Usual Suspects
The Line-Up.

Ahh, depth. The gift and the curse.

With the Raptors’ roster in a relative state of stability for the time being, I thought I’d take stock and try to compare how this year’s squad might look in terms of minutes distribution and lineup combinations relative to last year’s.

Of course, the roster I’m assuming here makes some, well, assumptions. The largest of these is that Jose Calderon will remain with the team, which at this point seems like a bit of a long-shot, and we may need to re-adjust this analysis later in the off-season or near February’s trade deadline. Smaller assumptions include the rumored re-signing of Alan Anderson as the 14th man, and the heavily rumored but not yet official signing of point guard John Lucas III to a a multi-year deal (yet another sign the Calderon playing time assumption is a risky one). A final assumption is that the team will continue to roll with Ed Davis and Amir Johnson battling for back-up minutes. While this may be tied to other moves (like a Jose+PF type of trade), the analysis also shows just how difficult it’s going to be for Coach Casey to manage minutes and egos with a squad long on depth but short on guaranteed minutes.

As I said, this is both a gift and a curse. On the one hand, only Bargnani and Lowry are really guaranteed any kind of role. DeRozan will have ample opportunity, as will rookies Ross and Valanciunas, but for the most part the roster has nobody who can expect to be handed 25+ minutes a night without earning it. Casey has a great opportunity to foster competition in training camp and practice while also having a legitimate coaching tool in the option to bench players while adequate back-ups fill in. The fact that when I was constructing possible lineups, I found the “starter” and ‘second unit” players to be almost interchangable shows that the team should be able to handle struggles, injuries, or benchings with relative ease.

As the same time, this can be a problem. There’s something to be said for a short, consistent rotation, and while that might be a luxury afforded to the more top-heavy teams, it will be maddening for Casey and the players to roll too long without defined roles or consistent substitution patterns. DeRozan and Ross, Kleiza and Fields, and Ed and Amir will all be battling for minutes, and in at least one of those cases you would anticipate some bruised ego. Sure, everyone says the right things, and these guys get paid handsomely to accept whatever role comes there way, but Casey will have to be at his best to manage a team that runs 10-deep or more.

Alas, that’s Casey’s problem, and it will give our commenters ample ammunition and discussion fodder for much of the season. So, again, a gift and a curse.

On to some really elemtnary analysis that is more or less me just re-producing charts and passing them off as “work.”

This first chart is simply reproduced from 82games.com and shows the Raptors’ 20 most used lineup combinations from last year, with minutes, +/- (in this case, offensive rating less defensive rating), and eFG% and Rebound Rate all heat-scaled to show effectiveness and usage. The interesting thing here is that our most effective lineup from last year is one of just two combinations that return all five players – the Jose/DeMar/Linas/Amir/Bargs unit was our best one, albeit in a 26 minute sample, and should be identified as a potential unit for this season. The only other really interesting note I can make is that our two most common lineups came in at -0.01 and 0.00 +/- in about 150 minutes each, showing…well, not much, but maybe just that it wasn’t all bad, all the time.

The second chart is more or less the same, as I’ve clipped the top three most common lineups from last year for each of our new acquisitions. I had hoped to show where these players may be able to slide into our existing units with ease (e.g. sliding Lowry in for Jose in our most productive unit, improving it even more perhaps). Unfortunately, the quality and type of players that Lucas and Fields played with are difficult to translate to this Raptors’ squad, in the sense that Fields played with ball-stoppers (but also Tyson Chandler), while Lucas played with maybe the best rebounding and defensive frontcourt in the league. Fortunately for Fields, he should be a party to a more movement-oriented offense that will hopefully see his three point shooting and overall efficiency improve. We can also note that when Fields played SF in a smaller lineup, that particular lineup performed well. For Lowry, who should be our main focus here, he played with players comparable in talent to this Raptors squad. In fact, a Martin-Parsons/Budinger-Scola-Dalembert unit is relatively close (in terms of player-type, not necessarily skill) to a DeRozan-Fields-Bargnani-Valanciunas unit. I should disclaim here that this type of cross-lineup analysis probably isn’t largely indicative of how thigns will translate, so please don’t take these observations to be anything more than that…observations.

This third chart is even simpler than the first two, simply showing a few different looks that Casey could throw out there at times. I used “Type” in the way that NBA 2K/Live do, if you were pre-setting certain lineups, and again, don’t take these as anticipated lineups – they’re just a few potential looks. In fact, if we assume a 10-man rotation with two players at each spot (we’ll bump Amir to the five for this exercise), there are 32 different lineup combinations Casey could roll out, so I won’t pretend to know anything about what he actually plans to roll out there. Still, here are a few potential looks.

This fourth chart is another reproduction of some 82games data, this time showing the percentage of minutes distribution for the Raptors from last year. The “Total Minutes” column comes from just taking a player’s minutes played divided by the total minutes the team played, but for some reason 82games’ individual player pages show position percentages that are slightly higher and add up to 18-24% more than the minutes total for the team. Still, the important trends are still apparent, primarily that a lot of minutes have opened up due to departures, but a lot of expected minutes are coming in as well with three acquisitions and three draft picks.

