After my third round of Wiser’s, I concluded that my ratings for Part I were way too generous. So I’ll make it up this time, keep in mind that the grades are relative to expectations. Rounding out the RR Ratings:

Jose Calderon (26.5 mpg, 9.8 ppg, 7.2 apg, 1.16 spg, 0.97 tpg): After being written off as a defensive liability and shoved onto the trading block, Calderon’s resurgence has coincided with the outright declaration that the Spaniard is the uncontested starting point guard. Rebuffing the myth that he is unable to lead an up-tempo offense, Calderon has adjusted his game to become less risk-averse and is now more inclined to pick leak-outs and opportunities in transition. It’s no surprise that he’s being lauded for his play despite having an 18.2% turnover rate, the highest since his rookie year. His assist-to-turnover rate – which announcers used to drool over – is at a 4-year low, proving once again that that statistic means little. Surprisingly enough, Calderon’s effectiveness on defense has also improved, and that could be a by-product of being fully fit, his 1.16 steals lead the team and he’s often seen pressuring opponents mid-court rather successfully. Don’t get me wrong, Calderon is still a poor defensive player and still has nights where he’s literally abused, but his offensive efficiency and defensive effort seem to have been making up for it of late. Throw in a renewed sense of optimism and you have yourself a Hollywood movie – Calderon 2.0: The Rebirth. B-

Amir Johnson (22.8 mpg, 8.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.7 ppg, 1.1 bpg): Just like DeRozan, his PER36 numbers from this season and last are a wash, which is a problem because these were two players that were supposed to have a major say this season. Johnson’s had 14 games where he’s been held to under 6 points and 12 games where he’s got under 4 rebounds, these outings have created a dip in his consistency level to the point where nobody’s quite sure what to expect of him. It’s like rolling the dice. On the bright side, he has an improved jumper and is an excellent FT shooter. In terms of on-off stats, he’s the anti-Bargnani: +15.0. Johnson’s help defense is the best on the team which makes you want to forgive his (slightly improving) foul rate – every 6.2 minutes compared to 5.7 last season – except when he picks them up early to completely take himself out of the game. Jay Triano needs to reflect on that strategy as well, because rarely (never?) has Johnson picked up two quick fouls, gone to the bench, and returned with a strong second half. A different school of thought might suggest that he needs to play till he fouls out – something he’s only done three times all season. C+

Jerryd Bayless (18.5 mpg, 8.6 ppg, 3.4 apg, 1.6 tpg): He’s been handed the keys to the second-unit and has performed better than most expected. Coming in with a reputation of being a shoot-first PG, Bayless has worked hard to shed that label and is trying to use his drive-and-kick to create shots. Hardly a bonafide floor general, Bayless relies on his quickness to get to the lane, problem comes when he gets there. Lacking the strength and size to finish consistently or the court vision to pick out passers, he gets into trouble, but it’s trouble the Raptors can live with in the name of rebuilding. A 22 years of age, Bayless has the potential to fit in perfectly with the youth movement, and one hopes that he can improve his intelligence and court-sense in the next year or so. Top of the list on things to improve is to maintain his dribble under pressure, scout passing options before he makes his drive, and hone that improving jumper to the point where his quickness becomes easier to use. Bayless’ defense has also been a pleasant surprise and he hasn’t been the foul-machine Hollinger made him out to be. At best, his NBA outlook seems to be that of a decent starter, at worst, a pretty good backup. B-

Ed Davis (12 gp, 19.2 mpg, 5.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg): A defensive leaper with a nose for the ball who will undoubtedly improve as he gains muscle and understands the nuances of rebounding at the professional level. His help defense, athleticism, reach, and inclination towards playing both ends in the paint is what’s going to keep him in the league, and we’ve already seen glimpses of all of the above. At the same time, he’s been shoved off the block on many an occasion and has sometimes looked out of place, mostly due to his lack of strength. The post-game is raw but there’s enough there to work with, same with the jumper – he’s acknowledged that its’ a weakness and he’s working hard at it. C+

Julian Wright (17 gp, 12.3 mpg, 3.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg): Not much to say for these final two. Wright’s already proven that he can have a defensive impact off the bench, what’s gone unnoticed is that he’s also good running two-man situations late in the clock. An underrated passer, Wright at least deserves to be in the tail end of the rotation and be playing a lot more against high-caliber wings, especially when DeRozan and Weems are having trouble containing. B+

