Toronto Raptors lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder 119-118

Taking an objective look at John Salmons, and assessing his role on this team.

The game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was the tipping point.

Before that game, to most fans, John Salmons was just another husky veteran that stood as an impediment to the prospects before him. When he took to the court, a collective groan was audible throughout the arena. As he left, no cheers of appreciation were heard.

But Kevin Durant changed the whole dynamic with one fell swoop.

The fan base has completely turned against Salmons since the Raptors’ improbable overtime loss to the Thunder. Suddenly, our expressed annoyance with his play turned into scathing critiques of his character. On the night of the game, the top 7 comments in the quick reaction, as ranked by upvotes, were all directed towards Salmons. Commentor lon66 summed up our sentiments rather aptly:

I had salmon in my fridge. I threw it out.

Adhering to no boundaries, the burning hatred for Salmons even torched the reputation of head coach Dwane Casey, who’s lineups and rotations have come under constant questioning, mostly on behalf of — you guessed it — Salmons. The only person to have benefited from the entire ordeal is Landry Fields, who fans suddenly bumped up from perennial pariah to unsung hero. The fact of life stands — fans will forever be fickle.

As fans, there is an uncontrollable urge to be reactionary, and hive-minded, but the collective hatred surrounding Salmons has lionized a legitimate debate that needs to be had — what role should Salmons play on this team?

First off, let’s throw out John Salmons’ boxscore numbers. In 21.8 minutes per game, Salmons is averaging 4.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists on 35.8% shooting from the field. If your gag reflex was activated upon glazing over his shooting percentage, don’t worry, the response was normal and warranted. Amongst all guards who have played more than 600 minutes this season, Salmons ranks second last in FG%. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Raptors offensive efficiency drops from 109.7 without Salmons, to 105.6 with Salmons, a difference of -4.1 points. In layman’s terms, that’s the difference between the Heat’s offense (109.5), and the Wolves’ offense (105.7).

Salmons’ aggregate numbers are a little deceiving, as his production seems to vary significantly with rest. In 8 games played with 3+ days of rest, Salmons is shooting 45.0% on 7.5 field goal attempts per game, including a sterling 52.4% from deep. Compare that to the 17 games he’s played on the second night of back-to-backs, where Salmons’ field-goal percentage dips to 23.8% overall, and 24.2% from deep.

shooting percentage

The effects of rest is also evident by the eye-test. At the tender age of 34, it’s Salmons’ legs are starting to fail him, which is having an obvious effect on his jumpshot. Without rest, Salmons gets very little lift on his jumpshot, especially when on pick-and-roll plays, where he likes to curl off a screen, step into the mid-range area, and shoot an elbow jumper.

first back

On the whole, Salmons’ offensive contributions are best evaluated through the lens of skills, rather than production. By in large, Salmons is capable of doing three things on offense. First, he’s able to function reasonably as a pick-and-roll ball-handler. As detailed above, his favorite move is to curl around a screen, and shoot the mid-range jumper, and the success of said jumper is dependent on rest. Second, Salmons is a capable ball-handler, and plays a secondary distributor role in the second unit to compliment Greivis Vasquez. Third, Salmons can knock down open three-pointers.

The same skill-evaluation approach can be applied to measure his defensive contributions, from which Salmons’ derives the bulk of his value. Salmons is a smart defender who understands his place in defensive schemes, and is able to use his wit to overcome his physical limitations.  Standing at 6’6, 216 lbs, Salmons is big enough to guard bulkier wings, and is tall enough to risk going under screens on smaller, quicker players.

He’s nobody’s Andre Igoudala on defense, but he does a reasonable job containing opposing wing players. According to Synergy Stats, Salmons has faced 100 pick-and-roll situations this year wherein the ball-handler has elected to shoot, and has conceded a mere 0.58 points per play which ranks 8th in the NBA this season. Granted, the sample size is quite limited, but Salmons has a history of being a smart pick-and-roll defender, ranking 18th, and 85th in points allowed per play in previous seasons. On aggregate, Salmons’ net effect on the Raptors’ defensive rating is +3.0.

Just as a refresher, Salmons is a negative on offense, and a positive on defense. He is able to shoot from deep, run a pick-and-roll and reasonably handle the ball, but his performance is significantly impacted by rest. Defensively, Salmons understand defensive positioning and has done a good job shutting down the pick-and-roll.