This final chart shows how I would anticipate seeing the minutes break down this season (not how I personally would break them down). Here we see that if Kyle Lowry is going to be the PG Of Now and Forever, Jose’s role is going to be seriously diminished. We also see that, due to the lack of a top-tier player there’s a big of a logjam at the wing spots, preventing anyone from playing substantial minutes at the expense of others. A final note, as I touched on earlier, I that I just don’t see a way that Ed and Amir can continue to share minutes, especially given the arrival of Jonas and health of Bargnani. Last year Bargs played just 32% of the team’s total minutes, but I’d expect that to be up around 75-80% this year, plus another 40-50% for Jonas depending on where his foul rate ends up. This leaves mere scraps for Ed, Amir, and Gray (less than 48 MPG combined). This might be okay with Aaron Gray, a gritty 10th-man type anyway, but it seems silly to have Davis and Amir split time – it would serve to decrease the trade value of both while leaving less development time for both. With the Amnesty period passed, the team’s only choices are to try and deal one, split the time, or choose one over the other and relegate the loser to spot duty toward the end of the bench.

So…there are some lineup and playing time charts. Do with them what you will.

Olympics start Sunday….between myself and Raul, I’m sure we’ll have some Jonas/Linas coverage (although I said the same thing about Summer League coverage but couldn’t bring myself to watch PVRd exhibition games featuring Ben Uzoh’s Turnover Reel).


I never add a byline. I think I’m supposed to. I need more followers…for no reason other than that Arse has about a bajillion. Follow me.

  • Destro

    Lowry,DeRozan,Fields,Bargnani,Davis/Amir

    • Nilanka15
      • Quito

         I have a slight man crush on JV..

      • Jamshid

        You guys going to be so disappointed when Big Val is nailed to the bench because of foul trouble in his first year in NBA or when he is going to get pushed around or fell behind because of the speed of NBA games in his first 2 years …

        The expectations are so high for this kid and he is 3 years away from being a significant force in this team. Amir Johnson and Ed Davis will both out play Big Val this season.

        • Nilanka15

          My expectations are in check.  I’m not expecting this kid to turn into Dwight Howard at any point in his career.  I just find it amusing when people remind me that Jonas will be in foul trouble, needs to get stronger, etc., but fail to realize that these general ideas apply to ALL rookies (including Anthony Davis).

          Anthony Davis would loose an arm-wrestle to Earl Boykins, but he’ll somehow dominate the league and win ROY, while Jonas is destined to be glued to the bench.

          I don’t buy it.

          • Jamshid

            How about we make a bet that Anthony Davis will be a better player in NBA in his rookie year, will be in less foul trouble, will adapt his game much better than Big Val in their rookie year ?

            Do you want to make a bet ?

            • Nilanka15

              I have zero desire to make a pseudo bet with you.

              Davis could very well adapt quickly and have a strong rookie season.  But the point I was attempting to make is that he’s facing the exact same obstacles that you claim will hinder Jonas.

              For all intents and purposes, we’re talking about the 1st and 2nd picks in the 2012 draft (in terms of talent).  Yet you haven’t explained how you see such a glaring difference between their relative abilities to succeed in the NBA.

              They’re both solid rebounders and defenders.  Davis is the better pure athlete, but Jonas is more technically-sound.  They both have mediocre face-up game, with little post moves to speak of.  Jonas is a better FT shooter, and Davis is a better shot-blocker.  They both lack bulk.  Davis has 1 year of college experience.  Jonas has 4 years of pro experience.  They’re both young players with high motors, and are both “coachable”.  Based on this, how do you conclude that one player will dominate, while the other will stink?

              • Jamshid

                I have no desire to go back and forth on this with you when in less than 6 month, I will be proven RIGHT and you will be proverb WRONG.

                No one here said that Big Val will STINK as you put it but I claimed he will struggle more here with foul trouble, speed of the game, officiating and …

                On the other hand, Davis has grown up here, played college here and is more comfortable with this style of the game and also spent the summer with US Olympic team … He has all the hype of a super star and hence will get the benefit of the whistles as well …

                Add to that the history of the for gin players in the league versus US college players and you CAN CLEARLY SEE that the for gin players struggle more at FIRST and need MORE TIME to adapt than a player off the US college !!!

                All that being said, you don’t have to accept all these reasons and I will remind you AGAIN in 6 month, how wrong you were here. 

                • Nilanka15

                  Why would you respond to my post if you have no desire to discuss?

                  The favourable calls from the refs don’t indicate which player is “better”, but you’re probably right about the hype influencing decisions.

                  As for the foreign player generalizations, that’s exactly what they are….generalizations.  I don’t think it’s fair to use Jan Vessely’s career to predict what Jonas will/won’t do.

                  Jonas’ situation is a unique one.  We’ve never seen a teenage European player compete professionally against players twice his age, while also dominating his own age group.  We’ve never seen a lotto pick play out his European contract in a system that closely resembles his future NBA coach’s philosophy.  We’ve never seen a Lithuanian player drafted by a team that employs a fellow national who will aid in his transition to North American lifestyle, while playing in the most multicultural city in North America. 

                  There won’t be anything to prove wrong in 6 months, because I never claimed that Jonas will have a better rookie season than Davis.  All I’m saying is that the gap between them isn’t as wide as some make it out to be.

                • Jamshid

                  “All I’m saying is that the gap between them isn’t as wide as some make it out to be.”

