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Thread: How does the Raptors bench compare to the Eastern Conference?

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default How does the Raptors bench compare to the Eastern Conference?

    This post makes the assumption that these will be the Raptors starters for most of the season:

    PG: Lowry
    SG: DD
    SF: Fields
    PF: Bargnani
    C: Valanciunas

    This leaves the Raptors reserve lineup looking like this:

    PG: Calderon, Lucas
    SG: Ross, Anderson
    SF: Kleiza, McGuire
    PF: Davis, Acy
    C: Johnson, Gray

    The following are the benches of the Eastern Conference (rosters from ESPN.com) with the advantage given to the team with the best of five position win (some are obvious, some are debatable, all are my opinion - feel free to disagree):


    Atlanta:
    Point Guard Devin Harris
    Shooting Guard Lou Williams, John Jenkins
    Small Forward DeShawn Stevenson
    Power Forward Ivan Johnson, Jordan Williams, Mike Scott
    Center Zaza Pachulia, Johan Petro

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SF, PF, and C.

    Boston:
    Point Guard Avery Bradley, Jamar Smith
    Shooting Guard Jason Terry, Keyon Dooling, Dionte Christmas
    Small Forward Jeff Green, Kris Joseph
    Power Forward Jared Sullinger, Chris Wilcox
    Center Jason Collins, Fab Melo

    Advantage: Draw (Raps PG, C, draw at PF).

    Brooklyn:
    Point Guard C.J. Watson, Tyshawn Taylor
    Shooting Guard MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans
    Small Forward Josh Childress, Donte Greene, Jerry Stackhouse Tornike Shengelia
    Power Forward Reggie Evans, Mirza Teletovic
    Center Andray Blatche

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SF, PF, and C.

    Charlotte:
    Point Guard Ramon Sessions
    Shooting Guard Ben Gordon, Matt Carroll
    Small Forward Reggie Williams, Jeffery Taylor
    Power Forward Tyrus Thomas
    Center Brendan Haywood, DeSagana Diop

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SF, PF, and C.

    Chicago*:
    Point Guard Nate Robinson, Marquis Teague
    Shooting Guard Marco Belinelli,
    Small Forward Jimmy Butler, Vladimir Radmanovic
    Power Forward Taj Gibson
    Center Nazr Mohammed
    *Hinrich considered starter as Rose is out for most of year.

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SF, C.

    Cleveland:
    Point Guard Donald Sloan, Jeremy Pargo
    Shooting Guard Daniel Gibson, Dion Waiters
    Small Forward Kelenna Azubuike, Luke Walton, D.J. Kennedy
    Power Forward Jon Leuer, Samardo Samuels, Luke Harangody
    Center Tyler Zeller, Michael Eric

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SF, PF, and C.

    Detroit:
    Point Guard Will Bynum
    Shooting Guard Kim English
    Small Forward Austin Daye, Corey Maggette, Khris Middleton
    Power Forward Jonas Jerebko, Charlie Villanueva, Kyle Singler
    Center Andre Drummond, Slava Kravtsov

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SG, C.

    Indiana:
    Point Guard D.J. Augustin, Sundiata Gaines
    Shooting Guard Lance Stephenson, Orlando Johnson
    Small Forward Gerald Green, Sam Young
    Power Forward Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Pendergraph
    Center Ian Mahinmi, Miles Plumlee

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SG, C.

    Miami:
    Point Guard Norris Cole
    Shooting Guard Ray Allen, Mike Miller
    Small Forward Rashard Lewis, James Jones
    Power Forward Udonis Haslem
    Center Joel Anthony, Dexter Pittman

    Advantage: Miami at SG, SF, PF

    Milwaukee:
    Point Guard Beno Udrih
    Shooting Guard Doron Lamb
    Small Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Tobias Harris
    Power Forward Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson
    Center Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders Joel Przybilla

    Advantage: Draw (Raps at PG, SG but Bucks at PF with SF and C also a draw but leaning towards Bucks).

