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Thread: Do the Raptors Have Too Much Depth (Grantland article)

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Letter N's Avatar
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    Default Do the Raptors Have Too Much Depth (Grantland article)

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/do...oo-much-depth/

    Brings up an excellent point regarding how much time a Lowry/Vasq lineup will get with a loaded wing bench. It especially worries me because I don't trust Casey to pay attention to the stats that the article brings up to realize that the dual PG lineup is as successful as it is.

    In the end too much depth is better than no depth, especially with injuries, but let's hope Casey and the Raps put on their best Spurs impression and let guys like JJ and LW know that their main role is to be bench guys that may not be used every game and the players understand it's for the good of the team.

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    I hope that DC goes with a tight 8-man rotation for the most part (starters + Vasquez, Patterson and Williams), with JJ & Hansbrough being the distant 9th/10th men. All other players should be fighting for playing time, only getting used for specific matchups. An argument could probably be made for a primary rotation of 7 players (starters + Vasquez & Patterson), with William, JJ and Hansbrough being distant 8-10th men.

    Lets face it, Hayes & Fields are nothing more than expiring contracts, who have no future with this team. Bruno & Bebe need significant development time and are likely going to get lots of action in the D-league this season. That only leaves the 15th man, who'll be fighting just to get some of those situational/garbage minutes.
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Thu Oct 16th, 2014 at 10:59 AM.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Good read.

    I would only point out the obvious: a lot of talk on averages.

    If the Raptors are a really good team, hopefully they take care of business the majority of time versus the weaker teams.

    You would get those averaged minute distribution (or less) in the competitive games and free up minutes for Lou, Bro, Bruno, Fields, etc. in the less competitive games.

    This isn't only about getting more minutes for the end of rotation and young guys, it is also about ensuring come playoffs guys are healthy and ready. Look at the Spurs last season - no one played more than 30 minutes per game in the regular season and no one played more than 33 in the playoffs (just Timmy, Tony, and Leonard played over 30).

    Long term DD averaging 38/39 minutes per game and Lowry averaging 36/37 is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.
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    Definitely a concern. One obvious downside is the impact on team chemistry, especially when guys in contract years (Amir, Hansbro, Williams, Hayes, Fields,....) aren't getting enough minutes to put up the numbers that they need to get free agent deals comparable to their peers. That's their livelihood and their agents will be in their ear all year. Since team chemistry was probably the number one reason why the Raps were successful last year, anything that could upset that would be an issue.

    Second problem with excess depth is the lack of minutes to develop young players. With so many wings, I could see Casey putting Ross on a short leash. Bruno will have a hard time even getting into garbage time, and even worse if Hamilton stays.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    I believe it will be a tight 9 man rotation starters + Lou, GV, PP and JJ. Everyone else garbage minutes. Unless with have injuries.
    @Chr1st1anL

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    Quote mcHAPPY wrote: View Post
    Good read.

    I would only point out the obvious: a lot of talk on averages.

    If the Raptors are a really good team, hopefully they take care of business the majority of time versus the weaker teams.

    You would get those averaged minute distribution (or less) in the competitive games and free up minutes for Lou, Bro, Bruno, Fields, etc. in the less competitive games.

    This isn't only about getting more minutes for the end of rotation and young guys, it is also about ensuring come playoffs guys are healthy and ready. Look at the Spurs last season - no one played more than 30 minutes per game in the regular season and no one played more than 33 in the playoffs (just Timmy, Tony, and Leonard played over 30).

    Long term DD averaging 38/39 minutes per game and Lowry averaging 36/37 is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.
    While this would be nice, I don't think it's realistic. Have to remember that the Spurs were likely doing this because of the age of their players. During the Spurs title run in 2007, Duncan and Parker played 34 and 32 minutes respectively (Manu at 28), and the former two were closer to 40mpg in the playoffs. The minutes reduction thing is a new thing for the Spurs, not something that has always been used as a tactic.

    I do think DD and Lowry's minutes should be down, but more realistically I'd say ~35 for DeRozan and ~32 for Lowry.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    Quote golden wrote: View Post
    Definitely a concern. One obvious downside is the impact on team chemistry, especially when guys in contract years (Amir, Hansbro, Williams, Hayes, Fields,....) aren't getting enough minutes to put up the numbers that they need to get free agent deals comparable to their peers. That's their livelihood and their agents will be in their ear all year. Since team chemistry was probably the number one reason why the Raps were successful last year, anything that could upset that would be an issue.