                  And I am saying, the Gap that will be seen between the two in their rookie year is much wider than you think and will be in lets say 3 years for the various reasons I mentioned and the history of European players  vs US based players and …. 

                  This is why you are WRONG and I am RIGHT and the proof will come in 6 month when Davis will be working toward ROY and Big Val will be struggling to stay on the court !!!

                  Now, feel free to say what ever you want. I will not waste any more time on you and this subject and will just gladly remind you of how WRONG you were AGAIN in 6 month.

                • Nilanka15

                  Just to be clear, you’re making a guess based on previous unrelated players, and claiming victory before anything has happened.

                  That sound about right?

                • Destro

                  Stop deflecting…and lets make a bet…

                • Nilanka15

                  I’ll bet you  Jonas makes the all-rookie team (1st or 2nd team).

                  The stakes?  One of your rental properties vs. one of mine.

                  Deal?

                • Lorenzo

                   Hahahahahah!

                • D Rupa

                  Nilanka, why are you arguing with a six year-old?

                • Destro

                  Dogg i have put out the bet posts about this team and Jonas this year,nobody will take the bet…

                • Jamshid

                  The problem is these guys don’t have the balls to stand for what comes out of their mouth

                • ghost

                  Problem is your balls are in your mouth…

                • Jamshid

                  Wrong, it is in your Mom’s mouth all day everyday.

                • CJT

                  you have only one ball?

                • Destro

                  So you do engage in the silly fuckery as long as its “certain” poasters huh….

                • Jamshid

                  The other one is in ur sister’s mouth

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

                  that was such weak response, you just wasted your time writing that lol

                • Jamshid

                  Coming from you, it is a compliment 

                • ghost

                  Dude, you’re an idiot…

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

                  I have no desire to go back and forth with you on this matter. Good day sir.

                • Poohead

                  Dude…go back to Iran! lol

              • Bendit

                Silencio!

          • Destro

            Why are we tryna apply it to all rookies when were talking about a specific player HERE ?

            and no its mostly big men that need it and Dwight didnt need it…Alot of legit stars come in and dominate right away…JV is not going to do that,no matter how many dunks you post of him against Uzbekistan…

            • Nilanka15

              lol, that link was less about the video, and more about the (American) write-up gushing about Jonas.

              There’s a lot more than hometown pink glasses at play here.

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

          Gray will most likely outplay Val this season…unless BC demands that Val get minutes he will be glued to the bench if he has to earn his minutes but most of us know that BC is still calling the rotation shots via his puppet coach Casey..

          AB, Amir, Ed & Gray are all ahead of this kid in the Raptors power rotation if minutes are to be earned- unless BC intervenes..

          • Nilanka15

            Gray will likely be our starter on opening night (if he’s ever officially signed…), but that’s only until Jonas gets his feet wet. 

            I’d very surprised if Jonas isn’t starting by the 20-game mark, whether he’s “earned” it (in your eyes), or not.

            • Destro

              smh @ 20 game mark

              Yet ur tryna tell me ur expectations are centered…

              • Nilanka15

                Have you not seen the alternatives at centre?  Gray needs help taking his warmups off, there’s no way he starts for long.

                • sleepz

                  I don’t know how its going to play out but if JV is foul prone he will be on the bench and often.

                  I’ve heard he fouls alot but I have to see how he plays until making any judgements.

                  You don’t want to hurt a young players confidence or let him get an early rep as a hacker with the refs.

                • Nilanka15

                  Good point RE: reputation with the refs.

                • B_lippy07

                  I think he’ll start the first game because Gray is not going to start lol. They have a plan and their gonna come out of the gate with that. First play hard pick and roll with Lowry to the hoop!

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

              I believe Bargs will be forced to play the 5 until Val gets aquatinted first

              • Jamshid

                AB at 5 ???!! Did you live under a rock the last few years ??

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

                  Does it even matter who starts. By the end of the game, he was the 5. He was  usually with Amir Johnson. 

        • Destro

          Ed Davis i think i have a good feeling about coming into this season and thanks for having a logical unbiased opinion we need more of it round here….

          He will give out alot of fouls and will struggle against bigger more athletic guys….PPl round here dont wanna here it tho…

          • Nilanka15

            “He will give out alot of fouls and will struggle against bigger more athletic guys”

            You just described Ed Davis 3 years into his career.

      • Destro

        1 dunk against Iceland means what ?

    • Guest

      This is undoubtedly a “blue collar” team without a “bad boy” attitude because they are too lightweight.  If several of them are “off” and have a bad shooting night, the team tanks because they have no proven scorers other than Bargs.

