Zach Lowe's impression of us from the Miami game
Old 03-18-2013, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Zach Lowe's impression of us from the Miami game

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The Heat are just a better team than the Raptors, with better players, and they should win the average game against Toronto with relative comfort. That was the first two and a half quarters, basically — a great team holding a steady 10- or 12-point lead against a so-so team. You knew the Raptors would make a run, but it was certain to be one of those runs that cut the lead to four, but no further.

But the Raptors tied it, and they earned that tie, even as it felt a bit like fool’s gold. Rudy Gay, in the middle of his second straight efficient performance, swiped a free-throw rebound from LeBron and dunked. DeMar DeRozan, invisible for the first half, converted a nifty and-one off a pick-and-roll, Jonas Valanciunas finished a couple of nice interior hoops, and the Raptors generated a series of decent looks from a makable range. (They had also gotten a few easy buckets, and fouls, via leak-outs late in the second quarter, when Miami’s transition defense got sloppy.)

But they couldn’t really sustain the decent looks part. The other baskets that got them back in the game were a series of contested (and mostly unassisted) long jumpers from Gay and DeRozan, including two straight 20-footers from DeRozan, with a defender in his face and zero movement preceding them, to end the third quarter. It couldn’t last, and it didn’t.

• The Raptors aren’t built to generate a lot of easy looks, especially against a defense designed to blitz opponents back onto their heels, force swing passes, and take away everything at the rim. Ball handlers, including the scoreless Kyle Lowry, have a lot of problems going north-south against Miami out of the pick-and-roll. The tool kit you need to score on Miami — the 2011 Mavericks tool kit — involves taking advantage of the Heat’s aggressive style by spacing the floor, moving bodies around, and loading the court with very good long-range shooters. Teams can work their way to open 3s against Miami, but they have to shoot those 3s well, and shoot them immediately. DeRozan and Gay don’t really shoot 3s well (at least the post-shoulder injury version of Gay), and so instead of shooting immediately on Sunday, they’d catch the ball, hesitate, and try to drive by the Heat defender closing out on them.

You can beat Miami this way, too, by keeping all the parts whirring around until something opens up, but it’s very, very hard with a short shot clock — especially if you pause for a beat before driving. Dwane Casey said after the game that the Raptors weren’t “attacking feet” well enough, by which he meant they weren’t aggressive enough in driving past defenders closing out on them.

• Toronto has some tasty-looking action in its offense, but much of it leads to midrange jumpers. They repeatedly ran a nice play on which Amir Johnson would set a high screen for Lowry and roll right down toward DeRozan on the left wing, setting a pin-down screen to free DeRozan for a midrange shot at the left elbow. And as that was happening, Gay would simultaneously draw a bunch of attention on the other side of the floor by posting up for a potential entry pass from Lowry.

Lots of stuff, nicely timed. But it’s mostly going to produce so-so looks worth only two points, and it’s often going to produce very bad looks.
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• The Heat have different players and a different system, and they are hyperaware of the location of their very best 3-point shooters at all times. A big Ray Allen 3 to make the score 84-77 early in the fourth started with Allen spotting up on the right side with Dwyane Wade handling in the middle of the floor, above the arc, against DeRozan:
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• Toronto fans are seriously committed to booing Chris Bosh, and Bosh is seriously committed to totally ignoring it. He didn’t look at the crowd after big shots, or scream toward the fans, and he kept his head down as he left the court, staring at the floor ahead of him even as he gave out some high-fives to fans leaning across the railing.
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Another scoreboard gem: A small, animated leprechaun doing an Irish jig with Jonas Valanciunas’s head superimposed on the leprechaun’s body. Valanciunas can get a little out of place defensively, but he showed some refined offensive moves today, and the Raptors are confident he’s going to be a very good player.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For a second there I thought by "us" you meant us at Raps forum...
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If Val can improve his D awareness and a bit more polished post game (provided he gets touches consistently) I think he'll put up a solid near double double average. I want to see him in the Most Improved running next year.

Lowe is dead on though. A lot of work for so-so 2 pointers. We need some 3 point threats and more action going to the rim. But I think if we add some 3 point shooting role players like a Morrow, Korver, or similar our offense will just naturally open up. Our focus should be getting our defense back to where it should be. For fucks sakes we have better defenders now than we did in DC's first year.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Best article posted on this board in a long long time.

