This week on The Doctor is In with Phdsteve, I have called in 2/3rds of the world wide roundtable to talk ball and we have a discussion about all the action in NBA and NCAA while continually tying it back to the Raptors!  Joined by my brother Mike (who knows college basketball) and Blair Miller from The Fifth Quarter Blog we discuss:

  • Colangelo on tanking
  • Is Landry Fields the missing piece for this season’s Raptors?
  • In the summer- if the roster remains the same and the Raptors add just 1 player who does it need to be to get to the top of the East?
  •  What to do with Jonas?
  • How can Casey get more out of Jonas?
  • Why fans need to exercise patience and tolerance with Jonas.
  • Where does Jonas go in this year’s draft?  In past drafts?
  • And of course the week that was and the week to come recaps and previews.

Don’t forget to visit Blair’s site The Fifth Quarter Blog and follow him on Twitter @TFQuarter.

Grab the iTunes feed or check us out on Stitcher on Android. There is also the plain old feed. You can also download the file (1:04:21, 61 MB). Or just listen below:

Fyi- no pod next week.  The Dr Is In returns on March 20th.

  • afrocarter

    I think you guys are mistaking correlation for causation with respect to Jonas and minutes played. Instead of seeing it as “Jonas plays well WHEN he is rewarded with more minutes”, wouldn’t it make more sense to view it as “Jonas plays well THUS he is rewarded with more minutes”?

    • ajkflhsad

      ^ exactly

      • wheygurey

        I think Casey largely makes switches based on defensive, rather than offensive issues (excepting late in the game or if the team is well behind offensively) . Casey likes to have his bigs hedge pretty high on the pick and roll, something which Jonas as a young big struggles with.

        To be fair, Jonas has had some issues with Casey in terms of the short leash, to the point where they tried to get him going more because he seemed to be sulking, and now the coach has told him to stop worrying about O. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Jonas has to be better defensively on the pick and roll, and stay more engaged for longer. Casey needs to realize he needs to be more involved and stop giving him the early hook when he makes mistakes.

        He has a lot of options and he’s trying to win–that means the onus is on Jonas. He’ll play more when he plays better.

    • raptors phdsteve

      sure. I agree with that too. Either way, the point I think is still the same: when Jonas plays well and when he gets more minutes, the Raptors are a better team.

      • arsenalist

        “when Jonas plays well and when he gets more minutes, the Raptors are a better team.”

        What does that even mean?

        Which of the following camp are you in?

        1. Jonas should be getting minutes regardless of production because of development blah blah
        2. Jonas should be given minutes based on production

        I’m not buying the argument that in order to play well he needs extended minutes. He has been absolute shit at times this season and displayed an alarming lack of basic basketball technique, for which he has been rightfully benched. If you’re suggesting that, in those cases, giving him more minutes will result in improved performance, then you’ve lost me.

        • raptors phdsteve

          I want him to play more regardless BUT (and this is what I say in the podcast) I think you have to trust Casey here for 2 big reasons:
          1) he is fair – in that everybody on this team has to earn their minutes regardless of name, contract, or status.

          2) he has a strong history of doing great work with big centres.
          So, if I was the coach I would play him more- but its hard to argue with Casey’s results. the problem for me is that “I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell!”

          • mountio

            “in that everybody on this team has to earn their minutes regardless of name, contract, or status.”
            I disagree with this point strongly. He has shown a continued bias towards “vets” in terms of trusting them implicitly and giving them minutes over younger players many times, despite better talent from young guys (TR vs AA or JS and JV are prime examples). He has actually been quite unapologetic about this philosophy.
            Thats not to say that he shouldnt sit TR or JV when they are playing like shit, its just to say that if he has anything near a coin flip in terms of performance, he defaults to the veterans.

            • afrocarter

              I think it’s less to do with players being veterans, and more to do with certain players performing more to the way Casey desires them to (i.e. hustle, focus, physicality). Veterans just tend to embody these qualities to a greater degree. On the other hand, despite Hayes being a bona fide veteran, both 2Pat and Hansborough (young players) are above him on the depth chart.

