Okay I'll say it
For three and half quarters last night the Raptors played their most exciting/inspired ball of the season and as a result were up 20 for most of the game.
They ran hard on both ends of the floor, matched up athletically to an athletic team, took it to the rim, ooped from everywhere, ran the fast break, defended well in transition and were able to hide the slowness of Bargs on defensive rotations. Oh and the ball didn't stick anywhere.
That was the most fun i've had watching a raps game in a long time.
I believe this was mostly a result of Hedo not playing.
Now I'm not saying Hedo isn't an exceptionally talented offensive player. He very well could be the difference maker on a middle seeded play off team. He is just not our difference maker. We already have two many players with Hedo's weaknesses that get exposed when he is on the floor. We become too slow, too methodical, too stagnant.
We didn't miss Hedo for three and a half quarters as Weems and Wright
took up the slack, but we did severely miss his skill set in the 6 minutes of the game when our offense stalled and no one could create a shot.
Is the last six minutes more important than the rest of the game? Who knows, it's a chicken or the egg kind of question.
What I do know is that the deadline is coming up and there are bound to be takers for Hedo. Portland wanted him at the onset of the year, why not give em what they want?
I'm thinking a three way Portland, Toronto, Wash: We give Hedo to Port, Butler to Tdot, an expiring package of Outlaw/Blake to Wash.
Or how about?
Come playoffs - Hedo is the vet who has defended the LeBron's of the world, makes the big plays to guys like Bosh in the post, is a legit 3-pt threat, and is the best SF the Raps have seen in a long time.
You don't trade that away just when you need it!
If only we could play a team 8 games under .500 in the first and second round of the playoffs! Then we could cut that Turkish SF, buyout his contract, and finally play some basketball!
"We didn't miss Hedo for three and a half quarters as Weems and Wright
took up the slack, but we did severely miss his skill set in the 6 minutes of the game when our offense stalled and no one could create a shot. "
I think you have actually made the case for why one needs a Hedo...not so much for the reg. season maybe but definitely for the playoffs. Thats when the intensity soars, fast break atleticism is locked down by defense and a half court game becomes reality.
Yesterday's game should be a lesson about how a seemingly slamdunk win very nearly turned to a loss when there is a determined opponent who has many of your skills can make it back/go on a run just as easily as we did earlier in the game. We just had more weapons in the end and the game was slowed down as well. A running/fastbreak game can be fools gold sometimes...ask Phoenix and GSW.
What I like about the current Raptors is that it can play either style quite well. My concern is high intensity defense for a series. But this is teachable as long as the individuals are willing (in most cases).
Can we at least wait for the playoffs to see what kind of value he brings before writing him off?
OP, if you recall, we coughed up a pretty big lead last night in the 4th and were struggling to make plays and big shots... it would've been nice to at least run a couple of high screens with Hedo and Bosh down the stretch to get open looks.
If we put Turk on Lebron, we may as well sweep ourselves under the rug. Bosh doesn't need any help scoring, just give him the ball and let him work.
My point is simply that we are already too slow with Bargs and Jose. Hedo exposes those weaknesses when we should really be trying to hide them.
Obviously he is a proven big time scorer and it showed last night how much we need someone like him to create when the offense goes into long jump shot mode. But Philly isn't as bad as thier record shows and they are the type of team that gives us fits.
I don't think we can beat anyone in the top four with our current roster. We can't close out on Magic shooters, we can't match up athletically with the Hawks speed on the wing, no one can stop bron from avg 50-10-10 and were not tough enough to hang with the celtics.
Signing Hedo was a calculated risk. I'm not saying it won't pan out, but if the raps are looking to make a move, isn't he the most expendable asset?
Turk has had 50 games to mesh with the team. I'm willing to give him a play off series to step up his game, but if there is a move out there, don't you have to take it?
Raps can beat the Cavs in a 7 game series... sure LBJ can single-handedly win a game... but NO ONE in the league can stop him when he's in that zone. The rest of the Cavs team however is several notches below the Raps. I like our chances should we face them in the second round. There's no chance of us seeing them in Round 1 anyway.
Too slow?! where do you get that... have you watched the blow-by dunks by Bargs on Duncan, Nowitzki etc.? He's got an incredible first step.
Jose in his current role is excelling against the #2 PGs in the league... definitely not a liability IMO.
We can beat Boston, Cleveland AND Orlando... or at the very least take all three to 6-7 games. With Reggie in the line-up Boston won't be trying to punk the Raps anymore. Orlando doesn't seem to have the passion this year and HWSNBN is really messing with their chemistry as a team. Cleveland is a one man show... much like Miami.
Hedo so far as been well below expectations but let's see what happens in the playoffs shall we? Expiring contracts make valuable and expendable assets... his deal is not therefore he's not an expendable asset.
All good points.
While we match up extremely well against the cavs. There is a 0 percent chance the Toronto Raptors can take down Lebron 'the smoke monster' James. At the level he is playing and the extra play off gear he has, it would be akin to the biggest upset in NBA history. Maybe the hawks or magic can get miracle lucky and take him, but we can't.
I'm not trying to demean Bargs, as far as a second banana there are few better. But he is slow to rotate defensively and he is slow in transition, ie the two phases we get abused defensively. That flaw is only compounded when Hedo is on the floor and teams are dunking on us like the Globetrotters.
I meant expendable because we have been on this roll in spite of him playing poorly or not at all. I'm not trying to throw him under the bus, but when is the last time a player underachieved all season and then upped his game for the playoffs?
My concern heading forward is defense. We've proven all season we can score, but we have no adequate wings to throw at Wince, Bron, Joe, Pierce. The east goes through those four guys. Are we really about to send Hedo into the lions den, armed with little more than pizza crusts?
0% chance... are you a betting man? LOL
The Cavs are not, I repeat NOT a good playoff team... they're a spectacular regular season team.
Bargs is a pretty good man-to-man defender... better than most on the team.
Admittedly he's weak with his help defence and it's compounded with Hedo since he's a piss poor defender (read: lack of effort).
Expendable... hmmm so if the Raps are on this impressive run with him playing so poorly... imagine if he's only 50% better the rest of the way/playoffs... how good is this team then?
If your concern is defence then take heart that this team has during this stretch:
a) come back from double-digit leads in a 5 consecutive games.
b) has so far been locked-down opponents in the 4th quarter and win games going away.
c) holding teams to under 45% FG shooting
d) Reggie waiting in the paint for KG, Pierce, LBJ, Shaq, Howard and most of all Wince! :)
Does this team still need to grow and get better to contend for a championship... hell yeah!
But there is a lot of good signs with the current roster that we'll be making some noise in the post-season.
Didn't the Cavs go to the finals only a couple years ago? What makes then not a good playoff team but somehow a spectacular regular season team? I don't follow. :confused: