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Thread: John Hollinger: Toronto Raptors Player Profiles

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Default John Hollinger: Toronto Raptors Player Profiles

    Anyone have access to this?

    Don't much care what Hollinger has to say, but never know.

    ESPN Insider
    "I just dunked. Got a little dunk. That’s nice." Terrence Ross

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    Jose Calderon

    Projection: 12.7 pts, 3.6 reb, 10.6 ast per 40 min; 15.85 PER | Player card

    • Pure point guard who will reliably break down defense and find open man.
    • Good outside shooter and great foul shooter; very effective finisher, as well.
    • Zero lateral quickness since '09 hamstring injury. A traffic cone on defense.

    Both subjectively and statistically, Calderon's defense improved in 2010-11. But it's not like it could have become worse. Calderon at least made offensive players take a more circuitous path around him, which would have given his bigs more time to help at the rim had they been interested in such a concept. Still, Synergy Stats rated him the league's third-worst point guard last season.

    One can stomach the defense, however, because Calderon is so quietly effective on offense. He had the second-best pure point rating in basketball, and that's nothing new for him; in fact, his stats and PER would look a lot better were it not for an uncharacteristically poor season shooting the ball. He dipped to 36.5 percent on 3s and 44.0 percent overall; the one lingering worry is that he declined to 59.7 percent at the rim. That's still solid for a point guard, but Calderon had annually been among the league's best little guys at the basket, shooting in the upper 60s most of his career. One wonders if this is the first hint of Father Time's pull.

    Nagging leg injuries are also taking a bite out of his career. Last season was the third in a row in which he missed exactly 14 games. Between that and the defense, one wonders how long he can remain viable as a starter.

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    DeMar DeRozan

    Projection: 20.3 pts, 4.5 reb, 2.1 ast per 40 min; 14.42 PER | Player card

    • One-dimensional scorer who can get to rim. Excellent short-range shooter.
    • Great leaper, finisher. Ball hog with iffy handle, passes only as last resort.
    • Decent defensive tools but effort wanes. Beaten far too easily off dribble.

    DeRozan had some big scoring games and was notably more productive after New Year's Day, but between the emptiness of the rest of his stat line and his inattention to defense, he still needs to improve considerably to be a solid long-term starter. He may -- he's only 22 and certainly has athleticism to spare.

    While DeRozan's athleticism and dunking makes the highlights, his meal ticket is his short-to-medium range shooting. DeRozan shot 46.8 percent between 3 and 15 feet, which is amazing for a shooting guard -- only Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant outshot him from that range; additionally the majority of those shots came on his own steam, unassisted.

    DeRozan draws a lot of fouls and makes his free throws, but he takes too many long 2s and 3s (a disastrous 5-of-52 last season), so his true shooting percentage was still very ordinary. Additionally, he has no idea the option of passing exists once he begins dribbling. DeRozan's assist rate was just 60th out of 66 shooting guards, which is just atrocious for somebody putting it on the floor this much.

    Defensively, DeRozan has some tools but has yet to use them and didn't seem terribly interested in figuring out how he might do so; one wonders how much was him and how much was the laissez-faire culture in Toronto.

    Nonetheless, wing players who can get a point every two minutes don't grow on trees, and it was only DeRozan's second season. His game still has major flaws, but it also has major strengths; if he can just become mediocre-to-average in the weak areas, he'll be a star.

    Linas Kleiza

    Projection: 17.4 pts, 6.8 reb, 1.6 ast per 40 min; 11.31 PER | Player card

    • Jump-shooting wing man with enough size and strength to play 4 at times.
    • Strong right-handed driver to rim. Virtually never goes left and rarely passes.
    • Poor defender due to questionable mobility. Recovering from microfracture.

    Kleiza played 39 games last season before undergoing microfracture knee surgery. Given that he wasn't exactly a speed demon to begin with, his future prospects seem dicey, but if he can improve his shot selection and develop his 3-point game a bit more he should be able to recover a rotation spot.

    Amir Johnson

    Projection: 15.1 pts, 10.1 reb, 1.6 ast per 40 min; 17.79 PER | Player card

    • Long big man who is very effective finisher at basket. Good shot-blocker.
    • Poor defender due to lack of strength and high base. Fouls constantly.
    • Limited shooting range and no post game. Gets points on "garbage" baskets.

    I was skeptical of Johnson's contract because I didn't think he could stay on the floor long enough to make his high-percentage shooting of much benefit. But last season he cut the fouls enough to average 25.7 minutes per game; while his defense remained a negative, his 17.67 PER offset it.

    Johnson still fouls way too much -- only seven power forwards were found guilty more often -- but his rate of one every 7.0 minutes at least makes it plausible to start him. Johnson was also guilty of the defensive lowlight of the year for Toronto, which is saying something given this team's porous D: Against New Jersey, he allowed the ponderously slow Brook Lopez to catch the ball at midcourt, breeze past him off the dribble and dunk on Andrea Bargnani.

    Johnson's Synergy Stats numbers were poor as well, and he had a bad habit of showing to help on one side of a screen only to watch helplessly as the dribbler went the other way. His biggest impediment, however, is his lack of strength and high base, which leaves him at a constant disadvantage in the paint. He can block shots, though, ranking sixth among power forwards in blocks per minute.

    Those long legs are a plus on offense, as he moves well, draws fouls and is an expert finisher who ranked fourth among power forwards in true shooting percentage. He also added a midrange set shot this past season, and while the windup is slow it was accurate -- he made 41.9 percent of his long 2s. Another nice plus was his career-best 78.8 percent mark from the line.

    Andrea Bargnani

    Projection: 23.0 pts, 5.9 reb, 2.0 ast per 40 min; 16.47 PER | Player card

    • Line-drive jump shooter. Deadly off catch and very good off dribble to right.
    • Makes heavy use of pump fakes. Can straight-line drive to rim to right.
    • Softest thing from Italy since gelato. Abhors contact, rarely rebounds.

    The biggest challenge for Dwane Casey will be getting Bargnani to quit being such a wimp. His defensive stats are absolutely pathetic. Last season the Raptors were 6.45 points per 100 possessions worse with him on the court, while the year before the differential was 9.10. And that's the best set of numbers on his rιsumι.

    Want more? Among centers he was last in both blocks per minute and rebounds, and sixth from the bottom in steals. According to 82games.com, Bargnani was savaged by opposing centers for a 21.1 PER; essentially, an average center became an All-Star at the mere sight of Bargnani.

    Wait, it gets worse. Using regularized adjusted plus-minus, Bargnani was the worst defensive big man in the entire league last season. Technically, there are two different ways to do this method -- one here and one here; conveniently, both had Bargnani as the league's worst defensive frontcourt player. The fact only three centers fouled less frequently gives you some of the cause for that effect -- the dude is barely trying. Nobody expects him to turn into Tarzan down there, but with his mobility he should at least be able to rotate effectively and cut off drives. More often he's on the weak side scratching his beard while an opposing guard is laying the ball in.

    Offensively, Bargnani is almost good enough to make you forget about the carnage at the other end. He averaged 24.0 points per 40 minutes while hardly ever turning the ball over, and ranked third among centers in secondary percentage. His maddening use of the wrong pivot foot seems to confuse defenders more than it screws up Bargnani, and he's become better at using his myriad pump fakes to free up a straight-line drive to the rim. While he's improved his post game on switches, his big weapon remains the perimeter -- Bargnani shot 44.1 percent on 2s from 10 feet and beyond and is a career 37.1 percent 3-point marksman, stellar numbers for a player of his size.

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    If you want other "player profiles" I don't mind posting, unless ESPN does mind...

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    He Was Wrong about DeMar. Tonight he actually had some nice passes, like the one to andrea bargnani for the open 3.

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    He doesn't pull any punches on Bargnani..... hopefully Casey isn't either.

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    I think his analysis are pretty reasonable. If ESPN doesn't mind I'd like to see the others. Thanks for posting these. The comment about Andrea scratching his beard was funny.

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    And people wonder why I'm so hard on Bargnani.
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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    He Was Wrong about DeMar. Tonight he actually had some nice passes, like the one to andrea bargnani for the open 3.
    I actually thought he was spot on with Demar. Demar has alot of 'raw talent', youth and hard work on his side.... but he has a long way to go to.

    Ball handling
    Passing
    3 pt shooting (which he showed may have been added yesterday)
    defense

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    Quote JoePanini wrote: View Post
    If you want other "player profiles" I don't mind posting, unless ESPN does mind...
    I'd like to see what he has to say about Ed Davis, if you don't mind.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Vincent's Avatar
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    Quote tkfu wrote: View Post
    I'd like to see what he has to say about Ed Davis, if you don't mind.


    ED DAVIS, PF

    Projection: 13.8 pts, 11.8 reb, 1.4 ast per 40 min; 16.00 PER | Player card

    • Long lefty who can score around the basket. Slim build, must add strength.
    • Quality athlete who can block shots and rebound. Jumper a question mark.
    • Good tools, but remains raw. Needs to develop post game, ball skills.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Davis had a very promising rookie season after bouncing back from preseason knee surgery. Although still raw and having an undeveloped body, the bouncy lefty showed great finishing skill by shooting 57.6 percent from the floor and finishing ninth among power forwards in rebound rate. Davis also blocked shots (12th among power forwards), although his lack of muscle was repeatedly exposed in a Raptors frontcourt that lacked a tough guy.

    Although Davis shot well, he didn't shoot often -- he was just 65th among the league's 70 power forwards in usage rate. One suspects he can do more, as he had respectable percentages on shots away from the basket area, so this wasn't a case of just being a dunk specialist.

    Nonetheless, his high shooting percentage and low turnover rate as a rookie suggest he may not advance much in the next year or two -- most rookies with that statistical profile make little or no progress in Year 2. It is likely those numbers will regress to the mean, so even if he develops in other areas his PER is likely to stay in the same neighborhood.


    I will also add Jonas:


    JONAS VALANCIUNAS, C

    No projection | Player card

    • Mobile big man with knack for scoring around the basket. Makes free throws.
    • Strong rebounder in European competition. Decent athlete but needs muscle.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Valanciunas' translated European stats suggest he'll be solid player right away, and given that he's only 19 he could become a star. As a finisher around the basket he reminds one of Andris Biedrins, back when Biedrins was still alive, but Valanciunas has a better frame and one hopes he'll be able to pack more muscle on to it as he grows. Additionally, Valanciunas is a good foul shooter -- a notable contrast to Biedrins -- and could be a solid midrange shooter as a pro.

    He'll spend this season in Lithuania and will likely struggle to check opposing post players initially when he comes to the U.S., but to get a center with star potential with the fifth pick was a great move for the Raptors.
    Last edited by Vincent; Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 01:21 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Vincent's Avatar
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    One more:


    JERRYD BAYLESS, PG

    Projection: 10.5 pts, 6.2 reb, 2.9 ast per 40 min; 12.02 PER | Player card

    • Shoot-first point guard with burst and tenacity to attack rim. Rarely shoots 3s.
    • Average outside shooter and subpar distributor. Makes too many turnovers.
    • Intense but struggles defensively. A tweener between 1 and 2. Fouls too much.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Playing nearly all his minutes at the point, Bayless distributed more and shot less than in Portland. But all things are relative -- he's still very much a shoot-first point, as exhibited by his ranking 43rd in pure point rating. He turns it over too much for a player of his type, ranking 53rd among point guards in turnover rate despite mostly looking for his own offense. Most of those are on failed forays to the cup, so Bayless would do well to continue developing his perimeter game. He's a career 81.7 percent foul shooter, so the stroke is there, but he made only 46 3-pointers all season. As a result he was only 40th among point guards in secondary percentage, even though he's among the best at drawing fouls.

    Defensively, Bayless picks up cheap fouls trying to pressure opponents -- only five point guards fouled with greater frequency, yet he hardly ever stole the ball. He also struggled in pick-and-roll defense and staying with quicker guards; overall, Synergy Stats rated him the second-worst point guard. Partly that's because he didn't have much help from the crew behind him, but the lack of a good place to hide him remains the biggest obstacle to playing time for Bayless. He has the offensive chops to be, at worst, a solid third guard, but the permissive D may keep him in a lesser role.




    Overall I agree with John's assessment of the players but I am happy to say that weak points such as strength with Amir and Ed Davis have been addressed by the players. Another example is the outside shooting of DeMar which looked pretty good yesterday.

    On a negative, I was a little disappointed with Jerryd Bayless as I thought he was out of control on offense yesterday. To be fair it may be that everyone needs more time and the passing lanes may open up, but I feel he needs to run the offence better.

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    Thanks!

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    Quote Vincent wrote: View Post
    As a finisher around the basket he reminds one of Andris Biedrins, back when Biedrins was still alive
    This is a Hall of Fame comment right there.
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    Quote MrProper wrote: View Post
    He Was Wrong about DeMar. Tonight he actually had some nice passes, like the one to andrea bargnani for the open 3.
    No he was right, it was last resort pass. Demar was locked out.
    Last edited by RandomGuy; Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 02:25 PM.

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    His maddening use of the wrong pivot foot seems to confuse defenders more than it screws up Bargnani...
    I always thought Bargnani's tripple threat stance looked very awkward, but could never pinpoint why. That is until I read this statement.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote RandomGuy wrote: View Post
    No he was right, it was last resort pass. Demar was locked out.
    nope your wrong.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran NoPropsneeded's Avatar
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    his comments on Demar and Jerryd were off by quite a bit.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    his comments on Demar and Jerryd were off by quite a bit.
    Well, you can't be saying this based on their performance, because we all saw the game. So what is it you are basing this on. Have you been at the practices? Or are you actually Jerryd, posting in here as NoPropsneeded?

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    Raptors Republic Veteran NoPropsneeded's Avatar
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    Quote Puffer wrote: View Post
    Well, you can't be saying this based on their performance, because we all saw the game. So what is it you are basing this on. Have you been at the practices? Or are you actually Jerryd, posting in here as NoPropsneeded?
    You can't base an entire season off a preseason game. i'm basing this off of their off season work and how they played last year. Here are my projected stats for Jerryd and DeMar

    Jerryd

    FG FGA 3P 3PA RB AST STL BLK TOV PTS FG% 3P% FT%

    5.4 12.5 1.0 3.1 4.0 5.8 0.9 0.2 2.8 16.3 .430 .340 .818


    DeMar

    FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA RB AST STL BLK TOV PTS FG% 3P% FT%

    7.0 14.8 1.6 3.4 4.0 5.1 4.5 2.3 1.1 0.7 1.7 23.4 .476 .342 .810
    Last edited by NoPropsneeded; Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 07:24 PM.

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