We’re half way there…

A quick statistical recap of the first 41 games and some comparison to last year’s squad.

Tommy whispers “Baby, it’s okay, someday”

It will be okay, someday. If we’re smart about hoarding our cap space, trading for picks, moving one dimension players and having a ping pong ball fall our way (current simulations give us a 7.2% chance at the #1 pick). Too bad New Jersey didn’t mortgage their future with Carmelo – making them better this year and leap frogging us in the standings. But I digress.

How are we doing after 41 games?

Surprise! It’s not pretty.

We need to take more 3s, but do we have the shooters?

While not a dramatic change, we’re taking less threes and its negatively impacting our effective FG%. We rank 24th in 3 point attempts, but perhaps for good reason – we’re dead last in 3pt field goal percentage.

But we’re kind to our opponents

Over 50% of our opponents’ shots are in highly efficient zones: “At Rim” (with 64.1% FG%) and 3 pointers (with 56.0% eFG%).

A few takeaways:

  • The Raptors are the second worst team at forcing long 2s (22.1% of opponent’s shots)
  • We allow the third highest effective FG%: 52.3%
  • We allow opponents to take highest percentage of their shots at the rim (32.1%)
  • Bargnani has taken 87% more midrange 2s and 37% more long 2s, while not taking any more shot attempts at the rim and 12% less threes.
  • Thankfully, Bargnani is getting to the line 69% more often than a year ago.
  • Kleiza shoots 22% of our 3 point attempts, yet only makes 29.4% of them.

Questions? Email me: tomliston@gmail.com or find me on Twitter.

Sources: basketball-reference.com and hoopdata.com.

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  • Albertan_10

    Kleiza shoots 22% of our 3’s? holy crap. no wonder we suck

    • Yes. One (small) clarification – when he’s in the lineup – he’s missed a handful of games.
      (Though he’s still taken 20.3% of ALL Toronto’s threes this year). A lot for someone shooting <30%.

      Post him up!

      • KJ-B


  • yertu damkule

    i’ve been trying to get across the damage bargs shot selection is having ever since leo & dimwit started playing up the whole ‘he’s taking fewer 3’s, that MUST mean he’s living in the post’ angle a couple months ago. if the one big advantage you have as an offensive player is that you can pull slower defenders away from the paint, or shoot over the top of smaller ones, then why the fuck are you stepping inside the arc to take a 21ft jumper? one that is often preceded by the most obvious pump fake in the game?

    ok, end of rant. don’t want to rile up the fanboys, they seem to be hibernating today. i’m sure they’ll be back the next time bargs has another awe-inspiring 30pt, 3rb game…

    • Statement

      In all fairness Yertu, on this board I only count John P and Cesco as stalwart Bargs defenders.

      I don’t think much can be said about Bargs right now. His game is being exposed to the extreme.

      • Theswirsky

        “His game is being exposed to the extreme”

        talk about an understatement….

        whats been happening with Bargs over the past few weeks is like a guy looking at the ashes left of his house and saying “I guess it was on fire after all”.

      • cesco

        The only constant on this forum is the Andrea bashing by the haters . This constant will be there as long as Andrea is with the Raps (at least 4 more years) . If ever there is a day when the haters are quiet , for sure they all went to the funerals of one of their gang.

        • Nilanka15

          Is is still considered ‘hating’ when the player in question is grossly under-performing?

      • cesco

        You guys should read the extract from the Sun paper in to-day ‘Morning coffee’ article which explain how Andrea is dealing with his injuries , but I am sure you will be smiling after reading it to show how classless you are.

        • Bo4

          cesco, I don’t see Andrea handing back any of his paycheque, so injuries don’t get any sympathy from me. If he spent more time in the weight room, he might not have so many injuries! Honestly, he’s a #1 offensive option on a young team right now, but on a .500 team, he’d be #3, and his minutes would be much reduced because his (lack of) D would earn him some time on the bench. I’d rather have a real C!!

