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Thread: Does Replacing Defence & Removing Offense Really Make Us Better?

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    Administrator Dr. James Naismith's Avatar
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    Default Does Replacing Defence & Removing Offense Really Make Us Better?

    Good read courtesy of Kevin Pelton from Basketball Prospectus. He discusses how potent of an offensive juggernaut we are right now, but that taking out weak defensive-minded and rebounding players such as Jose & Bargnani possibly does more harm than good if you look at the overall picture. Sure we improve our starting 5 from the defensive end, but will likely struggle on offense. The trade off seems very much like a Catch 22.

    I just think the defence will come with effort. The harder we concentrate and work on it, the more we will hopefully improve.

    Thoughts?

    If the Raptors' situation is truly a problem--there are worse things, after all, then playing near-.500 basketball, especially against a schedule that has been one of the league's 10 hardest in the early going--I'm not sure it is one that is easily fixed. The natural tendency is to believe that the route to success for an imbalanced team is to improve the weakness while maintaining the strength. Sometimes that works, as it did for the Mavericks under Avery Johnson, but it can also backfire as it did on the Suns a year ago.

    In this case, it seems especially clear that the same things holding back Toronto's defense are responsible for the success of the offense. The Raptors have all the tools for success scoring the basketball, boasting shooters at virtually every position (the worst in the starting lineup might actually be the shooting guard, rookie DeMar DeRozan), a post-up threat in Chris Bosh, good passers in point guard Jose Calderon and small forward Hedo Turkoglu and the ability to run one of the league's most dangerous pick-and-rolls with either Calderon and Turkoglu on the ball, Bosh rolling and Andrea Bargnani spacing the floor.

    Taking out the weak defenders in the starting lineup, especially Calderon and the poor-rebounding Bargnani, would mean sacrificing on offense. The trade-off doesn't seem to make sense for Toronto. Plus-minus numbers offer some confirmation for this notion. Though the starting five has struggled on defense, 82games.com indicates it has outscored opponents by about seven points per 100 possessions. Only one reserve in the Raptors' rotation has a substantially positive net plus-minus--guard Marco Belinelli, who is not exactly a defensive stopper.

    Inevitably, coach Jay Triano must take some of the blame for a defense this weak no matter how bad the personnel. Still, the offense has exceeded expectations entering this season, which points in Triano's favor. While SCHOENE accurately predicted Toronto to be 29th in the league in Defensive Rating, the Raptors' offense was projected to be about average. Part of this discrepancy can be explained by the impact of Turkoglu's passing and Bargnani's shooting, which have helped their teammates, but no one anticipated Toronto to be one of the best offensive teams in NBA history. So it's not clear that a change on the sidelines would help either.
    Source - Click here

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Liston's Avatar
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    As much as I hound on Bargs - here's a great stat from Doug Smith:
    http://thestar.blogs.com/raptors/200...bout-that.html
    Heís had 43 rebounds in his last five games (thatís more than eight a game, the old abacus tells me) and last night he did something I donít remember him doing for quite some time.

    Fourth quarter, gameís closer than anyone wanted Ė although not once was there the feeling the Pacers were going to come all the way back and win Ė and he gets two offensive rebounds to provide second chance opportunities that Toronto capitalized on and once he kept alive another miss with a tip that ended up in someone elseís hands.
    This is what we need from Bargs on a consistent basis. Back Sept 22:
    http://raptorsrepublic.com/2009/09/2...nt-be-a-layup/
    I wrote
    However, I believe we still need to see [Bargnani's] total rebounds number above 10 over 48 minutes.
    In the last five games, Bargs has recorded 12.7 over 48 minutes. Impressive.
    In raw numbers, he's had 1.8 offensive boards in the last five - double his career avg and 6.8 defensive rebounds (for a total of 8.7 - solid).

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    Raptors Republic Rookie A00715890's Avatar
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    i would trade away our top 5 offense for a top 5 defense any day of the week....if you can stop other people...you dont have to score as much....the saying "defense wins championship" has been proven correct for years now....just look at the suns...

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    Administrator Arsenalist's Avatar
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    Quote A00715890 wrote: View Post
    i would trade away our top 5 offense for a top 5 defense any day of the week....if you can stop other people...you dont have to score as much....the saying "defense wins championship" has been proven correct for years now....just look at the suns...
    Did you enjoy the Kevin O'Neill year?

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    Administrator Dr. James Naismith's Avatar
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    Quote Arsenalist wrote: View Post
    Did you enjoy the Kevin O'Neill year?
    Ugh ... I don't think I've ever been as depressed as a Raptors fan as I was when O'Neill was at the helm. If he could of stayed sober, he might have stood a chance in Toronto.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie A00715890's Avatar
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    Quote Arsenalist wrote: View Post
    Did you enjoy the Kevin O'Neill year?
    lets just say...i didnt watch much basketball back then...

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    Quote A00715890 wrote: View Post
    lets just say...i didnt watch much basketball back then...
    Fair enough. But it was bloody painful to watch that team. Second last in the league in offense but 7th in defense. It got us 33 wins and the most boring, unwatchable basketball ever played:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/TOR/2004.html

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    Raptors Republic Rookie A00715890's Avatar
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    Quote Arsenalist wrote: View Post
    Fair enough. But it was bloody painful to watch that team. Second last in the league in offense but 7th in defense. It got us 33 wins and the most boring, unwatchable basketball ever played:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/TOR/2004.html
    but i don't know man....its pretty painfull to watch us give up 30 point lead....just because we cant do anything on defense....its really hard to watch guys like jj redick have career night against us....

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