Eric Koreen: I think Tim mostly has it right. I would call it a small step back because I find the roster to be totally incongruent with Dwane Casey's coaching philosophy. DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross would all benefit from running often. Casey has trouble accepting the at-times poor shot selection and decision making that comes with it. And if you think Andrea Bargnani - even the healthy and productive version - would fit into a fast-paced offence, you are being willfully blind. Right now, the roster says one thing and the coach says the opposite. Despite a modest improvement in winning percentage, that is a near-disaster, organizationally. Last year, there seemed to be more of a cohesive vision
This team has many players who are good finishers... Including Lowry, who is frankly, quite average at creating in transition and opts for plenty of bad shots. This team does not have the kind of dynamic end to end players you need to successfully play a lot of uptempo offense. None of the wings are an Iguodala, or Batum, or whoever....Again, we have good finishers, but our PG isn't good enough to run that kind of system, especially without the kind of wing player who's good at initiating the break. We'd either need a PG like Lawson or Wall who can force that tempo, or a wing who can take on some of the duties.
And he has made some incredible, spot on passes to breaking players. You could particularly see this during the last dozen games of the season. Koreen identified the lack of running wings as the problem. It is definitely not on Lowry. I think we see and much better Lowry next season, after coach and assistants spend two months reviewing tape and finding out the real reasons the team didn't perform better.
I definitely agree there is an issue with the wings, and I mentioned that as well. Our wings are pretty inept at running the break and basically need to be spoonfed a clear path to the basket. Fields is probably the best at keeping his head up looking for a pass...and he barely played.
I also think the final season sample size really has to be taken with a grain of salt. Teams were not playing very hard against Toronto. It's easy to run on teams that are taking the night off.
It's 3 am and I'm about to pass out...I'm not sure how coherent any of this was.
Make sure you click for the discussion. Here are the talking points:
RHQ: Regardless of who's running the show for the Raptors next year, what would you say the team's biggest needs are going into the off-season?
RHQ: A lot of consensus on the team needs, and a few that could potentially have been taken care of had we seen the magical "13 Game Andrea" reappear this past season. To none of our surprise though, we did not, and therefore moving onto the lightening round here, does Andrea get dealt this off-season and if so, do the Raptors get anything of value back personnel-wise?
RHQ: From Bargs we move onto Rudy Gay. Operating under the assumption that Colangelo is back next season, does Gay get the hefty contract extension this off-season that had been rumoured?
RHQ: Some final fun ones. Any shot of the Raptors landing in the top three of the upcoming lottery and keeping their pick?
What about Phil Jackson? Anyone think he'll make up some part of the Raptors' front office when the 2013-14 campaign kicks off?
RHQ: One final question: The season that was. If you could describe it with one song, or one album, any genre, any era, what would you pick?
1. Biggest needs: back up PG, third big, 3 point shooting. I'm not sure this is even debatable if you've watched a full Raptor game since the Gay trade.
2. I'm not sure if it is hope driving my desire for Bargnani to be gone or reality but I cannot see him back under any circumstances. I think he can bring something of value back or at the very least a more useless contract with one less season i.e. an expiring (Richard Jefferson).
3. A Gay extension makes no sense for Gay or the Raptors. Gay cannot be extended at a salary starting less than his last year on contract ($19.2M) so that would be beyond stupid for Toronto. If you were Rudy Gay would you rather try to get your last big money contract at 28 or 30? I would think 28 so extending two seasons now - which is the most the Raptors could offer - makes no sense. Any extension talk is ridiculous in my opinion. The only thing that would make sense in terms of any contract talk with Rudy would be if he waived his player option that way the Raptors can make moves knowing he would remain if they wanted to keep him or offer assurances to any team who might like to trade for him (similar to what Howard and CP3 did).
4. Of course the Raptors have a shot at keeping their pick - although it is extremely unlikely. Hopefully the debt is paid this year. By the way lottery is Tuesday, May 21st.
5. I hope Phil Jackson is a part of the franchise when 2013-14 kicks off. I'm not sure why he wouldn't be interested from an organizational perspective. Ownership is desperate to win and is one of the wealthiest ownership groups in the league.