              • mountio

                True on Hayes .. but it took a while for Casey to take him out of the rotation when TH came back, despite it being pretty obvious that 2Pat and TH were better contributors. Same with Ross .. did casey get there? Ya, eventually … but it took the RG trade and LF injury to essentially force him to give TR minutes… which obviously worked out very well.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Or maybe it was obvious to the coach that TH needed the transition to get into better game shape, so he could handle more minutes, before relegating Hayes to the bench full time.

    • ItsAboutFun

      Yeah, chicken/egg thing. It’s funny when people talk of Jonas sulking (misread imo) about minutes, yet whenever he get’s interviewed he puts it all on himself needing to get better. Something tells me the coach knows his psyche far better than any of us, knows how important Jonas is for this team’s future, and is nurturing him the right way.

      There are several other factors in Jonas’s playing time, imo:
      – match-ups, either individual or as the opponent is playing. If they’re using a ton of PnRs, Jonas just can’t handle defending them well,,, yet. DEFENSE first, remember.
      – fatigue: this is a 21 year old C’s first full NBA schedule, and that fatigue that comes with such demands, coupled with wasted energy that comes naturally with his youth. It’s often obvious that he gets gassed easily
      – an additional factor in both his fatigue and skills, is the kid is still growing into his body. His thicker body isn’t just due to targeted “bulking up”, but also some natural growing into a man. One of the reasons why “bigs take longer to develop”, is that kind of physical growth can be more emphasized with 7 footers, and require more adjustment/adaptation time.
      – speed of the NBA game. It’s easier for wings & PGs to adapt as so much of their game has always relied upon speed, but many of these big boys take longer to adapt, as is clear in many games for Jonas.

      Note that Jonas’s 2nd year minutes are higher than those of Noah, Hibbert, Chandler, Jordan, Pekovic. There are few 7 foot natural Cs that get more early on.

      • FLUXLAND

        That was just a long winded way to say “He’s only 21, he’s going to get better”.

        And that’s not an valid argument, really. Being young doesn’t guarantee improvement to the point of having a difference making impact. Sure, he’s likely to become serviceable, but that’s a far cry from what he was advertised as when he was coming into the L.

        As already pointed out, he displays disturbing shortcomings when it comes to basic basketball and that’s not just a matter of adapting to the NBA; ( even that argument is becoming thin… he will be entering his 3rd year within 6/7 months.) These are things someone with his level of combined pro experience should already have down, no?

        If his development curve follows a similar path, time wise, as DD… this will only continue to solidify the farm team label on this team. In the meantime otther C’s… like say Drummond… are already drawing interest from the likes of Phil Jackson, because they actually impact the game regardless of age.

        • afrocarter

          Honest question: is there anything about the Raptors that you DO like? Every post that I’ve seen from you has been of the Debbie Downer variety, albeit most of the time with salient points.

          • FLUXLAND

            Sure.. I like that DD has finally started rebounding, after I’ve been calling for it for years. Still a little too late for my liking.

            I like the focus TRoss maintained in that 51 point game.

            I liked KL when people were still crying for Jose and saying with KL the team is doomed (shout-out to my boy Daniel) …although we could have crossed that PG bridge when we had TJ, instead of wasting years with Jose. I love a rebounding PG.

            I like 2Pat’s “I don’t care who we’re playing I just rain buckets like I’m in my back yard” disposition ala AA.

            Plenty of things to like, none of them outweighing the serious fundamental flaws that need to be address in order to have a serious shot at anything.

            Thing is, some of us (me?) look at this team like an opposing coach that scouts it – attack/expose the weaknesses and flaws. Until those things change, I don’t see a reason to overvalue things that we should expect from professionals. Bobby Knight, Coach K, Phil, Pops… do you think they ever stop at demanding more or scrutinizing, or you think they are constantly coddling guys for things they already do well, while saying it’s ok, they are young, just give it time. (And no, I am not comparing myself to those coaches..I am simply making a point)

            • afrocarter

              Cool, fair enough. I admire your zeal & demand for excellence. Still, I dunno, stop and smell the roses every once in a while, my friend.

              • FLUXLAND

                Done plenty of that since inception…celebrating a rise from abysmal and eye bleeding ball to average is not for everyone.

                • afrocarter

                  Again, fair enough. Here’s hoping we rise above average sooner rather than later.