    Second problem with excess depth is the lack of minutes to develop young players. With so many wings, I could see Casey putting Ross on a short leash. Bruno will have a hard time even getting into garbage time, and even worse if Hamilton stays.
    In most situations I agree with the bold, but in the Raptors specific situation I'm not sure it really affects any of them other than Hansbrough.

    -Amir will get his minutes. That is obvious.
    -Lou's playing time may fluctuate, but I still expect him to get his opportunities to be the sparkplug off the bench. Think he'll still get 20+ mpg. So he'll get his chance to produce.
    -Hayes knows he's not getting another big contract. He'll be a minimum value 3rd stringer the rest of his career, however long that is.
    -Fields will be lucky to be offered a minimum contract, and may not even look to keep playing basketball.

    So yeah, it comes back to Hansbrough, who should probably be a backup, not 3rd stringer, on some team in the league. And I don't think Tyler is going to negatively impact chemistry. This problem has been there since last year for him, and he's not complained publicly or seemingly cut himself off from teammates. He might also be the popular pick for the Raptor most likely to get traded this year.

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    The key to avoiding these chemistry issues is winning obviously, it's if we somehow get off to a disastrous start or have a bad stretch that this may become an issue.

    But keep in mind we're almost bound to have an injury at some point as the chances of having none like we did last year are small, and in those circumstances the depth we have is great.

    Unrelated, but it's going to suck hearing Bruno's "2 years away from 2 years away" comment almost every game most likely if listening to the other team's commentators. It's like every single person calling Lowry a pitbull, there are other adjectives out there.
    Last edited by Raptorsnz; Thu Oct 16th, 2014 at 12:35 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Masai and Casey are going to have to figure out a way to work with the egos on the team. We'll have 6 expiring contracts (Lou, Amir, Chuck, Bro, Fields and one of Steamer, Cherry or Hamilton are signed) and each of them will want playing time so that they can all try and get a decent contract next season.

    I can see too much depth being an issue especially with those expiring contracts wanting playing time.. but I also think Masai has a trade up his sleeves to help alleviate some of this depth. As long as each player understands their role I don't think there will be a problem. I'm most concerned about JJ and Lou. Lou because he's used to being a 6th man and in my opinion that's Patterson's to lose. JJ because he can be a headcase.

    It's a big test for Casey.. but players like to play for him and I'm optimistic that everything will work out by seasons end in a positive way.

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    I completely agree with the op. Lou and jj should not play every game depending on situation. Like matt Bonner Danny green and the like in san Antonio. Sometimes you dont play, sometimes you get 30 minutes. I also believe this will never happen as Casey has no desire to rock the boat. They'll all get their minutes nightly like a fucking rec team, derozan will get his 40 plus and the only guys to be sacrificed yet again will be Ross and jv. Casey has always felt like he can treat them differently because he's coached them since they were drafted so he can be the tough dad. Here's hoping im wrong..

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    there's no such thing as too much depth
    @jerboat

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    Quote ceez wrote: View Post
    there's no such thing as too much depth
    There definitely is when your coach is Casey and instead of playing your best 8-9 guys for that games situation you massage egos and get 11 guys their minutes.

    When youre Gregg popovich theres no such thing as too much depth.

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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    Masai and Casey are going to have to figure out a way to work with the egos on the team. We'll have 6 expiring contracts (Lou, Amir, Chuck, Bro, Fields and one of Steamer, Cherry or Hamilton are signed) and each of them will want playing time so that they can all try and get a decent contract next season.

    I can see too much depth being an issue especially with those expiring contracts wanting playing time.. but I also think Masai has a trade up his sleeves to help alleviate some of this depth. As long as each player understands their role I don't think there will be a problem. I'm most concerned about JJ and Lou. Lou because he's used to being a 6th man and in my opinion that's Patterson's to lose. JJ because he can be a headcase.

    It's a big test for Casey.. but players like to play for him and I'm optimistic that everything will work out by seasons end in a positive way.
    But again, I don't think the expiring players will cause problems.

    Hayes and Fields should never complain about role at this point. Either will be lucky to get another NBA contract, and it's inconceivable either would get more than the minimum.....This also basically puts them in the category of whoever the 15th man is. Stiemsma, Hamilton or Cherry should just be thankful as fuck if one of them gets a contract at all.

