Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Raptors’

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA [2008-2009]: Part I

December 16, 2008

The 2008-2009 NBA regular season schedule has reached the 1/4 pole, as all 30 teams have played at least 20 games. Given the history of this league and …

What it takes to win the NBA Championship

… it is helpful to evaluate where they rank against one another at this juncture.

QUALITY RATING & QUALITY INDEX RANKING

NBA 2008-2009
[as of Mon Dec 15 2008]

Team

W/L

Win%

PDR

PAR

RDR

QR

QIR

EC

WC

Cavaliers

20/4

.833

1

1

3

5

1

2

 

Celtics

23/2

.920

3

2

1

6

2

1

 

Hornets

13/7

.650

6

3

10

19

3

 

4

Blazers

15/10

.600

10

9

1

20

T-4

 

7

Rockets

15/9

.625

8

5

7

20

T-4

 

5

Lakers

20/3

.870

2

14

6

22

6

 

1

Spurs

15/8

.652

7

6

11

24

7

 

3

76ers

10/14

.417

16

8

4

28

 

11

 

Jazz

15/11

.577

9

11

9

29

8

 

8

Mavericks

13/10

.625

11

16

7

34

 

 

9

 

Nuggets

17/7

.708

4

15

16

35

9

 

2

Hawks

15/9

.625

12

7

17

36

10

4

 

Magic

19/6

.760

5

10

24

39

11

3

 

Bucks

11/15

.423

18

17

5

40

 

10

 

Pistons

13/9

.591

14

12

22

48

12

5

 

Suns

15/10

.600

13

22

14

49

13

 

6

Bobcats

7/18

.280

24

4

22

50

 

14

 

Heat

12/12

.500

15

13

25

53

14

7

 

Nets

12/11

.522

20

24

12

56

15

6

 

Bulls

11/12

.478

17

21

18

56

16

8

 

 

Pacers

8/16

.333

21

25

13

59

 

13

 

Grizzlies

9/15

.375

22

18

19

59

 

 

10

Timberwolves

4/20

.167

28

23

14

65

 

 

14

Clippers

6/17

.261

25

19

25

69

 

 

13

Raptors

10/14

.417

23

20

30

73

 

12

 

Thunder

2/23

.080

30

26

20

76

 

 

15

Knicks

11/13

.458

19

29

28

76

 

9

 

Kings

7/18

.280

29

28

20

77

 

 

11

Wizards

4/18

.182

27

27

27

81

 

15

 

Warriors

7/18

.261

26

30

29

85

 

 

12

Legend:
W-L – Won Loss Record; Win% – Winning Percentage; PDR – Points Differential Rank; PAR – Points Allowed Rank; RDR – Rebound Differential Rank; QR – Quality Rating; QIR – Quality Index Ranking; EC – Eastern Conference Playoff Position; WC – Western Conference Playoff Position 

Note:
1. Since 2000-2001 each NBA Champion and Finalist has had a QR ≤ 34.
2. Since 2000-2001 each NBA Champion has had a QIR ≤ #9.
3. Since 2000-2001 7 of the 8 NBA Champions have had a QIR ≤ #4. 

Take note of where your favourite team stands today … and where it will need to get to, over the course of the next five months, in order to be considered a legit contender for the 2009 NBA Championship.

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NBA’s upper echelon begins to emerge

November 28, 2008

The NBA’s regular season schedule is now in full swing with each team having played a minimum of 13 games.

