Here’s what the Raptors bring to the table in terms of big men:
PF: Chris Bosh, Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson
C: Andrea Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic, Patrick O’Bryant
Here’s the rest of the East:
C: Tyson Chandler, Nazr Mohammed
PF: Boris Diaw, DeSagana Diop, Alexis Ajijnca
Advantage Raptors. Boris Diaw averaged 22 points on 67% shooting against us last year and he wasn’t even trying. This is a matchup where we cross-switch by having somebody other than Bosh guard Diaw while he’s guarding Bosh. That somebody has to be either Evans or Johnson. They’ve now got a real rebounder in Chandler and some complementary garbage men. Bargnani will struggle on the glass, but it wouldn’t be saying much of him if you didn’t think he could take advantage of Chandler who loves to stay close to the basket. This is assuming Bosh statistically outplays Diaw.
PF: Kurt Thomas, Francisco Elson, Luc Mbah a Moute
C: Andrew Bogut, Dan Gadzuric
Advantage Raptors. 20 bucks says Kurt Thomas is acquired by a contender at the trade deadline. Andrew Bogut is a big lug who can hurt us but with the guards running the show in Milwaukee he’s getting less touches than AltRaps at the Rail. This is a matchup where boxing out will be imperative because of the abundance of hustle on their roster.
PF: Tyrus Thomas, James Johnson
C: Brad Miller, Joakim Noah, Jerome James
Advantage Raptors. Tyrus Thomas’ inconsistency has frustrated the Bulls and he cannot be considered a reliable option, not yet and maybe not ever. Putting a lanky body like Amir Johnson or Patrick O’Bryant on him can do the trick. Brad Miller’s craft and toughness is to be admired but Bargnani’s man-defense is liable to shut him down; Joakim Noah’s hustle is countered with Evans; Although Noah is younger and bigger, he’ll have plenty to think about going against Reggie or Rasho. The Ace of Spades is Bosh who can’t afford to be getting blocked at the buzzer if we want to win this matchup.
PF: Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis
C: Rasheed Wallace, Kendrick Perkins, Brian Scalabrine
Advantage C**tics. Bosh may as well sit this one out as Boston now has two players that make him go Shiver Me Timbers!. Glen Davis packs a punch off the bench and showed a drive game and finishing ability in the post-season that nobody expected. You could throw Rasho or Johnson at Perkins but the latter’s learned to play tough and can eat any of our bigs save Evans just based on effort. Scalabrine might be a terrible player but he’s a great fit in Boston, you can always count on our defense to leave him wide open for at least 3 corner threes.
PF: Leon Powe, JJ Hickson, Jawad Williams
C: Shaq, Anderson Varejao, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Advantage Cavaliers. Safe to say they’ve got the C spot covered. A healthy Leon Powe is an upgrade over Ben Wallace and JJ Hickson showed he’s an NBA player. Bargnani has a quickness advantage against their C’s but last year he only managed to average 9.7 points on 34% shooting against them. So I ask you, where’s the advantage? If you put a stiff on Bosh he’ll school him but if you counter with Varejao or a healthy Powe, things get murky. No worries though, I’m pretty sure Bosh is uber-pumped after what happened last year.
PF: Josh Smith, Joe Smith
C: Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia, Jason Collins
Advantage Hawks. Al Horford and Josh Smith bring the talent, Joe Smith brings the experience and Zaza Pachula brings the grit. Jason Collins brings dead weight. Having said that, Chris Bosh loves playing against the Hawks, he averaged 25/11 against them while shooting 57%. Joe Smith is a more talented backup than anything we have to offer. Say it with me: Aavverryyy baaaddy clap your haands.
PF: Michael Beasley, Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright
C: Jermaine O’Neal, Jamaal Magloire, Joel Anthony
Advantage Raptors. It’s a year to write-off in Miami as they wait for the 2010 summer to snag Bosh away. The C spot for them is sad and although there’s some talent and grit at the PF with Beasley and Haslem, they possess one of the worst frontlines in the league. JO’s still working out hard thinking it’ll matter. The Raptors should do all they can to get their hands on Udonis Haslem.
PF: Jared Jeffries, Al Harrington, Danilo Gallinari
C: David Lee, Eddy Curry, Darko Milicic
Advantage Raptors. Lee averaged 17/12 against Bosh who bettered him with 18/12. Let’s say this is a wash. Danilo Gallinari is a question mark at best and the Harrington/Jeffries combo doesn’t play any defense. I’ll take Bargnani over those three any day; Harrington’s a nice offensive player but I get a feeling a team with him on it isn’t ever going to do much. This Knicks lineup is a 180 degree change in style from what they sported in the early to mid-90’s. Darko is like the brand new lawn mower people see at garage sales and go, Why, I’m sure I can get this beast of a machine to do something only to find out that due to a manufacturing defect it’s motor was mysteriously replaced with a bunch of old wet newspapers.