    New York:
    Point Guard Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni
    Shooting Guard Ronnie Brewer, Iman Shumpert
    Small Forward Steve Novak, James White, Chris Copeland
    Power Forward Chris Copeland
    Center Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SF, PF and C. (PG and C are debatable but the average age of those 4 backups is 38).

    Orlando:
    Point Guard Ishmael Smith
    Shooting Guard J.J. Redick, Christian Eyenga
    Small Forward Quentin Richardson, Moe Harkless
    Power Forward Al Harrington, Josh McRoberts, Justin Harper, Andrew Nicholson
    Center Nikola Vucevic, Kyle O'Quinn

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, SF, C.

    Philadelphia:
    Point Guard Royal Ivey Maalik Wayns
    Shooting Guard Nick Young
    Small Forward Thaddeus Young, Dorell Wright
    Power Forward Lavoy Allen, Arnett Moultrie
    Center Kwame Brown

    Advantage: Toronto at PG, PF, C.

    Washington:
    Point Guard A.J. Price, Shelvin Mack
    Shooting Guard Jordan Crawford
    Small Forward Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Cartier Martin
    Power Forward Trevor Booker
    Center Kevin Seraphin

    Advantage: Toronto at PG and PF; draw at PF and C.

    Final Tally: 11-1-2.

    What do you think? I'm sure different conclusions could be reached examining each bench from an individual player basis or from a 6 through 10 man perspective but this was time consuming enough.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star wallz's Avatar
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    So they seem to have a solid bench.. I sure hope it shows when the season starts, depth is key!

    Great post by the way

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    Another great post Matt. I have been feeling all along (since the last deal was consummated) that the Raptors bench may be their greatest advantage. If they can stay close during most games, their bench may be able to outscore and out-defend their opponents. This give the Raps some real opportunity whenever they or their opponents are meeting up in a back-to-back situation. It could be the key to getting into that 8th spot.

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    Raptors Republic Starter IROR's Avatar
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    Toronto definitely has a great bench, thanks for a great post. The knicks also have a great bench, I think J Kidd will kill it in limited minutes...but do you really think the Bucks bench is that great? Their second unit will really struggle to score, besides Ersan.

    Key to Toronto's bench (as a unit, not as individuals) is Calderon staying. Take him out of the equation, and I would say we have one of the least effective benches, since JL3 is not a great passer.

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    Quote IROR wrote: View Post
    ...Key to Toronto's bench (as a unit, not as individuals) is Calderon staying. Take him out of the equation, and I would say we have one of the least effective benches, since JL3 is not a great passer.
    If Calderon is gone (trade) something pretty nice is coming back, which either shores up the bench, or replaces one of the starters, which shores up the bench, or is part of a multi-player deal, which replaces one of the starters and brings something back for the bench. Just my thoughts.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote IROR wrote: View Post
    Toronto definitely has a great bench, thanks for a great post. The knicks also have a great bench, I think J Kidd will kill it in limited minutes...but do you really think the Bucks bench is that great? Their second unit will really struggle to score, besides Ersan.

    Key to Toronto's bench (as a unit, not as individuals) is Calderon staying. Take him out of the equation, and I would say we have one of the least effective benches, since JL3 is not a great passer.
    Bucks have a nice front court on the bench.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star hateslosing's Avatar
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    This year with Calderon coming off the bench we are easily the deepest team in the league at point. The positions I worry about are center and shooting guard. Jonas is an unknown commodity at this point and while he played well internationally, we don't know if that will translate. I actually think he may come off the bench so that he can learn from Jose, who is much better in the pick and roll than Lowry.

    The position I'm most concerned about is shooting guard. Unless Demar has gotten much better on D, we don't really have a stopper at the 2. Ross is a rookie and won't be able to do much against some of the big shooting guards in the league. Fields can probably play some minutes at the two when we need a stopper but I think we will get torched a couple times this year at least.

