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Thread: Aaron Gray Our New Starting Center

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    Raptors Republic Starter SuperRaptor's Avatar
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    Default Aaron Gray Our New Starting Center

    Is it just me or does it seem like Amir Johnson's injuries are starting to catch up to him. If you ask me, in a year such as this where we are struggling so bad, and are far from being in the race for a playoff spot (at this point at least) I don't think it makes sense to play guys that are even remotely injured. Play other guys and let injuries heal giving minutes to other people and letting us evaluate what we have.

    Amir Johnson's productivity has kind of slipped a bit over the last couple of games, and frankly he looks tired. He should take some time off let his hand heal giving minutes to other players.

    Aaron Gray since coming back has been making his presence as a big body felt in the middle, and in today's game against the clippers he was the only one who was able to give a Clippers front court that man handled our starters a tough time, I think he had 6 points 8 rebounds in 15 min. not bad. What I like about him is that he is not undersized. He is a legit 7 footer who is 270lbs and for the first time in a long time we have the opportunity to start a "True" center. When I mean true I mean a center who plays with his back to the basket, is physical, has that kind of size that you need down low, and is a great rebounder. He also kind of showed some soft hands in traffic making some difficult lay ups today.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Amir Johnson, but he is not a C, he is a PF, and especially if he is injured and we have a guy like Aaron Gray their is no reason why we shouldn't give him a shot. I am kind of concerned that we are burning Amir out, forcing him to play bigger players game in and game out, and now that Andrea is not up there with him, it presents an even tougher challenge.

    Also Amir has played very well in the past when he has been asked to come off the bench. He could provide an extra spark.

    Our lineup the way I would like to see it:

    PG- Calderon/Bayless/Carter
    SG- Derozan/Barbosa/Forbes
    SF- Johnson/Kleiza/Butler
    PF- Bargnani/Davis/Johnson *
    C- Gray/Johnson/Magloire *

    * I can see Amir playing both PF and C off the bench. I dont want to see his numbers get reduced I just want to see him get healthy, and come off the bench.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Balls of Steel's Avatar
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    Ed Davis for Batum needs to happen soon so that Amir can slide back to backing up Bargs at 4
    “The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.” - Martin Luther King

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    Raptors Republic Starter SuperRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote Balls of Steel wrote: View Post
    Ed Davis for Batum needs to happen soon so that Amir can slide back to backing up Bargs at 4
    I agree that we have a log jam at PF, we have 5 guys that can play the PF (bargnani, davis, johnson, kleiza, j.johnson) it makes sense to trade either Amir or Davis, to fill the whole at SF. I doubt portland would give up Batum for Davis though, Batum is a much more proven player, Davis has a lot of potential but is raw.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie big_chris's Avatar
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    Amir having to get surgery instead of working on his game this summer has held him back. I wish we'd shut him down last March, and had him get surgery then. Having said that, Amir is a PF who can log some minutes at C, not a proper, C / PF.

    I like Gray as starting C. Even if he only plays 5 minutes to start the 1st and 3rd quarters. We need his size on the floor.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Balls of Steel wrote: View Post
    Ed Davis for Batum needs to happen soon so that Amir can slide back to backing up Bargs at 4
    I've never understood the Batum love around the league. I just don't see the immense upside everyone talks about.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote big_chris wrote: View Post
    Amir having to get surgery instead of working on his game this summer has held him back. I wish we'd shut him down last March, and had him get surgery then. Having said that, Amir is a PF who can log some minutes at C, not a proper, C / PF.

    I like Gray as starting C. Even if he only plays 5 minutes to start the 1st and 3rd quarters. We need his size on the floor.
    I personally don't think Amir's slowed production is a result of his off-season surgery. I think it's 100% due to him playing out of position.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Starter SuperRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    I personally don't think Amir's slowed production is a result of his off-season surgery. I think it's 100% due to him playing out of position.
    He definitely losses some productivity cause he is playing out of position. But I'm pretty sure he is not 100% right now, he has that brace on his hand, in the interview last night he said that he might be getting an MRI on it. What I'm saying is that if he is not 100%, then he shouldn't play, this is not the season where we need to be rushing any guys back from injury. We have a full roster, give play time to other guys to let them prove themselves, and if we don't have a great season whats the worst that will happen? (top 5 pick next year) I like what I have seen from Aaron Gray especially in the last game against the clippers, and I would like to see us play a real big, heavy, rebounding, back to the basket, bruiser for a C.

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    Raptors Republic Starter SuperRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote big_chris wrote: View Post
    Amir having to get surgery instead of working on his game this summer has held him back. I wish we'd shut him down last March, and had him get surgery then. Having said that, Amir is a PF who can log some minutes at C, not a proper, C / PF.

    I like Gray as starting C. Even if he only plays 5 minutes to start the 1st and 3rd quarters. We need his size on the floor.
    He has shown flashes of brilliance this year, and has probably been our most consistent player (after bargnani that is) for the most part. But he has hand/wrist injury, is causing him problems, he even admitted that it hasn't been healing, cause he re-injuries it every game, and that he is considering getting an MRI. The kid is too young to take chances on, especially this season, better to have him get 100% and then come back.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie big_chris's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    I personally don't think Amir's slowed production is a result of his off-season surgery. I think it's 100% due to him playing out of position.
    Not sure I agree. Opposing C's cover the guy who play's closest to the basket, not the guy we want to call a C. Amir / Bargnani, Bargnani / Amir is the same thing when we have the ball. Covering C's can wear on you, but that's no excuse when the game is still as fresh as his legs are.