    Amir and Lou will get playing time. Lou probably won't average close to 30 mpg like he did in some of his seasons, but probably will be close/equal to the 23-24 he's put up a few years as well.

    Again, Hansbrough just seems like the only guy who could have legit beef. There are definitely teams that could use him as a full-time backup. I don't expect him to be a chemistry problem though. He could've been last year since he could've potentially been a free agent this past summer as well. No problems arose though. Still a tough call for Masai...He's great insurance but he may have trade value, even in a limited fashion, just on his own.

    If there are chemistry issues, I don't think they come from the expiring guys.

    After that, I don't see the problem with Lou and Patterson. Pat is an off-the-ball scorer mostly. Lou is an on-the-ball scorer mostly. It's a bigger problem for Greivis to have Lou around than it is for Pat, I think, as both guys need the ball in their hands. Hopefully no major issues though and they find a rhythm together on the court, but I do think the depth in the backcourt will create the biggest problem because of the lack of minutes/touches.

    And then JJ is a wildcard, and one that's hard to predict. He should probably be the lowest mpg guy from the top 9, and may not be thrilled with that. I don't know if his craziness can impact team chemistry though, but him being a headcase more often than not is clearly not good for the team, if at least just because we'll once again lack a reliable bigger SF to throw into the game.

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    Raptors Republic Starter KeonClark's Avatar
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    In today's nba, there should only be 2 backups a night for the pg sg and sf spots. Vasquez should always be featured at the 1 and quite often at the 2. Simply put, jj and Lou should split minutes as a "6th man" backing up dd and ross. You need offense, its lous game/half/quarter. You need defense? Same thing for jj.

    There just isn't enough minutes for every ego on this team. Time will tell of Casey has the cajones to staple lou or jj to the bench as often as he does with Ross, but i have my doubts.

    Of course, in all likelihood a key member of the team misses significant time and makes it a lot easier on coach c.

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    I don't think it'll be a problem. There'll be enough minutes for Vasquez, Patterson, and Williams. Johnson and Hansbrough will be used for certain matchups and in case of injuries or foul trouble. The young guys are really raw and will only get a few minutes here and there.

    If any egos do show up re: PT, shots, etc., it won't only be Casey's job to manage the locker room. Lowry and DD have basically declared themselves the leaders of the team, and it'll also be their job to keep guys in line. You wanna be the guy who takes the buzzer beater at the end of the game, you also get to be the guy to tell James Johnson to stfu and sit his ass down. Team first.

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    We were incredibly lucky last season with injuries. I expect more injuries this season. I also hope that players will be "injured" even if its a minor injury, so less players play through pain. This is the advantage depth gives. If you don't have it, then you're forced to play your star players heavy minutes through minor injuries that could be further aggravated.

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    Super Moderator thead's Avatar
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    Fields does not need minutes, Hayes doesn't need them and Hansbrough doesn't need them. Bruno and Bebe can take the garbage minutes, that leaves a 10 man rotation, which I am very okay with considering how well it works when a team is unselfish.

    Lou Williams is icing on the cake. If kicks ass, great, if not. Vasquez gets more time which as the article pointed out is also great.
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    also make Stiemsma the 15th man and he doesn't need minutes either
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    Raptors Republic Veteran MACK11's Avatar
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    Quote thead wrote: View Post
    Fields does not need minutes, Hayes doesn't need them and Hansbrough doesn't need them. Bruno and Bebe can take the garbage minutes, that leaves a 10 man rotation, which I am very okay with considering how well it works when a team is unselfish.

    Lou Williams is icing on the cake. If kicks ass, great, if not. Vasquez gets more time which as the article pointed out is also great.
    Of topic but WTF? You think the Cavs will finish 8th place BAHAHAHAH. LeBron by himself could take Philly to the 8th seed
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    Oh shit MACK11 you're going on the list.

    And OP if there's one thing I would bet my house on, it's Casey playing 2 point guard lineups. We'll probably see some Lowry-Vasquez-Lou lineups at some point.

    I give Casey grief for his endgame and play-calling but from all the interviews I do trust him to know the numbers. He's always seemed pretty on top of the statistical effectiveness of his lineups.

    The only area where depth might be a problem is managing egos. Vasquez was already chafing and now Lou Will needs some minutes, so someone is going to be unhappy unless we push Demar down to the three more often.

    But we've been super lucky with injuries so let's not worry about too much depth just yet. It's a nice problem to have.

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