Hi all! I have heard this current squad compared to our last team to win the Atlantic title back in 2006-2007 and I just don't see it. In another thread I wrote about it but wanted to hear the communities thoughts on it. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who thinks the comparison is mostly superficial. Here's what I wrote:
I have heard this a lot but just don't see it. Especially in terms of two things: age and defence.
Let's start with defence. Back then we had Chris Bosh as our elite offensive option and Jose Calderon as our starting PG. Chris Bosh could score at will at times but I would say that, overall, he was a below average defender. When you have a below average defender at the rim which is the most efficient place to score from, this is not a good thing. Jose's defence has already been talked about tons and how his lack of defence constantly put the team in positions where they would have to make defensive rotations and teams can find gaps more easily that way.
Contrast then with now. Our PG is Lowry who is a very strong defender and helps our D a lot by limiting penetration. Our elite offensive option in Derozan(less dominant than Bosh was as a scorer for sure) isn't strong defensively but at least its not at the rim and it has less of an overall impact to keep him on the floor as long as we have the guys down low to hold things down.
That team back then had enough D to keep them in games(good ol' Garbo and Parker helped there) but won with their offence. Whereas, overall, our current team knows how to defend and it isn't so reliant on one or two key pieces coming up big at big moments.
Next let's talk about Age/upside. The difference makers we brought in that year were Nesterovic, Parker, and Garbo. Alongside those Jose also showed great growth and skill. The problem with those first three especially is they were already at or past their prime. You knew what Parker and Nesterovic gave you wouldn't be around too much longer. On top of that you knew that with all of these players(outside the emergence of Bargnani and Calderon) what you saw, was what you got.
Contrast that with now. TRoss is our Parker(both for shooting and defence) except with way more athleticism and upside due to his youth. Similarly Jonas has a similar impact to Rasho but again with more athleticism and upside due to youth. Even Amir(our teams version of GArbo) is younger although both are pretty much the same player in their respective years(both are dirty work players who are who they are by now). So with these comparisons, all that's left is Derozan and Lowry matching up against Bosh and Calderon and for me that's an overall wash.
The big difference and hope for that 2006 team was the emergence of our #1 pick Bargnani, He alone was our hope for internal growth. Our team now has that developmental hope for Ross AND Jonas and knows that even our "they are what they are" players are young enough and talented enough that we can move forward with this group(you know that you don't need to worry about replacing guys like DD,Lowry, and Amir as they have lots of game left in them).
Also, back then(or was it soon after?) we commited max dollars for a non-max player in Bosh which made our cap situation tougher whereas we don't have those same problems with our current team.
Anyways, this is how I see it, would love to hear how you guys view things differently!