Team Architecture: Good vs. Bad
Old 12-03-2009, 05:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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In the wake of all of this blame going around to Triano and Bosh and whoever else I thought that it might be an effective exercise to take a look at how one of the league's best teams (ORL) was constructed, compared to what we have here in Toronto.

The Magic are a good team to look at since they were in our shoes not too long ago.... a fledgling team faltering with ONE superstar (T-Mac) and a suspect roster.

ORL's GM obviously had a plan as soon as D12 was drafted (and T-Mac was shipped out) and he's done an EXCELLENT job of assembling a cast that compliments his "crown jewel" perfectly. Howard, a defensive force with some offensive touch, has been surrounded with a slew of sharp, offensive players. All of them are capable of creating their own shots off the dribble and all of them have great range. All with the purpose of maximizing their star player's talent. People scoffed when they drafted Nelson... and guffawed when they overpaid for Lewis.... but they knew exactly what they were doing.

They had a PLAN in mind. And they adhered to that vision.

They also filled their bench with players who could come in and a) hit shots and b) defend. Guys like Barnes, Pietrus & Lee (before he was traded). Young players with great athleticism.

So they have....

Howard (beast down low, defender in the paint)

plus

Lewis and VC (all-star wing players who can create their own shots and stretch the defense with their range)

plus

Nelson, a quick, sweet shooting PG who can play off the ball as well as bring it up.

plus

a slew of support players (Pietrus, Barnes, J-Will, Anderson, Reddick) who can all shoot the ball and/or play decent defense (with Howard as the anchor).


Now in contrast, look at the team that surrounds OUR star.

We have in Chris Bosh, one of the most versatile offensive weapons in the league. A rare 20/10 big who's still in his mid 20's and still getting better. Certainly not as strong as D12 defensively, but unquestionably better on the other end.

And what have we surrounded him with?

a PF (who plays C) and a SF who float around the arc looking to shoot 3s. OFFENSIVE players who rarely go the rim and can't be relied upon to grab rebounds when Bosh shoots the ball. Very little defense to speak of from either of them as well. These 2 would likely be GOLD for ORL since they'd have Howard in the middle to clean up their messes and create open shots for them... but here... they're redundant.

a couple of PGs who are steady, but lacking at the defensive end.

a SG who shows potential, but is young and is still learning and being asked to do FAR too much too soon.

a slew of wing players who don't seem to be strong at all defensively and don't offer much in the way of offense either.

Is it any wonder that we struggle?


With a centerpiece like Bosh we SHOULD have been looking for....

a solid defensive C to clog the middle and grab rebounds (in the mold of Noah or Haywood).

a strong defender at the SF position with the ability to chip in on offense and provide great energy on both ends (i.e. Marion or Ariza)

a solid veteran SG who can defend on the perimeter and hit the open jumper (i.e. Barnes or perhaps Wafer)

and some scoring off of the bench.

What we SHOULD have done is passed on Hedo and let go of Bargs (or traded him) and went after some other players with the available cash. Players that are strong defensively. Perhaps a SG with some scoring punch. We should have ABANDONED "team euro".

You can't build a team LIKE Orlando's unless you have exactly the same centerpiece (D12). And we don't.

You can't build build a team LIKE Phoenix's unless you have exactly the same centerpiece (Nash)... and we don't.

What we DO have to do is take a look at OUR franchise player and what he does well and then surround him with talent that compliements his strengths and minimizes his weaknesses... because the reailty is that he's a hell of a player and we'll miss him if/when he's gone.

THAT's how you build a great team IMO.

The only question now is whether it's too late to even entertain this.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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it would help if we drafted one of the most imposing and athletic specimens since shaq and had a team in a warm city with no personal income taxes... now that's something to build around.

but we didn't have that. we had a nice star player who needs help around him in different ways. we are in a city that is widely considered to be an nba outpost in a cold climate. we have tried to get players who indicated that they don't want to play here. we have had 4 coaches in 6 years.

bc had a plan, and that plan was to build around Bosh with players that might be more accepting of playing in canada. he selected Bargs in what was a good pick (at the time, and in my mind is still a good pick). he made some mistakes in surrounding those guys with the right guys, but considering what was available he did a pretty good job. haywood was not available. noah was not available. marion was essentially unavailable given his cost, and ariza went to houston pretty darn quick.

the team is way below expectations, and clearly some things have to change. i am not an apologist, but i see the reality of the landscape he had to work with. yes, orlando built a good team, but i can say without any hesitation that d12, warm weather and no income tax is a pretty sweet starting point that we never had.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Von Wafer

what about a PG?
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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it would help if we drafted one of the most imposing and athletic specimens since shaq and had a team in a warm city with no personal income taxes... now that's something to build around.

but we didn't have that. we had a nice star player who needs help around him in different ways. we are in a city that is widely considered to be an nba outpost in a cold climate. we have tried to get players who indicated that they don't want to play here. we have had 4 coaches in 6 years.

bc had a plan, and that plan was to build around Bosh with players that might be more accepting of playing in canada. he selected Bargs in what was a good pick (at the time, and in my mind is still a good pick). he made some mistakes in surrounding those guys with the right guys, but considering what was available he did a pretty good job. haywood was not available. noah was not available. marion was essentially unavailable given his cost, and ariza went to houston pretty darn quick.

the team is way below expectations, and clearly some things have to change. i am not an apologist, but i see the reality of the landscape he had to work with. yes, orlando built a good team, but i can say without any hesitation that d12, warm weather and no income tax is a pretty sweet starting point that we never had.
'trane..... players can say whatever they want to about "not wanting to go to a barren winter wasteland" but MONEY talks.