      Be prepared to watch blowout games and a lot of Raptor blood on the floor and a lot of excuses.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Larry Coon Larry Coon: Sorry I missed all the fuss earlier. Is Minnesota still trying to trade for a player they can’t acquire?Larry Coon Larry Coon: Reminds me of the Raptors trying to sign Matt Barnes with an exception they didn’t have. RT CollegeWolf: Duh, it’s David Kahn.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      The Minnesota Timberwolves are finalizing a two-year, $20 million deal with former Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

      • Jamshid

        I like this deal. They get some veteren leadership at SF which suits their team and complements their youth. Great move by Wolves. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

          I wouldn’t play AK47 20 million, he ain’t as good as he used to be

          • The Truth

             It’s a short deal and at this point in free agency it’s not like they were going to use that cash on someone better.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

              Well the problem is their is a player option for the third yr. They already brought Chase Budinger in too this offseaon. You already got Derrick Williams last season, that hinders his confidence and playing time. I don’t know what the hell their doing there. And everyone thinks BC is a bad GM

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      The Hornets, Suns and Timberwolves have agreed to a multiplayer trade sending 7-foot center Robin Lopez and forward Hakim Warrick from Phoenix to New Orleans, while moving forward Wesley Johnson and a first-round draft pick from Minnesota to Phoenix, a person familiar with the deal said.

       The deal also sends guard Jerome Dyson and retiring center Brad Miller’s $5.1 million contract from New Orleans to Minnesota, allowing the Timberwolves to clear space under the NBA’s salary cap as they pursue free agents.

  • Nilanka15

    I’m still holding out hope that all of Colangelo’s talk about chasing a high-impact SF was not forgotten…

    • sleepz

      Not forgotten but I don’t think they have the pieces to make a significant deal.

    • Mike

      what Colangelo meant was Fields was acquired to be that high impact SF lol

      • isaacthompson

        not at all haha

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Exactly, BC is still pissing on fans and calling it rainwater, shitting on fans and calling it Kobe steak.

        • Lorenzo

          Why do you keep saying that lol?? soo lameeee

          • CJT

            because he likes the taste.

    • Jamshid

      You are still waiting for that !! I think you read Matt52’s posts too much on the board. BC does not have any players or assets to trade anymore. TPE are expired, Weems, Bayless, JJ and … are all traded for next to nothing and the cap space was blown up on laundry Feilds.

      This is the team for 2012-2013 plus few other minimum salary end of the bench guys.

      • Nilanka15

        I never said it’s likely.  I’m hoping we upgrade the SF because it’s still an obvious hole in our roster.

        And I must say, for a guy who never posts in the forums, you spend an awful lot of time reading them.

      • sleepz

        I don’t know if you did it intentionally but “Laundry” Fields made me laugh.

  • Rubuntech

    I think you will see Gray play a more important role than shown here and as stated, one of our PFs will be shown the door via trade

    • meductic

      Agree. His role as a true banger against the big boys is somewhat different than the others and if not utilized expect greater injuries. Differentiates him from Bargs, ED, Amir and, for now anyways, Jonas.

  • Daniel

    I feel like I live in a parallel universe. Only in Toronto a roster is “updated” by bringing in players that are worse than the existing ones. Lowry is a worse shooter, passer and can’t hold a candle to Jose in terms of running an offense. His career DRtg is 109 compared with Jose’s 111, mostly against back-ups. We are replacing an elite PG with an average one and that’s apparently an update. The same for Fields: his PER last season was 12, worse than Kleiza or JJ.
    It is obvious now that Lowry’s been Casey’s PG probably since he joined the Raptors. He has a lot riding on Lowry succeeding in Toronto. Fields is just a by-product of a failed Plan A of bringing Nash. The hype machine keeps sprinkling perfume on shit. Well, 96% of RR readers agreed to Lowry move. The hardcore fans almost unanimously agreed replacing Jose with Lowry. Just trade Jose and let’s see how the fanbase will interpret the fall-out.

    • j bean

      The fallout from trading Jose will be an improved team. The problem is finding someone who wants him badly enough to trade something of value. 
      By the way last year Lowry scored more than Jose at a higher % so not sure what you mean that Jose is a better shooter. 

      • Daniel

        Don’t let the facts stand in the way of your Jose-bashing attitude. I’ll let you guess who shot last year 45.7% on 9 FGA compared with 40.9% on 11 FGA. Both have been in NBA the same number of years so career numbers are relevant: take a wild guess who shot 48.2 FG%, 38.1 3P% and 87.5 FT% compared with 42 FG%, 33.3 3P% and 78.3 FT% throughout their careers. I’m not going to argue the definition of a better shooter.

        • sleepz

          I prefer Lowry to Calderon as a player as stats don’t always tell the whole story, however the argument you make is a fair one.

          If this season doesn’t play out in a good way and the new acquisitions are downgrades as you’ve indicated, I do feel that it will most likely be Colangelo’s last strike against him.

        • Destro

          Which one gets assraped by both starting and back up PGS on a nightly basis ?

          “oh but PG defense isnt important”

          • Daniel

            Do you even know what DRtg means? Lowry is not significantly better defensively than Jose. Last year we were 12 defensively with Jose logging heavy minutes. No PG’s can defend opposing PG’s one-on-one especially in today’s PnR dominant NBA. His supposedly bad defence is just another straw man argument in the scapegoat saga Jose has become in Toronto. Colangelo is more than happy to oblige in feeding the media and the season-ticket holders the same BS about Jose.
            I definitely want Jose traded ASAP so we can watch and evaluate his future path in NBA alongside the path of any replacing PG in Toronto. It will be obvious that all the vitriol thrown at him is nothing else than racism and xenophobia. 

            • j bean

              If we don’t agree with you that Calderone is as wonderful as you say he is then we must be racist?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

          Guess who was getting beat off the dribble every possession

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        All BC most likely wants from a Jose trade is a TPE but then again BC may be hesitating to trade Jose because he plays so well with AB and Lowry/AB is an unknown.