As was mentioned earlier in this space, there are three tiers of teams in this League that reveal themselves on an annual basis:

1. HIGH END [above a .549 Win %]
2. MIDDLE-of-the-Pack [between a .450-.549 Win %]
3. LOW END [below a .450 Win %]

At this point, here’s what each team’s W-L record is, in conjunction with their respective Rebounding Differential Ranking [which regular readers here know is a crucial factor towards playoff success]:

HIGH END

1 LA Lakers 12-1/.923; +5.00/#3
2 Boston 14-2/.875; +3.43/#7
3 Cleveland 12-3/.750; +4.33/#5
4 Phoenix 11-5/.688; -0.25/#14
T5 Detroit 9-5/.643; +0.92/#11
T5 Atlanta 9-5/.643; -0.42/#16
T5 Orlando 12-4/.643; -0.37/#15
T5 New Orleans 9-5/.643; +0.07/#13
T9 Utah 10-6/.625; +3.50/#6
T9 Portland 10-6/.625; +4.37/#4
T9 Houston 10-6/.625; +2.06/#9
T9 Denver 10-6/.625; -0.43/#17
13 San Antonio 8-6/.571; -2.28/#24 *

MIDDLE

T14 Dallas 7-7/.500; +3.07/#8
T14 New Jersey 7-7/.500; +0.21/#12
T14 Toronto 7-7/.500; -2.14/#23
T17 Miami 7-8/.467; -5.26/#28
T17 Philadelphia 6-7/.467; +6.33/#1
T17 New York 7-8/.467; -7.20/#30

LOW END

20 Chicago 7-9/.438; -1.31/#19
21 Indiana 6-8/.429; +1.00/#10
22 Milwaukee 7-10/.412; +5.58/#2
23 Golden State 5-10/.333; -3.20/#26
24 Sacramento 5-12/.294; -1.64/#20
25 Memphis 4-11/.267; -2.40/#25
26 Charlotte 4-10/.286; -2.07/#22
27 Minnesota 3-10/.231; -1.30/#18
28 Washington 2-11/.154; -3.46/#27
29 LA Clippers/2-13/.133; -5.53/#29
30 Oklahoma City 1-15/.063; -1.81/#21

* Have played mostly without Ginobili-M and Parker-T, thus far.

Rebounding Differential Rankings in the NBA [Nov 6]

November 7, 2008

When this corner of the sports blogosphere told you earlier this fall/summer that the Raptors trade for Jermaine O’Neal was not going to be enough, by itself, to fundamentally improve Toronto’s Rebounding Deficiency from the last few seasons there were boatloads of delusional fans some who did not want to believe this specific assessment of this team, in advance of actually seeing real live NBA games this season with their own two eyes.

—————–

How could the acquisition of a former 6-time NBA All-Star …

in exchange for a smallish, erractic [but talented] Point Guard [i.e. TJ Ford], an over-the-hill, lumbering, strictly speaking part-time Center [i.e. Rasho Nesterovic], the 15th player from their roster last season [i.e. Maceo Baston], and a flip-flop of the No. 17 [overall] and No. 41 Draft Picks from the 2008 NBA Draft, who turned out to be Roy Hibbert [C] and Nathan Jawai [C], respectively …

possibly NOT improve the Raptors decidely mediocre rebounding numbers from the last few years in any significant way, shape or form?

—————–

Well … as of Thursday, November 6, 2008 the Basketball Acumen of this specific correspondent seems to be as sharp [and accurate] as ever:

[Statistics from NBA.com]

NBA

Rebounding Differential

Per Game

2008-2009

[as of Thu Nov 6]

Rank

Team

+/-

1

L.A. Lakers

+12.25

2

Detroit

+11.00

 

Philadelphia

+11.00

4

Cleveland

+9.00

5

Phoenix

+5.20

6

Utah

+5.00

7

Atlanta

+3.66

8

Boston

+2.40

 

Milwaukee

+2.40

10

Golden State

+0.40

 

Portland

+0.40

12

Orlando

+0.20

13

Charlotte

-0.25

14

Chicago

-0.60

15

Houston

-1.40

16

New Jersey

-1.66

17

Sacramento

-1.80

18

Memphis

-2.00

19

Oklahoma City

-2.25

20

New Orleans

-3.00

21

Denver

-3.50

 

Minnesota

-3.50

23

Dallas

-3.75

24

Miami

-4.00

25

San Antonio

-4.25

26

Indiana

-4.66

27

Washington

-7.33

28

New York

-8.75

29

L.A. Clippers

-9.00

30

Toronto

-10.50

When a certain NBA observer tells you something about ‘How the Game actually Works in this League’, in advance … it might well be in your best interests to believe what this person has to say, even though you are not able to fully comprehend it, at that point in time.