How many cities are like ORL or MIA or LA?

Not many.

If players can go to CHI, MIN, DET, IND, NY, NJ etc.... they sure as hell can come to T.O.

If we'd have offered Marion or Ariza Barg's money do you think that they would have turned it down?

Do you think that Hedo would have come here is we'd have offered him $8M/yr for 3 years? Not a chance in hell.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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do we need to go over the whole 'marion relies on athleticism, who wants to pay a 35 year old guy $10 mil when his athleticism is gone' argument again?

ariza was never really available for us to go after. people thought he would stay with the lakers, they signed artest and he signed with houston withion a couple of days. he's definitely not worth $10 million anyways. was hedo the right guy? probably not, but those other guys weren't options either.

it's not just about cold, it's about canada vs usa. you can't tell me this isn't a factor.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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do we need to go over the whole 'marion relies on athleticism, who wants to pay a 35 year old guy $10 mil when his athleticism is gone' argument again?

ariza was never really available for us to go after. people thought he would stay with the lakers, they signed artest and he signed with houston withion a couple of days. he's definitely not worth $10 million anyways. was hedo the right guy? probably not, but those other guys weren't options either.

it's not just about cold, it's about canada vs usa. you can't tell me this isn't a factor.
Why are Marion and Ariza "not worth $10M" but Hedo is?

And if you're telling me that an NBA player would rather play in Minnesota or Ok. City or NJ than Toronto (very comsopolitan with great nightlife and fans) then I call B.S.

Not every player is Antonio Davis.

VC re-signed with us.

Bosh re-signed with us.

And Hedo took our money with little hesitation.

Money talks. The problem is that we've always been too quick to discount a player's value when he isn't "flashy".

Guys like Oakley, Childs, Willis, AD.... how much money did we shell out for them to stay in Toronto? And they were ABSOLUTELY worth the money... even if they weren't "stars".

I absolutely REFUSE to believe that BC's hands were tied and Hedo was his best/only option.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All I need to see right now - as bad as things seem - is just a little bit of redecorating within the current architecture. Why spend so much time on zen minimalist designs, and then just let things go all garishly baroque. The results do not match what the coach or GM envisioned, and yet there is not even the suggestion of changing anything up.

Give Dirty Baby Johnson 5 to ten more minutes a game, maybe a starting spot, incorporate Wright and Derozan differently. Give us the slightest tweak that is meant to do more than just manage minutes. It's a long season. Over the long haul everyone is going to get their chances. Why get so anal about parcelling minutes out in such neat little packages? It's going to drive me insane.

All you people that bellowed endlessly about nonsensical rotation patterns can go to hell. It's a coaches job to make decisions on such matters, and it's not his job to make them always look so wonderfully, symmetrically sensible. I mean - I have to admit that it's nice to a degree, but to the point of inflexibility? There's nothing sensible in that.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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bringing hedo turkoglu in took some confidence out of players like bargs, bosh, and Calderon in second halfs, they soposedly brought in turk because of out second half strugles, but we strugled in d second half defensieli which led to offensive droughts, we need a defensive 3 guard im wonderin and still wondering why we let marion go, with marion and wright and a develoing derozan, den bellineli who i think is way better than a slightly overated turkoglu who just came to Raptors for the money not really to play basketball, we would have made a good team , not forgetting reggie we would be intensley tough on defence and have great offence.....basicalli get rid of triano and turkoglu or find a way to get them MORE focused...like Raptors fans deserve way more than a 7-13 start...not saying we are bad but we need some SERIOUS HELP
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Why are Marion and Ariza "not worth $10M" but Hedo is?

And if you're telling me that an NBA player would rather play in Minnesota or Ok. City or NJ than Toronto (very comsopolitan with great nightlife and fans) then I call B.S.

Not every player is Antonio Davis.

VC re-signed with us.

Bosh re-signed with us.

And Hedo took our money with little hesitation.

Money talks. The problem is that we've always been too quick to discount a player's value when he isn't "flashy".

Guys like Oakley, Childs, Willis, AD.... how much money did we shell out for them to stay in Toronto? And they were ABSOLUTELY worth the money... even if they weren't "stars".

