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Thread: Grantland Draft Preview

  1. #1
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    Default Grantland Draft Preview

    Heeeere ya go:

    5. Toronto Raptors

    State of the Team: The Raptors were ill-prepared for life after Chris Bosh. (And yes, that statement says everything.) The roster is a reflection of the ill-fated attempts to build around their departed "superstar." Andrea Bargnani could be the second scoring option on a decent team, but nobody should build a team around his jump-shooting, porous defense and even more porous rebounding. To remedy Bargnani's deficiencies, the Raptors drafted Ed Davis last year, but injuries kept him off the floor. The rangy and athletic DeMar DeRozan showed that if he learns to handle the ball and shoot, he could become a potent offensive weapon.

    Stats:

    W-L RECORD: 22-60
    eFG% RECORD: 28-54
    TOV% RECORD: 40-42
    REB% RECORD: 43-39
    FTA% RECORD: 31-51

    BIGGEST WEAKNESS: SHOOTING

    When is Andrea Bargnani going to become a great shooter? Since he entered the league in 2006, 73 players have taken 1,000 3s or more. Bargnani's taken 1,368 and hit 37.1 percent of them. Among those 73 players, he's 40th in accuracy. Not terrible, but he's behind Ron Artest. Fortunately for Bargnani, he looked pretty good compared to the guys around him last year. The average team hit 35.8 percent of the their 3s last year, but the Raptors hit only 31.6 percent of their shots from downtown, good for worst in the league. Toronto had just one player take 50 3s with a percentage above that league average, and Leandro Barbosa was only able to get his rate up to 36.5 percent. Respect is truly due to DeMar DeRozan, who was an impossible 5-for-52 from beyond the arc. That 9.6 percent success rate is the worst in league history for a player who took 50 3s in a season or more. On the bright side, the three worst seasons from downtown before DeRozan's feat belong to Hall of Famers: Dennis Johnson (1986-87 and 1988-89) and, yes, Michael Jordan (1987-88, when Jordan went 7-for-53 from 3).

    Front Office Profile: Bryan Colangelo helped craft a dynamic Phoenix team, but has not found the same success in Toronto. He picked Bargnani first overall in the 2006 draft instead of LaMarcus Aldridge or Rudy Gay. Both Hedo Turkoglu and Jermaine O'Neal played poorly after Colangelo brought them in. And last summer's contracts to Linas Kleiza and Amir Johnson appeared ill-advised at the time and even more so now. Despite this track record, Colangelo was signed to a multiyear contract extension last month and will be shaping Toronto's roster for the foreseeable future.

    They Said It: "A lot needs to play out in the coming weeks. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I'm confident that Chris [Bosh] is coming back. That's why the selection of Ed Davis at this spot is one that looks to be the right piece." ó Bryan Colangelo on Ed Davis (TSN)

    "He's got the physical tools reminiscent of Vince Carter." ó Colangelo on how DeMar DeRozan is a lot like the player who torpedoed the franchise

    "We felt Andrea Bargnani was really the best pick for the future of this organization going forward. It's not about today; it's about today and tomorrow and we think Andrea is a player that's not only going to help us in the short run, but we think is going to grow into a terrific star in this league." ó Colangelo on Bargnani

    The NBA Executive Says: "They'll likely take the point guard that Utah didn't pull the trigger on, whichever one is left after Cleveland and Utah picks."

    They Should Pick: Kemba Walker
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...ottery-preview
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  2. #2
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    Okay, I have a few problems with their assessment. First of all, he says the Raptors biggest weakness is shooting. So being last in defense two years running doesn't make is their biggest weakness?

    And Ed Davis did get injured, obviously, but you can't say that injuries kept him off the floor. You can say that even Davis' defense and rebounding wasn't enough to cover up Bargnani's lack of.

    And if shooting IS the biggest weakness, why draft a PG whose biggest weakness might be his lack of a good jumpshot?
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    And if shooting IS the biggest weakness, why draft a PG whose biggest weakness might be his lack of a good jumpshot?
    Kemba has a good jumpshot. He shot a somewhat bad percentage because of his shot selection. He took a lot of Jimmer-level shots.