Joe Dorsey (15 gp, 11.3 mpg, 3.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg): When he has played, he hasn’t been terrible. He’s no Reggie Evans, but his effort needs to be commended. Too bad he’s two inches too short and missing one post-move or jumper to be in the rotation. Dorsey’s a decent find for a 12th man, certainly better than Patrick O’Bryant. C+

  • Ruuuuuuuuuu

    whoa bro, you cant give AJ a C…..whether you are comparing relative to expectation or even relative to other players

    just the fact that he somehow become a great FT shooter should at least put him in the B’s

    generally speaking he has been a bright point for the Raps…so yeah that C just seems off

    • BigChris

      I agree. If Amir is absolutely dominating the on / off stats, and is the Anti-Bargnani in them… how in the world does every single person on this list get a better grade? If the on / off stats were so meaningless in the evaluations… why bring them up? Use a stat to determine that player A is the most effective player on the team…. then give that player the worst grade. Yep.

      • cesco

        The expectation for Amir was that he was supposed to cut down on his fouls so that he could stay longer on the floor for defensive purposes , he failed to do that . Andrea main expectation was that he become the primary option on offense , he met that requirement.
        Amir could not be given the same rating as Andrea ( B) , so a C or a C+ is very fair.

        • Theswirsky

          you don’t think that people expect(ed) bargnani to become a better defensive player or a more complete player? How do some of you guys have such low expectations for a teams ‘best player’? (and I use that term loosely)

    • http://twitter.com/arsenalist Arsenalist

      Maybe a bit harsh, but a lot was expected off him. If he wasn’t so inconsistent he’d be getting a better grade, for now though I’ll hold him to a higher standard than what he has shown. Raps can’t have a key cog like him deliver inconsistently. He’s been a “bright spot” on occasion, it needs to happen on a nightly basis and I pointed to the times he’s been a complete non-factor in games. Not acceptable.

      • Ruuuuuuuu

        well the role he was given out of the gate was first big off the bench. He has done that “decently” (its not like thats why the Raps lose). And the fact that he (even slightly) improved his foul rate and became a much better FT shooter, means overall he is having a good season. And what about that stunt he pulled vs the Celtics….pumping the crowd while he sank the biggest FTs of the season? common man!! swag!!!! He has even justified his contract which is probably the biggest thing for AJ if you want to talk “relative expectations” – again another indicator he is having a good season.

        It just doesn’t make sense that almost every other player has a better grade than him…you should’ve just went with B- haha, the C+ just jumps out at you

        more importantly, I think this has been a useful exercise to show what happens with Profs sometimes. If they mark half the papers on a different day, they can just be in a different mood etc, and there can be some annomalies. To carry this analogy further, Arse is clearly a racist prof who is hating on the YGZ (I think their avg grade is like a D-), he’s marking the class thugs harder even if they turn in the same work.

        • http://twitter.com/arsenalist Arsenalist

          Haha…that last paragraph is just gold. In fact, I’m making it the ROTD.

          YGZ have overall been a disappointment, sorry. I’m no Bargnani fanboy by any stretch, but he’s brought me more joy than YGZ combined. As I already said, the AJ ranking is probably a wee bit harsh.

          • Ruuuuuuuu

            swag!!!!

          • Raptor4ever

            I actually think your Amir Johnson Ranking was very fair. Think about it. When he was given that contract, it was understood that he has to come in and bring his fouls down. He did not do it efficiently yet !! There has been many games in which his foul troubles took him away from the team. Yes, he did improve his jump shot but still has the worst handling on the ball. Overall, C+ is a very decent grade for Amir.

            As far as YGz goes, it is marketing scheme to sell ticket and get few fans excited. Nither of the 3 has shown the killer instinct, the competitive edge that a winners have.

            Sonny is more concern about having fun and keeping everyone happy in the locker room. Amir is too busy setting up his next youtube video and DD, well, I have no idea what he is up to because i don’t see any improvement there either.

            This is 10-19 team, yes, they are doing better than I predicted ( 25 wins for the season) but at the end of the day, they have not shown any significant improvements personally.

  • Mediumcore

    Bayless a B- and “a decent starter or pretty good back up”? Jose Calderon is a decent starter or a good back up.

    I guess you’re in a giving mood.

    By the way, Merry Christmas to Raptors fans everywhere!!

    • http://twitter.com/arsenalist Arsenalist

      That’s his long-term projection, right now he’s neither.

  • http://twitter.com/dinosty Josh Budd

    No grade for Triano?

  • Omnayr

    Amir F or at least a D- . Based on what was expected of him.