I absolutely REFUSE to believe that BC's hands were tied and Hedo was his best/only option.
I'm gonna list things.

A. Ariza turned us down. He said we pursued him, but turned us down to play in Houston. Once that happened we turned to Turk. So yes, we went after Ariza. Actually, Ariza seemed to be option 1.

B. I'm tired of hearing about Marion. Both he and Turk offer different things. Marion had a piss poor run in Miami playing with Wade. I guarantee that put doubt into people's minds.

C. Childs, Willis and Oak were all brought in by trades for Camby (who didn't want to be here anymore) and Childs was brought in for Mark Jackson who signed here when we were spurned by Cuttino Mobley and Maurice Taylor and decided on option 3 Mark Jacksson, who by that point was a shell of himself.

D. Orlando got lucky drafting Dwight. They weren't supposed to win the draft really, but did and nearly screwed up what they got for T-Mac in return Cuttino and Francis.

E. What is the evidence we didn't go after Barnes? I'm curious. Perhaps, he just didn't want to come here. I forgot you have the evidence.

F. Orlando right now is far more inviting for free agents because of what 'trane mentioned. The right players, sign to win contracts. That's why they sign in Orlando. The guys you're speaking of, i.e. money talks, play for money. Do you really want a bunch of guys who don't give a shit for this team?

G. You're comparison of Minnesota and Toronto is close for this reason. Neither have really ever signed a big time FA, instead have had to trade for stars or draft stars. Under KG, Spree and Cassell were both brought in by trades. Toronto has signed who exactly?

H. Players choose to play Chicago because that's where Jordan was. It's a lure. NYC is the biggest market in the world for basketball. Boston has history etc. etc.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm gonna list things.

A. Ariza turned us down. He said we pursued him, but turned us down to play in Houston. Once that happened we turned to Turk. So yes, we went after Ariza. Actually, Ariza seemed to be option 1.
Fair enough. If that's the case then I withdraw the comment regarding Ariza.

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B. I'm tired of hearing about Marion. Both he and Turk offer different things. Marion had a piss poor run in Miami playing with Wade. I guarantee that put doubt into people's minds.
Who cares what Marion did in MIA??? Did his play here in Toronto not convince you of what he had to offer this team? We played some GREAT basketball over the last 10-15 games of last season. Oh yeah... I forgot... that was just because "the other teams didn't care anymore".

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C. Childs, Willis and Oak were all brought in by trades for Camby (who didn't want to be here anymore) and Childs was brought in for Mark Jackson who signed here when we were spurned by Cuttino Mobley and Maurice Taylor and decided on option 3 Mark Jacksson, who by that point was a shell of himself.
If it was a trade that brought them in then that was a hell of a trade. I wish to God that we could get even half that much for Bargs.

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D. Orlando got lucky drafting Dwight. They weren't supposed to win the draft really, but did and nearly screwed up what they got for T-Mac in return Cuttino and Francis.
No argument there.

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E. What is the evidence we didn't go after Barnes? I'm curious. Perhaps, he just didn't want to come here. I forgot you have the evidence.
I'm assuming that we didn't because I kept reading about Barnes ever since he left GS.... and how he wasn't getting a decent offer ($3-4M/yr) from ANY team. I assumed that that included us and I'd have GLADLY paid him that cash for what he brings to the table.

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F. Orlando right now is far more inviting for free agents because of what 'trane mentioned. The right players, sign to win contracts. That's why they sign in Orlando. The guys you're speaking of, i.e. money talks, play for money. Do you really want a bunch of guys who don't give a shit for this team?
In the long run? No. But you have to START with that, yes. Webber went to SAC for big bucks and eventually people wanted to go there. Once Dirk and Nash were in DAL, people wanted to go there (and Cuban wasn't shy about spending either).

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G. You're comparison of Minnesota and Toronto is close for this reason. Neither have really ever signed a big time FA, instead have had to trade for stars or draft stars. Under KG, Spree and Cassell were both brought in by trades. Toronto has signed who exactly?
This is an excellent example. In that year MIN really did a great job in bringing in EXACTLY the kind of help that KG needed. A dominant swingman and a very good PG. Has Bosh ever had talent like that to work with?

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H. Players choose to play Chicago because that's where Jordan was. It's a lure. NYC is the biggest market in the world for basketball. Boston has history etc. etc.
Granted all of that is true but there are only about 6-10 teams in the league that can claim mass appeal like that.

What exactly is Milwaukee's lure?

How about ATL's? (until the past 2 years obviously)
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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minesotta made the playoffs every year with garnett, and the west was tougher than the east. With good players they made it to the conference finals and won 60+ games.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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and players like barnes always look better on the other team. Wright is a player like barnes, jack is a player like barnes. They just look like shit once they get here for some reason (jack is playing ok though).
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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and players like barnes always look better on the other team. Wright is a player like barnes, jack is a player like barnes. They just look like shit once they get here for some reason (jack is playing ok though).


LOL at least one person noticed...
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