Wolstat: Big changes coming the next two summers
Old 02-24-2015, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors Wolstat: Big changes coming the next two summers

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It all looked so promising early on. Responding to a lethargic performance in Houston that disappointed head coach Dwane Casey, the Raptors came out aggressive and intense against New Orleans. The defence was superb particularly from Kyle Lowry, James Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas and nobody could stop Valanciunas inside. But that all faded and eventually, ďthey played harder than us,Ē* Lowry said of the Pelicans. Thatís two out of the past three games that an opponent ďthrew a bigger punchĒ than the Raptors and seemed to want it more. Thatís a bit troubling.

- Also troubling: The lack of creativity on offence. The Raptors are a three-point shooting team and thatís not going to change, as Lowry also pointed out, but how can a team that runs such efficient out of timeout plays, be so brutal at the end of quarters and of games? The Lou Williams isolation plays donít work, because there is no variety and opponents know what to expect. You might get a call on the road with your six foot guard driving into a 7-foot shot-blocker once or twice a season. Itís just a bad decision by Lowry, the success rate is tiny. Even Casey said the team wasnít running the plays and was just trying to ďtake an opportunity to do something different.Ē Again, troubling. DeMar DeRozanís 22-foot fadeaways? Also troubling. DeRozan has been extremely effective when he moves the ball, doesnít force his shots and takes what the
defence is giving him. Thatís the all-star version of DeRozan. We have only seen it sporadically. Perhaps it is patience that Lowry and DeRozan lack? Instead of forcing, if theyíd just slow it down and make better decisions (like keeping Valanciunas involved) the Raptors would be a lot more threatening and it would be far easier to see them as a legitimate contender to make the Eastern Conference Finals or at least win a round and nearly take another. Right now, that seems like
wishful thinking. Masai Ujiri gets this. Itís why he didnít make a small move and it is why huge changes are coming the next two summers as he puts his stamp on a team that is still heavily-dominated by Bryan Colangelo acquisitions.

- Lou Williams was badly missed in Houston and Patrick Patterson was badly missed in this one. The team has grown used to closing games with Patterson on the floor and obviously couldnít, due to his knee injury. Patterson is one of the three best pick-and-roll defenders on the team and also has a habit of hitting big shots for the club. If he had been healthy, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

- The play of Terrence Ross is still a gigantic concern. They let him play the entire second quarter and Ross only scored once on four tries, didnít grab a rebound and like usual, didnít get to the line. He did make at least one big shot though. All they can do is be patient in the off-season, as nobody will trade anything of value for him at this point with his value cratered.

- The coaching staff has been great all season and Iíve been the first to point it out and donít want to seem like Iím piling on today, but why play the starters so much in the third? Three of them played the whole frame, DeRozan only a minute and a half less. Of course they were going to be tired in the fourth with Patterson sidelined. Chuck Hayes or Tyler Hansbrough should have battled against the plodding Omer Asik, allowing Amir Johnson or Valanciunas to get some rest to be fresh for the fourth (part of the reason Valanciunas didnít play during the decisive final minutes was because the team said he didnít have enough in the tank Ö). The team was up 11 when DeRozan split a pair of free throws half-way through the third, that was the perfect time to give the bigs and Lowry a break (or even up eight with three minutes left). Give the Pelicans full marks for coming back, but part of it was due to Torontoís fatigue.

- The Raptors are adamant that James Johnson is not an infallible one-on-one defender Ė he makes a lot of mistakes, he just covers up for them extremely quickly Ė and Tyreke Evans still had his way with him, but still believe Johnson on Evans would have made more sense than Greivis Vasquez. Evans likely still blows by Johnson, but Johnson would have made him work harder and perhaps thrown him off a bit. Still, why donít players back up off of Evans? He is a well below average shooter and a fantastic driver. Give him more room and dare him to shoot over you.

