ujiri

This week on The Doctor Is In with PhdSteve, I say a few words about Rudy Gay and why Memphis wishes they still had him.   I read between the lines of the most recent radio interview of our new year head honcho and then speculate what all this means for the next GM.  Finally I run down possible trade rumors and options with each of the top 5 teams in the draft and it may surprise you that who I think the next GM should target this offseason to help rebuild the Raptors.

Ed’s Note: I haven’t heard the podcast so don’t know who Steve thinks the Raptors should target, but I guarantee you that it’s going to be someone craaaaaaazy.  That’s how he rolls.

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (27:06, 25 MB). Or just listen below:

[Related: Money Ain’t Everything – Ujiri Stalling]

  • Amigo

    Chris Bosh has 3.6 reb per game in Miami Indiana series so far….. Where is Tim W. and his long 2s 3s lol

    • ItsAboutFun

      Amazing how scheming a big to play outside most of the time can dramatically decrease his rebounding numbers, eh. Not just in the playoffs, but Bosh’s rebounding numbers have dropped for each of 3 regular seasons he’s been in Miami.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        Because taking long shots prevents a player from getting defensive rebounds? Like Kevin Love and David Lee?

        • Guest

          Tim W. – Amigo’s “Where is Tim W. and his long 2s 3s lol” comment is why the replies are about offensive rebounding.

          Miami’s becoming increasingly mystifying re: why they don’t “turn it on” and execute more often. If they can drop 70 in Indy in one half of basketball, they shouldn’t be fooling around like this…

        • ItsAboutFun

          I believe that comment fits into the Straw Man category. The topic wasn’t about either of those guys, nor defensive rebounding, but about the effect on total rebounding numbers of Bosh getting further and further away from the basket.

          The following stats support that:

          Bosh’s last year in T.O., he shot 24% of his shots from outside 16 ft, and averaged 10.8 rebounds. The % of shots from outside 16 ft and avg rebounds in the 3 years since in Miami have been:

          - year 1,37%, 8.3 RBs

          - year 2, 36%, 7.9 RBs (note: 3PAs gone from 2% to 5%)

          - year 3, 46%, 6.8 RBs (note 3PAs gone further up to 10%)

          I’d say there’s a very clear correlation there between his shooting distance from the basket and number of rebounds, but perhaps you can explain it differently?

          BTW, for interest sake, even though the discussion is about Bosh and the affect of him moving away from the basket, David Lee is a poor comparison as he shot only 20% of his shots this year from 16 feet out, less than half the ratio of Bosh, and even less than when Bosh was in T.O.. Any chance you think his rebounding numbers might drop if he shot more than double of his current shots from out there? I think so, but then that’s my point.

          Love’s history supports my point though. This year, he only played 18 games, so too small a sample, but the previous two years:

          2010-11- 30% of shots from outside 16 ft, and averaged 15.3 RBs/ 36 minutes

          2011-12- 42% of shots from outside 16 ft and averaged 12.3 RBs/ 36 minutes

          I do find it interesting that you bring up these two in whatever your rebuttal was meant to say, seeing as 2 days ago you included Lee as one of your Top 5 overrated, and “agreed completely” with a comment that Love is “vastly overrated”.

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            I’m not suggesting moving away from the basket on offense doesn’t have SOME effect on overall rebounding numbers, but the fact is that most big men get the vast majority of their rebounds on the defensive end, which is not effect in the least where you play on offense.

            At his peak, Chris Bosh grabbed 8 defensive rebounds a game, while with Toronto.

            Zach Randolph and Tyson Chandler grabbed the most offensive rebounds in the league, this year, grabbing 4.1 orpg, but both grabbed 7.2 and 6.6 drpg respectively.

            Most of the better rebounders in the league grabbed, at least, twice as many defensive rebounds as offensive rebounds. Robin Lopez being an exception, who grabbed an equal number at both ends.

            My point being that the excuse that a big man who shoots outside can’t grab a lot of rebounds is simply not true.

            • ItsAboutFun

              Man, I don’t know what to say. You keep telling me you want to engage in intelligent conversation, but you keep jumping into this one with different straw man arguments.

              I responded in detail to the last one, respectfully I thought, but now you come back with another one that “My point being that the excuse that a big man who shoots outside can’t grab a lot of rebounds is simply not true.”, which is also not the topic of the conversation, to say nothing of how confounding it is to use Z-Bo and Chandler to support that point.

              • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                I am trying to engage in intelligent conversation. I’m saying that rebounding numbers obviously go down when you move far away from the basket, but that it doesn’t explain the precipitous drop we’ve seen from Bosh, because moving away from the basket only explains a decline in offensive rebounding numbers. How is that a straw man argument?

                And to answer your point about Lee and Love being overrated, that’s because they’re such poor defenders, and aren’t good enough to be #1 or even #2 options on contending teams. It has nothing to do with their rebounding.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  “How is that a straw man argument?”

                  Well, I said “scheming a big to play outside most of the time can dramatically decrease his rebounding numbers”,,,,, and you keep coming back with “My point being that the excuse that a big man who shoots outside can’t grab a lot of rebounds is simply not true.”, which is not what I was saying at all.

                  You’re responding to something I didn’t say. From wikipedia: STRAW MAN: “a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a
                  proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet
                  unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and to refute it, without
                  ever having actually refuted the original position.”

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  But Miami “schemes” to play Bosh outside most of the time ON OFFENSE. On defense, he’s down low most of the time. And I’ve already made the argument that most rebounds are defensive.

                  So explain to me how Bosh playing outside on offense hurts his defensive rebounding numbers, which have also gone down?

            • SR

              I’d say you’re both right – you’re just talking about different ends of the floor.

              All comparisons and stats aside, the obvious contextual impact here is that Chris Bosh is being lined up, at times as the only big, against Roy Hibbert and David West. Of course he’s being pushed around.

    • SR

      Chris Bosh is doing exactly what Miami is asking him to do. As ItsAboutFun noted, they don’t want bigs standing around in the paint, and they’re willing to get outrebounded on a regular basis in order to execute the system they’ve set up.

      • Bendit

        That doesn’t mesh with a quote I saw today from Lebron who said “we cant be outrebounded by 20″ (paraphrase). It was actually 19 and I think he’s right. The Pacers played to their strengths and the Heat are too dependent on James.

        • SR

          Sure it meshes – they were outrebounded by 1.5 rpg this season per basketball-reference.com, in spite of being the league’s most dominant team at 66-16 and outscoring opponents by 8 ppg. It’s extremely unusual for a team that good to be outrebounded, which has made the success of the Heat’s schemes so historically unique.

          There’s a big difference between being outrebounded by 0-10 boards, which they can handle, and being outrebounded by 20, which indicates a more serious problem.

  • Andre

    seems like none of your feeds are working for me.

    • arsenalist

      Fixed. My bad.

    • sleepz

      I enjoy listening to your podcasts but a few responses if I may:
      Orlando has a few good young players on their roster. I would take Tobias Harris in a heartbeat and although Raps have a centre prospect, Vueijic is going to be a good player in this league for awhile.
      Why would Washington have any interest in moving Wall at this time? Did you watch him in the 2nd half of the season? Maybe Washington doesn’t want to pay him the max but I wouldn’t trade him for any player on the Raps roster (perhaps JV plus some other pieces) if I was Washington.

  • ItsAboutFun

    The Griz needing Gay at some point is something coach Hollins knew when the trade went down. He even went as far as publicly voicing his displeasure over the trade when it happened. For those still saying look at how much better Memphis was without Gay, would that discussion be taking place if Westbrook had been playing? My guess is no way do they win that series. I even wonder if they even get out of the first round if Paul and Griffin weren’t playing through injuries. Gay is certainly overpaid, but that trade dramatically increased the Raps’ talent level in a position it was sorely needed and reduced the Griz talent level where they now need it.

    The Wall suggestion is an interesting one, but I have a hard time believing Washington, a rebuilding team themselves, would give up Wall for Lowry and spare parts. Without a more particular trade scenario, it’s impossible to make any assessment whether it’s feasible, and whether it makes sense for either team.

    • Nilanka15

      You changed your name again?!?!? Honestly dude, what are you so afraid of?

      • ItsAboutFun

        I fear for you, in that it’s actually a concern to you. *head shake*

  • Joshua

    Totally disagree.

    Your making crazy assumptions.

    To say Memphis should’ve beaten Spurs is stupid. Spurs were the 2nd best team in the West.

    If Parker didn’t hurt his ankle they would’ve been the best team in the West.

    Last year playoffs Gay shot at 42% after shooting 45.5% during the regular season.

    Meaning under good defenses his numbers drop.

    • arsenalist

      FWIW, that was the closest 4-game sweep in history. I see what Steve is saying regarding Rudy Gay’s potential effectiveness in clutch situations, but I’d argue that with him, they wouldn’t even get to those close late-game situations.