Currently, Salmons employs the unenviable role as the first wing off the bench. Typically, he subs in for DeRozan midway through the first quarter. He often shares the court as the secondary playmaker in the second unit. By minutes played, Salmons has logged nearly 57 minutes alongside DeRozan, Hansbrough, Patterson and Vasquez, which qualifies as his second-most utilized Raptors lineup this season.

Although he’s softened on his insistence of late, Dwane Casey also likes to play Salmons to close out games, which has sparked the majority of the ire surrounding his lineup construction. Salmons has shared the floor with DeRozan, Johnson, Lowry and Valanciunas for a whooping 98 minutes this season. That lineup has been largely ineffective, clocking in at -5.6 points per 100 possessions.

But the more pertinent question isn’t that of Salmons’ abilities — of which we know to be limited — but rather, who would fare better in his stead?

Between small-forward and shooting guard, the Raptors have a vacancy of 96 minutes to fill. DeRozan and Ross are already working overtime, clocking in at 38.4 and 26.3 minutes respectively, although it could be argued that Ross’ minutes could stand to be increased. Regardless, even if Ross played 30 minutes per game, the Raptors would still need to fill 28 minutes along the perimeter.

fields

Unfortunately, the Raptors realistically have nothing but cannon fodder to fill the void. Aside from Salmons, the options at small forward are Steve Novak, Landry Fields and Nando de Colo.

Dwane Casey only plays Novak at the four to open up spacing on the inside. In 507 minutes played this season, Novak has only logged 10 minutes at SF. While Novak could certainly stand to play more on the perimeter, the fact of the matter is that the Raptors face significant issues with spacing when they play two legitimate bigs (outside of Patterson), and the breathing room Novak provides is more valuable than any minutes he could mop up on the wing. Also, Novak is only an upgrade in one area (floor spacing), and would struggle to replicate the role Salmons plays.

Nando de Colo provides an interesting alternative to Salmons with his combination of ball-handling and shooting. At the age of 26, de Colo is younger and more mobile, but he also makes extremely questionable decisions on offense, as evidenced by his whopping 24.4 turnover percentage. In other terms, he turns it over once in every four possessions. There is a reason why people call him Nando de YOLO.

The most intriguing replacement for Salmons is Landry Fields, who is able to replicate every one of Salmons’ skills aside from perimeter shooting. Fields has decent size, quickness and awareness on defense, and he’s also able to handle the ball. He can’t shoot from outside the paint, which is a big issue as a wing player, but he’s able to make up for it by being a smart cutter. As a result, his true-shooting percentage this season is within 0.6 percentage points of Salmons’.

Ultimately, this exercise is moot, as there is no magic bullet solution. Every candidate has their fair share of warts, and Salmons might actually be the least homely of the bunch. One way or another, Dwane Casey needs to plug up roughly 30 minutes a night with little more than sop. Casey could platoon Fields and Salmons on back-to-backs in order to maximize Salmons’ effectiveness, but our longing for Fields is a product of absence, rather than merit.

So in short, Salmons isn’t as bad as we think he is, but he’s still pretty bad, only his replacements are equally as inept. We’re basically stuck between a rock and a hard place for the time being, so it’s best if we just get comfortable. Also I’m not good at writing conclusions.

Statistical support from NBA stats, ESPN and Basketball Reference

60 Responses to “Swimming Upstream on the John Salmons Issue”

  1. Lyall

    Nice conclusion! There’s also this long forgotten phrase called, I think, “The End” or somehting like that…

    Reply
      • Junior Qamar

        1 thing I didnt like with fields was the surprise nerve surgery as soon as he signs a big contract with toronto. But you cant blame the guy I probably would of done the samething. We got the short end of the stick. But I do feel he is syill very talented and may get his shot back. To that I say #FREELANDRY

        Reply
  2. Guest

    But here’s the thing, Salmons will not be back next year, Landry very well could be. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial, all other things being close to equal, to play the guy who will actually be on the team in the year and get the chemistry going?

