The Bright Side
You may remember me as the skeptical driver of the Fire Colangelo bandwagon during the pre-season. I suffered injuries to my arms that left me unable to operate a computer for the entire winter. Sadly, that prevented me from dishing out the "told you so's" to all the homers that were talking playoffs this year. My recovery is nearly complete and I look forward to a summer of commiseration with my raptor fan brethren.
For my return post, I wanted to focus on some of the positives from a season that saw us (predictably) miss the postseason for a 5th straigh year, commit over 50% of our cap for the next two seasons to Demar, Landy and Rudy (only to provide heavy wing minutes to Alan Anderson), publicly distance ourselves from our (first overall pick!!) face of the franchise, trade for a dude that couldn't even get into the freakin country, and trade our lottery pick for a perpetual headache. On to the bright side...
This guys is a gamer. Plays at 100%, is coachable, rolls to the hoop like a freight train, provides solid work on the D glass. It's over-the-top to think he's going to become all-nba or something like that, but we've got ourselves a player here. And a salary cap bargain for years to come.
Lowe's Grantland piece on what the team is doing with this technology was BY FAR to most exciting moment of the raptors season. The info Lowe presented about what's going on behind the scenes gave me new hope that A) we may be able to maximize the talent of players like Rudy, Jonas, and Ross; B) maybe MLSE has their shit together more than it appears publicly; C) our front office and coaching staff have a positive working relationship and; D) we're using state of the art techniques to improve on-court production. Encouraging stuff.
TRoss' signature dunk is really something to behold. Gotta love it. Dunk champ, baby!
The emergance of Amir Johnson
Instincts of a great rebounder, superior roller, team-first attitude, size & athleticism, strong work ethic, willingness to learn, developing leadership qualities, quality big-to-big passing game. There was a lot to like about what Amir brought to the team this year.
Baffoonery from the Raps TV crew
Jack doing a game with a voice so hoarse that I called in sick for work the next day out of sympathy (made especially great knowing that he likely lost his voice pounding MGD and hollering at Memphis strippers). Whitest man in basketball Matt Devlin getting into a real hip-hop beef. Leo & Rod Black for some reason doing the intro on site in Miami (Leo must have at least 2 trips to hot weather in his contact), Clara Hughes talking all of us suicidal fans off the ledge. I love this game!
Demar's developing jumper
He's getting better. Quite a bit better. Now, the long 2 is perhaps the most inefficient shot in the game and this is what Demar has added to this toolkit. But he can use it to suck in the D before driving or dishing. And he's only 1 step away from extending his range beyond the arc, and then we should get real value out of his increased shooting prowess.
Kyle Lowry 28-footers with 18 on the shot clock
OK not everything can be great.
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I completely disagree on this point, seeing that get out to the media, and voluntarily, reeks of desperation by the management to make people believe that all their choices aren't backfiring because they're stupid but are due to an ingenius formula that will work out in the end. It's pathetic, it's bush league and there's a reason it was the Raptors being featured and not the Rockets or the Mavs.
What you consider a bright spot I felt was one of the lowest points for this franchise.
I think your point that management liked looking good in the media has merit, but I also think your stance is far, far too cynical.
I don't believe there was anything in Lowe's piece that would give our opponents an advantage in a game situation. I think it's likely that other teams working with SportsVu already understand what can be done with the data. I don't believe other front offices read Lowe's article and saw something they didn't already know was available.
I think that your disappointment with the season and disillusion with the management team is fueling an overly cynical analysis of what happened. It's just as likely that Lowe did the piece with the Raptors because he's got personal connections with the analytics or management team, or that the folks at SportsVu made a big push because they wanted the marketing. The hyperbole of "lowest points for this franchise" suggests to me that your are pre-disposed cynical analysis of the situation.
Again, not saying youre 100% off base. Your point is a valid part of this discussion. But I disagree with the cynicism you present. Morey chairs the worlds biggest sports analytics conference and doesn't get called pathetic or bush league. I think it was really cool that the Raps got the feature here. It was awesome to read about the behind the scenes efforts of my favourite team, and I don't think we gave away any trade secrets or doomed our future prospects.
Daryl Morey runs that because he's one of the pioneers of using such data in the NBA, he doesn't literally open up his book and let the biggest sports news organization in North America put up for the world to see.
It's just a very characteristic move by a consistently low class organization.
In the last year I've seen multiple interviews by their "math wiz" running around the internet ready to answer questions about (bad) drafts picks and reasons for (bad) contract extensions, culminating with that report. They might as well have put up a billboard at Dundas Square saying "HEY GUYS WE USE MATH AND NUMBERS AND STUFF TOO NOW, IT'S NOT JUST FOR THE SMART TEAMS!"
It reeks of PR move, not of a team trying to push forward using innovations after missing the bus on it 5 years ago.
Yeah, I don't agree the Raptors gave anything away with the Grantland piece.
If they included the algo's then, yeah, but just showing how they use it is not anything any team in the league wouldn't already be aware of if they were interested in pursuing that form of analysis or scouting.