Posts Tagged ‘Devin Harris’

GAME REVIEW: Raptors vs Nets [Dec 15]

December 16, 2008

NBA games can change dramatically depending upon the substitutions a team makes, or not, and the combination of players it has on the court, at any point in time, versus an opponent’s specific 5-Man Unit.

Such was the case last night when the Raptors faced the Nets.

At the 05:00 mark of the 3rd Quarter, New Jersey led Toronto by a single point, 58-57, when the following series of substitutions were made for each team:

SUBSTITUTIONS, TIME, SCORE & RAPTORS’ +/-

[Raptors vs Nets, Mon Dec 15 2008]

Nets

3rd Q

Raptors

PG

OG

SF

PF

C

Time
Score

+/-

PG

OG

SF

PF

C

DH

VC

BS

RA

JB

05:00

58-57

-1

JC

JK

JM

AB

CB

KD

VC

TH

 

 

03:25

60-64

+4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

02:32

60-66

+6

 

AP

 

JG

AB

 

 

 

 

 

00:10

63-70
+7

 

 

JK

JG

 

 

4th Q

 

DH

KD

 

 

 

12:00

63-70
+7

RU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

09:18

66-72

+6

JC

 

 

CB

JO

 

 

 

 

 

08:48

70-72

+2

 

JK

JM

 

 

 

VC

 

 

 

06:21

74-72

-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05:39

74-72

-2

 

 

JG

AB

CB

 

 

 

 

 

03:26

84-74

-10

 

 

JM

CB

JO

 

 

 

 

 

02:44

88-74

-14

 

 

AP

 

 

Legend:

AB – Andrea Bargnani; AP – Anthony Parker; BL – Brook Lopez; BS – Bobby Simmons; CB – Chris Bosh; DH – Devin Harris; JB – Josh Boone; JC – Jose Calderon; JG – Joey Graham; JK – Jason Kapono; JM – Jamario Mooon; JO – Jermaine O’Neal; KD – Keyon Dooling; RA – Ryan Anderson; RU – Roko Ukic; TH – Trenton Hassell; VC – Vince Carter

When the bleeding finally stopped for the Raptors, at the 02:44 mark of the 4th period, the Nets had established a 14-point margin that eventually proved to be insurmountable for the home team.

Closeer examination of these events reveals a number of interesting things about the mechanics of last night’s contest.

———————————————————–

After relinquishing the lead to the Raptors’ 5-Man Unit of …

Calderon-Kapono-Moon-Bargnani-Bosh,

the Nets made their first key substitution at the 03:25 mark of the 3rd Q, when they replaced Harris/PG & Simmons/SF with Dooling and Hassell, respectively, although they were trailing by 4 points [60-64], at the time.

What this substitution did was change The End of the 3rd Quarter/Beginning of the 4th Quarter Match-ups for each of the teams at the PG position.

Despite playing without their starting PG, the Nets were able to stay within striking distance of the Raptors, while buying valuable rest time for Harris to begin the 4th Quarter versus Ukic, the back-up PG for the Raptors.

Conversely, the Raptors made their first key substitution at the 02:32 of the 3rd Quarter when they replaced Kapono/OG and Bosh/C with Parker & Graham, respectively, while leading the Nets by 6 points, 60-66.

What this substitution did was create a most unusual line-up for Toronto that has rarely, if ever, seen the court this season [either under Sam Mitchell or Jay Triano]:

Calderon-Parker-Moon-Graham-Bargnani

It was this unit which failed to open up a wider working margin for the Raptors versus the Nets, playing without Harris.

Then, at the 3rd Quarter interval, was when both teams made their second set of key substitutions:

New Jersey … used Harris & Dooling together, in conjunction with Lopez, Anderson & Hassell; while resting Carter.

Toronto … replaced Calderon with Ukic, and kept their other four players [who finished the 3rd Quarter] on the court.

What these two sets of subs did was:

1. Prevent the Raptors from establishing a wider working margin over the Nets, while New Jersey was buying rest time for Carter;

2. Establish Harris [who scored the first 5 points of the quarter playing versus the Raptors' back-up PG] as the Offensive Focus for the Nets during this segment of the game.

The third key substitution for the Nets was made at the 06:21 mark of the 4th Quarter when they replaced Dooling/OG with Carter, who was rested for the stretch run, after the Nets had already regained the lead from the Raptors, primarily, on the back of Harris and Lopez.