This is the best part of the article in regards to our offence;

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The Raptors aren’t built to generate a lot of easy looks, especially against a defense designed to blitz opponents back onto their heels, force swing passes, and take away everything at the rim. Ball handlers, including the scoreless Kyle Lowry, have a lot of problems going north-south against Miami out of the pick-and-roll. The tool kit you need to score on Miami — the 2011 Mavericks tool kit — involves taking advantage of the Heat’s aggressive style by spacing the floor, moving bodies around, and loading the court with very good long-range shooters. Teams can work their way to open 3s against Miami, but they have to shoot those 3s well, and shoot them immediately. DeRozan and Gay don’t really shoot 3s well (at least the post-shoulder injury version of Gay), and so instead of shooting immediately on Sunday, they’d catch the ball, hesitate, and try to drive by the Heat defender closing out on them.
And this is why I dont think Derozan/Gay can work unless we have a really good coach who can somehow utilize both in an efficient manner, being primarily midrange players. Good to really good NBA defences shrink the court and take away catches and easy shots in the mid to short range areas, and force teams to swing the ball multiple times to come close to getting a good look at the basket, whether on the perimeter or inside. With us not being a good 3 point shooting team, it becomes easier for them to shrink the floor, not having to close out as hard and not having to thus open up driving lanes for the likes of Droz and Rudy.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ball Don't Lie View Post
Best article posted on this board in a long long time.

This is the best part of the article in regards to our offence;



And this is why I dont think Derozan/Gay can work unless we have a really good coach who can somehow utilize both in an efficient manner, being primarily midrange players. Good to really good NBA defences shrink the court and take away catches and easy shots in the mid to short range areas, and force teams to swing the ball multiple times to come close to getting a good look at the basket, whether on the perimeter or inside. With us not being a good 3 point shooting team, it becomes easier for them to shrink the floor, not having to close out as hard and not having to thus open up driving lanes for the likes of Droz and Rudy.
Makes you wonder what we could get for a Derozan/Bargs package. And maybe aquire a 1st rounder to throw in there. With very little capspace BC will have to get creative.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
Keep it simple

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so you're saying we need a spot up shooter 2 guard? what kind of SG do you want.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have an idea.... but its risky and people will hate me for saying it, Bargs-DeRozan-Anderson-Telfair for the team most likely to score the 2014 1st pick... semi-tank next year and aim at around the 7-13 pick to pickup Noah Vonley (next coming of Kevin Love but lacks the drive, hits 3's with ease with a solid body and huge wingspan which makes him constant post threat)

Left with:
Lowry/Free agent
Gay/Ross
Wiggins/Fields
Vonley/Johnson
Valanciunas/Vet

Full of cheap rookie contracts, buckets of talent with leadership across the group

probably best team in 2-3 years if all players pan out
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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DD can improve his shooting. Rudy will be back in form most likely after the preseason. Let this go 1 whole season.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Quinn View Post
I have an idea.... but its risky and people will hate me for saying it, Bargs-DeRozan-Anderson-Telfair for the team most likely to score the 2014 1st pick... semi-tank next year and aim at around the 7-13 pick to pickup Noah Vonley (next coming of Kevin Love but lacks the drive, hits 3's with ease with a solid body and huge wingspan which makes him constant post threat)

Left with:
Lowry/Free agent
Gay/Ross
Wiggins/Fields
Vonley/Johnson
Valanciunas/Vet

Full of cheap rookie contracts, buckets of talent with leadership across the group

probably best team in 2-3 years if all players pan out
I gotta give it to you, you're the biggest dreamer on RF. But you also need to put yourself in the other teams shoes. Why would any team trade a 2014 1st round pick for that package? Maybe BC can kidnap other GMs and force them to trade their 1st round picks mafia style, because that's the only way we'd get one for that package of players.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
Keep it simple

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whos vonley?
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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TR+LF for Affalo + DD for Millsap(s+t) or TR+LF for Millsap(s+t) and DD for Affalo. Lowry,Affalo,Gay with a Millsap/Amir/JV trio= not too shabby.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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pickup Noah Vonley (next coming of Kevin Love but lacks the drive, hits 3's with ease
You want the second coming of Andrea Bargnani?
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