        CB TPE- do you know me?

    • Jamshid

      People tend to forget the chemistry the Jose has with Amir. Trade Jose and see how Amir will be lost on offence. Mark my words …

      That being said, I don’t think BC has the skill to move Jose and get something meaningful in return just like what he did with Barbosa’s contract. At the end of the day, we will see Jose play here till the end of his contract and just walk or be traded by the deadline in Feb for two 2 round player and guess what ??? TPE 😉

      • Nilanka15

        Amir’s got to be the 9th-10th offensive option on this team.  Is his PG-chemistry something we really need to worry about?

        • Jamshid

          If Amir was our 9th or 10th offensive option ( that he should be ) then I would accept what you are saying. But the fact is that Amir is NOT and in many times last year he was the starter in our team and was one of the focal points in the pick n roll with Jose. 

          That being said, I agree with you, we do not have to worry about PG-Chemistry with Amir when dealing with Jose.

          I was merely pointing to the fact that we will see a negative impact on Amir’s game when Jose is gone.

          • Destro

            smh @ focal point…I was with you up until this post…

            Ill take the neg Amir offense over the atrocious Jose defense thanks

            • Jamshid

               Me too, I all about trading Jose and was just saying Amir will suffer as well.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

        Wow who cares, all I care about is if Amir Johnson is going to bring it every night on the boards and on defense. I don’t give a fuck about those little stupid chemistry they had on alley oops. You wonder why he was benched for Aaron Gray in the starting lineup.

    • p00ka

      I think there may be a misconception that keeps being perpetuated on here, in that the Fields offer was solely for the purpose of getting Nash. BC did not have to offer that big, nor such a back-loaded contract to accomplish preventing the Knicks from using Fields in a S&T for Nash. Any offer at all (could even have been much less), forced NY to walk or match. If they matched, they could not have used Fields in a S&T. If my understanding is correct, that particularly priced offer was made to get Fields, else he could have made a lesser offer and still accomplish blocking NY from using him in a S&T. As is often the case with RFAs they overpaid a little, but they wanted him, Nash or no Nash.

      • Jamshid

        “As is often the case with RFAs they overpaid a little, but they wanted him, Nash or no Nash.”

        I agree with everything you said until this last part. we did not OVERPAID a LITTLE, we over paid ALOT !! 

        The biggest contract that player like Fields can get is 12 million for 3 years. He is getting 20 now. How is that getting LITTLE OVERPAID ??Like
        Reply

        • p00ka

          Whether a little or ALOT!!, that’s not the essence of what I was talking about. However I respect that you have a different opinion than mine. In reality, neither of us knows how it will play out, but I’ll reserve some judgement until I see him playing his 3rd yr, with a different team and a different coach, who my guess would be had a say in targeting him. We’ll see when they hit the court. 

          • Jamshid

            I agree. lets judge him in 6 month. I actually like Fields and had him in my fantasy team for last 2 years. I just don’t like the price tag that came with him. I think the guy is capable of getting 10 its , 6 rebound and 3 assist a game.

      • Nick Light

        That’s not true. They couldn’t make just any offer to Fields to block the Knicks S&T, they had to make an offer he would actually sign. Why would Fields sign a low-ball offer? Fields’ agent surely understood his leveraging power in the situation, and extracted the max he could from the Raps. Doesn’t mean the Raps didn’t want him, but likely overpaid above what a normal RFA is overpaid for because of the Nash situation. Still, I’m not overly worried. I like Fields a lot as a player. One down year in a shortened season following a lockout does not mean he can’t become a quality starter in the future.

        • p00ka

          You’re right that he wouldn’t have signed some low ball offer, but what I was responding to is the common feeling that the Fields offer was only about targeting Nash. They wanted him and signed him, with that back-loaded deal, to prevent the Knicks from matching, as it would have cost them a ton the 3rd year, which implies they wanted him, Nash or no Nash. How much, if at all, they overpaid is yet to be seen.

          • Nick Light

            Okay I agree. That makes sense to me. The fact they offered a poison pill contract, which doesnt affect the Raptors salary cap numbers, but made it much more difficult for the Knicks to match, is pretty clear evidence they actually wanted the guy, Nash or no Nash. 

            • 2damkule

              the ppp didn’t really make it ‘harder’ for the knicks to match.  the $$ in the final year (the ppp year) can be spread out over 3 years for cap purposes (for the knicks).  since the knicks have no issues spending money, and since the cap hit for fields wouldn’t have been as big in that 3rd year as one would believe based on the raw value of that 3rd year, you have to assume that they didn’t match simply because they didn’t really want him.

              • p00ka

                Unless I’ve been misunderstanding what I’ve been reading all over the place, you’re wrong on the Knicks being able to spread the cap hit out. The Raps can, but not the Knicks. It’s been reported by numerous media, but to quote Larry Coon’s CBA/Salary Cap explanation on the subject:
                “For the team making this offer, this contract would count for $9.0
                million (i.e., the average salary in the contract) of team salary in
                each of the four seasons if they sign the player. If the player’s
                prior team matches the offer and keeps the player, then the actual
                salary in each season counts as team salary.”

