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Thread: Season is over so the question is here, was it worth it?

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    Hey, hey now. We embrace people of all stripes here. Even the ones with crazy unreasonable expectations.
    Especially the ones with crazy unreasonable expectations, really.

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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    i just find it hilarious that jamshid still posts here and pretends he knows what hes talking about.
    Hey! Jamshidisawesome. Keep'emcoming!

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    Completely agree. But Marc Gasol is not a superstar.
    I do think he's good enough to build a contender around though.


    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    I think there are some scenarios wherein I stumble upon a winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk and never have to work another day in my life, but I won't hold my breath. I think DD reaching Kobe's level of effectiveness offensively is a pipedream and certainly a best case scenario. And his defense will forever hold him back from being a superstar, unless he actually reaches that level of offensive effectiveness (and possibly even then, depending on whether, for example, you consider Harden a superstar).
    Well, I don't think it's THAT unlikely! He's developed a pretty good jump shot since having no idea how to shoot when he came into the league, all he has to do is extend his range a couple more feet. And the whole passing thing should come with experience.

    Again, I think a guy like that could be sufficient to build a contender around, so long as the rest of the team is also well constructed.

    Aside: Harden is on a different level on defence than Demar lol. If you watch Harden, he literally doesn't even care if his man scores. He's not even trying lol.

    But whatever, we're nitpicking. I guess I'm saying that this core, minus the bad contracts, has a half decent shot at being a contender in a couple of years. It's not guaranteed, but it's not SUCH a long shot either. Which, I guess is what you're saying too. Hmm.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star JimiCliff's Avatar
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    Quote golden wrote: View Post
    Actually, speaking of probability and mathematical analysis: this excellent article shows that losing teams have a much lower probability of becoming great teams in the future, in comparison to teams on the so-called 'mediocrity treadmill'.

    We can argue the definitions of losing, mediocre and great, but the data itself is eye-opening...
    From the article:

    In sum, nearly 90 percent of teams that win 25 or fewer games are not contenders five years later. This suggests that “tanking” is a strategy that is very unlikely to lead to NBA success.
    I think this is an almost comically flawed statement, because it makes no allowance for the fact that some franchises are simply chronically mismanaged, and would be awful no matter what strategy they were using. Tanking for picks is only one of the steps in a long process; if a franchise is bad because it bungs up any or all of the other steps, it doesn't make sense to them blame their lack of success on tanking.

    For instance, what if a team is tanking, but it has awful talent evaluators? It doesn't matter if you're in the lottery if the people making the draft decisions can't do their jobs.

    In this article, Berri makes no attempt to sort out which franchises were consistently bad at all levels (trades, draft success, free agents signings, etc.), so I don't find any value in the numbers he's giving that supposedly show that tanking itself is bad.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star stooley's Avatar
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    Quote JimiCliff wrote: View Post
    I think this is an almost comically flawed statement, because it makes no allowance for the fact that some franchises are simply chronically mismanaged, and would be awful no matter what strategy they were using. Tanking for picks is only one of the steps in a long process; if a franchise is bad because it bungs up any or all of the other steps, it doesn't make sense to them blame their lack of success on tanking.

    For instance, what if a team is tanking, but it has awful talent evaluators? It doesn't matter if you're in the lottery if the people making the draft decisions can't do their jobs.

    In this article, Berri makes no attempt to sort out which franchises were consistently bad at all levels (trades, draft success, free agents signings, etc.), so I don't find any value in the numbers he's giving that supposedly show that tanking itself is bad.
    Well, the article is flawed as has been pointed out.

    But I guess the idea that it presents is, like I said before, that rising from tanking team to contender involves a LOT of steps. And each of those steps presents another opportunity to make a mistake. A couple of mistakes, or one single costly mistakes, can derail a plan that was years in the making.

    Every front office seems pretty good until they make those mistakes. Cleveland made a great choice with Kyrie, but then bungled a bunch of picks afterwards. You don't know whether your front office is good or not until they've either succeeded or blown it.

    And obviously, it's easy to pick out the front offices that are comically bad, but there are a lot that may just be unlucky, and come off as being bad. And the "good" FOs probably benefit from having some luck on their side. So it is definitely a tough mess to untangle.