            • j bean

              There are fans who under value home team players and are quick to blindly predict much lower results for them than what actually takes place. Like when you called the players the Raps received in the Gay trade “a bag of scrubs”. Professional nba talent evaluators like the coaches you mentioned would have seen how much the “bag of scrubs” would improve things and how much harder the Raptors would be to prepare for. You on the other hand had no inkling the team would start winning 2out of 3, which in case you don’t know is well above average.

              • FLUXLAND

                Ummm.. I didn’t. So? How does that change that it’s made zero impact on the ultimate desired objective. You are enjoying the instant gratification…and if these scrubs are so highly desired, how come it took for the Raptors to bite? What are you saying? These guy are the final pieces to a contender? What are you even talking about? You are crying because I am not glorifying journeymen?

                • Guest

                  Well, seeing as they have amounted to more than “a bag of scrubs” it means you can;t evaluate talent. And therefore all talent evaluations by you of the current Raptors are pointless. Sir.

                • FLUXLAND

                  What did they amount to exactly?

                • j bean

                  Not exactly but approximately they went from losing 2 out of 3 to winning 2 out of 3.

            • What the

              This I can say is 100% true, Flux really like the Allstar name KOmar {TMZ} because he sees his hero KObe in our Allstar

        • ItsAboutFun

          And if I’d simply said “He’s only 21, he’s going to get better”, you’d be bellyaching that I didn’t provide any reasoning. Typical Fluxland arguing for the sake of trolling.

          BUT, since I was responding to the chicken/egg point, my reasoning was targeting the opinion that “he needs more minutes”, not judging how he stacks up against whatever “as advertised” narrative you’ve dreamed up, and are stuck on.

          As for Drummond and his “impact on the game”: He can dunk, and is a rebounding beast, but all that rebounding is having what “impact” for his team? They’re losers. He’s a poor defender and his only offensive skill is dunking.

          Actually I’ve watched little enough of the Pistons (why should I?) that I’ve little to go on other than his games against the Raps, where he’s been nothing more than a glorified younger Reggie, and his “MVP” Rising Stars game where he played like a man on a mission for honour, pushing teammates away, grabbing RBs out of their hands, and generally playing like team ball is a foreign language. If that’s how he plays for the Pistons, no wonder he’s putting up massive RB #s while his team loses.

          • FLUXLAND

            No, I wouldn’t have. i would have said the same thing, actually.

            You are still not addressing the questions I posed, after you rattled off your list of reasons behind his minute distribution, that I see mostly as excuses for his lack of basic basketball skills. And I am not dreaming anything up, I am recalling from the time he was drafted until he came over.

            If you have watched one Pistons game, you should probably reserve judgement and not assume their record is due to his game. Suffice to say, he is in no way the root of their issues. And the fact the greatest coach of all time is bringing him up as part of something he would like to be involved in, should tell you something. But I suppose you hold Casey in a much higher regard than Jax. Fair enough.

            • ItsAboutFun

              Can’t be bothered to get into yet another endless merry-go-round of you inventing shit and putting stuff in my mouth, but this “still not addressing the questions I posed” is just funny. That was 1 question, irrelevant to the comments your were responding to, and based solely upon seeking a confirmation of an opinion that only you hold. Once again, my comments refer to the “minutes/playing time” topic. I wouldn’t battle with your extensive expertise in judging young NBA talent and projecting where they’ll be down the road. I’m sure you were right on with DeMar too, But keep it up. Bitch about everybody and you get it right now and then.

              • FLUXLAND

                run p00ka run!

          • stretch bigman

            I don’t think you should make the Drummond comparison based on team win/losses. He plays for a dysfunctional team and is perhaps the only bright spot on that squad. Terrible free throw shooter but does many other things traditional centers should do. Needs to improve rotations considerably but is productive (steals/blocks) and active on the court. I would rather have him than JV at this point in time.

            Haven’t given up on JV at all, but we all watch the games. Drummond is far more impressive at this stage.