    Reply
    • MoPeteRules

      Good article showcasing Salmon’s lackluster offense (particularly when those legs are not well-rested), but this comment above hit the nail right on the head. . The anecdotal arguments of Salmons being a more productive offensive player than Landry Fields continued, but clearly the numbers have not highlighted that whatsoever. And the Raptors have a team option to pick up Salmons and his $7m contract next year, whereas Landry is on the books for a guaranteed $8.5m. And he has shown that he can be a valuable contributor in more ways than just scoring points when he’s on the floor. So it just makes too much sense for him not to be on the floor instead, which is why the whole #freelandry movement started.

      Reply
      • Raptor Jesus

        I agree on the face of it playing the future has longer tails. Except the very real possibility that despite Salmon’s short comings his efforts net more wins, more meaningful games. Then the argument isn’t that the team plays a more useful piece long term. Instead its about the remainder of the team gaining valuable minutes in more meaningful games this saeson. Landry’s loss of minutes now is everyone else’s gains.

        Basically for the above reasons or those unbeknownst Casey feels that Salmon’s impact is greater overall than Landry’s.

        Reply
  3. joel

    I really think that Fields has more size and athleticism. Should be play over Salmons, that is debatable. I think it is clear that on back to backs, Salmons should get DNP rest and simply give his minutes to De Colo and fields. I want the division title. We just need to stay ahead of Brooklyn, and fourth is not the end of the world. I’d take my chances with Chicago or Brooklyn, but we all know washionton is the best matchup. Then a matchup up with the pacers. Might take them to seven if all went well.

    Reply
  4. morgan c

    … only Salmons can’t hit open threes anymore. In his prime? Sure. But the last 10 games, he’s been a 28% three point shooter per synergy sports

    Reply
      • DanH

        How about the last 26 games? 37 attempted 3’s, hit 8 of them. That’s less than one made 3 for every 3 games played. How much can he really be spreading the floor?

        Reply
        • DDayLewis

          I like how you played the arbitrary endpoints game and conveniently left out the 27th game, where he went 3 for 5 from deep.

          Look, perhaps the point wasn’t clear in the article, which is my fault, but my point isn’t that Salmons is very good. He isn’t. Somehow I’ve been roped into defending him in the comments, which is a very strange position to uphold.

          Defenses will at least closeout on Salmons, and not leave him wide open, as compared to Fields. It’s like the difference between how defenses cover Rondo and Jeff Teague, with respect to the space they concede.

          Reply
          • DanH

            OK let’s add in your 3 for 5 game. That’s 11 of 42 in 27 games. 11 hit threes in 27 games. Quite the threat. In the meantime, as you stated in your article, he absolutely KILLS the offense while on the court, so obviously his “court spacing” has zero value whatsoever. I can’t understand how there is even an argument for playing him ever again.

            Reply
            • DDayLewis

              Man, nobody is saying he’s Steve Novak from deep. He is able to hit a jumpshot (albeit not well), so defense account for him. They don’t account for Fields shooting from outside.

              Also, you can’t conclude that his court spacing has zero value based off just one number alone. Plus minus is a very murky stat with a lot of variables. Once again, I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m just not willing to conclude as strongly as you.

              Salmons, at worst, seems to be a plus defensively.

              Reply
              • DanH

                Able to hit a jumpshot = threat that defenses need to respect now? How did you feel about DD’s 3 point shooting in 2011-12? Was he the sort of 3 point shooter that could space defenses? He hit 24 3’s in 63 games on .261 3pt%. That’s almost identical to the last two months of Salmons (27 games previously mentioned, .262 3pt%). Please try to recall how much faith you had in DD as a floor spacer in those years.

                I can certainly conclude that. His on-court ORTG is the 3rd worst on the team (only Hansbrough and Stone are worse, and Stone clearly shouldn’t count). Meanwhile, if you’re going to say that Salmons is getting dragged down offensively by playing with bench units, how do you explain him having the worst DRTG of the top 5 bench players? Maybe he’s not the defensive impact player you think. In terms of overall impact (Net RTG) he ranks only ahead of players who haven’t played enough to have a good sample size, or played a lot of their minutes in the Rudy Gay regime (Fields, de Colo, Stone, Buycks). Literally the worst net rating of any of the players who play on this team.

                Reply
                • DDayLewis

                  Floor spacing is a measurement of the defense’s response. Even now, DeRozan isn’t a good outside shooter, but teams always close out on him. To a lesser extent, defenses close out on Salmons and don’t step as far away from him in help position, as they do with Fields.