  • Rexdale

    jose deserves a b+, bayless hasnt been that good.. hes proven he can score 30 on a terrible eastern conference team one time this year. so a B- is fitting i guess. Ed davis deserves a higher grade than C+ especially when your giving Julian wright a b+ .. amir is a bit too agressive for basketball, i think he’d make a better football player though with all those fouls

  • Bo4

    I hate the coaching strategy of sitting a player after two quick fouls. They rarely come back to give the team anything because they get cold waiting to be put back in. SOME players actually do last the rest of the game despite those two quickies, if coach would just let them play through it.

    • Rexdale

      well then they wouldnt want to be agressive and the other team would go after that player and he’d probably be scared of the 3rd foul so he’d let them get to the hoop?

  • Statement

    Okay,

    Instead of trying to one-off explain why I don’t like Bargs as a player, I’ll try my best to use objective stats so I’m not seen as a ‘hater’

    Before you read this, please bear in mind that I don’t dislike Bargs, Italians, Scoring, Pizza or anything of the sort, so please don’t put up your defence mechanisms.

    Okay:

    Bargnani adjusted +/- (notice how I am not using straight plus minus in this example because the idea behind “adjusted” is to use regression analysis to control for the quality of your teammates and your opposition. The idea is how good/bad would a player be with an average set of teammates against an average set of opponents. Adjusted +/- can inconsistent so it’s best to look at it over a signifcant period of time so I choose 2 year adj +/-).

    Bargnani 2 year adj +/- = 3.91 (worst on team – for reference the next worse is Derozan),

    For shits and giggles Bargnani 1 year adju +/- = -8.62 (again worst on team)

    http://basketballvalue.com/teamplayers.php?year=2010-2011&team=TOR

    People have issue with the net possessions data on 82games.com, but I’ll post them anyway

    2010-2011 Andrea Bargnani = -16.7 net points/100 possessions (worst on team)

    Can’t find 2009-10 on the site?

    2008-2009 Andrea Bargnani = -6.5 net points/100 possessions (2nd worst on team behind Quincy Douby)

    82games.com

    Wins Produced (using regression analysis to weight those box score statistics which most closely align with winning games)

    Andrea Bargnani Wins Produced/48 minutes (2010-2011) = -0.085. Total Wins Produced = -1.7 (not only worst on the team, but worst in the WHOLE LEAGUE)

    Wins Produced (2009-2010 and 2008/2009) = -2.7, -2.4, tied for 3rd and 4th worst in the ENTIRE LEAGUE)

    Net PER (PER of Bargnani against PER of opposing centre) (2010-2011) = -4.2
    Net PER 2008-2009 =-1.4

    source: 82games.com

    PER 36 Stats 2009-2010/ 2010-2011: field goal % = .470, .468 3pt% = .372, .356, Total Rebounds = 6.3, 5.8, points: 17.7, 22.0 (YAY POINTS!!!!)

    Offensive rating / Defensive Rating 2009-2010(number of points created / points given up per 100 possessions): 108 / 113

    Offensive rating / Defensive Rating 2010 – 2011: 105 / 113

    Raptors team record against Andrea Bargnani’s playing time

    2006/2007 = 47W 35L (Bargnani 25.1 min/game)
    2007/2008 = 41-41 (Bargnani 23.9 min/game)
    2008/2009 = 33-49 (Bargnani 31.4 min/game)
    2009/2010 = 40-42 (Barnani 35 min/game)
    2010/2011 = 10-19 (Bargnani 34.7 min/game)

    Seems to me as we’ve up Bargs playing time, the team record has stagnated or done worse.

    Lets look at the last 10 NBA champion teams: Lakers 6 times / Spurs 3 times / Heat once

    Who were the centres for those teams : Gasol / Bynum / Shaq for Lakers

    Duncan / Robinson / Nesterovic for the Spurs Shaq for the Heat. Translation: you need DEFENSE in the middle to be a championship team and not a one dimensional player.

    I hope this clarifies.

    • Statement

      Okay, Cesco and John P

      Can you please give me some evidence saying that Bargs helps his team. Not just your opinion because I have not just given my opinion, but something tangible.

      I want to be wrong about Bargs, I wish he was helping the team, but I can’t find ONE piece of evidence that says that he is. Just show it to me, I’ll be glad to see it.

      • john

        bla bla bla… the team right now is shit and without AB would be easily 0-29… your stats are bullshit…+/- is crap!!!!

        • Statement

          Excellent insight!