        • Andrey

          “In the meantime other C’s…like say Drummond.” Oh really? Care to give other examples? Exactly. If you expect every center to develop like Drummond then you’re gonna wait for a long time. What was JV advertised? No scout said he’s Hakeem or Duncan in a making. If that was your expectation then you fucked up. “”He’s only 21, he’s going to get better”.And that’s not an valid argument, really.” How is that not a valid argument. That’s whole idea of drafting young players. Because they can get better in a future. “These are things someone with his level of combined pro experience should already have down, no?” No he shouldn’t. Euro ball is completely different. NBA is much faster and centers are not as big and dominating. They don’t have Hibberts or Jeffersons down there. He played 15 minutes per game in Euroleague and averaged 7.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. What did you expect from him? I don’t get it. He leads Raptors with most double doubles this year. His rebound numbers are up. He’s actually the best rebounder on Raptors team. If you watch Drummond he doesn’t create his offense. Majority of his points are assisted. Raptors are taking a difficult road and trying to develop JV’s post game.

          • FLUXLAND

            I fucked up? LOL. Calm down. I didn’t draft him. And I already explained about about his impact, but you just wanna go off on a tangent.

            How about Cosuins for starters? Exactly. Yeah, really.

            Being young therefore he will improve is not an argument. What is so hard for you to comprehend about that? Plenty of players come into the L at a young age and don’t improve in any way that makes a difference to their team.

            He shouldn’t according to who? Why is it that before he came he advertised as more NBA ready than anyone, but now you are showering us with excuses. Plus he’s been here 2 years.

            You think I give a rat’s ass about either one of them scoring or offense? Are you reading any of my other comments? And Defense 1st remember? This guy should working in his D and rebounds.. there are plenty of Raptors that are here to score.

      • stretch bigman

        These factors can definitely play a role in a players development and how quickly he becomes a finished product, however many excuses are being made for JV nowadays and he doesn’t deserve any.

        • ItsAboutFun

          Not excuses, but reality to support his minute distribution, and the constant criticism of it, which is what I was commenting upon

      • mountio

        Small point, but at least Noah and Chandler (the first two I checked) played marginally more minutes in their 2nd year than JV is averaging this year. Chandler 24.4, Noah 24.2, JV 23.9. Your point is still valid as its very close … but none the less

        • ItsAboutFun

          I’m going by the numbers I see on basketball-reference. JV 27.4, Chandler 24.4, Noah 24.2

          • mountio

            Im an idiot. Looked at the wrong year for JV. My bad

    • Ion66

      I always say that statistics may be facts, but they are rarely the truth. The stats say that our winning percentage is greater when JV gets more minutes. The obvious conclusion is that if we play him more, we will get more wins. I would say that in the games where JV is getting the most minutes, he is playing his best, thus helping the team win. When he is playing fewer minutes, he is (usually) not playing his best, therefore he is not contributing as much to wins. If JV played at exactly the same level, and with exactly the same effectiveness (matchups) then you could argue that playing JV more minute=more wins for the team. Statistics are often presented as facts, which they are, but they are not the truth until you ask “why?”, then dig deeper into the statistic. Not until you have run out of “Why’s” do you reach truth.

  • Stef

    Listened up to the end of the ‘tank section’, first 22 minutes. Enjoying it so far.

    I’ve thought hard on the tank issue, even going back and forth on it, but one of the better comments that I’ve heard on the subject was the ‘robbing a convenience store’ analogy that you use around the 12 minute mark. Kind of summed it up tight and hard to argue with. I wish every executive around the NBA could be forced to hear that.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say with some of the rest. Like, the “Colangelo was tanking when …” rant seemed to go off the rails into a weird area .. unless there was a sarcasm or humour element that I didn’t catch. For instance … ‘Colangelo was tanking when he selected Bargnani first overall’. Do you really believe that? Or .. ?

    And .. ‘he was tanking when he let Marion walk and signed Hedo Turkoglu’. Mm, again .. didn’t happen that way. I recall Shawn Marion being interviewed when he was still a Raptor and was asked if he’d consider re-signing to stay with the Raps and he couldn’t have been clearer that he would not. (And he laughed while he shook his head saying no. Wasn’t gonna happen.)

    I do agree with you that signing Dwane Casey was a choice that was the furthest thing from tanking but … it seemed clear to me that Colangelo wanted to go into tank-mode only after Bargnani – who had started the season, very strong – got injured. After that, I certainly sensed a push-pull thing between BC and Casey, for the rest of the season. And Casey won. (Unfortunately, many of us felt, I think, at the time, watching Casey win games that were already near-lost, more than once.)

    And that last game that season against the Nets? I only remember thinking that the only way the Raps could’ve lost that game was if they all laid down on the floor and refused to get up. I had bizarrely imagined Mikhail Prokhorov personally threatening each and every Nets player before that game, ‘to not DARE f’ing win!’ Cuz the Nets sure played-to-lose with a commitment to it, seldom seen.

