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Thread: Why the Raptors will be better next year

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    Default Why the Raptors will be better next year

    I think the people hoping for another year of tanking and a high draft pick are going to be disappointed. Just based on who they have now, and the change in coaching, I think it's likely the Raptors will improve substantially.

    One of the things the Mavericks were especially good at all this year and in the playoffs were playing their best, most efficient lineups. They use in-house +/- metrics to help decide what these lineups are. We don't have such metrics, but we do have basketball-value, which has +/- data for all the Raptor's 5 man lineups, last year.

    http://basketballvalue.com/teamunits...=DESC&team=TOR

    First of all, we find that the Raptors likely starting lineup for next year was above average. Calderon, Demar, JJohnson, AJohnson, and Bargs played a lot of minutes together last year and outscored the opposition by a decent amount. This by itself is a big deal: you'll notice that the starting lineup from the beginning of the year (Jarrett Jack, DeMar, Kleiza, Bargnani, Evans) was terrible. Having a starting lineup that is above average, as opposed to one that is well below average, will make a huge difference.

    Looking at our bad lineups (i.e. most of them), I think we find several patterns. Most of them feature one or more of the following factors: Sonny Weems playing with Demar; Linas Kleiza (who was playing through a serious injury); or Ed Davis and Andrea Bargnani playing together. Or Jarrett Jack, who sucked for us.

    I think a huge problem we had most of last year was lack of an adequate three. Julian Wright looked awesome for us, because when he was playing we weren't trying to defend opposing small forwards with natural 2's, or guys with serious undiagnosed knee injuries. That will not be a big problem for us this year, unless Johnson goes down with an injury.

    I think our team has good, winning lineups that it can put out there, even before getting the natural improvement that you expect from Ed, DeMar, and Bayless. And I think Casey will do a much, much better job than Triano of finding those winning lineups and playing them. I don't know how much difference it will make overall, but I very much doubt we will be looking at a top 8 pick in next years lottery.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote malefax wrote: View Post
    I think the people hoping for another year of tanking and a high draft pick are going to be disappointed. Just based on who they have now, and the change in coaching, I think it's likely the Raptors will improve substantially.

    One of the things the Mavericks were especially good at all this year and in the playoffs were playing their best, most efficient lineups. They use in-house +/- metrics to help decide what these lineups are. We don't have such metrics, but we do have basketball-value, which has +/- data for all the Raptor's 5 man lineups, last year.

    http://basketballvalue.com/teamunits...=DESC&team=TOR

    First of all, we find that the Raptors likely starting lineup for next year was above average. Calderon, Demar, JJohnson, AJohnson, and Bargs played a lot of minutes together last year and outscored the opposition by a decent amount. This by itself is a big deal: you'll notice that the starting lineup from the beginning of the year (Jarrett Jack, DeMar, Kleiza, Bargnani, Evans) was terrible. Having a starting lineup that is above average, as opposed to one that is well below average, will make a huge difference.

    Looking at our bad lineups (i.e. most of them), I think we find several patterns. Most of them feature one or more of the following factors: Sonny Weems playing with Demar; Linas Kleiza (who was playing through a serious injury); or Ed Davis and Andrea Bargnani playing together. Or Jarrett Jack, who sucked for us.

    I think a huge problem we had most of last year was lack of an adequate three. Julian Wright looked awesome for us, because when he was playing we weren't trying to defend opposing small forwards with natural 2's, or guys with serious undiagnosed knee injuries. That will not be a big problem for us this year, unless Johnson goes down with an injury.

    I think our team has good, winning lineups that it can put out there, even before getting the natural improvement that you expect from Ed, DeMar, and Bayless. And I think Casey will do a much, much better job than Triano of finding those winning lineups and playing them. I don't know how much difference it will make overall, but I very much doubt we will be looking at a top 8 pick in next years lottery.
    Part of me hopes you are right.

    Part of me hopes you are not right.

    Then there is the other part of me that hopes because of the part of me that hopes you are right there is no next year and whatever lottery system is put in place produces favourable results for the Raps.