6. Album to describe this season: "Nevermind"
1. Agree with what's been posted already. I don't think it's a secret that the Raptors need a backup PG upgrade, another tough big man in the rotation and some outside shooting. Ideally, these holes are filled while addressing some of the logjams at the wing position.
2. I can't see the Raptors moving Bargnani for anything of "value". I think the best case scenario would be moving him for a similarly disappointing player that has a shorter term left on his contract; Ben Gordon in Charlotte or something like that. I think the amnesty clause should be fully in play for Bargs this summer.
3. No, the conversation of extending Gay should not begin until the summer of 2015 when his current contract expires. Preserve the flexibility of the franchise for as long as you can. This is something that Colangelo has done a terrible job of during his time in Toronto.
4. Yes, obviously there's some chance of it happening or the question wouldn't have been asked in the first place. It is a very small chance though, and at this point I think it'd probably be better to just get that trade out of the way and move forward given the reported quality of the upcoming draft.
5. I have said all along that I do not think Jackson is coming here and nothing I've read since has made me change my stance at all. The entire story about him coming here stemmed from a very loose connection with Leiweke and the speculation has just grown from there.
6. "It's the same old song" - Four Tops
Song: "Oops, I did it again"
Some pretty good posts in this thread so far. Thanks, fellas.
This season was a giant leap.. sideways. BC threw the "baby steps" approach out the window, used up all our flexibility and upgraded the team. Except the upgrade was so marginal that we are now looking at an extended run as 7-11 seeds.
Of course the wins were fools gold; we're not going to be an elite team any time soon. But that doesn't preclude us making the playoffs with a similar roster next year.
I'm still riding the DC bandwagon. I posted my thoughts in the "Head Coach" thread.
Biggest need: Tough to argue the 3 shooting, back up PG and back up big suggestions, but I'll go a slightly different direction. Our biggest team need is cohesiveness & chemistry. I think Rudy, Landy, and Demar, although sub-par 3 shooters now, could take steps forward if they were getting good looks, in the rhythm of the offense and stepping into them with confidence (like the long 2s we saw Demar hit this year). It's a matter of trusting each other, making the right decisions instantaneously, and playing together long enough to know where to expect a player to be. It's about the coaching staff building these guys up to that level.
Andrea: Also posted my thoughts in another thread. I cant see us getting much back. I continue to think the Hayes/Jimmer deal is the best realistic idea out there. I'm starting to resign to the fact that he's nearly immovable and will be back next year.
Rudy: Extension? Hefty? Let's get a few wins first. Wouldn't it be better to clean the cupboards, miss the playoffs for another 3-5 years, get a few top 5 picks and the move forward?
Shot of keeping pick: What a silly question. A bit a research would provide an exact percentage figure.
Jackson: Does anyting about our team strike you as "zen" or suggest our guys could handle the triangle?
Album: Ready to Die (shoutout to BC!)
1. The biggest need, for me at least, is an elite, young, dynamic perimeter player to pair with Jonas. Granted, I have no idea how they get that guy. Yeah, they need 3-pt shooting, a backup PG and another big to run with Amir/JV but those are all ancillary pieces that won't make a big difference.
2. Addition by subtraction. But, with Colangelo at the helm, the politics and optics of amnestying Bargs can't be overlooked, along with the financial implications. I still think he gets traded for..... someone. Every contract in the NBA can be moved.
3. Extending Gay right now is so absolutely insane that it doesn't even merit discussion. After what is going to happen the next couple years, I imagine he will come at a big discount to his current contract anyway.
4. Who cares.
5. It seems unlikely. If he does, I can see him taking on an informal role as a Wayne Embry type guy in the short term. If he likes what he sees, then maybe for 2014 he takes a more formal role.
6. "Road to Nowhere" - Talking Heads. "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" - The Smiths. Really, just any Morrissey song/album works for pretty much any Raptors season. (Man, I dated myself there....)
I wouldnt be surprised if Raps sign Ed Davis back really wouldn't I know its the playoffs but Grizzlies arent playing him at all. It was all to release Gay Davis isnt in their future plans at all.
JV/Ed/Amir ...seriously cause it did work pretty impressively throughout the season, it was Bargnani being there that F'd it up. Acy goes back to being 4th string If Raps sign Carl Landry he can play the stretch 4 and be pretty much Amir 2.0.