—————–

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”Anonymous

Comprehending pre-season standings in the NBA

October 24, 2008

The NBA’s pre-season schedulae of games is rapidly coming to a close.

In general, how a team fares in its pre-season games … in this League, at least … provides a preliminary indication of where it actually stands, relative to the competition, heading into the new campaign.

Annually, there are three major categories of teams in the NBA:

1. Above .549 [High End]
2. .450-.549 [Middle]
3. Below .450 [Low End]

——————————————-

When you examine the current standings for the pre-season: 

2008-2009 Conference Preseason Standings
Eastern Conference
Eastern W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Orlando 6 1 0.857 0.0 4-1 4-1 3-1 3-0 6-1 W 6
Boston 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-2 3-2 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 2
Detroit 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-1 3-0 3-2 3-0 6-2 L 1
Atlanta 5 3 0.625 1.5 4-1 3-1 1-2 4-1 5-3 W 1
Philadelphia 4 3 0.571 2.0 4-3 4-1 1-2 3-1 4-3 W 1
Indiana 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-0 1-0 3-1 1-3 4-4 W 1
New York 3 3 0.500 2.5 3-3 3-3 0-2 3-1 3-3 L 1
Toronto 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-1 1-1 2-3 2-1 4-4 L 2
Chicago 3 4 0.429 3.0 0-1 0-1 1-3 2-1 3-4 W 2
New Jersey 2 4 0.333 3.5 1-4 0-4 1-3 1-1 2-4 L 4
Washington 2 4 0.333 3.5 0-1 0-0 0-2 2-2 2-4 W 1
Cleveland 2 5 0.286 4.0 2-3 0-1 1-3 1-2 2-5 L 1
Miami 1 5 0.167 4.5 0-3 0-1 1-3 0-2 1-5 L 1
Milwaukee 1 6 0.143 5.0 0-2 0-2 1-3 0-3 1-6 L 2
Charlotte 0 8 0.000 6.5 0-4 0-4 0-2 0-6 0-8 L 8
Western Conference
Western W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
New Orleans 7 0 1.000 0.0 2-0 1-0 4-0 3-0 7-0 W 7
Minnesota 6 2 0.750 1.5 2-1 2-1 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 1
Denver 4 1 0.800 2.0 2-1 2-1 3-0 1-1 4-1 W 1
Houston 5 2 0.714 2.0 5-0 3-0 3-1 2-1 5-2 W 3
L.A. Lakers 5 2 0.714 2.0 1-2 1-1 5-2 0-0 5-2 W 5
Phoenix 5 2 0.714 2.0 3-0 1-0 2-1 3-1 5-2 W 3
Golden State 4 2 0.667 2.5 2-1 0-0 3-0 1-2 4-2 W 2
L.A. Clippers 4 3 0.571 3.0 2-2 2-1 0-3 4-0 4-3 L 2
Portland 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-3 0-2 2-2 2-1 4-3 L 1
Utah 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-2 2-1 1-1 3-2 4-3 W 2
Dallas 4 4 0.500 3.5 1-0 0-0 2-2 2-2 4-4 L 2
San Antonio 3 3 0.500 3.5 0-2 0-2 1-2 2-1 3-3 L 1
Memphis 2 6 0.250 5.5 0-2 0-2 2-2 0-4 2-6 L 4
Oklahoma City 1 5 0.167 5.5 0-4 0-1 0-1 1-4 1-5 L 2
Sacramento 1 7 0.125 6.5 1-7 0-2 1-3 0-4 1-7 L 6

