If a SG is to be labelled as part of our "core" going forward (who isn't a lights-out scorer), I would ideally like someone who contributes more across the board. Otherwise, I see DeRozan as an expendable piece.
TRoss, Ed Davis and JV should be gettnig major minutes. It doesnt mean we shouldnt hold them accountable when they arent working hard or playing well .. but it does mean we should be giving them every opportunity to succeed (or fail as the case may be).
Casey's old school "vets" mentaility is garbage. Its totally fine if you are coaching the Knicks this year or Dallas when he was there .. but makes absolutely no sense for the raps.
He's been contributing pretty damn well across the board this season. I don't think picking one-by-one their weaknesses would make any player look appealing... You can basically do it to every, single player on this roster. Key things for Derozan this season has been consistency, improving daily, aggressive, and he sure as hell hasn't been one-dimensional all season.
I like his rebounding (so far), and his passing out of traffic, but he's still nowhere near an elite shooting guard. Is he a better ball-handler than Dominc McGuire? I can't say with certainty. How far does DeRozan's game need to develop before he reaches Joe Johnson's level of polish? His jumper (outside of 16 feet) isn't just bad, it's awful. His man defense still leaves a lot to be desired.
He's a decent piece, but not someone I feel like we need to "build" around. Consistency is great, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all.
As for picking apart the rest of the roster, you're right....this roster is a very weak one. Very few players are worthy of building around. Lowry and Jonas maybe, but that's it.
Look at his strengths this season though. Rebounding, passing out of traffic (which in the above you've mentioned), disrupting passing lanes, his post-up game has passed the eye test of 'elite' in my opinion, his aggressiveness and mentality to get to the basket has been impressive - call, or no call - and he's become a smarter, more informed player of the game. He's slowing down, and starting to read the situation, and the way the defenses are playing him. From last year to this year, he's become a much better player, and no doubt scoring WITH impact on the game.
Consistency is a huge factor for any great player. Bargnani hasn't been consistent one bit all season, look where he's at? Derozan was basically Bargnani this season; last season! Pick apart his weaknesses you will, but can't deny he's a much improved basketball player, and I believe any team would like to INCLUDE (not build around) in their core.
DeRozan's D is still bad but he does seem to be more alert in the passing lanes. Getting over screens and off ball defense is bad.
His handle has improved. Still not great but noticeable improvement in my opinion.
Rebounding has been great. An absolute pleasure this year to be honest.
No wait, the absolute pleasure has been watching him in the post on smaller guards.
Biggest concern still: his continual pushing the ball on shot release driving to the hoop while releasing the ball on the way down. He is easy to stop at the rim because he is trying to literally hang with bigger and longer guys..... shoot the ball at the height of your jump. If he was getting the benefit of the whistle it would be another matter, but he is not, and likely never will because the position he puts himself in makes it look like a bailout call regardless of the rules, sadly.
Last 5 games:
Those are nearly Rudy Gay numbers (better in some areas - shooting percentages; not quite in others - blocks in particular).
P.s. Nilanka.....check out Joe Johnson's stats below - 15.6 ppg, 3.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds.... ummm i'll stick with demar for now!
Demar is arguably our best player and is a good piece to have on our team.
I like Andrea but he's NOT as efficient and i'd rather get rid of him or even Lowry before i get rid of Demar. Right now Demar is a borderline all-star...... he played on the USA Select team this summer (which shows that he's being noticed around the league).
We've watched him IMPROVE before our eyes and i'm excited to watch Demar, JV, Ross and ED play together as the core of our team moving forward. I'm honestly not sure if Lowry will want to stay with our team after next year. I know Demar does want to stay and thats enough for me!
Reading comprehension dude. My comparison was to emphasize DeRozan's and Johnson's skill level at shooting guard. Nothing more, nothing less. There's isn't a stat that measures one's ability to dribble.
Two different style shooting guards, it's hard when they barely have any similarities other than them being bigger NBA shooting guards.
Johnson's skillset represents a prototypical shooting guard, IMO. He can put the ball on the floor, he can post up, he's a legit outside threat, and he's got the ball-handling/passing ability of a point guard. Rebounding isn't the biggest concern from one of the smallest members of one's lineup.
The comparison wasn't an attempt to say DeRozan and Johnson are alike, but was instead to highlight what I expect a SG to bring to the table.
A shooting guard who is a below average shooter/passer/dribbler is just as (in)valuable to me as a power forward who doesn't rebound, rotate, or boxout. Everything else they do well doesn't make up for their lack of basic skills.
It's the same reason I personally prefer a pass-first PG and shot blocking/altering defensive anchor type of C.
While I think DeRozan has improved significantly this season, I think he has only now achieved the status of 'borderline starter on most NBA teams'. DeRozan is younger, been the league fewer years and is more outwardly emotional than Bargnani (hence love for one and hate for another), but I think they are quite similar in that they both have serious flaws in their game that leave them better served as backups on a good/contending team. And this is honestly not a knock against DeRozan or Bargnani. I just think they've been elevated beyond fair expectations by the Raptors organization, undeservedly.
Alex Kennedy at HoopsWorld.com is down with #1!
Are the Raptors good enough to go on a run and get back into the hunt for the 8th seed? The schedule hasnt done them any favors early on however it gets much easier later on.
I think the Raptors have a lot of talent and I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to sneak into the eighth seed in the East. They have had a tough schedule and have been limited by injuries. I think their best basketball is ahead of them.
Now, I won't go and say Derozan is a below-average player in general. Of course strengths don't make up for basic skills, but some players strengths are well enough to be able to get them somewhere. Like Demar, he relies sorely on his athleticism, size, penetration, and post-game to be successful (again, with improved basic skills), he in my eye is a starting caliber player. Now, what if Derozan had at the very least, average dribbling/shooting/passing, would he be an all-star? No doubt he COULD be.
I feel he is a valuable piece, for only in his fourth year, showing great strides and playing well on either end of the court. Remember, he came into the league very, very raw. It's not an excuse, it's just how it was. I feel he is a couple inches away from being your prototypical shooting guard.
For the sake of the Raptors, let's hope you're right.