                Don’t you think there’s some reason why Asik, Lin, and Fields were made offers with such distorted 3rd years? It does make it harder for the Knicks/Bulls to match, because they can’t average the cap hit out. I believe it gets a little complicated, but quirks in the CBA have created this.

                • Destro

                  Yes the reason is Daryl Morey is a fuckn idiot…

                  Same idiot that wants to acquire a player who will leave in one year for free agency…

                • p00ka

                  Whatever he’s trying to do with Howard has nothing to do with this issue, but you think he structured those offers/contracts like he did, with heavily loaded 3rd years, commonly referred to as a “poison pill” deal, simply because he’s an idiot? I disagree, as there is a reason it’s called a poison pill, which I’ve pointed out. Disagree with that if you will, with reasons, but please don’t bother wasting space/time with unrelated babble to hear yourself talk.

                • CJT

                  good luck with that request.

                • Destro

                  Get off my dick B

                • Destro

                  Well i do think he did that so Knicks/Bulls wouldnt match BUT i think hes an idiot for overpaying THOSE two players….

    • Matt52

      But, but, but…..

      Jose’s DRtg last year was 108 with a defense geared 100% towards protecting him. 
      Lowry’s DRtg last year was 104 with no defensive system to protect him.

      Jose’s average DRtg the previous 3 seasons was 114. 
      Lowry’s average DRtg the previous 3 seasons was 107.

      Jose will be 31 this season.
      Lowry will be 26.

      The argument of PER against Fields vs. Johnson could be used in the PG comparison.  Jose PER 16.73, Lowry PER 18.89.

      With Fields vs. Johnson, win produced are 6.7 for LF and just 2.0 for JJ.

      OppPER is 12.9 for Fields, and 14.2 for JJ.

      The Raps were -4.6 with JJ on the floor.
      The Knicks were +5.5 with Fields on the floor.

      Fields is willing to do the intangibles and accept his role.
      JJ was not as accomodating.

      • Daniel

        Smartypants much? A defense geared towards protecting Jose? Have you watched the Raptors? DeRozan is an atrocious defender, Andrea is an awful help defender. Gray is slow, Amir gambles a lot. I haven’t watched Lowry a lot to know exactly his defensive tendencies. I just noticed the numbers don’t show a gap defensively between Jose and Lowry. Lowry played with veterans like Scola and Martin with the Rockets however here he will have to play with players as young or younger than him.
        You must be joking comparing Fields and JJ’s defensive numbers. One played together with the DPOY whereas JJ was by far our best defender. Offensively he played with Melo and Amare so his +/- numbers are hardly relevant for our situation. I don’t like JJ however Fields is not an upgrade over him, not to mention he’s not an upgrade over his supposed back-up, Kleiza.
        I believe you are the guy constantly writing elogies to Colangelo and how great is our position. I can’t think of any good move he made in the last 4 years. We are getting from bad to worse every year and you still consider Colangelo a good GM. It’s really indicative why Toronto’s professional teams suck. There is no demand for excellence, only satisfaction with mediocrity. You, my friend, don’t even know what a dream is.

        • Lance

          You are either Calderon’s agent or mother. Every one of your posts is about how the Raps mistreated Jose, or how he’s this great player and should be a HOF inductee. No one that knows anything about the game would believe as such.

          • Destro

            lol @ defending Calderons defense…Hes talking about EVERYONE else but the player in question..NO SURPRISE…im not going to waste a SINGLE post arguing with someone that says Lowry and Calderons defense are the same…Thats a waste of an argument…..

            Thats the opinion of someone that doesnt know basketball follow it understand it or even watch it….

          • Daniel

            It’s the 2nd priciple: every action has a reaction. I am a Raptors fan first however I took a particular interest in defending Jose since 2006 during the PG wars. He represents my values in basketball and the way I used to play and coach it. As long as he is severely underrated around here I’ll defend him on a proportional basis. We ran him out of town anyway so soon it won’t matter anymore.

            • Destro

              So you coached no defense and you urself were a bad defender GOTCHA…

              • Daniel

                I’ll play this a little: the values as in being unselfish, playing for your teammates, improving the skills as asked by the coach (he improved greatly in 3P% in one off-season), valuing each possession during the game, showing loyalty to the employer, in general giving it all and doing the best you can at the fullest of one’s abilities. Every player or coach will play and emphasize defence however defence in pro basketball is a system concept. The only thing limiting Jose in defence or offense for that matter is his physical abilities, otherwise even his biggest haters admitted he’s always trying his best when healthy. He is a prototypical facilitator and not a game-changer which every team needs especially at PG position (the last 2 champs PG were Jason Kidd at 38 and Chalmers).

                • Destro

                  This post is nothing but dyckriding BS
                  he was paid 9 mil a year MISS ME with that good teammate do waht the coach asks MOST pro players do the same thing…trying ur best isnt shit breh….nobody cares about that at this level,your good enough or ur not nothing more…Hes not a prototypical anything…hes a standstill pass happy PG with no legitmate starting NBA PG skills who cant hold his man….

                  Your post reads like a personal fluffer with mad posters on his wall…

                  L

                • CJT

                  what are you talking about?  Do you think that people in Toronto don’t care that at this level Vince Carter didn’t try?  jesus sometimes you say stupid things.  Of course effort matters.