    Thanks for the post Matt, this gives me a lot of hope for this year. Now if our starters can just play well enough to make this matter....
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    Quote hateslosing wrote: View Post
    ... Now if our starters can just play well enough to make this matter....
    Fields and Lowry automatically give us a better starting five. Calderon, Anderson, Kleiza, Amir and either JV or Gray, whoever isn't starting, gives us a bench that could provide problems for some of the lower tier teams in the league.

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    Raptors Republic Starter torch19's Avatar
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    I really like how our bench is structured.

    1. Jose has the big men to run the pick and roll with: Amir rolls hard to the basket, Ed Davis improved his mid range which should prove to be a big difference in spacing, Valanciunas will be sure to make easy baskets around the rim. Gray and Acy are role players who understand their role, predicated on their defensive effort.

    2. We have shooters: Kleiza, Ross and Anderson can all hit the 3 & mid-range with consistency; Kleiza being a sure fire streaky chucker capable of lighting it up fast.

    3. John Lucas: He is an excellent option for a third string point guard, who adds a different dimension in terms of attacking as opposed to setting people up. He's the type to score in bunches and have the role of a spark plug when inserted into the game in spot minutes.

    4. Dominic McGuire: In favorable match-ups, he can easily be inserted as a stopper/defensive specialist.

    In short, we have bigs who will roll hard (capable of hitting mid range jumpers), wings who can stretch the floor and a point guard who will set people up through multiple pick and roll scenarios. Add in specialists for certain situations and the Raptors certainly have a formidable bench capable of giving our starters the motivation (to perform: a la Thibs system) & the luxury of rest.

    Not to mention, our bench can also hold their own on the defensive end.

    I am so excited for this season. Our depth can prove to be a HUGE advantage. I used to think that the Raptors were building like the Mavericks. However, after seeing these off season moves, I'm not so sure anymore. I see the Raptors building more like the Bulls; defense and depth. Of course, we don't have a Derrick Rose - but we do have an attacking, fearless point guard of our own in Kyle Lowry.
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    While I disagree with some of Matt's comparisons, I believe that Raptors have one of the best benches. While at PG they are one of the best if not the best, I don't consider them too strong at SF and C. Overall on paper, a very good bench. We'll have to wait and see if that translates to the Court and I hope it does.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Thanks for the all the work you put into this post, Matt. There were several match ups you gave us an advantage for which I didn't agree with, however overall I agree with your point that we will be going into this season with one of the stronger benches in the Eastern Conf. (possibley both conf's). Since we have no elite player on the team whom we can rely on to dominate any one position we will need to rely on the strength of our bench to wear teams down and that is a huge advantage for us.

    I imagine that by end of the season the Raptors will be one of those teams other teams just hate to play. We have capable players on both units and with Casey's defensive system in place opposing teams will have no time to coast against us. It will be a constant grind to play against the Rap's and teams will have to scratch, claw and work on each posession against us. Can't wait for the season to start!

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Like others have mentioned, Jose remaining a Raptor is the biggest factor in our bench strength. Take him out of the equation, and there's a lot to be desired. I don't see him finishing the season in Toronto (although, I hope I'm wrong).

    Kleiza's health is a big factor too. If he's anywhere close to 100% (something we have yet to see in a Raptor uniform), Kleiza could be good enough to challenge Fields for the starting gig.
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    I'll take the time to read the analysis in-depth later, but my initial thoughts here are:

    1 - a good bench nice, but not much consolation for a sub-par starting 5.

    2 - Jose trade could severely handicap our 2nd unit. He'd be one of the best backup PG in the league.

    3 - We're really banking on TRoss being an effective contributor in a 7/8th man type role. I love to get excited about rookies too, but it's a stretch considering the adjustment period required to go from PAC12 defenses to NBA 2nd string.

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    Raptors Republic Starter mountio's Avatar
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    Good post. Only issue is that in today's NBA, a good bench is actually a better indicator of a bad team than of a good team .. or perhaps more accurately, a good bench is not a good indicator of success (whereas good starters obviously are).

    If you look at the final four last year, SA has a decent bench, but Maimi (horrible), OKC(a little better) and Boston(ok .. but pretty bad once Bradley got hurt) would all certainly be in the bottom half of benches, if not worse.