                  Great. So ignore the fact that Salmons’ +/- +3.0 in defensive rating, and he’s done a really solid job shutting down the pick and roll (0.58 ppp, 8th in NBA).

                • DanH

                  Salmons is a net +3, but what are the rest of the bench? Bigger net pluses. You yourself are the one who wanted to bring in the qualifying factor of what lineups he plays in to suggest his offense is not as bad as it seemed. Why then not apply the logic to defense. And as lovely as his PnR defense is, his iso and spot up defense (his two next most used plays, and adding up to significantly more plays than PnR alone) are terrible, close to 200th overall. Meanwhile, Fields doesn’t get a rank because of small sample size, but in his limited time this year, statistically he’s been a much BETTER defender of the PnR than Salmons. All of that of course being individual defensive stats, which are mostly useless.

                  Teams close out on DD now (since he hits 40% from the corners, plus is an all-star, so closing out is pretty standard). Did they two years ago? There were countless arguments over whether DD and Gay could coexist, because as recently as last season (3pt% of about 28%) neither player was a good enough shooter (Gay more recently, rather than for his career) to coexist, as there wouldn’t be enough floor spacing.

  5. jjdynomite

    Or maybe, just maybe, let Ross play through some mistakes. He has “young legs”, to say the least, and can do pretty much EVERYTHING better than The Fish. So why is he averaging 26.3 MPG on the season (28.1 MPG in March). Inefficient second year SGs like Beal gets 34.5 MPG (.407 FG%) and Waiters gets 29.4 MPG (.427 FG%). T-Ross is shooting .426 FG% and can impact the game defensively. Casey’s reliance on VETERAN SCRUBS like Salmons and Hayes are a bad joke. At least in Dallas the vets were studs (Dirk, Kidd, Terry), the Raptors it’s the opposite. Oh yeah, Casey didn’t call the rotation in Dallas.

    Reply
    • DDayLewis

      You must have missed part about the accounting of minutes:

      Between small-forward and shooting guard, the Raptors have a vacancy of
      96 minutes to fill. DeRozan and Ross are already working overtime,
      clocking in at 38.4 and 26.3 minutes respectively, although it could be
      argued that Ross’ minutes could stand to be increased. Regardless, even
      if Ross played 30 minutes per game, the Raptors would still need to fill
      28 minutes along the perimeter.

      Reply
      • jjdynomite

        I read that clearly, Will. So you tell me, then, how is “working overtime” for Ross = only 26.3 MPG? He’s the teams sole 3&D threat. Fields does no 3. Novak does no D. Fish is negligible at either.

        All I did was provide a clearer picture that two comparable 2nd year SG/SFs get more minutes with more responsibility and equal-or-less efficiency. So why is Ross only at 26.3? Yet you call this “working overtime”…?!

        If Ross played, say, 34 MPG, then split 6/6/6/6 for Fields, Salmons, Novak and DeColo, for all I care. Why Salmons gets almost 22 MPG given his poor play and the fact that he won’t be on the team next season is ludicrous.

        Reply
        • DDayLewis

          Man, I literally said:

          although it could be argued that Ross’ minutes could stand to be increased. Regardless, even
          if Ross played 30 minutes per game, the Raptors would still need to fill 28 minutes along the perimeter.

          I’m not against playing Ross playing more minutes, but it’s not a solution to the problem. Neither is playing four guys at back-up wing either.

          Reply
          • jjdynomite

            Understood. I don’t think the problem will be solved this season. Obviously if the season did go south — and Dolan wasn’t such a dingbat — Masai would have traded Lowry to get a competent backup swingman or two (Shump and Hardaway), and have Vasquez take the reigns and then added DeColo to back him up. But here we are, with a 2013-2014 payroll up against the tax.

            This is pretty much BC’s craptacular roster construction trickled down. In order to rid the Raptors of Gay’s 2 years/$37 million of iso-ball, Masai had to take back 4 players — a promising gem in PP, an above average backup in Greivis, and sunk costs in Salmons and Hayes. At least Hayes can help grow JV into a defensive presence. Salmons can competently do, what? Monitor T-Ross’s sleep patterns (see: Alexey’s great post below)?
            The most important point is Salmons does not add wins to this year’s team, AND he’s not on next year’s team. So why not play Fields and Novak for precisely that reason — that they’re here to stay (unless traded)?

