Solomon Alabi, Raptors Starting Center?
Old 08-10-2011, 12:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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When the Toronto Raptors selected Florida State product Solomon Alabi with the No. 50 overall pick in the 2010 draft most felt the big man was a long term developmental project or at best a career reserve.

Those thoughts were even more reinforced in Alabi's rookie season when he appeared in just 12 contests totaling 59 minutes and recorded nearly more personal fouls (5) than points (6).

But since the season ended Alabi hasn't stopped grinding and fine tuning his game.

More importantly he's finally fully healthy after struggling with a knee injury suffered before the draft took place last year.

Despite the Raptors' lottery selection of center Jonas Valanciunas in this year's draft, Alabi's goal is simple; to become a major contributor for Toronto this season.

Alabi looked impressive earlier this summer during Raptors' minicamp and many believe he was easily one of the most impressive players there. From this standout performance it appears the coaching staff will give him an opportunity to see if he can produce at a high level.

"Honestly, I went out there [during minicamp] and the coaches told me if I'm good enough to play then they'll play me," Alabi told HOOPSWORLD. "For me to start [at center] with the Raptors is my ultimate goal and I'm working hard to make that happen. I have the opportunity now and I'm just going to do whatever it takes."

Those ready to easily dismiss Alabi's viability as a center prospect likely didn't know about the young player's knee surgery before the draft which sapped most of his mobility.

The injury and subsequent recovery period robbed his fluidity near the basket, forced him to play below the rim and made his movements robotic and stiff.
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"It was tough," Alabi told HOOPSWORLD on having to sit and watch. "It was really hard. But I just had to stay positive and continue working hard. I was excited that I had opportunity to be drafted. I'm not the first guy to have went through stuff like that. I'm healthy, so I'm trying to go extra hard right now whatever drill I'm doing. Sitting down watching people play makes you want to play. So when you get healthy you just want to work hard and play to be in the same situation as all the people playing while you were sitting on the bench watching them."

While most players use the summer to relax and rejuvenate not starting physical preparation for the upcoming season until early September, Alabi has been in the gym daily trying to make up for lost time. The time away from the game has made him hungrier.

"Right now I'm working so hard," Alabi said. "[I'm] just working hard trying to be able to play next year for the Raptors. Right now I'm just taking the whole summer during this lockout offseason period trying to go hard every day and stay healthy."
LINK - Hoopsworld.com
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Huh, guess that explain why he didn't get much run even in the preseason. I would love to see what he can do if 100% healthy. Casey said that he was going to move Bargnani to PF, so Alabi contributing would be a big plus.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Huh, guess that explain why he didn't get much run even in the preseason. I would love to see what he can do if 100% healthy. Casey said that he was going to move Bargnani to PF, so Alabi contributing would be a big plus.
I agree, but i can't see him being the starter. At least going by what Casey/BC were saying about going after a big name Center. Either way, it looks like Dorsey/Evans are as good as gone.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would prefer Dorsey at centre. With Davis, and Amir sharing the load too.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dorsey is gone for sure. From the interview with his agent, he said that Dorsey wants about 15 mpg. No chance of that happening at all.

About Evans, I think he could be a good sign-and-trade asset. I'm sure Reggie will agree with the idea since he wouldn't lose anything. Hope whoever is GM considers that option.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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if sonny can turn some heads then alabi can too
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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if sonny can turn some heads then alabi can too
Start Sonny at center!
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would prefer Dorsey at centre. With Davis, and Amir sharing the load too.
At Center?? Fuck that noise! Not one of them has the size to play Center for a good chunk of minutes.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hope he can do more than he has shown so far...

Very disappointing so far Alabi.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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davis has to be the starting centre if it isn't going to be andrea
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Having two 7 footers in the front court will help immensely...... I'm optimistic given the knee issue likely contributed significantly to Alabi's failure to look anything but mediocre, but there was just too much hype around him from our execs for him not to be much better than he has shown. If he can be an active, athletic, strong presence on the defensive end, this team will be greatly improved. If not, we'll still be waiting on JV to mature into what we hope.