                • Destro

                  Who gives a shit what ppl here think,same faggots who still boo him 8 years later..who gives a fck what asshole Toronto fans think…VC was our best player in team history…i dont care as much about a fan perception he didnt try…HE brought NBC here…

                • onemanweave

                   Once he stopped trying, they stopped coming.

                • Destro

                  They stopped coming AND caring when he was traded breh…

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

                  The only thing limiting Jose is his physical abilities? Thats the reason why we need someone who can stay in front of quicker guards like Westbrooks and the Roses. If you, like a coach, want to build a defensive environment you need better players plain and simple who can keep up with these guys. We don’t have a Tyson Chandler on this team or a LeBron to back us up. This isn’t a veteran squad and Jose doesn’t have the defensive IQ of Jason Kidd. I appreciate what Jose has done and giving it his all but we all know that he isn’t the starting point guard this young and rebuilding team need.

                • CJT

                  Nobody stays in front of those guys.  that’s why they are game changers with respect to speed and agility.  No excusing Jose’s physical limitations, because you nailed that on the head. 

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

                  Well at least a player who can provide a solid first line of defence against them forcing them to shoot over our bigs.

                • CJT

                  agreed.  I always admired Jose for the amount of effort he provides.  He works his ass off on D, but simply isn’t fast enough for good man to man D.

                • Destro

                  NO points for trying

                  fck is that ? Everybody tries in this league…smh

                • CJT

                  If that’s true, then why do we constatnly hear about a guys motor?  If some guys don’t give it all on every play, what the fuck are they talking about?

                • j bean

                  Unselfish and playing for his teammates? What about asking for a trade when your team brings in a player that threatens your starting role?

                • CJT

                  that is what agents are for.  Jose hasn’t said anything.

                • j bean

                  Do you think the agent is acting on his own without instruction from Calderone?

                • Destro

                  Typical protective non sense from these guys…Oh its HIS agent huh….was it his agent in 2008 talking to a spanish paper about wanting out too….biggest and corniest myth is this guy is such a great team guy..its bullshit…Hes bitched thru a media source already once about being dealt and hes doing it again….

                  and like bargnani hes afforded protection by biased faggot fans of his…

                • CJT

                  No, I believe that Jose has a right be upset after working hard for the club for many years.  He is clearly upset, but he has always carried himself professionally and I think that a big motivator behind the comments were made from his agent to try and get him the best look possible in a contract year. 

                • Destro

                  stoip protecting dude…he has done this before and it forced TJ out…Hes not a professional anything..he got paid 9 mil a season and still popped off at the hip…

            • j bean

              Could it be that your emotional attachment to Jose is clouding a true perception of his value? 
              Put a top pg on the trading block, especially one with an expiring contract and you’ll see all kinds of good offers coming in. The people who make player evaluations and actually make decisions that have an impact on rosters don’t have much interest in Calderone. Maybe an injury to another pg will peak some interest but at this point it looks like you are over valuing his talents.

              • Daniel

                We have no idea what offers were made for Jose. Colangelo and Casey kept saying at the last trade deadline and this off-season that there numerous trade offers for him. Who knows what we want in exchange? Also closer to the end of the contract the offers get financial in nature. The Knicks didn’t find a taker for a very good PG in Billups and they amnesty him. I believe we’ll see his value next year when he’s time for him to sign a new contract. I do like to think I value him high not because of an emotional attachment but due to his basketball skills. I guess the future will clarify each option is true.

                • Daniel

                  Sorry, I meant “which” option is true.

                • Destro

                  I have a signed Calderon pic in a frame i want to sell you..

                  THIS IS NOT A JOKE,make me an offer

                • Thetruth

                  Still trying to make a buck off the internet comment board eh? Talented man.

        • Matt52

           You use numbers to validate your point and I use the same or similar numbers to counter your point.  This somehow has made you upset.  I apologize.

          • Daniel

            Shit dude (damn, it makes me feel younger…), I just discovered that your favorite players are mine too: Scottie and Timmie. We must have the same values for basketball however our current views are very different. Sweet…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      WTF is DRtg? Tell me who was the guy on the team getting beaten on defense by quicker guards each night. Watch the fucking game and you’ll see Jose’s ankles being broken every possession. Lowry is a lockdown defender and I don’t need stupid stats like those to tell me. Lowry can create his own shot in the lane and is a great pick and roll player.

      • CJT

        I guess you didn’t watch spain vs. usa yesterday.  Jose broke D. Wills ankles over and over setting up Ibaka for uncontested jams.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

          And this relates to the NBA how? Will Jose break D Will’s ankles next season when he has the ball. Fuck no!! 

        • Destro

          Stop lying my dude….That wasnt a crossover…
          he dribbled the ball off his own damn foot and D-Will slipped on his own footing…..

          SMH

        • Destro

          and that being said even after having the advantage he STILL didnt do shit with it…Jose is the only PG in the league that would kick the ball out to the perimeter on a clear path breakaway…

          • CJT

            Or for 3 consecutive dunks, but whatever. 

            • Destro

              HE didnt do shit with it…OF COURSE he passed the ball up…hes afraid to do anything with it…

              • CJT

                smh.  You always claim to be unbiased, but you are infact so biased that you can’t even appreciate watching that kind of skill.  Sad really.

