the trees.
  • Will Solomon is a barely adequate backup to Calderon.
  • While Calderon did a pretty good job in defense of the tricky Beno Udrih, quick-footed opponents often leave him in the dust.
  • The absence of a reliable scorer on the second unit means that either Bosh or O'Neal is forced into double-duty.
  • The Raps came down with very few clean defensive rebounds.
  • Most importantly, Bosh and O'Neal aren't synchronized. Two ill-advised interior passes from Bosh to O'Neal eventuated in two turnovers. Two ill-advised passes from O'Neal to Bosh resulted in one turnover and a deflection. The only positive connection between the two was a carefully designed in-bounds play in which Bosh threw a nifty assist pass into O'Neal in the low-post.
  • Kapono is a one-trick pony who can't defend, pass, or handle.

So, then, what does this team need to return to the playoffs?
  • Better coordination between their two big men.
  • Keeping O'Neal healthy and aggressive.
  • Ditto for Bargnani.
  • Finding a better backup than Solomon, a giant-sized big who specializes in rebounding, and a creative scorer (or two) to power the second unit.

In other words, just a few tweaks here and there and the Raptors will no longer be bottom feeders.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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first round exit here we come!
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
O'Neal is a basket case on defense. So is Bargnani.
What does basket case mean when 900 year old men are saying it?

If he means they cant play defence, why the hell is this guy not retired yet? Hes almost as bad as Marty York
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Jamario Moon is an extraordinary athlete with extraordinarily quick hands on defense.
What he forgot to add is he bites on every pumpfake and plays defense with those hands instead of moving his feet and trying to stay in front of/cut of his opponent.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
O'Neal is a basket case on defense. So is Bargnani.
Is this guy an Idiot?

O'neal is our BEST defender hands down.

Bargnani is so so... way better then last year... the past month his offence hasen't been there but defence has...
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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first round exit here we come!
More like lottery here we come
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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More like lottery here we come
At this point I'd rather be a lottery team than a first round exit of the playoffs yet again.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If we cant beat teams over .500 (i think miami is the only +500 team we have beaten), you wont have to worry about the postseason
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dr. J. Naismith View Post
Nice read from Rosen for a change. Points out the negatives of what's wrong with this team, but also notes the positives. Doesn't think we need a whole lot of changes to the roster. Just a few tweaks and as he says it, then we'll no longer be bottom feeders.

BTW, these opinions were after the Kings game, not the Blazers one from last night.



Source - Click here
What we need the most is an upgrade at the starting 3 spot and a backup PG. The only problem is to get an upgrade at the starting 3 position, we'll probably have to part with one of our SG's (probably AP) which leaves us really weak at the 2 spot.BC is not dealing from a position of strength here at all.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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the most important thing rosen pointed out was that Bosh and o'neal are not in synch.

they rarely find each other and don't seem to make each other better. it seems like we just alternate between them, black hole iso-to-iso, as everyone stands around (but not before clearing out enough to erase chance at rebounds). ok, "black hole" may be overdoing it.

we can change around the supporting pieces all we want but that will only help the team so much until the cb-jo twinning improves. we have over twenty-five million dollars of the cap invested in in the cbjo 4/5.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Disagree with the point about JO and Andrea's defense being suspect 100 times over.

Aside from that I agree with everything said, especially the point about CB4 and JO not being in sync. It is kind of hard when one of those two is the worst passing big man in the league.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i'd rather have a lottery pick than going to the playoffs right now.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. J. Naismith View Post
At this point I'd rather be a lottery team than a first round exit of the playoffs yet again.
Same here, but I'm not sure I want BC to have a high pick again.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i'd rather have a lottery pick than going to the playoffs right now.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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interesting, based on his article...our strengths greatly overshadowed by our flaws...although it seemed positive...the negatives cancel out whatever good we have...

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Old 12-28-2008, 11:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If we cant beat teams over .500 (i think miami is the only +500 team we have beaten), you wont have to worry about the postseason
We beat Atlanta too.
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acie View Post
What he forgot to add is he bites on every pumpfake and plays defense with those hands instead of moving his feet and trying to stay in front of/cut of his opponent.
And farts around with his mouthguard way too much. I've actually seen it hanging out of his mouth during game play.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:05 AM   #18 (permalink)
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He completely lost me with the O'Neal "basket-case" comment. I'm not sure how out of sync Bosh and O'Neal are. Sure, there were a couple of interior passes against the Blazers that looked like when a QB hands off to an RB who isn't expecting a handoff, but otherwise, I think they're doing okay together. I would hope that most of the time, when JO gets it in the low post, he's not looking for Bosh, but rather to finish.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:22 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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He completely lost me with the O'Neal "basket-case" comment. I'm not sure how out of sync Bosh and O'Neal are. Sure, there were a couple of interior passes against the Blazers that looked like when a QB hands off to an RB who isn't expecting a handoff, but otherwise, I think they're doing okay together. I would hope that most of the time, when JO gets it in the low post, he's not looking for Bosh, but rather to finish.
how are they in synch? they don't play well off each other. there's been pretty much no high-low bigman game. our rebounding still stinks... with two bigs of their abilities we should be dominating opposing teams' 4/5s and we're not; we regularly make marginal 4/5s look like allstars.

i don't think they're doing "okay together". and even if they were, "okay" is not good enough for over $35,000,000
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