Bad without Bargnani
The Raptors’ offence certainly suffers without their main weapon.
Source: Raw data from basketball-reference.com
The Raptors have lost all four games without Bargnani and its quite clear they miss his offensive production. Results may be skewed somewhat by the small sample size (4 games) which included a road loss against against a great defensive club (Chicago). However, its clear watching the games (I know, its crazy, but some stats guys actually watch the games) the ball movement suffers and defenses can fully focus on players like DeRozan (shooting 38% in the last four) while players like James Johnson end up forcing it somewhat (also shooting 38% + 7 turnovers in the last four).
Find minutes for Forbes
I’m in the “well, it can’t hurt” camp of finding more minutes for Gary Forbes. Sure, he’s still making some mistakes, but he rates quite well against others that he is fighting against for minutes.
Sure, some of his minutes were in garbage time, but his Assist %, Rebounding %, Steal % and (low) Turnover % are all near/at the top of the group. This is a great combination. Find him more minutes.
DeRozan’s (not) Driving
The first two charts show the trends for DeRozan taking it to the rim – the chart on the left shows his free throw attempts (per 40 min, in order to “normalize” his rookie minutes) while the chart on the right shows his field goal attempts “at the rim” (again, per 40 minutes). Let’s assume all his free throw attempts were from driving (not the best assumption, but allow me for these purposes). By adding the two together, we find that DeRozan is attacking the rim about 18% less often this year.
While I realize Coach Casey has not had a lot of time to work on the offensive sets, I would like to see them prioritize helping DeRozan attack more often, opposed to…
… still settling for long 2s (16-23 feet). While he has “replaced” 0.5 long 2 attempts per game with a lot more 3s (as we pushed for last year), he is still taking too many attempts at this inefficient distance. DeRozan is only shooting 27% from this distance this year. It needs to change – the number of attempts that is. I’d much rather him continue to shoot more threes than these long 2s as well as obviously attack the basket more (not always an easy option, mind you).
Andrea Bargnani has stepped up this year and is starting to get some recognition
Vote for him for the 2012 All-Star game. No, he will not likely have enough votes to start, but his effort should still be recognized by the Raptors’ faithful.
Questions? Arsenalist introduced a forum thread dedicated to “Statophile Q&A”. Most often I’ll try to offer a quick analysis/reponse right in the thread, while other questions I’ll save until a full Statopile post. If you prefer to send questions privately, you’re welcome to email me at tomliston [at] gmail [dot] com or find me on Twitter (@Liston).