                • Destro

                  Nah i just dont aint drinkin ur bullshit…that wasnt a cross…
                  He dribbled it off his foot,he didnt even have control of it…..nice try.

                • CJT

                  First off, read again, never said cross over.  Secondly your still sad.

                • Destro

                  Ill be sad as long as you start telling the truth on this board…

                • CJT

                  you’ll be sad forever.  It’s genetic.

                • Destro

                  Nah B
                  Im the right skin color you on the other hand cant be in the sun longer than 5 mins…so leave the genes argument to the right poster…

                • CJT

                  Awesome more racism.  How creative.

  • ezz_bee

    Blake I found it funny that the Small Ball line up is the same as the Offense line up except that in the Offense Line up Lowry is the PG and Jose is the SG and in the Small Ball line up Calderon is the PG and Lowry is the SG.  Is there a reason for this you did you just want to have the line ups look different even though all the same players are on the floor together?

    • http://theondeckcircle.net/ Blake Murphy

      Just an oversight, I guess, when trying to come up with different looks.

  • Torontoraps55

    Colanjello is the worst gm in the league

    • Lorenzo

       lol

  • Lorenzo

    Is that Brad Miller second from the left?

    • Nilanka15

      Haha!

      And Rex Chapman on the far right?

      • Lorenzo

        From left to right:

        The terrorist guy in the beginning of True Lies, Brad Miller, the guy from Scary Movie 3, Bruce Jenner from that awful Khardashian show, Kevin Spacey / Jude Law / Rex Chapman. Lmao.

  • Ppellico

    Many were totally wrong on Gray last year…and this shows that being informed on a sports sight is  a toss up at best.
    There are stupid things being said here…and really dumb analysis with charts.
    Thinking Amir can STILL play center after watching him last year AND how brutal the playoffs are shows me the drinking has gotten out of hand.
    To think JV will begin any sign of physical ability at the center position in the NBA his first season is to show how utterly bling one is to this NBA and its players.
    The kid will be lucky to stay healthy, let alone at center.
    Look…I am looking forward to the season…but am fully aware of the reality of this team in this league
    And your position on Gray is laughable. You never even thought he would get signed for good money…and he did. Well, If he signs.
    Pretty funny stuff here.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      JV was not ready last year. An extra season playing pro Euro ball in a physical league shows me he is ready. The kid is going to be playing in the Olympics, how much experience do you want?
      He is going to come in with a lot of confidence and with a mentor like Kleiza to help him. I expect a solid season out of him.
      P.S. Learn how to spell

      • cesco

         It seems that English is not Ppellico first language and he is Gray #1 fan posting here .

  • Paul

    Nilanka

    look  a lot of what you say holds some iterest.
    However…statements like this make me want to back away from other possibly sensible thoughts…”Have you not seen the alternatives at centre? Gray needs help taking his warmups off, there’s no way he starts for long.”
    I mean, really…what in hell are you thinking posting such crap.
    If you want to talk thoughtful basketball…where is the reasoning for this stuff?

    Its like the kid played good ball last year, fought his way back from a horrible ingury, held down the one true Casey philosophy…and then gets this from you.

    Glad you don’t root for me.

    • Nilanka15

      My comment was tongue-in-cheek.

      But regardless, there is no way in a million years that Gray is a starter on a winning team (unless he replaces Anthony in Miami).  He’s a stop-gap solution at best until Valanciunas takes over the role permanently.

      Coming back from injury is warm and fuzzy on a personal level, and you being Aaron Gray’s father, must be very proud.  But as a fan of the Raptors, I want the best players on the floor, and Gray is not one of them (and never will be). 

  • Mike D

    I believe Casey’s real problem is that we have 3 subs at each position and no one resembling a starter.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      What is wrong with having a deep team? Lowry isn’t a starter to you? He was in consideration last year to be an all-star but got injured. Bargnani is a starter no matter what ppl say about his game. You just can’t teach 7ft with shooting touch and can put it on the floor. 

  • Destro

    Saw the schedule im predicting 34-48 this upcoming season a lil better than what i previously said but still not good enough to make the playoffs…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      This is a least a .500 ball club to me, pending health

      • Destro

        Ugh i think ALOT has to go right for this team to finish .500

        I think thats the absolute best case scenario everything working out and Jonas/Lowry playing out there minds….Looking at the sked i dont see it…

        You know they’re going to get killed on those west coast trips they ALWAYS do….thats really what will keep them about 8-9 games under IMO….I think the key will be alot of those mid season Brooklyn,Philly,Washington,Indy Boston games…they need to come out ahead in those head to heads to have any shot….

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

          If Lowry keeps up his production like last season before the injury and we have improvements from DeMar and Andrea, what is keeping this team from getting to near .500. The East just got a lot weaker with the Sixers, Hawks, Chicago and Orlando getting worse. We have made prob the most drastic improvements in the East besides the Heat (I’m not saying the Nets because Joe Johnson sucks and adding 20 million a year player to your cap doesn’t count as improvement). I’m don’t have high expectations for Jonas, I just expect him to be solid on defence and run the foor. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

    This is a least a .500 ball club to me, pending health

  • FAQ

    The 2012-13 game schedule is out now.  So how many games will it take before the new Raptor lineup will “jell”… when will they become a real “team”…???