——————————————

what you see, with only 4 days left, is generally speaking fairly representative of what you should now expect to get over the course of the 82-game regular season from these teams, in a broad sense.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Above .549
Orlando, Detroit, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia

.450-.549
Indiana, New York, Toronto

Below .450
Chicago, New Jersey, Washington [playing without Arenas], Cleveland [playing few minutes with LBJ] , Miami, Milwaukee, Charlotte

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Above .549
New Orleans, Minnesota, Denver, Houston, LA Lakers, Phoenix, Golden State, LA Clippers, Portland, Utah

.450-.549
Dallas, San Antonio [playing with Ginobili]

Below .450
Memphis, Oklahoma City, Sacramento

——————————————-

Although it’s not uncommon for a team to shift from the High End to the Middle over the course of the regular season; it is rare for a team to move from the High End to the Low End … and vice versa … once the regular season starts unless, of course, it has to play [or is playing currently] without 1 or more of its marquee players for an extending number of games.

What is usually the most interesting thing to see, however, over the course of the 82-game regular season, is which few teams are able to elevate their performance (i) from the Middle into the High End, and (ii) from the Low End into the Middle … automatically making them one of the ‘Feel Good’ stories of the year; and, which few teams, if any, will go in the opposite direction … automatically making them one of the ‘Biggest Disappointment’ stories.

Into which specific category does it look as though your favourite team is going to fit this season?

High End now that stays in the High End
High End now that drops down into the Middle
Middle now that steps up into the High End
Middle now that stays in the Middle
Middle now that drops down into the Low End
Low End now that steps up into the Middle
Low End now that stays in the Low End

What piece of the pie … in Raptorville

September 4, 2008

Fish don’t fry in the kitchen
Beans don’t burn on the grill
Took a whole lot of tryin
just to get up that hill
Now we’re up in the Big Leagues
Gettin our turn at bat  
As long as we live
It’s you and me, baby
There ain’t nuthin wrong with that
We’re movin on up …

NBA off-season rankings – v3.0
NBA power rankings: Celtics no surprise as preseason No. 1
The 10 biggest moves of the summer

Sobering questions for the rabid Raptors’ faithful:

1. Starting Year 3 of your current 5-Year Plan … Which of these two Player Rosters would you say is the better one? (if you were an unbiased observer)

2. How far ahead is the Roster you would choose, in comparison to your non-choice? (on the ‘Eventual League Champions’ continuum)

ROSTER A

NUM

PLAYER

POS

HT

WT

DOB

  FROM

YRS

52

Calvin Booth

C

6-11

250

05/07/1976

  Penn State

9

22

Corey Brewer

F-G

6-9

185

03/05/1986

  Florida

1

14

Brian Cardinal

F

6-8

245

05/02/1977

  Purdue

8

10

Rodney Carney

F

6-7

204

04/05/1984

  Memphis

2

34

Jason Collins

C-F

7-0

255

12/02/1978

  Stanford

7

51

Michael Doleac (FA)

C

6-11

262

06/15/1977

  Utah

10

4

Randy Foye

G

6-4

213

09/24/1983

  Villanova

2

8

Ryan Gomes

F

6-7

250

09/01/1982

  Providence

3

25

Al Jefferson

C-F

6-10

265

01/04/1985

  Prentiss HS (MS)

4

42

Kevin Love

C-F

6-10

255

09/07/1988

  UCLA

R

35

Mark Madsen

C-F

6-9

250

01/28/1976

  Stanford

8

1

Rashad McCants

G

6-4

210

09/25/1984

  North Carolina

3

33

Mike Miller

G-F

6-8

218

02/19/1980

  Florida

8

32

Chris Richard (FA)

F

6-9

270

12/25/1984

  Florida

1

5

Craig Smith

F-C

6-8

250

11/10/1983

  Boston College

2

30

Kirk Snyder (FA)