    Then the final part of me remembers if we play next year and you are right and we don't have a high lottery pick that BC managed to get very good value out of 9th overall picks in the past (Amar'e, Marion, and DD).
    Last edited by mcHAPPY; Mon Jul 4th, 2011 at 01:40 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie G-locity's Avatar
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    Good point, just hope that there's a season though, if not, then we do get a top 10 pick for sure.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Papa Burgundy's Avatar
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    I can see the team being improved next season for sure. The Raps have a nice balance of skilled personnel - Shooters (Bargs, Calderon, Barbosa), slashers (DeMar, Bayless, JJ, Barbosa), distributors (Jose, JJ), rebounding (Amir, Ed, JJ). The one big void is really having great success on the defensive side of the ball ... something a great "team scheme" could overcome.

    Maybe a great scenario would be a lockout shortened season, where we come out of the gate slowly as we gel and adapt to a new coaching philosophy. Then after 25-30 games we finish the rest of the season showing promise and cohesion. But the time that happened we will already have a crappy record, so we'll get the benefit of an incredibly strong lottery class of picks (Target a SF or PG depending on who of Bayless or JJ shows themselves to be a future starter this season), while also having strong chemistry and direction to build on ... aaaand also add Jonas to the mix, after a solid year of development.
    The only way to bag a classy lady is to give her two tickets to the gun show... and see if she likes the goods.

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    I think next season is really going to expose how bad Triano was as a coach. I wish we tank, so hopefully we can offset the success with some timely injuries to key personnel, but like the opening poster, I too think this team will have more success than we expect of them. Bryan may even be in a position to make a trade to get us in to the playoffs... which is not ideal in my opinion. I hate half built teams.

    Which is why, I honestly do not care about FA that much, I want to see what we have with this roster. I think the scoring is there, if we can tweak the defensive side of things, than we are talking a lot of extra wins.
    Last edited by MyMomLovesMe; Mon Jul 4th, 2011 at 09:02 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    I think we'll still lose a wack of games but it won't be for lack of effort. Defensively we'll play well as a unit and be scrappy.. But that's it.
    @jerboat

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    I have no real basis for this, just a gut feeling.
    @jerboat

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    Raptors Republic Starter SuperRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote malefax wrote: View Post
    I think the people hoping for another year of tanking and a high draft pick are going to be disappointed. Just based on who they have now, and the change in coaching, I think it's likely the Raptors will improve substantially.

    One of the things the Mavericks were especially good at all this year and in the playoffs were playing their best, most efficient lineups. They use in-house +/- metrics to help decide what these lineups are. We don't have such metrics, but we do have basketball-value, which has +/- data for all the Raptor's 5 man lineups, last year.

    http://basketballvalue.com/teamunits...=DESC&team=TOR

    First of all, we find that the Raptors likely starting lineup for next year was above average. Calderon, Demar, JJohnson, AJohnson, and Bargs played a lot of minutes together last year and outscored the opposition by a decent amount. This by itself is a big deal: you'll notice that the starting lineup from the beginning of the year (Jarrett Jack, DeMar, Kleiza, Bargnani, Evans) was terrible. Having a starting lineup that is above average, as opposed to one that is well below average, will make a huge difference.

    Looking at our bad lineups (i.e. most of them), I think we find several patterns. Most of them feature one or more of the following factors: Sonny Weems playing with Demar; Linas Kleiza (who was playing through a serious injury); or Ed Davis and Andrea Bargnani playing together. Or Jarrett Jack, who sucked for us.

    I think a huge problem we had most of last year was lack of an adequate three. Julian Wright looked awesome for us, because when he was playing we weren't trying to defend opposing small forwards with natural 2's, or guys with serious undiagnosed knee injuries. That will not be a big problem for us this year, unless Johnson goes down with an injury.

    I think our team has good, winning lineups that it can put out there, even before getting the natural improvement that you expect from Ed, DeMar, and Bayless. And I think Casey will do a much, much better job than Triano of finding those winning lineups and playing them. I don't know how much difference it will make overall, but I very much doubt we will be looking at a top 8 pick in next years lottery.
    I agree 100%, people on these forums are too negative sometimes. Everyone just wants to tank, what kind of strategy is that? You gotta compete in this league to win, or you end up like the clippers. Anyway, I've said it on here a hundred times the raptors have the talent to win, they just need to play DEFENSE. We can score, that means we have talent we just cant defend, if we can defend, then we can compete, im not saying we are going to win a championship next year, but atleast we will be working towards one.