PF: Rashard Lewis, Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson
C: Dwight Howard, Marcin Gortat, Adonal Foyle
Advantage Magic. Howard and Bosh can offset each other scoringiwise, but the impact Howard has on the game and the rest of his teammates is far more significant. Andrea Bargnani is a poor man’s Rashard Lewis and we don’t even need to look any further to hand the Magic the advantage. But we will. Brandon Bass was a steal and although I don’t think highly of Gortat, he’s no worse than Rasho. Adonal, Patrick. Patrick, Adonal. Patrick, bench. Bench, Patrick. Adonal, bench. Bench, Adonal.
PF: Josh McRoberts, Solomon Jones, Tyler Hansbrough
C: Troy Murphy, Jeff Foster, Roy Hibbert
Advantage Raptors. I’m ignoring the fact that Murphy had 20/20’s against us last year. The Pacers have the grit and some young talent in Hibbert, but proven commodities is where they lack. Tyler Hansbrough reminds me too much of Kris Humphries. Roy Hibbert is still a year or two away and as much as I like Jeff Foster, I can’t help but feel he’s far more valuable to a contending team than in Indiana where he’ll just be taking developmental minutes away from Hibbert.
PF: Jason Maxiell, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye
C: Ben Wallace, Chris Wilcox, Kwame Brown
Advantage Raptors. Only because I’m forced to pick a four time All-Star over Jason Maxiell. And our starting C is supposed to be really good. Charlie V brings the firepower and Jason Maxiell the paint pain, Ben Wallace is spent but he can put Evans or Johnson on his back any given day. Chris Wilcox is the talented big that we hope Johnson turns into and Kwame Brown is a mobile body that can dunk. Judging by Austin Daye’s summer league he’s better than Patrick O’Bryant. Despite the Pistons’ secondary bigs all being better, you have to take the Raptors and Bosh, who will feel relieved not to see Rasheed there.
PF: Yi Jianlian, Eduardo Najera, Sean Williams
C: Brook Lopez, Tony Battie, Josh Boone
Advantage Raptors. Word has it that Jermaine O’Neal still has nightmares about Brook Lopez. The second year pro is on his way to becoming a solid NBA player but after that it’s nothing but question marks everywhere. Yi Jianlian’s star is fading fast and Josh Boone still hasn’t panned out. Eduardo Najera looks like a slimy real-estate agent who’d try to sell you a condo in South Parkdale by telling how “cultural” the area is.
PF: Elton Brand, Jason Smith, Marreese Speights
C: Samuel Dalembert, Primoz Brezec
Advantage Sixers. I’m willing to say Brand and Bosh offset each other but we have nobody to counter Samuel Dalembert, maybe Amir Johnson? Last year he averaged 12/11 against us while shooting 61%. Bargnani can take him outside but the big man has the recovery skills to contend with him. Our rebounding differential against the Sixers last year was -23, -3, -4 and -13; Bargnani averaged 4.3 rebounds in those games. Jason Smith is a solid young player with a good mid-range jumper and a developing post-up game. Brezec is terrible.
PF: Antawn Jamison, Dominic McGuire, Fabricio Oberto
C: Brendan Haywood, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee
Advantage Raptors. Barely. Jamison can light up Bosh at will and is quick enough to take away Bosh’s main advantage. Haywood isn’t as effective as he once was as Blatche is set to be the man in the middle in Washington. I’ll take Bargnani’s defense to control Blatche any day and on the other end he can make him sweat too. The Wizards have two excellent hustle guys in McGuire and Oberto but I’ll take an in-form Bargnani over them any day. Bosh’s defense on Jamison needs to tighten up, the latter averaged 26/9 against us. Ouch.
Your thoughts are appreciated. BTW, anybody feel we should send our bigs here? Look what they teach:
- Mental Toughness for Post Play
- Getting Post Position
- Offensive Moves
- Power Moves to Basket
- Ball Faking
- High Post Shooting
- High Post Drive
- Post Footwork
- Receiving the Ball
- Post Passing
- Offensive Rebounding
- Defensive Rebounding
- Outlet Passing for Fast Break
- Running the Floor
- Post Defense
- Screening Techniques