      • ItsAboutFun

        “I’d argue that with him, they wouldn’t even get to those close late-game situations.”

        That’s a tease. It begs the question of on what basis would you argue that?

        • bigweeze

          He probably means that they lose the game earlier and the game isn’t quite so close by the end. As in, Rudy Gay’s presence is a detriment. Hard to definitively say that would’ve been the case especially with Prince/Davis/Day as non-factors, but it was true for the majority of the season post-trade in Memphis.

          Personally, I don’t think make it to the 3rd round if you go back in time and undo the trade. Memphis’ players showed huge improvements without Gay there – who knows if they unlock that potential with him still around.

          SA put MEM in situations where they could’ve used a player like Gay, but I don’t really think that warrants changing the largely successful midseason decision.

          • SR

            The criticism by several ESPN-type talking heads at the time of the trade was that Memphis may come to regret it in the playoffs (I specifically remember Jeff Van Gundy saying this during a nationally televised game). Of course we can’t say for sure, but it was pretty easy for San Antonio to disrupt Mike Conley and the inside game (Randolph/Gasol), and Memphis had ZERO depth with which to adjust their game plan. Rudy Gay definitely would have given them more options re: making in-series adjustments and giving San Antonio different looks. There’s a heck of a lot more to it than one guy’s field goal percentage.

            As has been mentioned, the most telling criticism would be that their own coach strongly disapproved of the trade. Sure Memphis pulled together and went on a run in the weeks afterwards, but it’s easy to argue that their roster was less talented and thinner after the trades they made (not only dumping Gay). They became so dependent on Conley/Gasol/Z-Bo playing at career-peak levels for better and, in the end, for worse.

            • bigweeze

              I agree that Rudy Gay hypothetically gives them an increased chance. The trade returns really didn’t contribute, the Grizzlies lacked a player to replicate the lost skills, and 4-0 is as bad as it gets (despite being the closest sweep ever yada yada)

              However, part of the problem may have been identified here as they contrast Pop to Hollins(http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/58751/gregg-popovich-builds-young-players). Ed Davis was a key component of the Gay trade yet Hollins made the decision to not integrate him into the rotation. The end result was that he wasn’t ready to contribute when Memphis needed something extra this past series. Interesting considering his dominant performance against the Spurs early in the year as a member of the Raptors.

              It is speculated that Hollins will not return nor will Wallace (GM), and the new management group is looking to reshape the team’s style of play. I’d say they were able to accomplish that, as the stock of Conley/Gasol have both risen significantly post-trade. So as much as this was Memphis’ best season, it was also one of transition and cap-consciousness.

          • ItsAboutFun

            So what you think he’d “argue” is based on how well they did without him against non-playoff teams, and against depleted teams in the playoffs?

            As far as “largely successful midseason decision”, do you think their increased winning percentage may have had something to do with 2/3 of their subsequent games being against non playoff teams and that the opposite would have been true for pre-trade opponents? That’s the kind of interesting info that gets lost when using bare stats to evaluate a player/team.

            As for making it to the third round, do you think we’re talking about that if Westbrook was playing? Very likely not. In fact we may not even be talking about them getting past the first round if LAC’s top two players (Paul, Griffin) weren’t struggling to tough it out through injuries.

            On the other hand, Arse isn’t talking about those series, but saying he’d argue that the Griz wouldn’t have even been in close late-game situations against the Spurs if they’d had Rudy, so I was wondering what his reasoning for that is.

            • bigweeze

              In a blunt oversimplification – I’m sure you’ve heard the idea that Rudy Gay made Memphis worse.

              That doesn’t mean he’s unskilled or not a valuable player in the right situations. The same sort of criticisms were levelled at David Lee after his hip injury and the team’s subsequent improvement.

              Whether it was because Rudy was ineffective himself, or inhibiting others, his permanent absence had the result of increasing offensive flow and allowed for the redistribution of offensive responsibility – this allowed Conley/Gasol to flourish. The differences were visible and well-observed while the improvement was not merely attributed to a decreased level of competition.

              I am not sure what you are meaning about the first two rounds, yes there were injuries and Memphis was fortunate. The OKC games were down to the wire even without Westbrook. The relevant question is, does a Rudy Gay team make it through the same depleted Clippers and Thunder as the non-Rudy Gay team did? It’s possible but debatable.

              • ItsAboutFun

                “I’m sure you’ve heard the idea that Rudy Gay made Memphis worse.”