    I think that moving bargnani to the PF, bringing in a C who is defensive minded and who protects the rim, and giving more minutes to bayless at the PG who is a better defender, will make a big difference on our team defensively. Add to that a coach who is supposed to be obsessed with defense, and we may see a much improved team defensively. That being said we got a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket: calderon, bargnani, derozan, bayless to name a few, eevn guys like amir, ed davis, kleiza, and james johnson are decent offensively.

    I really really hope their is no lockout, if we miss a game of basketball I will seriously be choked, screw the owners and the players, if they cant figure out how to distribute billions of dollars between them, they should get stuffed.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie huskies2raps's Avatar
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    wow, a positive thread.....nice to see for a change; but after a season of 22 wins, i guess you can't blame a lot of fans - but good points though, here's to hoping for a season, at the very least a shortened one
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    Raptors Republic All-Star tucas's Avatar
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    Why the raptors will be better next season? because it would be hard to do worse

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    actually, a lot of pundits are saying we're going to have the worst team in the league this season, so we very well could. i don't agree with them, i think charlotte will, but hey a high draft pick is a high draft pick. especially one in a potential superstar laden draft.
    @jerboat

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    Quote SuperRaptor wrote: View Post
    I agree 100%, people on these forums are too negative sometimes. Everyone just wants to tank, what kind of strategy is that? You gotta compete in this league to win, or you end up like the clippers. Anyway, I've said it on here a hundred times the raptors have the talent to win, they just need to play DEFENSE. We can score, that means we have talent we just cant defend, if we can defend, then we can compete, im not saying we are going to win a championship next year, but atleast we will be working towards one.

    I think that moving bargnani to the PF, bringing in a C who is defensive minded and who protects the rim, and giving more minutes to bayless at the PG who is a better defender, will make a big difference on our team defensively. Add to that a coach who is supposed to be obsessed with defense, and we may see a much improved team defensively. That being said we got a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket: calderon, bargnani, derozan, bayless to name a few, eevn guys like amir, ed davis, kleiza, and james johnson are decent offensively.

    I really really hope their is no lockout, if we miss a game of basketball I will seriously be choked, screw the owners and the players, if they cant figure out how to distribute billions of dollars between them, they should get stuffed.
    couple things here:

    1) I don't think its so much 'tanking' but rather not trying to immediately improve. That is not going out and getting vets who marginally improve the team just to win a few more games or make the playoffs. I don't think anyone wants to see the team intially not try, sit the better players etc. Its just the term tanking has changed from intentionally losing, to not trying your hardest to win. (if that makes any sense)

    If this team stays the same and there is a marked improvement in the team I think thats a good thing and most people would be happy with it. If they change the team in some significant way and there is a marginal improvement, I don't think thats acceptable.

    2) those changes may improve this teams D, but does it not in turn hurt the offense? does the team really end up any better off if they give up 5 less points a game, but score 5 less? For instance Bargs to PF and a defensive minded C means a total net offense loss but (theoretically) a net defensive gain. Switching Bayless and Calderon will definetely improves the D but it unquestionably hurts the offense to.

    This team is only going to win if their Defense improves without hurting their offense... which more or less means a lot of the current players need to improve or end up being moved. The team needs balance, and specifically balanced players, and you don't get that by simply adding a bandaid. Thats more or less why they need this draft (and their previous drafted players to improve)... they need balanced players and a true top tier talent. Its why Bargnani needs to be dealt with and Derozan is coming due to prove himself or be dealt with aswell.

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    I guess we'll see how accurate the pundits are. I explained why I thought they'd be wrong. One thing I haven't looked at is the other teams, in terms of who's getting worse and who's getting better.

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    Garbagetime: if you look at the +/- stats, you'll see that some of our lineups, using players who will be getting heavy minutes next year, have good offensive efficiency and way better defensive efficiency than we averaged last year. Including our probable starting lineup. So i think we can improve our defense without giving up anything on offense.

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    Quote malefax wrote: View Post
    I guess we'll see how accurate the pundits are. I explained why I thought they'd be wrong. One thing I haven't looked at is the other teams, in terms of who's getting worse and who's getting better.
    not to be rude, but I remember hearing this last year to from people. I will say injuries easily could have derailled things, but I doubt in the grand scheme of things they resulted in more than a few extra losses for Toronto.