    So - I will grant you that our bench looks pretty good now - and I am encouraged by that because given the question marks around our starters, our bench players may have to play very important minutes.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Here's what an Atlanta Blog thinks about the Raptors:

    http://www.peachtreehoops.com/2012/9...oronto-raptors

    Outlook – Toronto is really dangerous and could make playoffs. With time they should be quite solid at C and PF. I also consider PG a strength albeit unspectacular and likely to get overlooked in media coverage. Wings are their weak spot to mer, but that might be unfair. Their wings are okay, but not the stars that they supposedly should be. Between players getting used to the NBA and to each other, I suspect they are a year away from putting the right rotations together to get the most out of the team.

    In a strange quirk the Hawks play Toronto less this year than they did in the shortened season last year. Last year the Hawks were 3-1 against the Raptors only losing the first part of a back-to-back when Joe Johnson had one of his worst shooting nights that I remember. This year we play them 3 times all later in the season which increases the chances they figure out their rotation, but the added time to gel should help the Hawks as well. 2 games are in Atlanta and one in Toronto and every match up comes after a night off. I feel confident that the Hawks are likely to win 2 of these games.

    Overall I see the Raptors as just missing the playoffs and finishing 9th in the East with a record of just below .500. Hawks fans would do good to keep a respectful eye on the Raptors as they appear to be building a team that would likely frustrate the current Hawks lineup down the road. Of course, no one knows what the future Hawks lineup will be beyond this year, so maybe the Raptors won't become a match up thorn in our sides.
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    Raptors Republic Starter theycallmeZZ's Avatar
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    Why not post the whole article in another thread?
    TORONTOOOOOO RAPTORSSSSSS

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote theycallmeZZ wrote: View Post
    Why not post the whole article in another thread?
    Because one of the rules of the forum states:

    DO NOT post more than a couple paragraphs of copyrighted material without obtaining specific permission from the current copyright owner to post the material....
    I don't know if this article is copyrighted or not, but I'll err on the side of caution.

    Also, I think the moderators would appreciate not having a new thread every time a new article is written
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Starter theycallmeZZ's Avatar
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    :/


    *ahem*

    Carry on, then.
    TORONTOOOOOO RAPTORSSSSSS

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    ...I don't know if this article is copyrighted or not, but I'll err on the side of caution...
    Good err.

    Anything that is "published" is now copyrighted, unless it explicitly states that it isn't. Published applies to content in text, images, film, audio etc. either on paper, carved into stone or placed online.

    Most material is allowed to be copied for "fair use" which would permit a couple of paragraphs (to show style, type of content) for review purposes or for use when quoting sources to prove a point in a separate work. Examples of the latter are film clips on film review shows or sites, quotes from books by book reviewers or quotes in scholarly works to provide proofs of an argument.

    I am not a copyright lawyer, nor do I play one in a TV show.

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    Raptors Republic Starter themasao's Avatar
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    Great post Matt -- my first thought when we picked up Lowry wasn't what a benefit it would be to our starting lineup (which it will be) but how awesome it would be for our bench.

    We pick up Lowry, our starting lineup gets a talent boost at point (mostly on the defensive end), our bench gets a BIG talent boost at point, and both our starting and bench lineups get boosts at other positions tangentially: I think Derozan will actually be more successful with a point guard who can attack and force the wings to collapse a bit; meanwhile I think last year proved that Amir was more successful with Calderon than he was with Bayless (who shares some similarities with Lowry).

    Point is, I'm excited about our bench not just because of the individual talent of the players, but because of the high potential for synergy.

    (I should add that I think this applies to Jonas too. I actually think Casey will have him come off the bench, and that the reason will be as much that he isn't ready to go up against starters (foul trouble!) as that he'll benefit much more from Calderon running point over Lowry. I think/hope Casey will start Gray beside Bargs for spacing and rebounding, and run Val and Amir on the second unit, hittin pick and rolls for days with Calderon.)

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