F-G

6-6

225

06/05/1983

  Nevada-Reno

4

3

Sebastian Telfair

G

6-0

175

06/09/1985

  Abraham Lincoln HS (Brooklyn, NY)

4

or

ROSTER B

NUM PLAYER POS HT WT DOB   FROM YRS
8 Hassan Adams F 6-4 220 06/20/1984   Arizona 1
7 Andrea Bargnani C-F 7-0 250 10/26/1985   Italy 2
4 Chris Bosh F 6-10 230 03/24/1984   Georgia Tech 5
1 Primoz Brezec (FA) C 7-1 255 10/02/1979   Slovenia 7
8 Jose Calderon G 6-3 210 09/28/1981   Spain 3
20 Carlos Delfino (FA) G 6-6 230 08/29/1982   Argentina 4
14 Joey Graham F 6-7 225 06/11/1982   Oklahoma State 3
43 Kris Humphries F 6-9 235 02/06/1985   Minnesota 4
  Nathan Jawai F 6-10 280 10/10/1986   Midland Coll. TX (J.C.) R
24 Jason Kapono F 6-8 215 02/04/1981   UCLA 5
33 Jamario Moon F 6-8 205 06/13/1980   Meridian CC (MS) 1
  Jermaine O’Neal F-C 6-11 260 10/13/1978   Eau Claire HS (SC) 12
18 Anthony Parker G-F 6-6 215 06/19/1975   Bradley 5
  Willie Solomon G 6-1 185 07/20/1978   Clemson 1
  Roko Ukic G 6-5 183 05/12/1984   Croatia R

According to these eyes … neither one is very much ahead of the other, in terms of TOP NOTCH (overall) NBA talent … and both groups are still years and years away from ever supplanting the Big Dogs in their respective Conferences, e.g. the Celtics, Pistons, Cavaliers, Magic, Lakers, Spurs, Hornets, Blazers, etc., on the top step in the NBA.

Once a team is no longer a league-wide laughingstock … the journey up the mountain only gets more difficult from there.

Chris Bosh should be starting for Team USA

August 15, 2008

This is the answer which was given in this space [August 4, 2008]  to the following question:

=============================================

5. Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh will be fighting for the back-up Center minutes; who should win the job?

This is a silly question.

If Team USA wanted to dominate the international competition this year … the most potent line-up it could put on the floor would see Carlos Boozer at the 4/Power Forward AND Chris Bosh at the 5/Center positions, not ‘fighting for the back-up Center minutes.

For further explanation, see the link provided in the answer to Question #3. -)

=============================================

that was asked by the good folks at Upside and Motor, in their Team USA Blogger Roundtable [to which this corner had not received an invite 🙂 ].

10 days later …

Raptors’ Chris Bosh emerging as a leader for the U.S. team: Draws rave reviews from coach, teammates with strong showing on defense

and it is somewhat gratifying to see that one or two others in the basketball community [at-large] have at last begun to ‘see’ what this corner has known about this young man [Chris Bosh], as a Center in the NBA, for a VERY LONG TIME …

De-constructing the mystery that is Chris Bosh [April 21, 2008]

It never ceases to amaze what some so-called ‘NBA experts’ think they understand about the game.

Pistons stay the course … with a new head coach

August 13, 2008

Thus far, there’s a lot this corner likes about one Michael Curry, new head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

Courtesy of True Blue Pistons, Curry gets a positive vibe from Kwame Brown

======================

“What I was hoping for with him and what I got is that he didn’t use anything as an excuse,” Curry said of the most significant off-season addition to the Pistons’ roster, the 6-foot-11, 270-pound veteran big man signed as a free agent. “He put it all upon himself. He didn’t use the way the coach used him or injuries or being young when he came in the league – none of that.

“He took responsibility for himself and, really, once he did that, for me it was easy. That’s one of the biggest things – to get athletes to hold themselves accountable. Whether he did that when he was 18 or 19 – I’m pretty sure I was mature at 18 or 19, but I wouldn’t have been ready to be thrown into a No. 1 pick or right into the NBA and handle that kind of responsibility. Whether he acknowledged responsibility at that time didn’t really matter to me. The fact that now he does is the only thing I want to judge him on.”