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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Okay, I have a few problems with their assessment. First of all, he says the Raptors biggest weakness is shooting. So being last in defense two years running doesn't make is their biggest weakness?

    And Ed Davis did get injured, obviously, but you can't say that injuries kept him off the floor. You can say that even Davis' defense and rebounding wasn't enough to cover up Bargnani's lack of.

    And if shooting IS the biggest weakness, why draft a PG whose biggest weakness might be his lack of a good jumpshot?
    Yeah, that basically is nonsense. I had the same reaction. Particularly to the bolded part.

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    The Raptors were the wurst 3-point shooting team, that was the point that the writer was making. It's not as bad Golden State's write up where, the major weakness was supposed to be interior defense and rebounding, so they reccommend drafting Donut Montie O.O?
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    Well, I hear what yall are saying but the best 'pure shooters' in the draft aren't guys you'd pick at #5.
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    Throughout this article, there are numerous places where they identify a team weakness, and then pick a player that does nothing to address the weakness:
    Golden State: Weakness, interior strength; Who they should pick, Montiejunas
    Milwaukee: Weakness, shooting; Who they should pick, Vesely
    Sacramento: Weakness, rim defense; Who they should pick, Fredette
    Washington: Weakness, shooting; Who they should pick, Valanciunas

    I completely get that teams should typically draft BPA rather than need, but why even focus on team needs in a draft preview, if you're going to ignore it to this extent in the suggested picks? For most of these, there's absolutely no explanation for why teams should make these picks.

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    Quote dballa21 wrote: View Post
    Kemba has a good jumpshot. He shot a somewhat bad percentage because of his shot selection. He took a lot of Jimmer-level shots.
    Kemba is a good scorer, but he's not a good shooter. In fact if you read every scouting report on him, it says the same thing.
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    This is a fluff piece with every generalization out there on the Raps - yet missing the biggest one: horrible defense.

    I do take exception to the contracts to Linas and Amir. First off, Amir is earning every penney of that contract and will be only 24 for next season. Secondly, Kleiza got injured in preseason and never did play at 100%. If you base the awarding of the contract on him getting injured, then yes, it was awful but lets also go back and criticize because we didn't pick the right lottery numbers last Saturday while we are at it.

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    I love grantland but this piece didn't do it for me. The only good part was when they took multiple shots at David Kahn within the Minnesota piece.

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    Just because it's your weakness doesn't mean you draft for that, and I know that sounds stupid but that's the way it is. When you're a lottery team, especially bottom 7 or 8 you draft BPA or BPA who also fills a position you're not so strong in, you don't have the luxury of saying "we need more rebounding, so let's draft rebounding and pass up on a possible all-star because he does things that we currently don't suck at."

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    Quote Letter N wrote: View Post
    Just because it's your weakness doesn't mean you draft for that, and I know that sounds stupid but that's the way it is. When you're a lottery team, especially bottom 7 or 8 you draft BPA or BPA who also fills a position you're not so strong in, you don't have the luxury of saying "we need more rebounding, so let's draft rebounding and pass up on a possible all-star because he does things that we currently don't suck at."
    No one is denying that, but to go into such great detail about what each team needs and then basically choose somewhat who does the opposite is bound to get some criticism.
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Kemba is a good scorer, but he's not a good shooter. In fact if you read every scouting report on him, it says the same thing.
    Actually many scouts think that Kemba is going to be a far better shooter than Jimmer (who is considered one of the best shooters in the draft). Mainly because Kemba's release is a lot more fluid than Jimmer's. Kemba only uses his right hand to shoot and his left hand has nothing to do with the shot, whilst Jimmer's left hand follows through with the shot. Players like Ray Allen and other great shooters don't follow through with their left hand. All in all, Kemba's jumpshot is very fluid and can easily be improved. I'd be more concerned with his ball-handling skills and court-vision.

  14. #14
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    Raptors' biggest weakness is definitely defense. Shooting is one of the Raptors' smallest worries, they have a lot of very talented offensive players. Team and interior defense have been horrible, and if the article is about drafting players based on needs/weaknesses then I'd think he should have put someone like Leonard or Bioyombo.

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