Last edited by p00ka; Mon Mar 25th, 2013 at 02:15 PM.
He obviously wouldn't preach iso after iso, but you can tell how average (or less) of an offensive coach Casey is. Whenever the offense breaks down, the tendency to run the iso/p-&-r is almost 100%. Which is telling that Casey has poor adjustment methods to how a defense is playing the team.
I'm watching the magic game and their offense looks better than ours. Much more drive and kicks, we need more of that. Then from that kick you swing the ball to get open drives and shots.
Watching the spurs is just incredible, probably gives all coaches in the NBA an Erection watching that oiled machine working.
It may not necessarily be the coach failing to drill the concepts of the different hot spots for penetration (ie. free throw line extended & corner of the backboard, etc.) & the idea that one big flashes high as the other big rolls down the middle. There is a definite imbalance caused by the nature of the roster & the small ball concept accentuates this imbalance.
I can't blame the coach fully because I have seen better ball movement & effective pinch post action with Demar & Boss Davis as well as the high low action with Ed and Amir back when Ed & Jose were still on the team.
So that leads me to question .... why is our ball movement awful since the trade?
#1 - Rudy Gay
Gay is ball dominant & when you have a player who uses up 25% + of play calls, you can bet that any semblance of ball movement is gone. Additionally, he's not the strongest pick and roll player because his tendency is to half ass going off a screen, call for a clear out, then isolate.
#2 - The Small Ball Approach
Naturally, a perimeter player have certain tendencies on the court that is different from a big guy. Therefore, when you spend 30 - 40% of the game with a small ball line-up, there is an imbalance created due to different tendencies of your players. Simply put, you cannot ask Rudy Gay or Alan Anderson to do the things that Ed Davis excelled at (presenting himself in the paint, flash high when Amir rolls down) because they are not programmed to do this.
#3 - The Kyle Lowry Effect
For all of Jose's shortcomings, he did excel at is delivering crisp passes in the shooting pocket, hitting the big man rolling & using screens properly. Lowry is not Jose .... He fails at making quick reads, the quality of his lead passes are not the same & he is usually too short to make passes in tight spaces.
Therefore, if you ask Lowry to make smart reads and be a facilitator, your offense will not run as smoothly as Jose's line-up. To hide this weakness then, you need another guy on the court to shoulder the facilitating. The Raptors, as it stands right now, do not have this next player.
I can see potential in JV orchestrating from the high post, but in terms of perimeter players, ANDERSON - GAY - DEROZAN - LUCAS - ROSS - FIELDS are not necessarily creative ball handlers where you can demand facilitating responsibilities.
#4 - Roster Imbalance
We have too many chuckers in this roster and not enough play makers that stems from the lead guard position to the wings to the front line.
Adding it all up, running a "read and react" offense with a faulty point guard as your facilitator (since he can'r get into the offense fast enough), asking your wing player to assume the responsibilities of a big man & having an avalanche of shooting guards in your line-up (with Gay dominating the basketball 25% of the time), what you get is offensive breakdowns & lots of it. The team then defaults to what their natural tendencies dictate -- shooting.
I believe Tom Sterner talked about this when he was assessing what was up with Terrence Ross. He said that when Ross gets into stressful situations, his natural tendency is to shoot. Now, multiply that by 3 at a time (given a small ball line-up) & you have 3 players whose instincts suggest "shoot" -- never a good recipe for success.
To conclude it all, I believe that what we see as on court performance is simply a product of the imbalance this roster really has. That is ALL on Colangelo. He has built a roster where players don't compliment each other & whose skills overlap each other. However, I do not condone everything Casey has done thus far, but I simply cannot place ALL of the blame on him.
Casey has shown the ability to adjust his philosophy depending on his personnel but I do think he caters and encourages isolation basketball simply because he doesn't talk about offensive schemes/strategies enough. His rotations are another thing, but it's like being asked to pick what flavor of ice cream you want as part of your 3 scoops when all of the selections in front of you is vanilla.
“I don’t create controversies. They’re there long before I open my mouth. I just bring them to your attention.”
-- Charles Barkley
I put the blame more on coangelo than casey. The ball doesn't move because we don't have players who could move it. If you sub out Lowry and sub in JLIII... if you sub out derozan and sub in anderson... if you sub out amir and you sub in andrea...
You can't glue a guy to the bench when his replacement is going to make the same mistakes, except faster and more frequently. I really don't think Casey is the issue, and I'd like to see what he does next year with this squad. I really think it's a personnel issue rather than a coaching issue, and that falls on bryan. If only he could have managed to get rid of bargnani in the gay deal instead of Davis, and we'd have made the playoffs this year.
