A little while ago I looked at how the Raptors used the pick ‘n roll/man in a very limited manner despite there being some evidence that it was a play that yielded positive results. Now that the greatest addition-by-subtraction trade in the history of the NBA has been executed, let’s take a look at what subtracting the black hole from the lineup has meant for the pick ‘n roll.

Here’s how the Raptors fared when that article was written, and how they’ve done in the four games following the trade – these are all numbers from mySynergySports.com:

Rate Executed Success Rate
PnR Man – Before 4.50% 43.60%
PnR Man – at Lakers 4.70% 75.00%
PnR Man – vs Spurs 4.90% 40.00%
PnR Man – vs Sixers 7.40% 37.50%
PnR Man – at Bulls 11.90% 66.70%

The biggest thing to note here is the jump in running that play in the Sixers and Bulls games, the two games where Greivis Vasquez got minutes. The Raptors chose to pass the ball back to the screener on 7.4% and 11.9% against the Sixers and Bulls, respectively. That’s a considerable increase over the 4.5% that they were doing before, and this number will steadily rise until it aligns with the forms of Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas – two guys who live off of this play.

What’s not measured in these statistics are the intangible effects of ball movement, and the feeling on the court that your presence is valued rather than being reduced to a spectator.

Taking this a step further, let’s look at how the Raptors are faring in assists, and how the two beneficiaries of the pick ‘n roll/man are doing post and pre-trade. These are from NBA.com:

Pre-Trade Post-Trade
Team Assists 17.3 23
Valanciunas Usage Rate 17.70% 19%
Valanciunas Net Rating -4.1 -0.2
Johnson Usage Rate 15.50% 21.40%
Johnson Net Rating 1.6 20.4
Ross Usage Rate 15.70% 23.50%
Ross TS% 52.30% 55.10%
Ross eFG% 49.50% 54%

The table speaks for itself as the team’s ball-distribution has been phenomenal and Valanciunas and Johnson are more involved in the Raptors offense. With DeMar DeRozan being the constant threat in the Raptors offense, this new dimension of play being brought forth by Johnson and Valanciunas gives the Raptors a distinctly different look.

Terrence Ross is another man seeing an increase in minutes and production since the Gay trade:

Pre-Trade Post-Trade
Ross Minutes 18.4 31.1
Ross 3PT% 34% 45.5%
Ross Usage Rate 15.70% 23.50%
Ross TS% 52.30% 55.10%
Ross eFG% 49.50% 54%

Suddenly, he doesn’t look like a terrible player because he’s getting cleaner, in-rhythm looks within the offense and doesn’t have to look over his shoulder for the hook. Whether this is sustainable we’ll see soon enough, but at least the negative effects of the congestive play appear to have disappeared momentarily. If Ross does struggle again it’ll be for reasons of skill, not for lack of a framework to operate under. Having said that, I do hope that Casey continues to manage his minutes/role well.

My feelings on this season have been summed up perfectly by Garrett’s latest post and I continue to hope for the playoffs. One of the mods here probably deleted the comments from the Chicago Reaction and Recap posts, but I do believe that the phrase “tanking mangina” is the single greatest thing this site has ever produced. Thank you, to whoever came up with that.

Sign up for the 3-on-3 – we still got spots available for individuals and teams.

  • sleepz

    What does Tanking mangina mean? Nothing? Thought so.

    Whether you think Raps should try and build through the draft or not, even the simplest of Raptor fans should be able to see that this team does not have the type of talent to sustain winning for prolonged periods or even seasons.

    If making the playoffs in a year where the 7 and 8th seed will probably be under .500, is an accomplishment, more power to you. Hopefully Masai doesn’t continue to follow the Colangelo model as that’s what is being employed employed if he stands pat with this roster comprised of young players with little to no game changing talent, and a bunch of league castoffs.

    • ac1011990

      I really hope Masai doesn’t try making it to the playoffs. I don’t understand how people think that making it into the playoffs this year is any sort of accomplishment at all or what its going to accomplish other then getting to watch a few more useless games.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      “this team does not have the type of talent to sustain winning for prolonged periods or even seasons”

      This team is young and filled with enough talent and monetary flexibility to serve as a base to build a consistently challenging for the championship team.
      Wait and see how this team deals with the Western road swing to see if blowing up has to happen.

      How do we know that the talent that we have isn’t game changing until they actually have the chance to play significant minutes?

