A low post threat is the most pressing concern offensively. JV may get there but it will be a year or three before he's good enough to get there consistently. I don't think the offense is our problem though, we are actually ranked reasonably high in offensive efficiency.
I think our biggest weakness are that:
a. We suck at rebounding, which is arguably the biggest sign of a winning team. We are currently bottom ten in every rebounding % metric and 29th in rbs per game. Our best rebounder, Amir, is 47th in rbs per game and we have no one in the top 50 for rebounds per 36.
b. We are an awful defensive team. I don't know what happened to last years defensive tenacity but this year we've been terrible. This is mainly a coaching issue, our hedges are not as hard as they used to be and we aren't recovering fast enough. Giving up offensive rebounds and turnovers kills us. The fact we are always undersized doesn't help either.
Basically we need to upgrade at both big spots and get our focus back defensively. Amir is very much improved this season and if we were very strong at center would be a very good hustle guy in with our starters. Maybe Val will get there and be the elite rebounder and post player that we need (think Noah or this years Varejao), but until he does we are going to have a lot of trouble with defense and rebounding.
"When Life gives you lemons, you clone those Lemons to make super lemons!"
I think the 2 things we need the most is a starting PF who can ALSO play C. That way we wouldn't need to sign another center who needs minutes.
I know I should not say this but I think we should try to bring back Calderon.
There's math, and everything else is debatable.
We need a low post threat because in this stage of development JV just isnt there yet hes going to be a beast someday you can see it but hes still I think 3 seasons away from being a legitimate give him the ball and score 2 for us down low kinda guy.
3 bigs rotation JV, (Unknown Vet PF) or Ed Davis & Amir Johnson Acy and Gray playing filler time.. I can live with that.
JV is not 3 seasons away from running plays for him in the post. Next season I think he'll already have a couple of moves down well enough for that.* He's also going to score on the glass and on the rolls/cuts he makes. If the PF we get is also a shooting threat, like Millsap (pipe dream though, IMO), then it's fine, because he can score from anywhere. But I don't want a guy who is basically only effective in the low-post, especially since most of those guys only fit as Cs these days.Having a PF who is more solid from the perimeter would still help the Raps post game, whether it's JV (or whatever big) or Gay/Demar down in the post. Floor spacing (with proper shot selection) is desperately lacking from this team, because there are too many poor shooters mixed in with ball stoppers.
The other thing people really have to remember, is that post-up threats don't have to be big, low post players. Miami uses LeBron in the mid-post. NY uses Melo. OKC uses Durant. LA uses Kobe. MIA even uses Wade as well in the post...The Raps will have a size advantage almost every night at both wing positions. Demar is already becoming a pretty good post scorer. And Rudy needs to get better at seeing the doubles, but is also good at initiating offense from the post. There again, having a good shooter would be hugely beneficial.
There's more than one way to skin a cat
*The fundamentals of JV's moves are really solid...this includes the fact that I don't think I've seen a Raptor actually know how to establish post position like he does (but never gets the ball) since Kevin Willis was here.
Last edited by white men can't jump; Sat Mar 2nd, 2013 at 12:30 PM.
The team as constituted now should make the play-offs. The reason it probably won't make the play-offs this year is because it was not as it is now at the beginning of the year. However to be a significant play-off team, it requires:
a) A SOLID pass-first back up PG. Preferably very experienced so he can mentor and guide Lowry. Eg. Jason Kidd.
b) A starting PF who specialises in rebounding. Preferably Millsap.
Attitude Is A Choice.
Granted both those guys mean finding another C or C/F who can be more mobile than Gray to back up JV. Though I like Gray and Acy as 3rd bigs at each position.
We need better rebounding and more depth at the bigs position. We need to then unload (addition by subtraction) AA and Bargnani (hopefully for some pieces back). The 2nd biggest need is a past first point guard off the bench.
Lowry/ Ridnour (a man can dream)
Now those two needs can be filled by trade (Bargnani and anderson for Ridnour and a bad contract) and the MLE (Carl landry).
Bargnani's man on man defense by the way is his biggest asset now a days.
The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!
To be successful in the playoffs, you need a BIG or SOMEONE who can attract double teams in the low post. The game slows down in the post-season. You need to space the floor, and that comes with an inside post presence (JV is not there yet) to make defenses adjust to guard the inside, and perimeter shooters so they don't load up on the low block.
You might say "hey, look at OKC, Miami. They were in the finals last year, neither have low post players!"
Wrong. LeBron and Wade play a significant amount in the low post, and believe it or not, Durant and Westbrook spend time in the low block creating from there.
Unless Casey starts drawing up a system/set which allows Derozan and Gay to sit in that low block and create shots for themselves/others from there, we need a big, especially because behind JV and Amir, who comes in and provides what goes off? Bargnani? Pft, yeah right. Rebounding, low post scoring, and a shot-blocker/help/post defender is what we really need right now. Perimeter shooters follow, a back-up point guard would be nice - please not Calderon, he clearly sees himself as a starter - and some type of bench scorer.
I thought Andrea might have been able to be that bench player but I seem to have been wrong. Not sure if he can get out of his funk in Toronto, or whether the damage here is too deep. It's unfortunate, because even if he had moderately progressed as a player given his rookie season, he'd be a fine bench asset.
I don't know enough to evaluate Acy, but it seems like he's not quite ready to provide consistent rebounding/defense off the bench. If you look right now, the only real bigs the Raptors have off the bench are Gray and Acy, which is a problem. Have to address that.
One of Anderson and Ross need to either step up and be consistent scorers, or one of them has to be booted out because right now neither provide any sort of consistency. Not sure what the plan is next year, but Ross is in danger of being buried on this team if he doesn't, at the very least, bring some consistent outside shooting.
Other than that, you hope DeRozan, Valanciunas, and even Gay progress and improve, because we ain't got the room to make any great moves on the market.
Agree with a lot of what people are saying, one thing I would add though is we've got to many ISO drivers, and not enough ball movement. Getting shooters will help space the floor, but so will getting someone on the starting unit who can move the ball.
Unless you can somehow get Pau from the lakers in a bargs trade (yeah right!) I think you've got to move demar.
"They're going to have to rename the whole conference after us: Toronto Raptors 2014-2015 Northern Conference Champions" ~ ezzbee
"We only have one rule on this team. What is that rule? E.L.E. That's right's, E.L.E, and what does E.L.E. stand for? EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. Right there up on the wall, because this isn't just a basketball team, this is a lifestyle. ~ Jackie Moon
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