The third key susbstitution for the Raptors was made at the 05:39 mark of the 4th Quarter when they replaced Moon/SF & O’Neal/C with Graham/SF & Bargnani/PF, respectively, shifted Bosh to the Center position, in conjunction with Calderon and Kapono [who played all 12 minutes of the 4th Quarter]. 

It was this line-up that was outscored 10-2 by the Nets between the 05:39 and 03:26 marks of the 4th Quarter, which allowed New Jersey to establish a 10 point lead on the Raptors, 84-74.

The fourth key substitution for the Raptors was at the 03:26 mark of the 4th Quarter when Toronto replaced Bargnani/PF & Graham/SF with O’Neal & Moon, respectively, after which the Nets increased their lead to 14 points, 88-74.

In fact, it was during these two specific segments of the game that the following  16 Key Possession Outcomes occurred and determined the eventual Winner/Loser of this match-up:

KEY POSSESSION OUTCOMES

[Raptors vs Nets, Mon Dec 15 2008]

 

Nets

4th Q

Time

Score

+/-

 

Raptors

 

05:39

74-72

-2

 

#1. Carter, Made Driving Layup [2+1], Fouled by Bargnani

05:31
77-72

-5

 

 

05:12

#2. Kapono, Missed J3

#3. Harris Made Two FT’s [1+1], Fouled by Graham

04:48

79-72

-7

 

 

04:42

79-74

-5

#4. Calderon, Made Two FT’s [1+1], Fouled by Lopez

#5. Carter Missed J2

04:22

 

 

04:17

#6. Calderon, Turnover/4

#7. Harris J2 [2]

04:06

81-74

-7

 

 

03:52

#8. Kapono, Missed J3

#9. Anderson, Made J3 [3]

03:33

84-74

-10

 

 

03:26

Time-out/20

 

03:18

#10. Bosh, Missed Driving Layup

 

03:15

#11. O’Neal, O-Reb, Missed Two FT’s, Fouled by Anderson

 

03:13

#12. Bosh, O-Reb, Missed Tap-in

#13. Lopez, Missed Layup, Blocked shot by O’Neal

03:00

 

#14. Anderson, O-Reb, Made Tap-in [2]

02:55

86-74

-12

 

 

02:48

#15. Calderon, Turnover/5

#16. Anderson, Made Two FT’s, Fouled by Moon [1+1]

02:44

88-74

-14

 

Time-out/Full

02:44

 

i.e. New Jersey converted 6 of their 8 Possessions [75.0%] into 14 points; while Toronto converted only 1 of their 8 Possessions [12.5 %] into 2 points. 

Of particular interest to this corner are the following facts:

* The Raptors LOST the Battle of the Boards last night, 38 to 54. 

* During these 8 Possessions the Raptors’ output consisted of:

  • 2 Missed J3′s by Kapono
    2 Missed Layup/Tap-in Attempts by Bosh
    2 Turnovers by Calderon
    1 Set of 2 Missed FT’s by O’Neal
    1 Set of 2 Made FT’s by Calderon

* During these two key segments of the game, the Raptors chose to ignore the line-up they used last week versus the Pacers to close out their first victory under Jay Triano, i.e. Calderon-Moon-Graham-Bosh-O’Neal, that is by far the best REBOUNDING & Team Defense 5-Man Unit which Toronto can put on the floor.

———————————————————–

In general …

How a team uses its substitutes, at important moments within a specific NBA game, can be a crucial factor toward determining the eventual Winner/Loser of that contest.

Such was the case last night, at the ACC, when the Raptors forgot just how vital REBOUNDING & Team Defense are … especially, during the 4th Quarter of a close game, in this league, versus a dangerous opponent.

Good fit for the Nets

September 4, 2008

Given the strengths and weaknesses of his current Player Roster, the Little General is once again proving to astute NBA observers that he is a solid NBA coach … 

Dribble Drive Motion Offense in the Swamp

who knows exactly what he’s doing, when it comes to making sound adjustments with his team that maximize his players’ skills & abilities.

Focusing the Nets’ offensive system on the penetrating abilities of Devin Harris, Wince Carter, Keyon Dooling and CDR, without a dominant LOW POST-scorer anywhere in sight, and with a plethora of mobile, athletic youngish Bigs, who have an array of offensive (and defensive) talents … is a sound coaching move by Lawrence Frank.

