Team matchup: Raptors vs Celtics
Old 09-06-2012, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Team matchup: Raptors vs Celtics

Have to scratch my head at some of this, but somewhat interesting.


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The Raptors look to be a much improved team this year. With the addition of Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross, Landry Fields, and Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors have a strong core of incoming talent that they can build around. They already rostered the promising DeMar DeRozan, Italian gunner Andrea Bargnani, sharpshooter Linas Kleiza, young big man Amir Johnson, the agile and capable big Ed Davis, and Spanish point guard Jose Calderon.

Calderon is an expiring contract that could net assets at the trade deadline, either in the form of players or a trade exception.

The Raptors have some options, and a starting five that could eventually be one of the best in the NBA: Lowry, Ross, DeRozan, Bargnani, Valanciunas.

Let’s see how the revamped Raptors stack up against the Celtics:
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POINT GUARD:

Rajon Rondo / Keyon Dooling / Dionte Christmas vs. Kyle Lowry / Jose Calderon / John Lucas

This is really pretty evenly matched. Rondo and Lowry are both among the best 10 point guards in the game, with Rondo being a bit higher in near top-five status. But make no mistake, through almost the All-Star break last year, Lowry was playing better than all point guards not named Chris Paul. He fell off, but that potential shown hints at the fact that Lowry may be the next big time point guard in the NBA. The thing is: Rondo already is there.

Calderon is the best of the backups, but Dooling is capable of doing a job on Calderon. Dooling knows you just don’t leave Calderon open, nor do you go under pick and rolls with him. Lucas is a gunner, but won’t see many minutes. Christmas, while promising, will only see fringe minutes unless he shocks us all.

Advantage: EVEN
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SHOOTING GUARD:

Avery Bradley / Courtney Lee / Jason Terry vs. Terrence Ross / Landry Fields

The Celtics truly do have one of the deepest backcourts in the NBA. Because Bradley and Terry can both play point in a pinch, and Lee can cover point guards, when you throw this trio in with Rondo, Dooling, and Christmas, you have a strong four guard rotation with two solid subs. That’s going to mean a lot of energy on the court, because other than Rondo, they will all get a lot of rest.

That’s going to be a lot for a defensive stopper in Fields and unproven rookie in Ross, to handle. Ross has some good size for a two-guard: 6’7″ with a 37.5 max vertical leap and a 3.28 three-quarter-court sprint. That athleticism, with a desire to win, could make the Raptors very good at shooting guard, but that time is not yet here. Draft Xpress gives his high upside as Jason Richardson and his low upside as Jeremy Richardson. If Ross were as good as J Rich by his third season in the league, the Raptors could CONTEND.

For now, we go with the present day.

Advantage: Boston
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SMALL FORWARD:

Paul Pierce / Jeff Green / Kris Joseph vs. DeMar DeRozan / Linas Kleiza / Alan Anderson

This is a unique matchup. It pits the outstanding athleticism and undeveloped skills of DeRozan against the evaporated athleticism and guile and deception of Pierce’s footwork. Expect DeRozan to struggle, but I wonder if Pierce can stay with him for a long duration of minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Doc Rivers feature Green in the lineup more against teams like the Raptors who have more athletic swing men.

Kleiza will also pose problems, but could be covered by Pierce. The thing is, if Pierce gets lazy fighting around screens, Kleiza will make him and the Celtics pay for it. Alan Anderson had a nice season in 2011-2012, posting 9.6 points per game with a PER of 8.75. Joseph could be a valuable bench scorer.

This is a really tough call as to who has the advantage here, but I have to go with the shooting of Kleiza and the athleticism of DeRozan, and give a slight edge to the Raptors. I know that might sound bizarre, considering Pierce’s legend and Green’s acumen and skill on the perimeter, but the Raptors give the Celts more problems than they are capable of solving without more risky adjustments (e.g., doubling off from SG and leaving Ross open constantly, or putting Pierce on Ross).

Advantage: Raptors
Quote:
POWER FORWARD:

Brandon Bass / Jared Sullinger / Chris WIlcox vs. Andrea Bargnani / Amir Johnson / Ed Davis / Quincy Acy

As much as I like Bass and Sully, it’s hard to give them the nod over a former No. 1 overall draft selection who has stroked the ball so well through his career so far, despite having an injury plagued 2011-2012 season. His percentages fell, but unless his mechanics are broken, we can expect Bargnani to go back to hoisting threes…and while I’ve never been a big fan of three point chucking big men, Bargs does it very well.

He’s too goofy and not skilled enough to enter the discussion of Dirk Nowitzki-type players, but he is better than the majority of the big white stiff perimeter types that we’ve seen in recent years. He’s pretty agile and runs the floor well, for his frame, and if he set his mind to it, he could be an above average defender.

He’s, simply, just too much for Brandon Bass. Bass is only 6’8″ and Bargnani stands a full four inches taller, and Sullinger will have no more luck than Bass with the seven-foot Bargnani. Amir Johnson is athletic and can get off the floor for blocks and rebounds, and Ed Davis is looking a lot like an energy guy off the bench, who can put points on the board in spurts. Acy is a wildcard, but the Baylor forward impressed all of last year and along with Perry Jones, he looks to erase the collapse of the Bears in NBA Dreams.

Advantage: Raptors
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CENTER:

Kevin Garnett / Jason Collins / Fab Melo vs. Jonas Valanciunas / (Bargnani)

I love this: KG vs Jonas. I have compared Jonas Valanciunas to a young Euro KG. His length, aggressive style, and athleticism show a lot of similarities to an 18-year-old Kevin Garnett. If you don’t believe me, you really need to You Tube Valanciunas and take a look for yourself.