    So to further this, I think it's hard to say whether it's "easier" for an average front office to succeed from a tanking position, or from a semi-built position like the Raps are in right now.

    I think one effective way to sort it out might be to try and figure out what the correlation is between being in the bottom and having a bad front office, and then comparing that to the rate of "bad" FOs in the rest of the league, or the league as a whole.

    Now I have no idea how to do that, or if it's even possible so that sucks. I'd say though that either route is valid, and the one more likely to lead a team to success is highly dependent on what is going on in the rest of the league, and where a team presently stands.

    I think the one general rule to building a successful team is finding the flaws in the market, and abusing those until the rest of the league catches on.

    The moves to tank this year had to come before everyone else was doing it, I think.
    Last edited by stooley; Fri May 9th, 2014 at 10:59 AM.

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    Hey, hey now. We embrace people of all stripes here. Even the ones with crazy unreasonable expectations.
    cough cough tenforthewin cough cough.
    The name's Bond, James Bond.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star stooley's Avatar
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    Could we look at bad teams that replaced their GM within one year, on either end, of being bad?

    That probably isolates the effect of having a good shot in the lottery from the mismanagement that led there, but the sample size is probably too small.

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    Could we look at bad teams that replaced their GM within one year, on either end, of being bad?

    That probably isolates the effect of having a good shot in the lottery from the mismanagement that led there, but the sample size is probably too small.
    Sure, but then you have issues such as bad ownership (see: the OTPP for the last decade of Raptors futility, the Bucks' owner) influencing continued hiring of bad management (or even influencing supposedly good management to think short term or chase the playoffs).

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    Sure, but then you have issues such as bad ownership (see: the OTPP for the last decade of Raptors futility, the Bucks' owner) influencing continued hiring of bad management (or even influencing supposedly good management to think short term or chase the playoffs).
    Right, but could we assume that bad owners aren't over represented in lottery teams? So that their effect is equivalent to owners' effects in the rest of the league?

    That probably isn't true.... but at least it's a little closer... but then again, the small sample size probably makes the results less accurate.

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    I do think he's good enough to build a contender around though.
    Marc Gasol as the best player on your team? No, that's the Grizzlies now, and they are not a contender.

    Well, I don't think it's THAT unlikely! He's developed a pretty good jump shot since having no idea how to shoot when he came into the league, all he has to do is extend his range a couple more feet. And the whole passing thing should come with experience.
    DeRozan's number one strength listed on his draftexpress profile when he was drafted was his mid-range game. His shooting was supposed to be his strength. His FG% from 10-16 feet and 16+ feet (not 3 pointers) has been in his career:

    2010: .465, .356
    2011: .453, .392
    2012: .407, .343
    2013: .391, .414
    2014: .395, .395

    I see no significant improvement in his shooting. Perhaps he's gotten better at physically shooting the ball and just shoots worse shots (more covered?), but either way, his production in terms of ability to get the ball into the hoop appears to be getting worse, not better over time on jump shots.

    Passing he made a huge improvement in this year. That's the one part of his game that I was happy with this year. He's still a long way off though (his huge career year of 18.9 AST% would rank as Kobe's 4th worst of 18 seasons - and the 3 seasons where he was worse he was 18, 19 and 20 years old - and will need to increase by another 30% year over year to reach Kobe's career average). Meanwhile, his usage is already almost at Kobe's career average levels, so he's getting just as much opportunity to generate those assists.

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    DeRozan's number one strength listed on his draftexpress profile when he was drafted was his mid-range game. His shooting was supposed to be his strength. His FG% from 10-16 feet and 16+ feet (not 3 pointers) has been in his career:

    2010: .465, .356
    2011: .453, .392
    2012: .407, .343
    2013: .391, .414
    2014: .395, .395

    I see no significant improvement in his shooting. Perhaps he's gotten better at physically shooting the ball and just shoots worse shots (more covered?), but either way, his production in terms of ability to get the ball into the hoop appears to be getting worse, not better over time on jump shots.