                Well, I have heard that, from fans on RR, and possibly some media people. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but non of whom have close to either knowledge of the game itself, or the intimate knowledge of Rudy and the Griz, as coach Hollins, who publicly voiced his displeasure toward the trade. That’s very unusual for a team’s active coach to be voicing such displeasure at his GM’s/Owner’s decision, so I’d personally put more stock in the opinion of the guy coaching the team, and striving for a championship, over the agenda of fans and media. That is if I’m going to put much stock in someone else’s opinion.

                “The differences were visible and well-observed while the improvement was not merely attributed to a decreased level of competition.”

                I understand those same opinions weren’t coming from people accounting for level of opponents, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a major factor in both the offensive flow winning percentage and certain players’ effectiveness. Bottom line is wins/losses, right? Before the trade, with Rudy, against playoff teams they had a 15-10 record (.600), after the trade they were .500 (7-7 I think). No doubt other players had to step up, and did, particularly Conley, but the team record shows that coach Hollins’ concern was legit, contrary to what some opinions attributed the winning record against bottom feeders to. As the expression goes, you can’t always believe what you read.

                “I am not sure what you are meaning about the first two rounds”

                I mentioned this because your post, that I was responding to, said:

                “Personally, I don’t think make it to the 3rd round if you go back in time and undo the trade. Memphis’ players showed huge improvements without Gay there – who knows if they unlock that potential with him still around.”

                First of all, as I said, are we talking about them getting to the third round if Westbrook played? Very likely not, as in getting to the 3rd round is meaningless if evaluating Gay’s contribution to the team, as many here are saying as they point to the team never getting that far with him. Same goes for them lucking out with LAC’s two top players hobbling. I’d say there’s a very good chance that if Westbrook is playing, and Paul/Griffin aren’t hobbling, there’s zero discussion about how they went further than ever before without Rudy “holding them back.

                As far as Conley stepping up and Gasol being more effective, see above win/loss vs level of opponent discussion, That would seem to indicate that though those two produced more, they in fact were not a better TEAM at all. The record shows the opposite, as per coach Hollins’ concerns.

                • bigweeze

                  Re: Hollins
                  First – the opinion of insiders is not always superior to that of outsiders. Coaches often misuse their personnel to the dismay of outsiders. Second – Hollins was in a contract year and I don’t doubt he would protest losing his leading scorer. Third – Hollins does not seem to be coveted by the Grizzlies FO and their new direction, so he may have felt that he was being set up to fail.

                  Re: Conley/Gasol
                  Many seem to believe that Conley/Gasol have improved measurably. I agree with that sentiment, you do not. I’m willing to let it play itself out – it takes time for things to settle after a major shakeup like losing a high usage player and replacing him with Prince.

                  Re: 3rd round
                  I don’t want to bring MEM’s previous playoff record into it, even though it is unfavourable to Gay. It just complicates things.

                  All I can say is that Memphis certainly beat their first two opponents (injured as they were), and they may not have done the same in the hypothetical where trade never happens (Griffin/Westbrook remain injured as they actually were). That scenario plays out differently based upon your opinion of Gay’s contribution which is rehashing a combination of our discussion of pts 1 and 2.

                  I do see the points you are making and they have some merit but I don’t know that anything that happened affects the decision made at midseason. Memphis got rid of Gay because they didn’t think they were real contenders (they had slumped after their blazing start), moving Gay was their best solution to solve impending tax issues, and they imagined being able to play a different style without him. If they figured that losing Gay would have changed their fortunes for the worse significantly, perhaps they don’t make that deal. But I don’t think it did – as you say they probably get eliminated early if not for some fortunate injury luck.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  I hear ya, man. I got a little wound up here because I’ve seen a number of posts here claiming the Griz are better without him, citing better winning percentage after trade (ignoring quality of opponents), and playoff success over previous years (ignoring depleted opponents), in far too common (imo) RR attempts at discrediting Gay. Thanks for the discourse, even though we may not totally agree on everything.

                  I jumped in here initially simply curious why Arse was saying he’d argue that the Griz aren’t even in close games against the Spurs if Gay is playing. It’s a bold statement, so I thought he might actually have some reasoning to support that. Oh well…. Anyway Rudy discussion aside, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Memphis run in the playoffs. Gasol has been a very top end C for a couple of years now, so was expected, but Conley sure stepped up his game beyond what we’ve seen before, and they had a hell of a run until they ran up against the Pop oiled machine running on Timmy & Tony.