Edit: of course if we could have traded calderon+bargs for Lebron, we would also have made the playoffs, I'm assuming BC tried to swap bargs instead of Davis but memphis wouldn't bite.
Last edited by ezz_bee; Tue Mar 26th, 2013 at 06:01 AM.
"They're going to have to rename the whole conference after us: Toronto Raptors 2014-2015 Northern Conference Champions" ~ ezzbee Dec. 2014
"I guess I got a little carried away there" ~ ezzbee Apr. 2015
"We only have one rule on this team. What is that rule? E.L.E. That's right's, E.L.E, and what does E.L.E. stand for? EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. Right there up on the wall, because this isn't just a basketball team, this is a lifestyle. ~ Jackie Moon
I don't think you can blame the lack of ball movement on individual players (Gay, Lowry). I mean, seriously, even the knicks share the ball, and they are full of cocky ball dominant players. Melo and JR share the ball because its how their offense is run
You simply rarely have time to run another play if your first doesn't work - resulting in quick response. Thats not Casey's fault, thats the fault of the shot clock.
The Raptor's problem is they don't have players who are good enough to run the plays (or allow plays to run) efficiently or effectively (they make bad choices, shot instead instead, don't have the skills necessary to keep opponents honest, don't execute etc). Resulting in missed plays and breakdowns - which either effectively become isos or result in isos.
So what does Casey do now? Go to bench guys who who are generally the same but less effective? Even if he does, how does Colangelo react to that? He's hardly been pleased when 'his guys' (see: 'his investments') don't see the floor.
Exactly. A coach can only work with what he has - and when you have a team that either doesn't or can't effectively move the ball you aren't going to get good ball movement.I put the blame more on coangelo than casey. The ball doesn't move because we don't have players who could move it.
The spurs were brought up, and they are a great example of this. There is a world of difference between Parker/Ginobli/Duncan's ability (and willingness) to pass the ball vs Lowry/Derozan/Gay (and previously Bargnani). People may love Pop, but that offense is so good because they have players that are extremely good offensively. Not just in their ability to score efficiently, but in their effectiveness and willingess to pass the ball, and to make good decisions on the fly.
And this is why we see over and over again, the quality of a coach is dependant on the quality of the team's players. With only the rarest of exceptions (ex. Jerry Sloan)
Talent wins in the NBA. But people confuse what 'talent' really is. Its not just the ability to run fast, jump high or a desire to shoot the ball. Its also the ability to make good decisions with the ball, and execute those decisions effectively. Its the willingess to humble oneself and finish plays instead of just taking a shot along the way. Or to pass up your shot for a teammate who has a better shot. And then ofcourse execute that (actually make a good pass). (Thats not even getting into off the ball 'talents')
This is why Jose always made alot of sense on this team. His 'talents' didn't overlap with everyone else's 'talents'. He was a good decision maker, a good passer and a good shooter. Yet didn't need to be the guy who finished the play. As opposed to Lowry who is a worse decision maker, but a good penetrator and shooter (among other things). However he is also a guy who needs to be the one to finish the play to be at his best - which overlaps with Gay, Derozan and Bargnani.
This isn't to accuse or blame Lowry for anything either. He is who he is, and I think it makes alot more sense to use him more often - but that means alot less usage out of those other players. But then they become less effective as players as thats where their strengths (and I use this relatively) lay aswell. (Derozan and Bargs basically becoming useless without the ball in their hands).
Colangelo has effectively given Casey certain players to use, players whose sum are worse than their parts. Its been big investments in a bunch of guys on offense who want to shoot, either don't or can't pass well, and are questionable (or atleast inconsistent) decision makers.
Instead Casey gets blamed for not 'getting the most out of them'. But how do you expect to get guys who don't want to and can't pass the ball, to suddenly pass the ball and pass it well? To get guys who can't shoot well, to shoot well? To get guys who make bad decisions to make good ones? And then after all that, to be limited in who you use to those very same guys? These are established NBA players with known abilities and limitations we are talking about.
At the most basic level its becomes Casey's fault for not being one of the rare coaches in the history of the league who makes his players better by phenominal play calling and/or have the freedom to make decisions? This is the history of Raptors and its coachs. They take the fall for Colangelo building incomplete (at times incompetent) teams, while wanting his investments and his assets to be the guys on the floor. And when the coach tries to use players more effectively they get fired or the players they'd rather use get traded. This is nothing but a team built on an ego trip - whose results are product of that same failed ego trip.
This is Colangelo's team. And its a team built upon mistake after mistake in decision making, team building, quality of talent, lack of patiences and where he makes his investments. Period.
