The Supersub Report: The Decline of the Raptors Bench
Old 05-06-2009, 01:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Supersub Report: The Decline of the Raptors Bench

John Hollinger's long lost son Supersub15 from the RealGM (and now RaptorsBlog) crunches more and more numbers for ya'll.

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Originally Posted by Supersub via RaptorsBlog
Whether by design or by chance, the Toronto Raptors had been blessed with one of the top benches in the league in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Whether the starters had a lead or not, under the steady hand of Jose Calderon, the bench would go in and obliterate the opponent's bench. In fact, during those two seasons, the Raptors bench won the statistical battle in 88 games and lost it in 74 games. Of those 88 games, the Raptors went on to win 47 games.

Obviously, the battle of the benches comes down to which bench outscores the opponent bench. Figuring out which bench out-rebounded the other isn't as significant. Rebounds, assists, blocks, etc. are important in figuring out how they got the points or how they defended, but do not answer the most important questions: Did they hold the lead, did they wrestle the lead back or did they lose the lead?

In 2006-07, the Toronto Raptors' bench outscored the opponent bench by an average of 6.0 points per game. While it's important to know which bench scored the most, defence is half the equation. You can score 40 pts, but conceding 45 doesn't make your bench a good one. Consequently, I used point differential as a determinant. Here are the top 5 benches in 2006-2007:


With a bench featuring Jose Calderon, Joey Graham, Andrea Bargnani, Morris Peterson, Juan Dixon and Kris Humphries, the Raptors were potent enough offensively that they were able to more than balance out a bad showing defensively (25th overall). Collectively, the Raptors' bench compiled a strong PER of 13.86 while conceding 13.23 to the opponent.

In 2007-08, the Toronto Raptors' bench outscored the opponent bench by an average of 6.3 points per game. Here are the top 5 benches in 2007-2008:


With a bench featuring Jose Calderon (or T.J. Ford), Joey Graham, Andrea Bargnani, Carlos Delfino, Jason Kapono, Juan Dixon and Kris Humphries, the Raptors were third-best at scoring points. The difference, however, was on the defensive end, where they improved to ninth overall, partly due to the strong wing defence of Carlos Delfino. Collectively, the Raptors' 2007-08 bench compiled a strong PER of 13.81 while conceding only 11.86 to the opponent.

If I could use one word to describe this season's bench, I'd probably call it "pathetic". The trade for Jermaine O'Neal, not only robbed the bench of three players (Nesterovic, Ford, Delfino), but O'Neal's production in the starting lineup didn't even match Nesterovic's production as a starting center (PER of 16.1 for Rasho as compared to a PER of 15.4 for Jermaine). Losing Ford hurt even more. With no conductor leading the bench charge, after Calderon was promoted to starter, the bench production fizzled badly under the rookie hands of Ukic and Solomon.

Consequently, not only was the bench unable to produce more than 25.4 PPG (24th overall), but it was also incapable of defending the opponent's bench (they conceded 29.6 PPG, 18th overall). Overall, their point differential of -4.2 places them as the fourth-worst bench in the NBA. Their PER production plummeted to 10.26, while the opponent PER rose sharply to 13.47.

Now, usually, this isn't as dire as it looks. A lot of contenders have poor benches. Orlando's bench is -6.0 ppg (29th), New Orleans' is -4.3 ppg (28th), Cleveland's is -3.3 ppg (26th). But what those teams have that the Raptors don't is a solid starting five that can compensate offensively and defensively for the lack of production from the bench. Orlando's starters are +12.7 ppg (77.8 ppg for and 65.1 ppg against), New Orleans' are +5.9 ppg (73.0 ppg for and 67.1 ppg against), Cleveland's are +12.2 ppg (75.1 ppg for and 62.9 ppg against). Meanwhile, the Raptors' starters have been able to give a great showing offensively (73.6 ppg, 9th overall), but have been poor defensively (72.2 ppg, 23rd overall), for a meagre +1.4 ppg. In other words, the starters have a very small margin of error. If they can't win the game outright, counting on the bench to pick them up is an exercise in futility.

So, what should we expect next season? With a possible starting lineup of Calderon, Delfino, Marion, Bosh and Bargnani, the Raptors can and will be able to compete with most other teams on a nightly basis. What Colangelo does to bolster the bench will decide what happens next season. With a possible bench of Parker, Kapono, Mensah-Bonsu, Humphries, O'Bryant, Banks, Ukic, their first round draft pick, and an MLE signing, the Raptors will definitely have a better bench. However, I believe the problem will remain acute, as long as a capable backup PG is not signed. Ukic is a watered-down version of Louis Williams (minus the shot to boot) and Banks is a journeyman who cannot run an NBA offence. Whether through a trade or an MLE, the Raptors have to address this glaring hole before another season goes down the drain.
Source - RaptorBlog.com featuring Scott Carefoot - the best Toronto Raptors fan site since 2002
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally, I'm fine with douby/ukic and jose.