    Entertaining podcast though, so far. Appreciate the effort.

    • mountio

      Ya – it was meant to be sarcastic .. in the sense of you were “tanking” when you made all the shitty moves that you made (not intentionally tanking though … )

  • ItsAboutFun

    The BC “tanking” issue: I don’t think his admitted “attempt” it had anything to do AB. Jonas was stashed in Europe for the year, and BC went out and filled up the roster with cheap, low quality, 1 year rentals. He clearly was not trying to “win now”. Hiring Casey wasn’t necessarily screwing up, but:
    – he was a quality DEFENSIVE coach that was available THEN
    – was trying to balance the expected losing with instilling a much needed defensive growth in the players seen as moving forward with.

    It just didn’t work out, as he couldn’t have expected Casey would get as much as he did from that mish-mash of a team.

  • morgan c

    We have disagreed about JV and his potential before, and I’m not going to argue that further now. There is no point. We fundamentally disagree about him, as many do. But I have to point out that he is in no way, a top 7 center in the NBA. That is simply untrue, and if you actually believe that, then I can’t help but to view your analysis through an entirely difference prism henceforth. At this point, in no particular order, here are centers that are better than him, based on any metric you’d want to use:
    Brook Lopez
    Tyson Chandler
    Andrew Bogut
    DeAndre Jordan
    Pau Gasol
    Marc Gasol
    DeMarcus Cousins
    Andre Drummond
    Joakim Noah
    Roy Hibbert
    Dwight Howard
    Nikola Pekovic
    Nikola Vucevic
    Tim Duncan
    Al Horford
    Al Jefferson
    Marcin Gortat
    Larry Sanders
    Robin Lopez
    Derrick Favors

    Those are 20 players that, right now, are better than JV. PER, Pts, Rebs, defensive play… If you are allowing potential to creep in, okay, there are 5-7 guys on that list above that he may get the nod over. I know some of those guys we don’t think of as great players, but my point is, neither is JV. His defense alone makes it extremely curious that you’d call him a top 7 center in the NBA right now. I mean, wow.
    He can become that, maybe, as a ceiling.

    • morgan c

      Okay, nevermind. Listened to the rest of the podcast. JV goes number 1 this year over Randle, Wiggins, Embid, Exum, Parker, etc?! This is the draft of the decade, and you think JV would go number 1? Bahahahahaha. I mean, people feel free to hate on me, downvote, whatever – but has the world gone insane? I mean, not to mention you saying he gets drafted over Drummond and Lillard… especially Drummond. Are you just trolling? I have to ask. I mean, this is just getting out of control. Again, to be clear, JV good player, can become great. Not a number 1 pick this year, or a player you pick over Drummond, in hindsight. Just stop. No.

      • stretch bigman

        No downvotes. You are speaking the truth.

  • Greg Mason

    Whew, lively discussion this week. I’ll just throw in my two cents about Jonas. I think he will be a very good player in time. My main concern is that I don’t want to see his career go the way of Andris Biedrins. Confidence is a huge factor in sports. In terms of the playing time issue. Yes, this is a grown man’s league where it comes down to putting up or shutting up. No one is getting paid millions of dollars to be coddled. But at the same time the Raptors aren’t at a point in their development yet where it’s win at all costs, player development be damned. Jonas was put on blast after the Washington game. But truth be told the entire front court was owned in that game (gave up 80 points in the paint – Jonas only played 29 of the 63 minutes). In situations where EVERYONE is getting torched in the paint, why not give Jonas more of an opportunity to work out the kinks and play meaningful minutes?

  • mountio

    Just got the conversation about where does Jonas get drafted this year, you guys are batshit crazy. There is no way in hell that any GM takes JV over Wiggins or Embid or anyone in the top 5 (Randle, Parker, Exum). The fact that the other guys are younger / less proven is precisely the reason why they would go ahead of JV. JV’s lack of development cap his upside more than anything .. I think he gets drafted somewhere between 6-8ish

  • Paul

    What about Kwame Brown to clean the D boards? He’s a solid defender. He has hands of stone, but not any worse than Chucky. Plus he’s a legit 7ft.

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