            /And give Ross more minutes.

            Reply
            • DDayLewis

              Salmons can reasonably do things on the basketball court when he gets enough rest, and sadly, he might be the best option the Raptors have at the back-up wing.

              Reply
              • DanH

                Yeah, but “enough rest” for Salmons is 2+ days of rest, which doesn’t exist in the playoffs, except maybe between rounds, maybe. So what is the point?

                Reply
                • DDayLewis

                  Again, replacing Salmons is a question of marginal difference. Is Fields a marginal upgrade? Clearly you think so. I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m just saying that with the information we have at hand, it isn’t entirely clear that he is, so I’m less bullish on the severity of my conclusion.

                • DanH

                  The real question is, is upgrading Ross to 34 MPG, and playing Fields for 14 MPG, a drastically better option than ever playing Salmons ever? And the answer is a resounding yes, in terms of chances to win a game, enjoyability watching the game, future prospects, asset management, every checkbox in the book.

                  Fields is not a marginal upgrade. He is a significant upgrade. Hence the bullishness. Your suggestion that the improvement would be marginal seems to imply you are ignoring all the data you yourself provided on just how terrible Salmons has been.

                • DDayLewis

                  It isn’t a simple issue of economics with the minute allocation. You also have to account for the role each player plays in those minutes, who they play with, etc etc.

                  If Ross were to take Salmons’ minutes, he would need to shoulder Salmons’ defensive and ball-handling duties. I fail to see how it’s a resounding yes that Ross can/is comfortable with taking on that role.

                  And let’s just chill out on the crystal clear conclusions. Fields has played 322 minutes this season, the majority of which have come in blowouts/throwaway situations. How you can be this bullish over a player who we’ve seen play 322 minutes this entire season is beyond me.

                  And for the last time, I’m not disagreeing with you. I laid out the argument for Fields over Salmons in the article itself. I’m just not nearly as willing to resoundingly conclude that he would perform better than Salmons.

                • DanH

                  Yeah, but you are disagreeing with me. I’m saying Salmons should never see the floor again and a Ross/Fields combo is a vast upgrade. You don’t seem to believe that’s the case.

                  Salmons was useful in a ball handling role when Vasquez was struggling earlier in the year. He is no longer useful in any way, partially due to Vasquez improving a great deal and the use of the 2-PG lineup increasing, and partially due to him playing like the worst basketball player of all time. That aside, you play Ross with Vasquez and Fields/DD/Lowry for those minutes so there’s one other more experienced ball handler on the floor. And frankly I’ve seen a lot of growth from Ross playing in the pick and roll, and giving him more opportunities for that is a good thing.

                  Consider this: I’ve seen Fields play several years in the league. His shooting is bad, but everything else he does doesn’t disappear from his game because of an elbow injury. I’ve also seen Salmons play plenty and heard plenty from SAC fans around the trade. Everything I heard suggested that Salmons would impress for a few months then SUCK FOREVER. Because apparently that’s his modus operandi with new teams. So I can see no reason to leave Salmons in the lineup. No matter who the replacement is. And I have plenty of evidence beyond this year’s 322 minutes that Fields is a vast upgrade over Salmons. So pardon me if I’m crystal clear in my conclusions.

                • DDayLewis

                  Are you trying to get me to argue with you? Because I’ve started repeatedly that I don’t disagree with your claims. I’m not interested in going 15 rounds with you on this Salmons thing.

                  If you’ve looked at the evidence, and your conclusion is that Fields/Ross taking all of Salmons’ minutes is a home run, then congrats. However, based on what we can observe, and what is in the boxscore, I’m not willing to call it a home run, especially when Fields has only played sparingly this season. We’re not in disagreeance.

                • DanH

                  Fair enough. I just find it funny that you repeatedly a) claim that you don’t disagree with my claims (ie that it’s a homerun) and then b) disagree with my claims (that it’s a homerun). Not trying to argue, just seemed like there was discussion to be had since you seemed to have an opposing viewpoint.

  6. A G

    Salmons doesn’t have to be glued to the bench, he just shouldn’t be getting so many minutes.