    Passing he made a huge improvement in this year. That's the one part of his game that I was happy with this year. He's still a long way off though (his huge career year of 18.9 AST% would rank as Kobe's 4th worst of 18 seasons - and the 3 seasons where he was worse he was 18, 19 and 20 years old - and will need to increase by another 30% year over year to reach Kobe's career average). Meanwhile, his usage is already almost at Kobe's career average levels, so he's getting just as much opportunity to generate those assists.
    Well shit. Good points.

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    Marc Gasol as the best player on your team? No, that's the Grizzlies now, and they are not a contender.
    I think the Grizzlies are a contender. They aren't really the 7th best team in the West, and they basically played OKC, who is a real contender, to a draw in games they were at full strength. I'd put them as the 5th best team in the league at the moment, which could win a championship with the amount of parity we have now. I'd say they're about as good as the 2011 Mavs and the 2006 Heat.

    I don't think Demar has necessarily become a less effective shooter, because of the high usage in recent years. He's unlikely to improve his shooting at this point either. The big improvements this year were assists, defense and getting to the line. I don't think those are going to suddenly regress back to how he was.

    If you can get Jonas, Lowry and Demar all playing at all-star levels game in and game out, I think you can be a contender without a superstar. That's essentially what the Spurs are at this point.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Quote RaptorsFan4Life wrote: View Post
    I was a huge proponent of the tank until it was obvious tanking wasn't going to work considering how deep the top 5 to top 10 of this draft is. Do you guys think losing out on arguably the best draft since 2003 was worth not tanking and going 1 and done in the playoffs?
    The answer for me anyways comes down to what happens this off season. If we can improve the roster then it was totally worth it to not have tanked. If no significant moves are made then really what was the point...to make it into the playoffs and be out the first round and likely next season as well? The cost of retaining Lowry will mean over paying him. He played his cards really well this season by having a great year, and never committing himself in any way to Toronto. He will get higher than market value I think.

    I can't see the East remaining this bad in the coming seasons, so our record which was inflated should come down a bit. We won't be a 3rd seed with the same roster next season.

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    Marc Gasol as the best player on your team? No, that's the Grizzlies now, and they are not a contender.



    DeRozan's number one strength listed on his draftexpress profile when he was drafted was his mid-range game. His shooting was supposed to be his strength. His FG% from 10-16 feet and 16+ feet (not 3 pointers) has been in his career:

    2010: .465, .356
    2011: .453, .392
    2012: .407, .343
    2013: .391, .414
    2014: .395, .395

    I see no significant improvement in his shooting. Perhaps he's gotten better at physically shooting the ball and just shoots worse shots (more covered?), but either way, his production in terms of ability to get the ball into the hoop appears to be getting worse, not better over time on jump shots.

    Passing he made a huge improvement in this year. That's the one part of his game that I was happy with this year. He's still a long way off though (his huge career year of 18.9 AST% would rank as Kobe's 4th worst of 18 seasons - and the 3 seasons where he was worse he was 18, 19 and 20 years old - and will need to increase by another 30% year over year to reach Kobe's career average). Meanwhile, his usage is already almost at Kobe's career average levels, so he's getting just as much opportunity to generate those assists.
    Too bad you can't like on phone.

    But that is some sad truth. Demar has improved but he's not Kobe.

    I've resigned myself to him staying a raptor but facts like this hurt.

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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    The answer for me anyways comes down to what happens this off season. If we can improve the roster then it was totally worth it to not have tanked. If no significant moves are made then really what was the point...to make it into the playoffs and be out the first round and likely next season as well? The cost of retaining Lowry will mean over paying him. He played his cards really well this season by having a great year, and never committing himself in any way to Toronto. He will get higher than market value I think.

    I can't see the East remaining this bad in the coming seasons, so our record which was inflated should come down a bit. We won't be a 3rd seed with the same roster next season.
    I somewhat agree in the sense that the offseason matters a lot. They need to re-sign Lowry if they can at a fair deal. If they lose him this season was a bit of a waste. And I don't know that they need to really overpay him, but we'll see what the number is when he signs a new deal.