Name me on backup pg still playing who has always been considered a good backup pg. Lowry, Brown for LA?, Farmar, Barea, Carter, Marbury..., Acie Law, Daniel Gibson... Is Anthony Johnson the best backup PG left in the playoffs?

Some of these teams aren't even using their backup pgs, like Law and Gibson.

The backup pg position is being blown way out of proportion, it's all about opportunity, and their is no reason Ukic and/or Douby can't develop into more than an adequate backup. Actually, their is no reason either can't develop into more than an adequate starter, just look at Aaron Brooks.

And I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but the way Jose played this year, if you go out and grab an elite backup pg (who are these people anyways), we're going to have another pg controversy in Toronto.

And again who are these backup pgs we should go after? Supersub gives no suggestions, I can't think of any that are notable upgrades over douby/ukic.

And then he goes and gives Delfino credit for shutting down opposing wing players, and that being the reason our bench was so good the past few years, but the numbers he brings up have nothing to do with Delfino's defense. So where does this idea come from?

Last edited by bjjs; 05-06-2009 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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More stats I see but I have to say, the bench is a major part in winning a game. Without the bench a team is nothing. This year our bench rarely ever showed up and our record proves that. I think BC knows that the bench is a major concern to upgrade over the offseason and I believe that BC will make is best effort in foing so.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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considering the fact that TJ used to be the starter allowing jose to be the bench PG changes the whole story already
then you factor in the loss of delfino with nobody really replacing his spot, but you also have to remember that having delfino was also the problem because our SF position became too stacked and nobody could define their SF roles
and the failure of the team as a whole this season only spiraled everyone downward so the bench failures were also exaggerated because of that
and everyone's forgetting the major loss of DARRICK MARTIN! well, maybe not
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I really hope we lock up Marion for a fair contract this offseason. He's a solid rotation player.

If we can get back Delfino and make good use of our draft pick, our team looks interesting. As pointed out in the article, our starting lineup this year (especially after the O'Neal trade) was stellar. Our bench was atrocious.

As I said before, I would be very happy if we pick one of the many talented PG's in the draft (Flynn, Lawson, Teague). Ukic would undoubtedly fall to 3rd PG or play some 2 off the bench (Barbosa style) which is fine with me IMO. Ukic is skilled but hellishly inconsistent. Some competition for the backup pg spot would do him good. This is too competitive a league to waste years and years hoping for 2nd round pick to pan out.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Didn't realize our bench actually improved in 07-08. I would have thought the loss of Mo combined with Andrea's inconsistency would have cause the bench production to taper off. That and I don't remember having the same confidence with the bench of 07-08. Alas, I stand corrected.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Zach that is true. I didn't even think about that but now that I remember the a 2 seasons ago our bench was pretty crap. I think the only thing that helped our bench oin 07-08 was the emergence of Jose
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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some teams can get away without a backup pg because they have an excellent ball handler at a different position (kobe, lebron, jj). We don't have that luxury, and when jose was out or hurt, we suffered greatly.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moremilk View Post
some teams can get away without a backup pg because they have an excellent ball handler at a different position (kobe, lebron, jj). We don't have that luxury, and when jose was out or hurt, we suffered greatly.
That's right. Jose or TJ set-up these stiffs on the bench the last two years, and now you have a Will Solomon or Ukic (who clearly was not ready) to lead the bench parade. That blame goes to BC for relying on a rookie for the back-up point guard position. He realizes this mistake by making a statement of having a veteran player to occupy the back-up point guard position next year. One of the many mistakes BC made last offseason:

1. JO Trade
2. Putting rookies Ukic & Solomon at the back-up position
3. Signing Jawai to an NBA contract rather than letting him develop elsewhere.

Did he do anything right last summer?
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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2 crappy picks?? Im willing to bet Hibbert is more effective then Rasho in the coming years. Anybody with a brain in Indy knew JO was long done, and getting anything for him was nice, esp a cheap starting PG (ridic to say he is overpaid at 8mil) a serviceable big that has a big expiring (yea, nobody mentions he was expiring too) and a pick. Fleeced. Indy fans were laughing the day of the trade, and continue now.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjjs View Post
Personally, I'm fine with douby/ukic
I stopped here.

I assume you've gone mad.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superjudge View Post
I stopped here.

I assume you've gone mad.
those are good player
you've gone mad
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superjudge View Post
I stopped here.

I assume you've gone mad.
So who is this super-sub pg we're going to pick up? The way people are talking, we need the best back-up pg available, so who is it?

And SJ, it was just months ago you were reiterating my sentiments about opportunity and how their isn't a big difference between players 100-500 in the world.

So what is it that makes Douby and Ukic so much worse than all the other mediocre backup pointguards on other teams around the league, and even the ones still playing in the playoffs right now?
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