    Reply
    • Saskatoon Raps Fan

      Ya, id just give 4-6 of his mins a game to Ross an leave everything else as is

      Reply
  7. Schuyler Leenhouts

    A guy that averaged numbers like he did in his prime cannot come into an important game, turn the ball over and blow 2 free throws. Honestly I don’t mind his game but I also expect veteran players to step up and make those shots.

    Reply
    • DDayLewis

      We gotta get over those free throws. Yeah it sucks that he missed them, but it’s not a blight against his abilities. Missed free-throws happen. It doesn’t say anything about his “veteran creds” (of which we place way too much stock into).

      Reply
  8. Alexey Ots

    hey guys, idk if you all saw the Strombo show last night on CBC with GM Masai Ujiri, but I was in the audience taping and there was some stuff that didn’t make the 15 minute interview. The interview was over a half an hour long. Some very interesting things:

    1) He retold the Lowry story about sitting down with him at the beginning of the season and challenging him to change the stigma of his reputation.

    2) He said had a chat with Terrence Ross on Sunday March 23rd, about his sleeping habits, that he needs to get more rest.

    3) He retold a story about meeting Nelson Mandela in Africa with Dikembe Mutombo, DeSagna Diop, and a couple of other younger players. Dikembe yelled at the younger players for not dressing better (they were in sweats) and told them to go back up into their hotel rooms and dress proper to meet Mr. Mandela.

    4) George asked Ujiri about Phil Jackson’s impact coming to the Knicks and he said “He said he didn’t care, and that it wasn’t a factor to him” Then he just plainly stated and I quote “I HATE THE KNICKS!” – M. Ujiiri

    5) I was in the crowd yelling “Raptors” loudly a couple of times during the applause and at one point, I yelled “RESIGN LOWRY” and GM Ujiri was looking straight at me. He had a deer in headlights type look, but then kinda smiled.

    6) Talked to George afterward and asked him about asking him about resigning Lowry, He said he couldn’t ask that and that he wanted to ask him and also about Amir’s knee instead, but didn’t also.

    7) Masai repeatedly made it known throughout the interview, that Toronto is his home that he loves it here and that he is fully committed to making the Raptors a top team over time. That he really doesn’t leave town in the summer, and his phone is always on for work purposes 24/7.

    8) He credited BC for bringing him into the Raptors and making the draft picks of DD, Big V, and getting Amir. He says that the Raptors fans should give Colangelo more credit.

    9) He thinks its crap that people perceive Toronto as a place players don’t wanna play at. He says look at the top teams in the east, Miami is nice sure, but he personally hates the city, and how anyone thinks its warmer or better in Indiana or Chicago is beyond him. Toronto is the best in his opinion.

    10) When he walked out by me, I bowed to him and personally thanked him for fixing the Raptors. Just a very awesome person, who I am glad is the GM of my favorite sports team.

    I was disappointed that they edited the interview so much to only about 10 minutes. George S. did a great job and he truly is a huge raps fan. If you watch the episode, I am the guy in the old school purple raptors JYD jersey at the end waving the jersey for a split second as they zoom into the person holding the placard at the end.

    Reply
    • Alexey Ots

      sorry to repost, just wanted to make sure the true raps fans saw this info.

      Reply
        • jakdripr

          But that doesn’t explain why he hates them, in fact I’d love the Knicks if I was him. I’d give them dibs on every transaction I made.

          Reply
          • Alexey Ots

            I think it may be that he hates all the eastern teams other than the raptors. I got that impression that he is that die hard. sure he has a soft spot for denver probably, and maybe orlando a little bit, but I get the feeling its his competitive spirit.

            Reply
            • Alexey Ots

              Its an old school Larry Bird/Charles Barkley, kind of attitude, hate everyone else, that the chummy cliquish superstars of today have forgotten.

              Reply
            • jakdripr

              Oh okay, so it’s not that he hates the knicks especially, just everyone that isn’t the raptors. Cool, I can respect that.

              Reply
          • jjdynomite

            You do realize Gallo has missed the entire season and WChandler for half of it, right, Gary? And Mozgov is a decent big body/backup C… and Denver is getting the Knick’s first rounder this season? But ya, the Knicks won the trade… with a terrible record, no 2014 pick and Anthony potentially out the door.