That said, I would not take an 18-year-old KG over KG now, and that is — needless to say — a huge reach on the upside of Jonas V. But I’m not afraid to make those kinds of reaches, because sometimes it proves you end up being right.

I noted Bargnani as his only backup, but Ed Davis will also see time at center. I’m not sure if Valanciunas is ready for full time duties as a starting center, but he’ll learn on the fly. The Raptors are committed to developing their best talent and the No. 5 overall pick from the 2011 Draft is now ready to shine. He just won’t do much shining against the defense and experience of Kevin Garnett.

Advantage: Boston

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Outlook

The Raptors may in some ways be the Celtics of the future. In that sense, I mean a team that has a strong core built around a couple premier talents. Much like the Celtics, their best two players play point guard and center, with a high scoring small forward flanking the wing.

Lowry : Rondo

DeRozan : Pierce

Valanciunas: Garnett

It’s a stretch, but that’s what makes comparisons like these fun. For the moment, though, I think you of course go with what has already worked.

Prediction: Celtics sweep 4-0

Team Matchup Analysis: Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics - Hardwood Houdini - A Boston Celtics Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Paul Pierce / Jeff Green / Kris Joseph vs. DeMar DeRozan / Linas Kleiza / Alan Anderson
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Advantage: Raptors
Lost all credibility.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Lost all credibility.
Credibility was lost in a couple other spots too. Davis playing Center? Ross starting at SG?
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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hahaahaa horrible
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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this was entertaining.. not accurate . dammit i wish it was though.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Where's Gray?
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Where's Gray?
They left him out so it's somewhat fair
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I liked it actually, despite some inaccurate facts. But I am sure celtics would not win 4-0
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lost all credibility.
It depends on which PP shows up. There are more and more stretches of seasons where he would not be wrong.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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They left him out so it's somewhat fair
LOL I left him out a couple of times...

It's cool though carp got me on the "Gray Train" so to speak
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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rondo is the 2nd best PG in the game and even against a good defensive team pierce will get his numbers.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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rondo is the 2nd best PG in the game and even against a good defensive team pierce will get his numbers.
I'd say 4th best at minimum - Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook would object to your point!
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'd say 4th best at minimum - Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook would object to your point!
chris paul is the best, i believe rondo is a better PG than rose, i also think d-will probably is. Rose is excellent tho, top 5 for sure.

i really dislike westbrook. He is not a good PG. By that i mean he's in the wrong position. He would be an outstanding SG because he's an athletic freak and a good scorer but as a PG he gets too many TOs, has a low bball IQ, makes bad decisions, essentially he can't run a team. which is a PG's job. There were games in the play-offs where he took more shots than durant!! when he wasn't even having a great game!! He's a very good player, but there are quite a few guys i would rather have running the point. OKC would be amazing with rondo as their PG.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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chris paul is the best, i believe rondo is a better PG than rose, i also think d-will probably is. Rose is excellent tho, top 5 for sure.

i really dislike westbrook. He is not a good PG. By that i mean he's in the wrong position. He would be an outstanding SG because he's an athletic freak and a good scorer but as a PG he gets too many TOs, has a low bball IQ, makes bad decisions, essentially he can't run a team. which is a PG's job. There were games in the play-offs where he took more shots than durant!! when he wasn't even having a great game!! He's a very good player, but there are quite a few guys i would rather have running the point. OKC would be amazing with rondo as their PG.
1. Paul
2. Williams
3. Rose
4. Rondo
5. Westbrook

JMHO
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
1. Paul
2. Williams
3. Rose
4. Rondo
5. Westbrook

JMHO
a very fair opinion. I realise westbrook has done a lot of good things in the past 2 seasons that has caught the eye. I realise my opinion on westbrook is a bit "out there!" but you can only react to what you see eh? I explained my reasons pretty well i think. I really think OKC will struggle to win a title with westbrook running things.

in terms of the top 4, it's so close. I just think rondo's all-round contribution is massive. In terms of D, rebs, toughness, leading by example, full-throttle 100% of the time, personality. Having said that D-rose's personality is nearly as strong as rondo's and he a better scorer.

for me paul and rondo are a little way clear of the rest. it's a good debate tho.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'd say 4th best at minimum - Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook would object to your point!
Westbrook? Naaah: even though he fills the PG spot in OKC he's a SG. The main point, btw, is: what makes Paul better than Rondo (or Rondo worse than a few other PGs) is the head.

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Westbrook? Naaah: even though he fills the PG spot in OKC he's a SG. The main point, btw, is: what makes Paul better than Rondo (or Rondo worse than a few other PGs) is the mentality.
you think something is wrong with rondo's mentality!?

to me he has just about the best mentality in the sport! unselfish, hard-working, tough, never-say-die.

at least we agree 100% on westbrrok tho!
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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sorry, mentality isn't the best translation of what i'm thinking about: to me, Rondo still has to control himself some times. E.g. I recall a few ejection of him last year. Or maybe I'm making confusion w/ another player?
W/ all being said, i'm not declaring he's not a top pg, 'cause if he isn't, Magloire is the best C in the league. He just has to get his head more right, imo.

Last edited by shenmui; 09-08-2012 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hahaha.
Rondo and Lowry, yep.
Le Bron and Fields are both top 50 SFs in the league! Ha ha ha
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:37 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I liked it actually, despite some inaccurate facts. But I am sure celtics would not win 4-0
we split the season series last year if I recall, they're no longer the raptor killers they used to be. Of course, if they really want it, they could beat us easily, they almost beat Miami, and that's with all their injuries and some very questionable refs ...
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