      This question is even more important in the playoffs where media legends are made.

      • sleepz

        How many YEARS has Demar been in the league?lol

        Once you referred to ‘media legends’, I realized I shouldn’t have responded.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          you are plainly a moron

          Good to know.

    • sleepz

      You should either post a persons comments or not.

      Why edit it? I didn’t swear nor did I make any lewd comments to anyone.

  • Rick

    Why is raptors republic still talking about trading Amir and dd. I don’t get these so called fans!!!! Screw tanking. Who the heck wants to watch a losing season! Some fans we really have. Toronto almost deserves when player leaves here. Because they ain’t appreciated when they work hard to stay.

    • sleepz

      “so called” fans?

      you have no authority to deem anyone a fan or not.

      we all have our own preferences for where this team goes next.

      no one questions your fan credentials even though most who want to keep the team as is are subscribing to the Colangelo model of team building again (7-11 squad).

      • Tanks-a-lot


        Go away with your ‘Colangelo’ aspersions on Masai. It’s like you think the Bargnani and Gay trades were made by Colangelo.

        • sleepz

          You go away. This is a forum for opinions to be shared.

          What are you posting Hollinger rankings for? Because he has them ranked 14th? So what.

          • Duke

            Just because someone doesn’t agree with tanking and getting rid of most of our current assets, DOES NOT mean they want us to be mediocre and finish 7-11. Stop being a hypocrite. If you don’t wanna be judged as a certain type of fan, don’t throw this ‘Colangelo model’ crap in people’s face. Cause I could come up with a few teams who built contenders through smart draft picks (not necessarily top 5) and shrewd trades/signing.

            • sleepz

              I see, I’m judging but any of the fans who support building through the draft and are subject to ‘not being real fans’ or possessing an anti team mentality, is the exception when it comes go judgement? Gotcha, Duke.

              If you don’t want to analyze the argument and actually… maybe…. consider another point of view, which is quite viable btw, then don’t respond.

              You can come up with those contenders that built their teams through draft picks and trades and I’ll compare it to the Raps team and I can assure you the scenarios will be vastly different. Please, enlighten me regarding these teams so we can discuss them openly.

              if you actually want to get into a discussion instead of telling me I’m being a hypocrite, I’m all for it. Just keep it related to basketball which is exactly what I’ve done.

              • requisite toke n

                not sure what I’m missing here. sleepz said “.. most who want to keep the team as is are subscribing to the Colangelo model..”.

                Tanks-a-lot said “go away with your Colangelo aspersions on Masai”.

                (question: how was what sleepz said an attack on Masai?)

                then Duke said “hypocrite” .. and the rest that I don’t get at all .. and .. I’m confoosed.

                are there deleted posts that woulda helped make sense of this?

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

                  Unfortunately no.

                • requisite toke n

                  well .. it’s not too late. (joke.)

                • requisite toke n

                  re what else is going on, Rudy went 1 for 6 scoring 4 pts tonight in a loss against tomorrow’s opponent, Charlotte. who are 11 – 14. tomorrow’s game might be fun.

                • Duke

                  If you don’t understand the argument, perhaps you should put down whatever it is that you’re toking

                • requisite toke n

                  well, I could do that. but I doubt it’d change how funny I find it that you think the poster you were replying to cares a bunch about who’s judging him to be “a certain type of fan” or not. or how little sense it makes for you to feel that him mentioning the ‘Colangelo model’ (“crap”) makes you think something’s being thrown in people’s faces .. or, really, any of the rest of it. that dog just ain’t walkin straight.

                • Duke

                  You obviously don’t understand what the argument is, so why take the time to make a comment as if we care? Continue with the toking lol

                • requisite toke n

                  “..so why take the time to make a comment as if WE care?” (as if *weeee* care.)

                  I dunno, Duke. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised you’ve got such an allegiance of RR members all standing there, side-by-side, standing next to you. cuz .. that’s what the ‘we’ means .. right? you’re speaking for them, right?

                  you did say that “people were picking sides about what they want this team to do” .. .. and .. well, I guess you’ve gotta be on ONE of those sides .. .. yes?

                  whatever side you’re on .. .. you’re obviously a very smart feller. (or is that the other way ’round?)

                  cuz reading your posts on this here page .. .. one after the other .. gosh, it’s difficult for a simple soul to understand what you’re really getting at.

                  you go on the attack and call people names and THEN .. ..

                  you call for peace.

                  that’s .. .. smart.

                  it is, right?