    Shooting 28% in spot up chances this year, he has the look of a guy who was rehabbing injuries instead of improving upon last season. He was almost money in the bank from mid-range last year, and this year you are surprised when they go in. His shooting stroke looks completely broken right now. There is a weird hesitation between getting his legs into it and the release, and he's aiming it instead of following through.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote big_chris wrote: View Post
    Not sure I agree. Opposing C's cover the guy who play's closest to the basket, not the guy we want to call a C. Amir / Bargnani, Bargnani / Amir is the same thing when we have the ball. Covering C's can wear on you, but that's no excuse when the game is still as fresh as his legs are.

    Shooting 28% in spot up chances this year, he has the look of a guy who was rehabbing injuries instead of improving upon last season. He was almost money in the bank from mid-range last year, and this year you are surprised when they go in. His shooting stroke looks completely broken right now. There is a weird hesitation between getting his legs into it and the release, and he's aiming it instead of following through.
    Sorry, I was talking about production from a defensive/rebounding perspective, especially over the last few games.

    But you're right, his wrist could definitely be affecting his shooting mechanics.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Super Moderator thead's Avatar
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    I agree with SuperRaptor on this...we aren't making the playoffs why allow a player to play hurt?

    Let him heal, throw Alabi some NBA minutes, lets see if Gray should stay long term. Let's see what Forbes can do in

    greater minutes at his natural position.

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    Quote thead wrote: View Post
    I agree with SuperRaptor on this...we aren't making the playoffs why allow a player to play hurt?

    Let him heal, throw Alabi some NBA minutes, lets see if Gray should stay long term. Let's see what Forbes can do in

    greater minutes at his natural position.
    +1

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    Raptors Republic Starter charlz's Avatar
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    Quote Balls of Steel wrote: View Post
    Ed Davis for Batum needs to happen soon so that Amir can slide back to backing up Bargs at 4
    is that being discussed? I know Batum is in a contract year though? link?
    "I may be wrong ... but I doubt it"

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    Raptors Republic Starter charlz's Avatar
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    Quote SuperRaptor wrote: View Post
    Aaron Gray since coming back has been making his presence as a big body felt in the middle, and in today's game against the clippers he was the only one who was able to...
    Aside from loosing streak ... this team is discussing Kleiza, Gray and Butler in the starting lineup it really tells you how bad it is.
    "I may be wrong ... but I doubt it"

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    Quote charlz wrote: View Post
    Aside from loosing streak ... this team is discussing Kleiza, Gray and Butler in the starting lineup it really tells you how bad it is.
    No matter what the situation is, you have to always try and get better. I think a tweak in the starting lineup now that you have a healthy Aaron Gray is in order. Especially considering a less than 100% Amir Johnson at the moment. Casey apparently has been hinting at a lineup change with the bigs in interviews the last coupe of days. This was being commented on by "The Doug" :

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/basket...hat-will-it-be

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    Quote charlz wrote: View Post
    is that being discussed? I know Batum is in a contract year though? link?
    Lol I think this has been discussed only on this forum on a thread called: "So we are flipping Ed Davis huh?" I'm pretty sure this is pure speculation, but so is 80% of what is discussed on these forums.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    Aaron Gray get the start

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Balls of Steel's Avatar
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    Quote charlz wrote: View Post
    is that being discussed? I know Batum is in a contract year though? link?
    It's wishful thinking on my part. Oh and Nilanka, I have seen him play several times over the last two years. He's good. Played well in Europe too during the lockout. He can defend and shoot the three rock. He's young and fits the mold of what the raps need. He's in contract talks but Portland is low balling him. The GM has gone on record that he cannot afford to sign both him and Wallace to juicy deals. He's not happy with his bench role.

    http://portlandtribune.com/sports/st...31384960197200
    Last edited by Balls of Steel; Wed Jan 25th, 2012 at 07:04 AM.
    “The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.” - Martin Luther King

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Balls of Steel wrote: View Post
    It's wishful thinking on my part. Oh and Nilanka, I have seen him play several times over the last two years. He's good. Played well in Europe too during the lockout. He can defend and shoot the three rock. He's young and fits the mold of what the raps need. He's in contract talks but Portland is low balling him. The GM has gone on record that he cannot afford to sign both him and Wallace to juicy deals. He's not happy with his bench role.

    http://portlandtribune.com/sports/st...31384960197200
    Would you say he has more upside as an overall player, than J.Johnson with a consistent 15-foot jumper?
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    Would you say he has more upside as an overall player, than J.Johnson with a consistent 15-foot jumper?
    I'm not Balls, but I think yes, yes, yes.

    JJ, and all fans, should embrace the notion of him being a 6-8th man on the team. He is instant energy off the bench when he focuses on defense and plays within himself on offense.

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