- Amir Johnson got annihilated down low, mainly by Alexis Ajinca. The Pelicans shot 10-for-13 against him at the rim, just 4-for-9 against Valanciunas.
Troubling signs as Raptors collapse against Pelicans | Courtside
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nobody played harder than jonas

We need to start Ross problem is we have no 3point shooting with the starters no legit threats

The started played incredible defence in the start of the 1st and 3rd but we couldn't blow the Game open because there was no 3 point shooting

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Old 02-24-2015, 12:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Falls in line with my expectations - either a big signing/trade this summer, or short term moves that open up blockbuster for 2016.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nobody played harder than jonas

We need to start Ross problem is we have no 3point shooting with the starters no legit threats

The started played incredible defense in the start of the 1st and 3rd but we couldn't blow the Game open because there was no 3 point shooting
Raptors blew out ATL, because they were playing solid defense, and their deference led to high quality shots offensively. JJ is a huge reason for this. If Ross started Korver would have went off with his shooting.

Against Pelicans we were up 18, not because of 3 point shooting. If Ross can be a threat offensively and defensively then sure start him, but he is not bringing it on a consistent basis.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by creative1mm View Post
Raptors blew out ATL, because they were playing solid defense, and their deference led to high quality shots offensively. JJ is a huge reason for this. If Ross started Korver would have went off with his shooting.

Against Pelicans we were up 18, not because of 3 point shooting. If Ross can be a threat offensively and defensively then sure start him, but he is not bringing it on a consistent basis.
Not to mention that Ross hasn't shot the ball well in two months and he's become a black hole on offence where he's looking for his shot. He has zero playmaking ability, and his defence has been subpar all year.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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to me it's the offense which is the problem.
they don't play enough with consistency, they don't share the ball enough to much one on one instead of creating for each other.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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to me it's the offense which is the problem.
they don't play enough with consistency, they don't share the ball enough to much one on one instead of creating for each other.
A great point...see "Casey is a bad coach" thread....
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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to me it's the offense which is the problem.
they don't play enough with consistency, they don't share the ball enough to much one on one instead of creating for each other.
Honestly, as much as sharing the ball is nice, it is not really the issue (it could be a solution, but only indirectly). The system calls for getting their guys the shots they are good at hitting, putting players into positions to score or get fouled with as little passing as possible. My issue is that the system isn't doing it anymore. It is designed for the guards to get into those spots, but the guards have been spotty to terrible the last couple months, and so even when the system gets them "shots they usually make," they usually don't make them.

My concern is that the system does not allow our more efficient players (our bigs, JV in particular, and even the guards when they are spotting up and not dribbling around uselessly) to score in their advantageous situations.
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Falls in line with my expectations - either a big signing/trade this summer, or short term moves that open up blockbuster for 2016.
I am still hoping against hope for Durant in 2016. That is, if they are serious about contending, and not just fielding "a really good team".
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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On the "offensive system" - I honestly can't see any. High pick-and-roll is the only discernible multi-player set the team is running with any consistency, and even those are not being executed well enough often enough. The rest of this offence is a bunch of iso plays with some passing options usually available, but not often used.

Casey has never been a gifted offensive coach. He has some solid ideas on the defensive end of things, and perhaps can be called a good motivator, but he needs a talented offensive co-ordinator, and pronto.
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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On the "offensive system" - I honestly can't see any. High pick-and-roll is the only discernible multi-player set the team is running with any consistency, and even those are not being executed well enough often enough. The rest of this offence is a bunch of iso plays with some passing options usually available, but not often used.

Casey has never been a gifted offensive coach. He has some solid ideas on the defensive end of things, and perhaps can be called a good motivator, but he needs a talented offensive co-ordinator, and pronto.
He has one. We hired him either this or last year. I just don't know why he's not doing what he's known for. I think casey might be limiting his influence so the players can "just play" and be strictly regimented defensively.
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Honestly, as much as sharing the ball is nice, it is not really the issue (it could be a solution, but only indirectly). The system calls for getting their guys the shots they are good at hitting, putting players into positions to score or get fouled with as little passing as possible. My issue is that the system isn't doing it anymore. It is designed for the guards to get into those spots, but the guards have been spotty to terrible the last couple months, and so even when the system gets them "shots they usually make," they usually don't make them.

My concern is that the system does not allow our more efficient players (our bigs, JV in particular, and even the guards when they are spotting up and not dribbling around uselessly) to score in their advantageous situations.
Amen brother...Golden State has the Splash Brothers while we have the Chuck It Buckets...it seems that Kyle , in particular, when at close of games takes it upon himself to dash to middle and throw up some shit in the land of giants. If he is serious about our 3 point offensive scheme , then load up and fire from outside. He only had 5 assists last night which tells you something. I am waiting for Demar to start taking it to the rim more and for Terrence ...okay I have lost hope in him doing much that requires any contact...Hurry up and get back healthy PatPat...