                • sleepz

                  What argument are you making? You don’t like what I said regarding Colangelo and Masai? Explain why then instead of accusing people of being hypocrites and then not relating any of this to the actual…..team.

                • sleepz

                  You haven’t made an argument!

                  Where are your examples of team building? Where are the discussions regarding this model of team building and the alternatives?

                  Let’s talk ball. So far you’ve come with nothing of the sort.

              • Duke

                Your problem is that you group the people who are against tanking as clueless and tell them to go away cause they MUST want this team to be a 7-11 team. Yet you get so defensive when someone says if you support tanking you’re not a real fan. Doesn’t make much sense does it? And you’re proving my point cause you automatically assume I’m against tanking but I’m not.. I’m simply pointing out that you’re being a bit of a hypocritical douche.

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

                  How about we just stop with the name-calling all around. Passionate debate is fine, but when people start getting personal, there’s no point to the discussion.

                • sleepz

                  Let’s talk ball.

                  If you want to bring up the examples of team being built in different ways like you said you were going to, then lets do it.

                  I see you didn’t do that and decided to reply with insults. Typical and expected for the real hypocrite in this non-basketball related discussion.

                  You just don’t like my opinion is fine. I just don’t respect yours because you ain’t sayin’ nothing basketball related bro.

              • Duke

                IMO the biggest problem on this site right now is that people are picking sides about what they want this team to do, and then arguing about it as if the other group aren’t real fans or want this team to fail. Pretty sure we’re all fans and all want this team to succeed.

  • p00ka

    we need more white players on this team, i can’t get excited seeing black players because I am a racist, who believes the white race to be superior in every way. intelligence, body mind whatever. I almost quit this team when bargnani left.

    • p00ka

      also demar has terrible terrible ugly acne.bad genes.

  • Dr. Scooby

    I guess another way to look at team building going forward:
    If the Raps stick with what they have, they are middle of the pack and other lottery teams (and there’s a lot of them in the Eastern Conference) are going to draft high and score very good to superb talent in the 2014 draft. They will be better and the Raptors will be…pretty much the same next year. Yikes!!!

  • Alex Vostrikov

    well….. tanking might be good and all. than again, would you go this season and pay 200 bucks to watch shitty team loose???? I did pay 400 bucks for me and my better half, watched Utah game, when raps won… and I did enjoy my money worth. amazing atmosphere. than again, I would leave after 3 qts if they where loosing that game.
    it is much easier to switch off the tv, and come here and give tanking opinions. tanking is great, makes sense, but ppl who pay money to go to a game, are being ripped off…
    and those are the ppl who pay to have a team in Toronto

    • ac1011990

      I came to Toronto from Alberta and spend 500 on tickets and was hoping that they would lose. I got to enjoy the game, watched my favorite team play and witnessed a lose. I thought it was a good day lolz. There are usually over 15000 people who spend money watching the games at ACC each game. For the past 5 years raptors have had a losing record, so the majority of them see the Raptors lose over and over and over again. If i lived there and wanted to pay to watch the games, id rather watch a season or two of losing and then the be rewarded with good basketball instead of watching a mediocre product continuously. Just watching the Raptors on TV for the past few years i know there are people who buy season tickets every year (the cool Sikh dude in the front), how do you think he feels paying money to continuously watch them get no where?

      • Alex Vostrikov

        that cool Sikh dude doesn’t have a 9 to 5 job…. oh, and he wears a 10k gold watch. I would say, he has nothing better to do most of the days anyways.
        my point is, any normal sport franchise depends on “fans” who spending money. in Toronto, for some reason, no mater what, fans come to the games… I guess its more of a social thing than sport itself. fyi most of the season passes, are bought by corporations, who treat their customers. as a medium business owner, I get my hands on a few treats per year from suppliers (leafs, tfc, raptors).
        its sad when loosing team like raptors charging top buck to watch garbage. if you wanna see real sport fan base, go watch any European soccer or basketball game…. the bigger success, the more people. the better atmosphere.

  • TRoss1000

    Don’t trade DeRo, Amir or Val. Its going to take awhile until we get three such caliber players who actually like toronto and want to stay. We can definitely improve, but there is a lot of potential in that group. I would love to get wiggins but the chances are slim anyways were not out losing the jazz and bucks.