    But they do not need to make a significant move. They don't need to move in a linear trajectory of improvement, and make risky compromising deals to do so. It's fine sticking with this group for another year, possibly even two. Try to fill holes without trading away core pieces, or significantly compromising future flexibility and draft assets. If this team stays a 3-6 playoff team for a year or two, while maintaining flexibility and ways to improve, that's not bad at all. Though the onus is on Masai to at some point within the next couple of years to find a move that can push them above that level.

    But it is not "oh man, we won 48 games, I have to do everything I can to make sure we win 50 next year", to me it's "hmmm, we won 48 games, this team is not bad and I have to play my cards right to turn it into a 50+ win team for years"...Put it another way, I'd rather Masai makes the right move, even if it means 2 more years of 45 wins (give or take) if it then means 3-4 years of 50+ wins and being a contender, rather than make a rushed move, turn us into a 50+ win team for one or two years, then we start falling off. If he can find the former move this summer, that's great, but if not, I'd rather he keeps managing from a position of strength.

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  22. #76
    Raptors Republic All-Star OldSkoolCool's Avatar
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    Quote JimiCliff wrote: View Post
    From the article:



    I think this is an almost comically flawed statement, because it makes no allowance for the fact that some franchises are simply chronically mismanaged, and would be awful no matter what strategy they were using. Tanking for picks is only one of the steps in a long process; if a franchise is bad because it bungs up any or all of the other steps, it doesn't make sense to them blame their lack of success on tanking.

    For instance, what if a team is tanking, but it has awful talent evaluators? It doesn't matter if you're in the lottery if the people making the draft decisions can't do their jobs.

    In this article, Berri makes no attempt to sort out which franchises were consistently bad at all levels (trades, draft success, free agents signings, etc.), so I don't find any value in the numbers he's giving that supposedly show that tanking itself is bad.
    I thought the article was extremely flawed and I would also like to add:

    what about the teams that had between 26 and 33 wins?

    Do they just not exist in history or what is the deal? I feel like that is an important range as the teams in 5th - 8th spot have ended up with the number 1 overall pick on more than a few occasions

    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    I somewhat agree in the sense that the offseason matters a lot. They need to re-sign Lowry if they can at a fair deal. If they lose him this season was a bit of a waste. And I don't know that they need to really overpay him, but we'll see what the number is when he signs a new deal.

    But they do not need to make a significant move. They don't need to move in a linear trajectory of improvement, and make risky compromising deals to do so. It's fine sticking with this group for another year, possibly even two. Try to fill holes without trading away core pieces, or significantly compromising future flexibility and draft assets. If this team stays a 3-6 playoff team for a year or two, while maintaining flexibility and ways to improve, that's not bad at all. Though the onus is on Masai to at some point within the next couple of years to find a move that can push them above that level.

    But it is not "oh man, we won 48 games, I have to do everything I can to make sure we win 50 next year", to me it's "hmmm, we won 48 games, this team is not bad and I have to play my cards right to turn it into a 50+ win team for years"...Put it another way, I'd rather Masai makes the right move, even if it means 2 more years of 45 wins (give or take) if it then means 3-4 years of 50+ wins and being a contender, rather than make a rushed move, turn us into a 50+ win team for one or two years, then we start falling off. If he can find the former move this summer, that's great, but if not, I'd rather he keeps managing from a position of strength.
    I agree. This off season is important to retain key FA's but outside of that there isn't much we should do. We will be capped out after signing our own FA's so I doubt we will be making any FA acquisitions.

    Draft smart and bring in a couple of guys.

    I would even go as far as arguing that we will stick around the 45-50 win range for a couple of seasons regardless if we keep this core together or if we trade production for potential (by which I mean a DD for Wiggins trade or something of that ilk).

    But the question to Masai is: What plan do you put in place to give us the best chance of being a sustainable 50+ win team starting in either the 2015/2016 season or the 2016/2014?

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    I'm not saying anything is a guarantee. What I'm saying is that the teams you listed should perhaps be the sample size, if you want to judge the action and not the actor. And as such, the numbers in the study are very skewed. Even if the overall trend is negative (say, only 30% of tanking teams achieve success, so maybe it's better to pursue a different path), it still wouldn't paint the "no hope" picture that comes from including the teams that are just awful in general.