======================

Other Detroit Piston Information from this Off-Season

When the Raptors changed directions with their team, dating back to Feb/2006 and the hiring of Bryan Colangelo (GM), one of the options they had at the time, was to hire Michael Curry, as a young Assistant GM, to work extensively with Wayne Embry (Interim GM) for a period of time and, eventually, to assume full control of the Basketball Operations, on behalf of MLSE, for the franchise in Toronto.

Had this happened, back then, it would have been intriguing to see how the on and off-court development of the Raptors might have been effected and, possibly, be in a different position than it is today (i.e. better off or worse).

A former (and highly effective role) player in the NBA, one-time President of the NBAPA, former Vice President of Player Development for the NBDL, and former Assistant Coach for the Pistons, with a Masters Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, Michael Curry has the type of diversified basketball background it takes to eventually become a solid head coach in the NBA (in the mold of men like Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, and Gregg Popovich).

Time will tell … if Joe Dumars (Pistons GM) has Struck ‘Gold’, once again, or if this latest coaching move is simply ‘Strike Two’.

Losing the way

June 5, 2008

Bosh turns his talents to the world of late night TV
Bosh said his gig was essentially an on-camera job interview for possible future employment with the late-night variety show, the results of which are expected to air tonight. Fans should tune in, if only for the possible historical significance: Who knows how long it will be before the Raptors get similar screen time on U.S. network TV.

It disturbs to no end that a fine young player like Chris Bosh has moved in this direction … i.e. alter-ego Blaine whatever?, youtube ‘self-promotional’ skits (humourous or otherwise), ‘reporting’ on the NBA Finals for ‘Jay Leno’, etc. … as the LEADER of the Toronto Raptors.

This is NOT how an on-court leader SHOULD carry himself, if he has a goal of winning the NBA championship one day in the not-too-distant future.

It reflects poorly on the entire Raptors’ organization and someone with considerable clout within their club NEEDS to get him to stop this sort of nonsense, which you didn’t see from the Leader of these teams …

——————-

Year-by-year results
NBA Finals: All-Time Champions

YEAR CHAMPION OPPONENT RESULT MVP
2006-07 San Antonio Spurs
2005-06 Miami Heat
2004-05 San Antonio Spurs
2003-04 Detroit Pistons
2002-03 San Antonio Spurs
2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers
2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers
1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers
1998-99 San Antonio Spurs
1997-98 Chicago Bulls
1996-97 Chicago Bulls
1995-96 Chicago Bulls
1994-95 Houston Rockets
1993-94 Houston Rockets
1992-93 Chicago Bulls
1991-92 Chicago Bulls
1990-91 Chicago Bulls
1989-90 Detroit Pistons
1988-89 Detroit Pistons
1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers
1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers
1985-86 Boston Celtics
1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers
1983-84 Boston Celtics
1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers
1981-82 Los Angeles Lakers
1980-81 Boston Celtics
1979-80 Los Angeles Lakers
1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics
1977-78 Washington Bullets
1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers
1975-76 Boston Celtics
1974-75 Golden State Warriors
1973-74 Boston Celtics
1972-73 New York Knicks
1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers
1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks
1969-70 New York Knicks
1968-69 Boston Celtics
1967-68 Boston Celtics
1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers
1965-66 Boston Celtics
1964-65 Boston Celtics
1963-64 Boston Celtics
1962-63 Boston Celtics
1961-62 Boston Celtics
1960-61 Boston Celtics
1959-60 Boston Celtics
1958-59 Boston Celtics
1957-58 St. Louis Hawks
1956-57 Boston Celtics
1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors
1954-55 Syracuse Nationals
1953-54 Minneapolis Lakers
1952-53 Minneapolis Lakers
1951-52 Minneapolis Lakers
1950-51 Rochester Royals
1949-50 Minneapolis Lakers
1948-49 Minneapolis Lakers
1947-48 Baltimore Bullets
1946-47 Philadelphia Warriors

——————-

PRIOR TO their team winning a championship.