        • Mellow

          Calderon has been injured for the past month and his play has only improved since then, amir has been injured for even longer and hes also been steady. Think of another excuse because his defence has been crap all his career and his offence only masks his other blatent deficiencys….that is, when his offence is actually working.

        • If Andrea is battling a serious injury then he should sit. We have him for awhile and should not risk it further. Its not like we have a good chance at the playoffs this year.

          If its bumps and bruises well every player has them and plays through them. Amir Johnson is in obvious pain at time, yet rebounds well and helps on D.

      • Alucart999

        @Cesco: Way to jump in on cue Cesco!

        @Yertu: I think you’re being a little harsh suggesting that Bargnani’s shot selection is somehow hurting the Raptors offensive efficiency. While that may be true, context is important. The context here is that Bargnani is bearing 27% usage when he really has no business doing so. His efficiency numbers have suffered a little, but likely not nearly so much as most others on the team if asked to perform a similar role. Can you imagine Amir Johnson bearing 27% usage? I can, and I shiver when I do so.

        On a good team, Bargnani doesn’t take as many shots, and probably gets a lot more opportunities in high efficiency areas. Unfortunately for us, we’re not a good team, so he has to make a play when he gets the ball because his teammates aren’t quite there yet. The end result being, nobody likes the long two, but it’s probably one of our better options in crunch time when the defense is locked in.

        • yertu damkule

          i’d welcome a couple more ‘at-the-rim’ touches for amir each game (our best low-post finisher, by far, and an excellent FT shooter) if it meant fewer 22-footers for andrea.

          • Alucart999

            I think all would welcome more ‘at-the’rim touches from Amir each game, too bad it’s not as simple as being one choice vs. another. I.e., it’s not a choice between long 2’s of Bargnani vs. short 2’s from Amir – if that was the case, geez, why would you EVER do a long 2? The question is, after the first three screen and rolls don’t produce anything (which just about describes the entire Raptor arsenal), where do you get your offense from? You’re probably looking at a number of undesirable options – Amir at the top of the key, DeRozan from three or forcing up a tough two in traffic, Kleiza jacking from where-ever. Now if you’re telling me that Bargnani is taking half of his long 2s within the first 10 seconds of the possession, then I have no problem conceding that Bargnani needs to get that COMPLETELY out of his game – leave those for when you really need it. That does not belong in any early offense set.

        • Theswirsky

          if Bargs was on a good team and therefore gets less shots…. does his lack of D and rebounding not stand out even more?

          As for the long two, I think the idea is it should be the last option, and therefore get the least usage. For a seven footer (and ideally for all players who aren’t elite/spot shooters) it would be nice if the majority of shots came at the rim.

          • Alucart999

            You make a good point about Bargs on a good team – what would his role be? I think if you reduced his minutes, tell him to focus on D, and take the offense when it comes, he could be a nice piece on a good team. Say Orlando, for example. He could be a bigger Rashard Lewis. And his rebounding/D really don’t hurt you as much because you’ve got Dwight Howard covering for your mistakes. At that point, his ability to stretch the floor and score a little can be an asset, as Dwight won’t be facing as many double-teams from two bigs. On D, you can even put him on the opponent’s primary threat in the post because he’s big enough to bang, and would probably be more effective with Dwight prowling in the shadows behind him.

            Bargs showed last year that he could play decent man defence. I think what he’s showing this year is that he’s not capable of doing that AND carrying 27% of the team’s possessions on offence – not in 35mpg. Lower his minutes to 25-30mpg and pair him with a defender/rebounder, and I think he can do a credible job of being a quality 2nd or 3rd option on a good team.

            • Theswirsky

              see here is the problem

              you need Dwight Howard to ‘make up’ for him… how many Dwight Howards have existed in the league for the past 2 decades? Him and Shaq?… so should the Raps hold out until another one of them come around?