Our playoff run will be short unless they share the rock rather than pound the rock...
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Amen brother...Golden State has the Splash Brothers while we have the Chuck It Buckets...it seems that Kyle , in particular, when at close of games takes it upon himself to dash to middle and throw up some shit in the land of giants. If he is serious about our 3 point offensive scheme , then load up and fire from outside. He only had 5 assists last night which tells you something. I am waiting for Demar to start taking it to the rim more and for Terrence ...okay I have lost hope in him doing much that requires any contact...Hurry up and get back healthy PatPat...

Our playoff run will be short unless they share the rock rather than pound the rock...
nice... Can I use that "rock" quote?
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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nice... Can I use that "rock" quote?
No, I am having it trade marked like Marshawn Lynch did with his " so I don't get fined"
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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big changes must start with the coach. Casey has absolutely no control over his guards. so far toronto guards showed no discipline, very little defensive effort (ocasional Lowry's dives and taking charges don't count) and poor shot selection.
I couldn't belive Casey didn't stop the game after GV took that ridiculous 3-pt shoot early on the clock with team up 8. this was momentum changer. second unit were supposed to sustain the lead and let starters rest for the final minutes... instead you've got Lou and GV taking irresponsible gamble shots. I can only imagine Popovich's response to this kind of crap.

bottom line, if this team is looking for long term success they should replace Casey
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Raptors blew out ATL, because they were playing solid defense, and their deference led to high quality shots offensively. JJ is a huge reason for this. If Ross started Korver would have went off with his shooting.

Against Pelicans we were up 18, not because of 3 point shooting. If Ross can be a threat offensively and defensively then sure start him, but he is not bringing it on a consistent basis.
So you don't see any issues with our 3point shooting with the starters

All you have to do is collapse the paint and make us shoot from the outside any team in a playoff series will expose this issue

Reason why I said Ross is because there is no one else. I would rather have Ross out there opening up the paint then James Johnson defender collapsing on demar or lowry

It's a real problem another way of doing it is starting 2pat and keeping James Johnson in

Where no going anywhere if we don't find 3point shooting with our starting unit

You keep it the way it is where going out in the first round

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Old 02-24-2015, 07:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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for me the biggest issue by far with our offense is the freedom our players have to take bad shots. ALL of our players, but our guards in particular don't hesitate to take shots in early in the clock, or a few inches inside the 3pt line, or turnaround fadeaways. Lou is the biggest offender, but demar, ross and to a lesser extent kyly and vasquez also do this a lot. And I've yet to see ONE occasion where casey pulls a player out after taking such as shot, which to me it's a clear indication he doesn't mind it.

I'm not a big fan our offensive system, but I generally like Casey. But this is my biggest peeve with the way he's coaching. Followed very closely by his treatment of JV. And I'm very reluctant to buy any argument about why JV never plays meaningful minutes in the 4th quarter.

Even accepting that he's so detrimental to our defense (makes you wonder why would he be so effective in the first quarter and somehow becomes a negative in the last), but shouldn't we start giving him some minutes so he can learn through his mistakes? He may be the strongest kid, but he's bound to start having doubts about his performance in the 4th which will make him hesitant and more mistake prone, a classic case of negative feedback. Isn't it worth a few losses just to accelerate JV's progress a bit?
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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JV's defence is no longer a weak link for this team. Over the past 15 games, he has the third best on-court defensive rating on the team, behind only Hayes and JJ (and Hayes has played in only 4 games).
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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JV's defence is no longer a weak link for this team. Over the past 15 games, he has the third best on-court defensive rating on the team, behind only Hayes and JJ (and Hayes has played in only 4 games).
Can you email Casey and let him know?

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Old 02-24-2015, 08:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Troubling signs as Raptors collapse against Pelicans | Courtside
lol @ the bolded part, something aboutthe roster mainly composed by BC
MU has ditched many of BCs biggest aquisitions/mistakes in such a limited time
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