    As for the +/-, when you look at alot of those line ups the sample size is incredibly small. For example, if you look at the top unit (Jose, DD, JJ, Reggie, AB), they played a combined 30 minutes against a combined 6 teams (washington, Char, Mil, Det, OKC, Den). Thats an incredibly small sample.. can we really apply that to what we expect to be approx 30 min a game against 29 teams over 82 games? (just as a note the Raps numerous moves and injuries really make a mess of 5 man +/- units, sample sizes from start to finish are very small)

    Now that said there definetely is a consistency with Weems/Kleiza in the starting unit, and the unit being bad (worse) vs Wright/JJ. I'm not going to deny that... and thats not really a suprise. No doubt having a real SF play that position will inevitably help the team. The real question is will it be enough to really matter, or just result in a weaker lottery pick next year?

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    I'm predicting that they go undefeated over the next year.

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    Lol...dillusional Rap fans as usual. I wrote last year before the season that the Raptors would be in the lottery for half a decade and it looks like I was wrong...It's going to be longer than that basing on the moves (or lack thereof) by Brian Colangelo. He has acquired random talent that can't play together on both ends of the floor and didn't make any moves to address the glaring holes everywhere except the bench or shooting guard.

    1. Raptors were the 3rd worst team last season, only Minny and Cleveland had worse records. The reality of what all Raptor fans need to understand is that both teams got significantly better in the off season. Cleveland added a number 1 pick who has Chris Paul potential and a good forward. Varegao returns after missing all season and they can't really get any worse. Minny added 2 young talents in Rubio and Williams. Whether we like it or not Kevin Love and Michael Beasley is a good core to build around and much better than anything we got here. They have tons of talented players on that roster and they just need to trade some of it for a good veteran. The truth is that Minnesota is going in the right direction and is bound to improve.

    2. Washington, Sacramento, Clippers, New Jersey will only get better as they have cornerstone players on their teams. Meanwhile Toronto has one good player (Derozan) surrounded by one dimensional players who would be strapped to the bench of any playoff team. They consider Ed Davis a cornerstone player (lol) considering his skill set is very similar to Taj Gibson who is a bench player for a good team (he was also on the bench when they were an 8 seed). James Johnson, Weems,Kleiza, Calderon, Barbosa, Bayless are all useless trade assets who are either overpaid or role players. I'm sure Bargnani has good trade value but the Raps would be getting 30 cents on the dollar for all the time they invested in him.

    3. Obviously some teams are bound to get worse if the bottom feeders are getting better; the likes of Charlotte, Detroit and Utah are the only teams to compete with the Raptors for the most lottery balls next season and I believe those teams have more of a chance of turning it around than Toronto.

    4. The only option to improve over last season is that the team needs to improve from within. When I look at the roster, most of the guys can't really do more than what they have done over the course of the career. Perhaps Derozan can turn into an allstar and the light will finally come on for Bargnani but those are huge reaches. I expect Derozan to improve but not into an all star and Bargnani to have a similar season.

    Last year I was bashed for stating that the Raps had one of the worst rosters in the NBA prior to the season and I'm sure some fans have finally faced reality but the truth is that the Raptors are in the worst shape they have ever been since the expansion roster. Despite great coaching and systems players win in the NBA; and when I look at the roster, it's clear that we have one of the worst in the NBA and I challenge anyone to show me any different. We will be in the lottery for a long time so let's hope we get Rodney Purvis in the 2014 NBA draft as he's the next Lebron James because I'm sure we will be in the running for top pick then.

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    Bear in mind he's in the 10th grade

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Part of me hopes you are right.

    Part of me hopes you are not right.

    Then there is the other part of me that hopes because of the part of me that hopes you are right there is no next year and whatever lottery system is put in place produces favourable results for the Raps.

    Then the final part of me remembers if we play next year and you are right and we don't have a high lottery pick that BC managed to get very good value out of 9th overall picks in the past (Amar'e, Marion, and DD).
    I was uncertain whether http://www.motifake.com/ambiguity-de...ers-32846.html
    or http://www.motifake.com/ambiguity-de...ers-59741.html was the appropriate answer.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Hugmenot wrote: View Post
    I like #2.

    (might not be work safe people... as if RR was)

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