    And frankly, I think the odds of your first scenario are zero aside from us signing a superstar. The odds there are very close to zero. The real path to perhaps getting a superstar on this team is through trade, in which case you lose many of those supplementary pieces in the process. So the equivalence is really:

    Which odds are better?

    A) Being able to trade current pieces for a true superstar, then manage rest of assets into championship calibre supporting cast.

    B) Tanking team makes right pick (among several, tanking is not a one year process, and if done correctly the trade of current assets for picks means multiple shots each year), develops him correctly, then manages rest of assets into championship calibre supporting cast.

    I don't think the odds of either are wildly different. I think with where we are now, the correct course is probably action A. I think either course would have worked well at the time of the Gay trade, though with the unknowns of the players returned in that trade at the time and the status of Ross, JV, DD and Lowry (all underperforming at the time relative to the season since), tanking was probably the way I would have chosen. And Ujiri too (tried to move Lowry). But as the season progressed, action A became a viable option due to the performance of the team, and no one got moved as a result. Now we'll see where the next 18 months or so takes us.

    You mention the term 'superstar' a lot, but there are a lot of flaws in the definition of 'superstar', in itself. Is James Harden a superstar? Dwight Howard? Carmelo Anthony? Deron Williams (3 years ago?). Is a superstar defined after the fact team winning or putting up great numbers on a losing team? Or is it both? And does winning mean you've got to win the whole thing?

    If the definition is 'stats' only, even then, what's the criteria: offensive, defensive?

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    fwiw - Demar's mid range efficiency (non paint, non threes) was 40.2% this year according to:

    http://vorped.com/bball/index.php/pl.../2013-2014-REG

    not 39.5%, but DanH's point stands

    2013-2014: 40.2% USG: 28.0 %of shots from midrange: 52.9
    2012-2013: 40.5% USG: 24.2 %of shots from midrange: 53.7
    2011-2012: 36.7% USG: 25.0 %of shots from midrange: 50.9
    2010-2011: 41.5% USG: 23.2 %of shots from midrange: 47.6

    I must say, I'm somewhat surprised by the lack of progression. Although the results in year 2, and the increasing USG rates do suggest that he's upped his game a little to cope with taking more shots.
    Last edited by stooley; Fri May 9th, 2014 at 02:08 PM.

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    fwiw - Demar's mid range efficiency (non paint, non threes) was 40.2% this year according to:

    http://vorped.com/bball/index.php/pl.../2013-2014-REG

    not 39.5%, but DanH's point stands

    2013-2014: 40.2% USG: 28.0 %of shots from midrange: 52.9
    2012-2013: 40.5% USG: 24.2 %of shots from midrange: 53.7
    2011-2012: 36.7% USG: 25.0 %of shots from midrange: 50.9
    2010-2011: 41.5% USG: 23.2 %of shots from midrange: 47.6

    I must say, I'm somewhat surprised by the lack of progression. Although the results in year 2, and the increasing USG rates do suggest that he's upped his game a little to cope with taking more shots.
    Yeah, vorped breaks it into non-paint rather than pure distance, so it's a slightly different sample. That's why the percentages are slightly different.

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    Quote golden wrote: View Post
    You mention the term 'superstar' a lot, but there are a lot of flaws in the definition of 'superstar', in itself. Is James Harden a superstar? Dwight Howard? Carmelo Anthony? Deron Williams (3 years ago?). Is a superstar defined after the fact team winning or putting up great numbers on a losing team? Or is it both? And does winning mean you've got to win the whole thing?

    If the definition is 'stats' only, even then, what's the criteria: offensive, defensive?
    All good questions. And all very hard to answer. Stats-wise, to simplify, models like WS use .200 (twice the average) as the cutoff. Too simplistic though, and WS is great but not all encompassing (and role players can excel with high WS). Perhaps a player with .200 WS and high usage (but how high? 20% is too low as it is very common)... I don't know that I can define superstar explicitly. Offensively Harden is certainly a superstar, defensively not so much. But does one cancel out the other? Depends. I probably wouldn't rank Harden as a superstar. Howard probably qualifies due to his defense. Anthony... Borderline. You picked good players to ask about, I think all of them are borderline, and that gray area certainly clouds the issue.

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