Last season the Raptors were 40 - 42
They ranked 9th in the league in FG% Differential + 1.4%
They ranked 23rd in the league in Rebounding Differential per game - 0.9
This season the Raptors so far are 1 - 7
They rank 25th in the league in FG% Differential - 3.4%
They rank 4th in the league in Rebounding Differential + 2.9
2009-10 9th plus 9
2010-11 10th plus .8
Very little change in Turnover Differential from last season so for purposes of this discussion I will leave out any further commentary on it.
So although the Raptors have improved their Rebounding Differential significantly over last season their FG% Differential has worsened significantly as has their record.
The rebounding differential has basically improved because of Reggie replacing Bosh and Johnson getting more minutes. Even though Bosh was a good rebounder Reggie has rebounded at a higher rate this season than Bosh did last season. Johnson is playing a bit more in minutes and rebounding slightly better than last season.
So Reggie replacing Bosh has improved the Raptors Rebounding Differential
However, adding Reggie to the starting lineup to replace Bosh has killed the shooting and the offense, down over 4 ppg from last season.
1. Bosh was the best shooter last season. Reggie is the worst.
2. With Bosh on the floor 35 plus mpg Jack could be effective distributing the ball just by dumping the ball into Bosh who would then go one on one. So Jack piled up assists by just dumping the ball into Bosh. Now however Jack starts on a unit that goes four on five on offense. This means that the importance of having a true Point Guard with the starting unit is now a lot more than when Bosh played for the Raptors.
Jack's Assists have dropped from 6.6 Assists to 6.3 per 36 minutes. In the meantime his Turnovers per 36 minutes have increased from 2.6 to 4.2. Clearly he is missing the easy dump in pass to Bosh.
3. The FG% of starters from both seasons
So the three starters who started last season with Bosh and this season with Reggie are all shooting worse. Why? The starters have to play four on five this season on offense whereas last season with Bosh out there the Raptors starters were playing either five on five or five on four when Bosh was double teamed.
4. Calderon in the meantime has increased his Assists per 36 over last season from 8.0 to 9.6 while his Turnovers per 36 minutes have increased from 2.0 to 2.6. Calderon passing ability becomes even more important without a player like Bosh who could score effectively by creating his own shot.
A big part of the Raptors problem of only going 1 - 7 so far this season is due to the substantially lower FG% of the three starters left over from last season and Reggie who can't shoot and doesn't have to be guarded replacing Bosh.
Suggestion - Replacing Reggie in the starting unit with someone who can score enough so they have to be guarded. This will ease the defensive pressure on the other four starters and their shooting will improve. The Raptors wills score more and win more.
For example the top five teams in FG% differential before tonight were
The top five in rebounding differential before tonight were
The Won Loss record of the top FG% Differential teams was 31 - 9 or .775
The Won Loss record of the top Rebounding Differential teams was 17 - 21 or .425
Now lets compare the records of the bottom six in FG% and rebounding differential. I chose six here because the Raptors are the sixth worst shooting team in terms of FG% differential
Six worst FG% differential
Six worst rebounding differential
The Won Loss record of the six worse FG% Differential teams was 14 - 32 or .304
The Won Loss record of the six worse Rebounding Differential teams was 19 - 27 or .413
So we see from above that the top teams in FG% differential have a better combined record than the top teams in rebounding differential
The bottom teams in FG% differential have a worst combined record than the bottom teams in rebounding differential
Final conclusion and suggestion:
The Raptors need to replace Evans in the starting lineup with someone who can score and needs to be guarded even if it means reducing or possibly even giving up their edge in rebounding. They also need to replace Jack in the starting lineup with Calderon because he is a better passer and they need that better passing from a PG without a player like Bosh in the staring lineup.