“Julyan Stone is a impressive multiple player. I don’t want to call him a point guard because he’s a 1-2-3 (point guard, shooting guard and small forward) and probably could get away with guarding some small forwards,” Casey said. “He has been impressive at that position (the point), just because of his flexibility that he gives us, especially at the defensive end. He can guard those little quick guys, his length bothers them. I thought he did a good job the other night against (Minnesota’s J.J.) Barea with his length, and he could be making a case for himself.”
“He’s still learning,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said Saturday. “The main thing with him is he had such a long way to go to learn the NBA, just the nuances of the NBA, the timing, the quickness … he came in blind. We had to tell him who the players were, what their strengths were. And he missed all of training camp last year. That start [last season] was a lot of him not knowing what was going on, and getting his timing back. As the year got better, he got better.”
If Hibbert continues to effectively anchor the Pacers’ elite defense while successfully utilizing the law of verticality; it will most likely be commonplace for fans to see various young stars (i.e. Jonas Valanciunas) imitating the “Hibbert” in the paint for years to come.
Finding a consistent style for the second unit is one of Casey’s goals over the final pre-season games. It is not a group rife with scoring, nor is it particularly big and tough; finding out what it can be could be difficult. “What we have to do is get a rhythm with a second unit, get them an identity,” said the coach. “Our first group is more of a system offensive-type team, our second unit is more of a draw and kick (offence) and that’s the identity we want from them.” There will be lots of time to get important work in. The Raptors have just four games left before the start of the season and they are well spread out.
Raps do this deal because: Rudy’s contract is a giant millstone around GM Masai Ujiri’s neck. The player can opt in to the final year of his grossly overpaid contract next season, and he’d be a fool if he didn’t. Who is going to pay him $19.3M otherwise? Boozer’s contract is finished after next season [h/t: reader Guy for correction], and I’d rather try to trade Boozer for kids at the trade deadline than Rudy.
Want in on Morning Coffee? Drop me an email.