Looking at the Nets’ 2008-2009 roster … there are any number of intriguing options/combinations when you take a young Big Man, like Brook Lopez (Boone-J & Williams-S), shift him to the WEAK SIDE block, and then surround him with a combination of Guard & Forwards who can either take it to the rack, shoot the ball, or both (Harris-D, Carter-V, Dooling-K, Hassell-T, Najera-E, Simmons-B, CDR, Hayes-J., Swift-S, Anderson-R, and Jianlian-Y).

Unlike other NBA observers …

Summer Forecast: Which way is the East going?
Summer Forecast: Which way is the West going?
NBA off-season rankings – v3.0
NBA power rankings: Celtics no surprise as preseason No. 1

this corner DOES NOT project New Jersey to finish at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings this season.

Rod Thorn, Kiki Vandeweghe and Lawrence Frank … are too good at what they do to let that happen.

Re-tooling in New Jersey, Game 1

February 29, 2008

NEW JERSEY 120 vs Milwaukee 106

As I’ve said before …

J-Kidd for Harris, Diop, plus two #1 draft picks – First thoughts

with his trade for Devin Harris (PG) – plus two (2) 1st Round Draft PicksRod Thorn (President/GM) has immediately re-stocked the cupboard for the Nets, while still giving this year’s team a terrific chance to qualify for the playoffs.

If healthy … (#8) New Jersey, (#7) Chicago & (#6) Washington are three mid-level teams in the Eastern Conference that would give (#1) Boston, (#2) Detroit & (#3) Cleveland very solid competition in the 1st Round of this year’s Playoffs … emphasizing, yet again, just how important it is, in the NBA, to have a solid GM at the top of a team’s management staff.

J-Kidd for Harris, Diop, plus two #1 draft picks – First thoughts

February 18, 2008

If this rumoured trade happens … Mavericks close again on landing Kidd … astute NBA observers would do well to keep in mind the initial assessment of Jamal Washburn (one of the original ‘Three J’s’ for the Mavs), according to Tim MacMahon (Dallas Mavericks Blog, Kidd won’t make much difference):

“I still think they’re about the same, … they’re still behind the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns and also the San Antonio Spurs, … Jason Kidd is an upgrade; he’s a Hall of Famer. But they’re going to lose something in that paint area.”

Meanwhile, from New Jersey’s point of view … this move allows the Nets to re-stock their cupboard (with useful pieces for the future) while keeping their hopes alive to grab the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference Play-offs this season.

If you’re a Nets fans today, looking at the following line-up …

Starters:
Devin Harris/PG
Vince Carter/OG
Richard Jefferson/SF
Sean Williams/PF
Nenad Krstic/C  

Key Bench Players:
Marcus Williams/PG
Bostjan Nachbar/G-F
Josh Boone/PF
DeSagana Diop/C

(with a plethora of serviceable reserves AND multiple 1st Round Draft Picks)

you’re smiling, ear-to-ear … as this is the best you could’ve hoped for following Jason Kidd’s recent ‘public’ trade request.

The Best Point Guards in the NBA: An Update

January 30, 2008

Whaddayouthink: the NBA’s best point guard?

Here’s what I wrote a month-and-half ago, on this topic …

The Best Point Guards in the NBA (Dec 19 2007)

and, here’s exactly where I’m at today … with a slightly different slant on the question asked (above) by Kelly Dwyer:

Conventional Be Damned 

If you could put any 4 other players you wanted to with the Point Guard (PG) of your choice, right now, in the NBA, completely healthy, to play and win only 1 game, on which your own life depended … this is how I would rank the following list of individuals playing in the league today:

1. Jason Kidd
2. Steve Nash
3. Chauncey Billups
4. Tony Parker
5. Baron Davis
6. Deron Williams
7. Chris Paul
8. Brandon Roy (climbing with a bullet)
9. Jose Calderon
10. Devin Harris

but … if I am putting together my own “5-man team” of players … regardless of which positions they play, at the moment, in the NBA … to take on all-comers, this is who I would choose to use at the PG spot on my current-day “Dream Team”:

PG – Lebron James
OG – Dwyane Wade
SF – Kobe Bryant
PF – Kevin Garnett
C – Tim Duncan

and, then, you could take any of those 10 “other” players you wanted to and it wouldn’t matter one bit to me … my “Group of 5″ is going to kick your team’s a$$, in an NBA game, played under NBA rules.

That’s my answer to Kelly Dwyer’s question.


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