Trying to rely on a guy like Dorsey at C as a stopgap is pointless..... legitimate bigs are hard to come by and I think he can be much better than Ajinca.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Having two 7 footers in the front court will help immensely...... I'm optimistic given the knee issue likely contributed significantly to Alabi's failure to look anything but mediocre, but there was just too much hype around him from our execs for him not to be much better than he has shown. If he can be an active, athletic, strong presence on the defensive end, this team will be greatly improved. If not, we'll still be waiting on JV to mature into what we hope.

Trying to rely on a guy like Dorsey at C as a stopgap is pointless..... legitimate bigs are hard to come by and I think he can be much better than Ajinca.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with you, but didn't our management kind of hype up Nathan Jawai in much the same fashion?

I think Alabi is a good bet to be our backup C of the future, playing behind Valanciunas. I agree that Joey is no solution at C - he wasn't great at either of the big spots last year, but was worse both offensively and defensively at C.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I've been rooting for Alabi for a while and I hope he improves to the point where he can get at least 10-15 mins a game.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Don't get me wrong, I agree with you, but didn't our management kind of hype up Nathan Jawai in much the same fashion?

I think Alabi is a good bet to be our backup C of the future, playing behind Valanciunas. I agree that Joey is no solution at C - he wasn't great at either of the big spots last year, but was worse both offensively and defensively at C.
Yes I believe they did.... and boy was Jawai brutal. I'll say this, maybe his heart issue had something to do with it, but still, you're right.

Jawai wasn't a 7 footer though, if I recall correctly, and his game was always considered an under the basket style, like Tractor Traylor, RIP. Alabi seems to have been hyped as something greater.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So many big men, too little minutes.

Alabi is staying from what it looks like.

Davis staying

Amir hopefully staying

Bargs hopefully doesn't, but will

Reggie hopefully staying, but won't

Dorsey probably not

Val next year

and ANOTHER big name center? Damn man, everyone playing 20 min a game? lol
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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So many big men, too little minutes.

Alabi is staying from what it looks like.

Davis staying

Amir hopefully staying

Bargs hopefully doesn't, but will

Reggie hopefully staying, but won't

Dorsey probably not

Val next year

and ANOTHER big name center? Damn man, everyone playing 20 min a game? lol

When Jonas is here i would say our Rotation will look something like this:

Bargs?/Davis/Amir
2011-12FA/Val/Alabi


If Alabi doesn't workout he'll be as good as gone.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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now im intrigued to see how alabi would do, only if this nba strike was over
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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When Jonas is here i would say our Rotation will look something like this:

Bargs?/Davis/Amir
2011-12FA/Val/Alabi


If Alabi doesn't workout he'll be as good as gone.
That's still pretty damn tight.


Bargs will always play 35+ minutes. Davis, Amir, Val need minutes to develop. They won't get heavy minutes with a FA and Bargs in the big man rotation.

I would actually be fine with:

Davis/Amir

FA/Val
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That's still pretty damn tight.


Bargs will always play 35+ minutes. Davis, Amir, Val need minutes to develop. They won't get heavy minutes with a FA and Bargs in the big man rotation.

I would actually be fine with:

Davis/Amir

FA/Val

The only place it's tight imo is at PF. That rotation @ Center is fine Alabi if he's still here will be wearing a suite unless there's an injury. I think we're gonna be looking at Bargnani's final chance and if the new coach gets frustrated with him he'll be toast.

I agree that

Davis/Amir
FA/Val +Alabi?

Would be great.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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When Jonas is here i would say our Rotation will look something like this:

Bargs?/Davis/Amir
2011-12FA/Val/Alabi


If Alabi doesn't workout he'll be as good as gone.
Who is this big FA center I keep hearing about? He sounds pretty good.

And regarding Alabi, tell him he can start. There won't be a season anyway, so who cares?
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