While there are talented players here, those talents overlaps in some areas and are (effectively) non-existent in others. And the players who should be moved to eliminate that overlap and fill the gaps, either don't hold value (Bargnani) and/or are still part of Colangelo's ego trip (Derozan). Then the cap crippling contracts + wasted resources (picks) Colangelo so willingly pays (see previous names + Gay) and gives away (Lowry trade) make it even tougher to get players to fill the gaps. Thats not even getting into the players who are needed are tough to find (a good passing, shooting, rebounding big man and/or a good shooting, passing, defending wing). And the one player who could fill a gap atleast partially (Ross - a good shooting defensive wing to replace Derozan) can't find minutes because of the 'core' players Colangelo collected, and thats assuming he can improve enough to be an effective starter. AND I'm assuming Jonas improves enough aswell.
The bold part though: I am not aware of many guys who made the NBA without the ability to pass or cut - including current Raptors. The San Antonio example is interesting as you highlight their big 3 but the Spurs have routinely (and to the ire of Stern) sat their big 3 during stretches of 4 games in 5 nights or 5 in 7 and towards the end of season. When the less talented guys come on the same sets are ran and the Spurs remain extremely competitive (4 starters nearly beating HEAT earlier in season for example). I don't think off ball movement and quicker passing is something that is above NBA players head. I also don't think Casey is teaching these concepts or incorporating them in his sets.
Last edited by mcHAPPY; Tue Mar 26th, 2013 at 12:12 PM. Reason: correction
There really isn't much to say....I'll say what I've been saying for a while now.
As long as BC is still in charge...I HAVE NO FAITH in this team. How can a reasonable fan still believe in this guy? His results from the past 5 years screams FIRE ME! I hope MLSE sees through his desperate attempts to save his job and lets him go. Good riddance!
Trade/amnesty bargs and lets finally move on. The rest of the pieces (players) seem salvageable.
Anyways, I agree with your response on Colangelo running this team sub-par, and not being able to get A LOT. Ex: Derozan contract, Bargnani, Fields poison pill, etc.
My original point though with the breakdown of the play, is the fact that the team doesn't adjust. They just refuse to (relying on coach to make some changes). I personally think it's up to the coach to put or create a system if he wants the team to move the ball if things don't happen.
They run plays off down screens, as the point guard waits for the runner to come off. Or maybe a high pick-&-roll on the high side, and if it doesn't happen (or player doesn't turn corner - big man/players aren't open), they reverse it to the weak side, and they wait for another screen to come. If the defense shuts down, they don't do anything differently, they become predictable!
Which is another reason they go back to isolation, they rely on one guy to weave, and slice, and dice to become unpredictable, or to open up lanes via driving (which is really what they should originally do, drive, swing, swing, shot).
Which goes back to your "overlapping of talent" point. Jose fits better in this current system, because he's much better creating shots for others instead of having to run a dribble drive system, where the ball swings, and swings, and swings from a player initially penetrating until an open shot is available (most systems this way are fairly successful i.e Denver, Miami, SA, Boston [without Rondo], New York).
I sub-agree with this, but when the system is being ran, it's usually what I call a "ball-stopping" set. The players stays put, and waits, dribbles, waits, dribbles until something opens up. I definitely feel like the players are more than capable of moving the ball, heck, they probably are willing too, but it's the initial setup that predicts what they would like to do. Than there is always an opportunity to swing that ball, which goes back to your "players' willingness to pass".I put the blame more on colangelo than casey. The ball doesn't move because we don't have players who could move it.
"Okay, I'll come off the screen, and see if the big guy rolls. If not, I might be open, if neither doesn't work, I'll let the other guy do it, or maybe I'll have to run an iso depending on the clock."
My point? It's just as much the coach's fault it is the player's fault for not being able to run/adjust a set that counters the opposition's defense. It's up to the coach to MAKE IT WORK, rather than rely on office to get it to work.
An example of this, is the regression on the defensive end. I don't think there is anyone here that can argue how Casey approached this season.
He basically assumed the defense would stay the same (bad way to do that, especially relying your defensive identity on Derozan, Calderon and Bargnani - the key players of the previous season [obviously we all know they're poor defensive players]) and emphasized the offensive end. He was not consistent in his approach, which lead to Toronto being an average offensive team, and once again, a poor defensive team.
This team is SO much more capable than the previous season's team on the defensive end, and for sure more talented on the offensive end, but barely any improvement...
So, to summarize. The players did not live up to their expectations, Casey is a poor x's and o's coach (can't adjust, can't work WITH his team, and JESUS CHRIST his rotations are absolutely awful) and Bryan Colangelo has put in another wasted year of false hope and meaningless wins.
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