A winning line-up for the Raptors vs the Magic

During Sunday’s Lakers v Nuggets Game 1, Jeff Van Gundy (NBA Analyst) made an insightful comment – one of many he makes, per game – about the value of a coach’s ‘words’ alone toward the performance of his team, vs what their habits are, on a daily basis …

“(as a coach) You cannot influence a team with your words, at halftime or in the pre-game talk … they are going to do what they do.” – JVG

… which is exactly what I thought of while evaluating the Boxscore from Toronto/Orlando Game 1 … where the the Rebounding numbers were, as follows:

Toronto 35 (Individual) + 11 (Team) = 46
Orlando 42 (Individual) + 6 (Team) = 48

meaning that the Raptors and the Magic both performed pretty much as expected when these two teams are matched-up against one another, since during the Regular Season …

Orlando (+0.31) finished 16th in ‘Rebounding Differential’; while,
Toronto (-1.54) finished 22nd.

For Toronto to effect some type of fundamental change to the ‘Rebounding Differential’ numbers in Game 2 … they will need to address their Individual Player match-ups vs the key ‘board men’ for Orlando, who are D12 (22), Turkoglu (6), Bogans (5), Lewis (4), Evans (2) & Nelson (2) … for example, by going to a player rotation that I suggested on different web sites several weeks ago …

1/Calderon v Nelson
2/Moon v Bogans
3/Graham v Lewis
4/Humphries v Howard/Turk
5/Bosh v Turkoglu/D12

G/Parker v Dooling/Evans
F/Kapono/Delfino v Evans/Dooling
C/Nesterovic v Foyle

which is what a ‘Top Notch’ GM & Head Coach combination, like RC Buford & Gregg Popovich, would have done with the Raptors’ player personnel … several months ago … e.g. when TJ Ford was pulling his ’sulking’ I’ll-only-play-as-a-Starter-for-this-team B.S.

Unless you can ‘think the Individual Player match-up game’ like a ‘Top Notch’ NBA head coach, it’s very difficult to truly understand what THE DIFFERENCE is between ‘the Winners’ & ‘the Losers’ in this League, in the games that have a lot of meaning … i.e. versus Plus .500 Teams.

Enjoy Game 2 this evening! … which Orlando will probably win to go up 2-0 in this 1st Round series.

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8 Responses to “A winning line-up for the Raptors vs the Magic”

  1. arsenalist Says:

    We lost one game, there’s no reason to get desperate and experiment with yet another brand new starting lineup that hasn’t even been tested once all year. Starting Hump and Graham? I see you’re going for a deep solution here but you’re overrating/overvaluing what those two can provide BIG TIME.

  2. khandor Says:


    As I said, it’s a move that SHOULD have been made months ago … e.g. when Ford first went into his sulking routine … in which case there would have been no sense of desperation about it whatsoever.

    One of the many problems with the Raptors is their inability to see the NBA game in a way that’s necessary to pursue the winning of a championship sometime in the future.

    Truth be told … you (and others) have no idea how a line-up of Calderon/PG, Moon/SG, Graham/SF, Humphries/PF and Bosh/C would perform in an actual NBA game … until you’ve seen it first-hand for yourself.

    But, IMO … that right there … is a 5-man combination which, if supported by

    Parker at the PG & OG spots
    Kapono/Delfino at the OG or SF spot
    Nesterovic & Bargnani at the PF or C spot

    is capable of vanquishing the Magic in the 1st Round & reaching the Eastern Conference Finals this season.

  3. john Says:

    Carlos was brilliant but not a good way to end the game after high performance night.


  4. Sorrow Says:

    Does Tony Parker constitute a foreign born player who has led his team as a PG to an NBA championship?

  5. khandor Says:


    re: Tony Parker

    But of course.

    As someone who doesn’t pay attention to a person’s country of birth, it’s easy for me to overlook a simple fact like that, re: the Frenchman, as I just consider TP to be an ‘outstanding basketball player’ rather than an outstanding ‘international’ player who was not in the USA.

    Thanks for pointing that out … and welcome to the blog!

  6. khandor Says:


    I thought Carlos did a very poor job during the last segment of the 4th Quarter attending to his defensive block-out/rebounding duties and, in fact, was one of the key factors in the Raptors losing last night’s game.

  7. Tim Says:

    Where’s the scoring come from in this starting lineup? What’s to stop Orlando from simply collapsing around Bosh in the paint and leaving Nelson tight on JC. I’m pretty sure they don’t fear Moon or Graham killing them from the outside, or even Hump making midrange shots.

  8. khandor Says:


    1) Welcome!

    2) Scoring only happens with the ball in your team’s possession.

    Possession comes from getting Stops (Defense) & Rebounding.

    Defense & Rebounding come from being physically talented, mentally & emotionally tough, and having a ‘Team-First’ absolute commitment to one another and a common Covenant/cause.

    3) Get Jamario Moon (2) out of the corner and he can/will make shots.
    Kris Humphries (4) is a scoring machine … who needs to be shut Off – not cranked up – from time to time.
    Joey Graham can ONLY make spot up jumpers to begin with. Stick him in the corner, like Bruce Bowen, and do not let him out – except of course to goon the Opponent’s best offensive Wingman, ala the ‘Karate Kid’ (in San Antone). Run the high P & R/P Sam Mitchell loves so much, aligned like this:

    Calderon with the ball at the top.
    Hump sets the High Middle Pick.
    Bosh is in the Low Post.
    Moon is in the Corner.
    Graham is in the opposite Corner.

    with the following ‘action’:

    Calderon must use the Pick to go away from Moon’s side of the floor – keep in mind that the Defense doesn’t know this – which means that …

    as Hump is Rolling/Popping in conjunction with Bosh (i.e. 1 gets to the front of the rim, the other pops out high opposite to where Calderon has taken the ball)

    Moon MUST come out to the Free Throw Line Extended (FTLX) on his side of the floor, and make himself available to Big who has popped out high on the Weak Side of the floor … for the extra pass (i) then ‘Catch & Shoot’ from ‘the 45’, when/if Calderon makes the Throwback Pass to that Big and he doesn’t take the shot himself, drive the ball to the hole or go High-Low with the other Big (at the rim); (ii) ‘Catch & Shot Fake/Drive Baseline’; and (iii) ‘Catch & Feed the Big Dog’ at the rim, who has his check sealed and is waiting for a layup pass or a Dunk.

    4) Turn Bosh into ‘the premium’ Team Defensive Player, quarterback, Rebounder and Left-handed Shot-blocker he was ‘Born to Be’ … instead of this semi-dominant non-Power based offensive Big, on display today, who doesn’t shoot a high % from the perimeter or have a goto ‘Low Post move & counter’ … but is much more talented offensively than his predecessor, Bill Russell.

    5) Turn Calderon into a ‘Pick & Roll/Pop’ machine … like his predecessor, John Stockton.

    6) Scoring can happen different ways in an NBA game, the two easiest of which are with (i) the steal & run-out layup/dunk, in transition (based on good D & Rebounding); and the Offensive Rebound put-back (based on Rebounding, as well).

    7) Inserting (and interspersing) ‘offensively’ focused players like Kapono, AP, and Delfino … coming off the bench, once the D & R have been established early-on in a game … then becomes a piece of (very rich Black Forrest) cake.

    Food For Thought … as always.

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