            Reply
            • Gary Gill

              Yeah Anthony is having a great season. Movgov is a garden variety centre. Look at Denver now! Mu sure did helluva job there! Atleast the Knicks might make playoffs.

              Reply
  9. Saskatoon Raps Fan

    I’m ok with salmons playing, but I’d rather give Ross 30-32 mins a game and limit salmons mins, that could also fix the tired legs issue

    Reply
  10. bobmasa

    Let’s be realistic John Salmon his bringing nothing to the Raptors we dont know why Dwen Casey loves him I believe if you put him on the market now no team wiĺl want him, LandryField and De Colo should be given those minites, many of us hate Duwen Casey becouse if John Salmon.

    Reply
  11. Will

    I really don’t feel like the recent love for Fields is a result of our hate for Salmons. It’s just that we never got to see Fields since he came back from injury and Salmons was passable until the last month or so. When he got the surprise start against Golden State, he showed that he can play and he backed it up with that game against Orlando. Even without a shot, he’s better than Salmons. On the second unit, we’ve already got Vasquez and Patterson spacing the floor. Fields can help with the rebounding, cutting without the ball, and penetration when he does have the ball. Also, like someone else said before, Fields still has a contract next year and Salmons will be gone. Even if they were the same, wouldn’t you want to play the guy that’s going to be around? If we’re lucky, Fields actually gets his shot back and maybe we can trade his big expiring contract next year.

    Reply
  12. asifyouknow

    I honestly don’t get some of you folks!
    Toronto has the best record on the east since the trade, LET ME JUST SAY THAT AGAIN!
    Toronto has the best record in the east since they got Vazquez, Salmons, Hayes and Patterson, they all have contributed, some more than others, some have their moments in the sun and fade and then comeback again! and again and again!
    No matter how you spin it the team was loosing with the other guys and made a 360 degree change with the Sacramento boys, but I guess now that you all are big time fans to a big time team those guys are now bums.
    Incredible my friends, incredible!
    The good thing is that most of them will be gone next year so you don’t have to put up with those bums much longer…lol

    Reply
    • JCPW

      So agree with you! People on RR have short term memory. It’s pretty sad though

      Reply
      • asifyouknow

        Thank you it does amaze me.how all of the sudden if your not MJ your a bum ….Vasquez always says that the team most remain humble ..obviously some fans dont…just saying…lol

        Reply
  13. andre

    Salmons worth is in scaffolding other players. I have no doubt that a lot of the players have learnt something from a 12 year vet. This is an interesting subject but I feel like Raptors fans are too high strung. Just a couple a months a go this was an ugly team, and now they are on the cusp on great things. This year has been an experiment, and so is this Salmons thing. He’s going to get waived after this year, and I feel people will see his worth come playoff time.

    Reply
  14. Derek

    The book on Salmons at the time of the trade was that historically, he usually plays great for the first month (approx) after he’s traded, then goes downhill from there. That’s pretty much exactly what we’ve seen from Salmons since he joined the Raps. Looked better than expected at first, but has steadily gone downhill. You talk about his perimeter shooting, but in recent months he’s regressed in that regard, taking very few 3’s, and missing most of them. And typically if he’s shooting a 3, he’s wide open.

    I see no reason why they shouldn’t be giving Landry Fields the lion’s share of his minutes. In the few small chances Fields has had of late, he’s played well – better than expected, and better than Salmons. Salmons DOES seem better when he has a few days rest, so why not give more minutes to Fields, and only play Salmons every 2-3 days (unless dictated by fouls/injuries). I think Fields plays as good or better defense and is certainly more aggressive than Salmons defensively. He moves much better without the ball, and makes great cuts to the basket (which Salmons typically never does).

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  15. sg60

    As usual the over-reaction is over the top. Salmons is a useful player off the bench in fairly limited doses. He can shoot from mid-range and long range and he’s a reasonably good defender. But he’s also not all that consistent game to game and his age shows sometimes. At this point I think he still should be the first wing option off the bench but I also think Fields needs to get a lot more minutes. He’s a smart player who can defend and knows how to move without the ball. He also has pretty good length for a wing and he can rebound. His weakness is shooting but he can still play a role and should at least be given the opportunity to see what he can offer. Let’s face it, in the playoffs we are going to need both of these guys so we better find out now what they can do.

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