      • cesco

        Since you want to see some ‘tangible’ evidence seek no further than who was the main ingredient or close second in the 10 games the Raps won so far . Since our defense stinks we can safely assume that it is the offense who won these games . Andrea let the team in scoring in 8 games (20 or more points in those games) and finished second twice (where he scored 18 and 22 points respectively) . As john implied , the Raps will be a D league team without Andrea . Long live the Roman .

        • Statement

          The raptors have still lost 19 with Bargs playing, what’s your explanation behind that?

          • ghostface

            That he can’t win every game by himself…

    • mountio

      You show some interesting stats, but you weaken your case by tossing in some irrelevant ones at the end.
      For example, Raps record vs AB playing time a) doesnt mean a lot, given all of the other variables, most importantly his teamates over the years and b) doesnt even show a trend that correlates (ie record is up and down over the years, while AB’s PT has essentially gone up every year)
      Also, you look at the last 10 champs and for some reason the first conclusion you draw is that they have had defensive centers.
      I could just as easily (and more legitimately) point to their elite scorers:
      – Lakers – Kobe/Shaq/Gasol
      – Spurs – TD (with Robinson/Parker/Ginobli depending on the year)
      – Heat – Wade (with Shaq)
      – Boston – (you forgot them) – PP, KG, RA
      and draw the conclusion that you need at least one elite scorer (and really at least one elite scorer with a very solid 2nd option sem-elite scorer to win a championship.)

      More of those teams had elite scorers (ie top 20 in the league) than all NBA defensive centers. Duncan is really the only guy who was a 1st team all NBA defender (early years Shaq was on the 2nd team a few times), whereas Kobe, Wade, Duncan, Shaq, PP are all elite scorers (and their sidekicks arent far behind.

      Anyways, Im not saying defensive centers arent an important part (and Im certainly not saying that AB isnt a bad defender or that hes anywhere as good on D as even Perkins or Gasol), Im just suggesting its biased to jump to the conclusion that defensive centers ahead of elite scorers are a critical component of a champion.

      In terms of the rest of your stats, they seem legit, but to me are somewhat expected from the guy who plays the most minutes on a shitty team (which we are / have been over the last few years). Since we lose more than we win and get outscored – the guys who play the most minutes (especially against other teams’ starters), which is AB and DD, have the worst +- and such. On the other hand, guys like Amir do better on these stats because they only play shorter spurts (due to either fouls or not starting for a large chunk of the year, or both). Its obvioulsy much easier to play with energy and be effective when you only have to do it in short spurts and often against other teams bench.

      Taking all this in – it does put a spotlight on what i think we all know – AB needs to improve his defense. I question, though, what would be a better option for us. I am confident that a defensive minded 10 and 8 guy would NOT be the answer. Obvioulsy if we could get a guy with a little less offensive skill and a lot more defensive skill, I think we would all take him. But, Im not sure who that is and if we could get him. And if you dont make a trade, even if you believe all of this stuff – who, on our current roster would you suggest giving his minutes / touches to? I think thats the real question, and we all know that unforunately, there isnt a good answer ..

      • Statement

        Okay an actual reasoned argument. Thanks.

        You are right about the last two points that I brought up. You can easily poke holes in those.

        Forget about the +/- numbers, if you don’t feel that they are a good indicator.

        I understand that people don’t like the +/- stuff, that’s why I put the PER 36, Wins Produced, and PER information in there as well.

        In terms of a better option, for me it is to change the way the team is built. To me, the team is built backwards (i.e. your number one offensive option shouldn’t be your centre, it should be your wings). Your centre should be a good/great rebounder and a good defender. That’s the way I would like it.

        Our team is backwards, our wings are bad players and our centre is one dimensional and good at the dimension which he doesn’t have to be.

        So my solution is to trade Bargs. Colangelo said that he gets calls for Bargs from GM’s all the time, so there is definitely demand for him. I understand that he is a BYC player, so we would only get 1/2 his value. The solution then is to wait for the BYC clause to expire so we can get full value and trade his ass.

        Of course, trading Bargs wouldn’t be the only cure. It would be more important to get good wing players, which Derozan Weems et al are not.

        • cesco

          BC will try to get a good defensive center without losing AB , he tried to trade Jose for Chandler but the deal didn’t go through . Andrea is good value for his contract and more importantly he is happy in TO , does not want to be traded even though 29 other teams are inquiring about him . But I agree that a good defensive center is needed . BC is trying I am sure but he may find a good winger before he can find the center he wants.