The value of having a legit player at every position
Old 01-03-2014, 09:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The value of having a legit player at every position

In watching the Raptors' impressive post-Gay run, there's a lot of positives to take away from the wins - our effort on D is inspiring (you need to play awesome D to beat Indiana, OKC and I'd argue even to beat Chicago in Chicago, even without Rose).

One observation I've made in watching this current iteration of the Raptors - it feels like it's been ages since we've had a team constructed the way we currently do, with a legit, not undersized player at every position. The past 5 years we always had a gaping hole at one or two positions, and often one of those positions was a starter. After we lost Vince we needed a SG; for years we needed either an SF or a C or both. We would play scrubs in our starting lineup.

Looking at the construction of our team, I just love how every position is occupied by at least one player who is suited to that position; we're not one of these teams that has like 4 undersized power forwards, or a mix of 5 SG/SF's with not enough minutes, or no true PG. It's been so long since our roster wasn't one of those "If only we had a real Center / SF / PF".

Look at our starting lineup:

PG - Lowry 6'0
SG - DeRozan 6'6
SF - Ross 6'6 (looks more like 6'7)
PF - Johnson 6'9
C - Valanciunas 6'11

Of course we all know that height isn't everything - we did have Bargnani for 7 seasons after all.

But looking at just that lineup, it's cool how we have many of the ingredients that a winning team needs: a legit PG, a non-undersized SG who scores 20+ PPG, a SF who provides 'D + 3's + athleticism', a legit 2-way PF and a legit, developing center who can post up, shoot open 10+ footers and rebound.

Sure it would be nice to have a second 20+ PPG scorer, a PF who can pound the rock on post-ups, or Kevin Durant, but our current roster is a much better recipe of NBA pieces than we've had probably since the Vince Carter era. And with the youth of the lineup, it's not outside the realm of possibility that Ross or Valanciunas could make a leap from OK/good to great in the next 3 years.

Then, the bench isn't too shabby either. We could definitely use a mobile backup C (someone like Larry Sanders would be ideal but obviously unobtainable). Still, Vasquez is a great passer, the big man tandem of Hansbrough and Patterson is solid, and Salmons is a tenacious defender.


All in all, the current Raptors' roster has to be making gutting the team a REALLY hard decision for Ujiri. Everything seems to be gelling into place.

Last edited by BballWatcher; 01-03-2014 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We don't have a prototypical modern small forward.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice post - this team makes me happy to watch Raptors games again!!!
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We don't have a prototypical modern small forward.
Not prototypical but he's athletic, defends the position well and can shoot the 3. We'll see how he does on Sunday vs LBJ :/
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We don't have a prototypical modern small forward.
No, we certainly don't, but that's because the modern SF prototype is a cut above. There's only 3 of them and they happen to be the best players in the league: LeBron, Durant, and Paul George. You can't even really qualify Carmelo to that list anymore since he's only good on one side of the court.

The other team that made the NBA finals last year was the Spurs, and Terence Ross is cut in the same mould as Kawhi Leonard, which is interesting. Also, the nice thing about Ross, is that, just like Leonard, he's young and has potential. As we saw in the Indy game, Ross has fantastic hands, good lateral quicks and the potential to be an above average defender. As long as he keeps doing that and hitting 3's, everything else he does is a bonus for us right now.

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Old 01-03-2014, 10:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Agreed.

We actually have a bench now with a few players who are legit... and not just D-League fodder. That's helping a ton too.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Derozan and Ross are both about 6'7, im pretty sure. And JV and Amir should be 7'0 and 6'10 respectively, especially Amir, whose measurements of 6'9 and 210 pounds havent been updated since coming out of high school.

As for Ross, the dude is so athletic and gifted on the defensive end that he's been able to excell at guarding small forwards, as well as 2 guards and point guards (great job on wall). However, I'd be surprised if he didn't struggle against the biggest 3's in the NBA, especially ones who likes to post up like Joe Johnson and Lebron (can't blame him for this, obviously).
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I remember those days, before we drafted DeRozan, or even after, we had no qualified SG. Before we traded for Marion, we had no SF and then he left. Between all of that time, we were hoping that Bargs would become Dirk, which he didn't.

So I echo your sentiments, I'm glad to be watching a decent basketball team now too, my friend.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Love the post. This one of the best things to come out of this trade, all of the players in Raptors' rotation would be in rotation on any other NBA team. No more Sony Weems, Jamario Moon, Milt Palacio, Loren Woods or other borderline NBDL players being counted on every game.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tran905 View Post
Not prototypical but he's athletic, defends the position well and can shoot the 3. We'll see how he does on Sunday vs LBJ :/
they probabaly start LBJ at PF so Amir gets him.

As always we are a prototypical SF short of being great. But Ross fills in very well. Played great against George. Played good agasint OKC. I think LBJ would be too much but withoutout a ton of help but who knows... hes got ups. maybe he gets lucky catchign them on the back to back.

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Old 01-03-2014, 11:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Pretty much, I've been hoping for Ross since he was drafted(kept him as my avy :P) and it looks like he's really excelling on both ends

edit: he's still got ways to go if he wants to become elite, but at this rate I can see him as an all star in the near future
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ross is too small at the 3
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ross is too small at the 3
Bullshit, he's quick and has great length and leaping ability. He's fine....i'd prefer him at the 2 but he's fine at SF for now.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I like Ross, and he's impressed me greatly. But the dude has got to add size in the off-season. As was previously mentioned, the 3s in this league have become humongous.

With Demar's work ethic he can be special.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Ross is too small at the 3
Nah, he only seems that way because LeBron is a monster, George is 6'9 and KD is 6'10. And Ross did a pretty awesome job covering George the other day.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Love the post. This one of the best things to come out of this trade, all of the players in Raptors' rotation would be in rotation on any other NBA team. No more Sony Weems, Jamario Moon, Milt Palacio, Loren Woods or other borderline NBDL players being counted on every game.
Yep. Not to mention Alan Anderson, Michael Curry, Landry Fields (sorry homers!) and Joey fucking Graham! Oh yeah and Raffa Araujo! Shit I think I blocked that guy from my memory! He gave me Raptors PTSD!
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
they probabaly start LBJ at PF so Amir gets him.

As always we are a prototypical SF short of being great. But Ross fills in very well. Played great against George. Played good agasint OKC. I think LBJ would be too much but withoutout a ton of help but who knows... hes got ups. maybe he gets lucky catchign them on the back to back.
Battier starts at the 4, Amir will be guarding him, which is why we probably wont have the same success on defence next game with Amir not guarding the basket(unless Casey puts Amir on Bosh, which would make a lot of sense). JV is going to have to be fully tuned in to his rotations at the basket, and guarding the pick and roll or we're going to get picked apart.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Love the post. This one of the best things to come out of this trade, all of the players in Raptors' rotation would be in rotation on any other NBA team. No more Sony Weems, Jamario Moon, Milt Palacio, Loren Woods or other borderline NBDL players being counted on every game.
Jamario Moon is actually still ballin' in the D-League if you can believe it.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I thought he was either retired or in Europe somewhere.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:31 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Ross really need to put on some weight, he is too skinny for SG not even talking about SF
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