              • Alucart999

                I’m not saying the Raptors should keep Bargnani. I’m just saying that I think Bargnani can be part of a good team. I think he could pair equally well with half a dozen other guys currently playing (Noah, Chandler, pre-injury Pryzbilla/Oden, Howard, Kendrick Perkins, etc.). There are specialists out there that can come on the cheap (relatively), I just used Howard because he is the best of the best.

  • Statement

    “This constant will be there as long as Andrea is with the Raps (at least 4 more years)”….please, don’t remind me, ugh.

    Is it to late to be a Leafs fan? When does baseball start? How about them Argos..do they still have pinball Clemons or what?

    Go Rock!

    • cesco

      Please go and enjoy the falling leaves and take the rest of the gang with you.

      • Statement

        Falling leaves? In Winter?

        • Alucart999

          I think that was a not so clever play on words in referring to the Maple Leafs.

          • Marc

            The leafs fall in autumn. It’s January. They are already decomposed by now

  • Employee

    Nice one again! Didn’t realize that Kleiza stat. Scary stuff. And you always hear Devlin praising Bargs for taking less threes but if they’re just long two’s then what’s the effin point?

    • A lot of people are praising Bargnani for taking less 3s.
      I fully support Bargnani taking *more* threes and less long/mid 2s.
      It is nice to see him get to the line much more often though.

      • Alucart999

        It would be interesting if you could show a breakdown of how many of those long twos are in short clock situations. I don’t mind the long two if we’ve explored all the other options and that’s the only clean look we have with seconds left on the shot clock.

        • yertu damkule

          i don’t know if there’s a place that combines the two (i.e. breaks down the shot type against when in the shot clock it was taken), though i think either 82games or hoopdata (or one of the others) does have shot clock information. FWIW, the myth that bargs gets handed the ball with 2 seconds left on the clock & is therefore ‘forced’ to put up bad shots (usually this was because bosh ‘held the ball for 21 seconds’) was debunked quite a while ago, though much like republicans, bargnani supporters will whip it out every once in a while, and hope no one’s paying attention.

          • Alucart999

            Debunked by what? In any event, in the few comments I have posted here on RR, I have been consistent in my moderate Bargnani “hater” stance. But when I see people complaining about his offense (which in my opinion has actually improved this year given his huge uptick in usage), it’s hard not to step in to supply some sanity juice.

            Let’s criticize him for being a terrible rebounder and terrible help defender. Let’s also criticize him for being paid much more than he’s worth given his uni-dimensional skill-set. But let’s cut him a little slack for the one thing he’s actually shown some ability in – scoring the ball, carrying a lot of possessions, and doing those things at average efficiency.

            I would hate to see his usage go to players like Weems, DeRozan, and Kleiza, all of whom by my count have had a LOT more cringe-worthy moments on offense than Bargnani has.

        • There is the data (well, not exactly as you requested). Thank you for the idea – working on it now.

  • Juicy

    I’m confused, In 2009-10 they scored 104.1 pts/g but that was only good enough for 25th in the league? Is that a typo, wasn’t their ranking much higher for that category?

    • cesco

      They were 5th in scoring last year.

    • Thank you Juicy/cesco. I had the order reversed. Yes, they were fifth.

  • Tinman

    The attendance has got to be a concern. Huge drop.

  • 511

    Nice that this column gets a shout-out by the one and only Michael Grange.


    Normally, I’d figure the chances of this being seen by those who should – Raptors brass – would be slim. Odds have to be improved though, when it’s mentioned in the G&M. Way to go, Tom.

    • Statement

      Nice to see some main-stream press.

      Tom, do you ever get worried that your day job will see the article and than think to themselves “when does he have the time to research and write this stuff? At work?

      • I work with spreadsheets/models all day, so it’s old hat. Usually a Sunday afternoon during basketball/football, I run some #s and work on ideas.

        Women dig the stats guys though. No?