After getting off to a terrific start in his NBA career, CB4 has recently begun to lose his way.

It’s a game about gaining possession of the ballnot personal notoriety.

Straight talk from a straight shooter

May 1, 2008

Courtesy of RaptorsTalk.com

Sam Mitchell is a stand-up guy and the sort of Man who anyone should be proud to have as a friend.

Staying the course in Raptorville

May 1, 2008

Moving on up in the East side

 

What do the Raptors need to do this off-season in order to advance to the 2nd Round (or further) of the NBA Playoffs next year?

 

CURRENT STARTERS

 

TJ Ford (Point Guard) must be traded to solidify the team’s identity and create PG stability.

 

Anthony Parker (Off Guard) must be shifted to a Back-up role.

 

Jamario Moon (Small Forward) must improve his perimeter Jump Shot.

 

Chris Bosh (Power Forward) must be installed as the permanent Center, continue to get stronger physically and add a consistent “Turn-around Jump Shot in the Low Post” to his game.

 

Andrea Bargnani (Center) must be shifted to a back-up role.

 

CURRENT BACK-UPS

 

Jose Calderon (Point Guard) must be installed as the permanent PG.

 

Jason Kapono (Small Forward/Off Guard) must be installed as the permanent Designated Shooter (OG).

 

Carlos Delfino (Off Guard/Small Forward) must remain in a back-up role.

 

Kris Humphries (Power Forward) must be installed as the permanent PF (or become Jorge Garbajosa’s back-up).

 

Rasho Nesterovic (Center) must remain in a back-up role.

 

CURRENT RESERVES

 

Joey Graham (Power Forward/Small Forward) must be developed as a Defender/Rebounder/Spot-up Jump Shooter who can either start or come off the bench if need be as a “Mismatch Creator/Combator”.

Maceo Baston (Power Forward/Center) must be shifted to an Extra role or be released.

CURRENT EXTRAS

 

Darrick Martin (Point Guard) must remain in an Extra role or be released.

 

Jorge Garbajosa (Power Forward/Small Forward) must be re-installed as the permanent PF (or be able to back-up Kris Humphries).

 

Primo Brezec (Center) must remain in an Extra role or be released.

 

 

Then, if the Raptors re-shuffle their everyday line-up, for example, like this:

 

STARTERS

 

Calderon (PG); Kapono (OG); Moon (DF); Garbajosa/Humphries (PF); Bosh (C)

 

BACK-UPS

 

Parker (PG/OG); Delfino (OG/SF); Garbajosa/Humphries (PF); Bargnani (C/PF); Nesterovic (C)

 

RESERVES

 

Graham (SF/PF); Brezec (C)

 

EXTRAS

 

* An open roster spot for a Point Guard (replacing Darrick Martin)

* An open roster spot for a Off Guard/Small (obtained in a trade for TJ Ford, which could bring a Starter or a Back-up)

* An open roster spot for a Power Forward/Center (replacing Maceo Baston)

 

These moves will allow the Raptors to accomplish several goals simultaneously:

 

  1. Increase their 3Pt Shooting Efficiency with Calderon & Kapono receiving more MPG;
  2. Improve their Team Defense & Rebounding by becoming bigger & more physical at the PG & OG positions, replacing Ford & Parker with Calderon & Kapono – which allows for more ‘Switching’ but without being caught in a cross-matched situation and having a too small-sized player at either of those two spots – as well as at the PF & C positions, replacing Bosh & Bargnani with a combination of Garbajosa/Humphries & Bosh.
  3. Improve their Offensive Efficiency by increase their 3Pt Shooting Percentage with Calderon & Kapono (their best 3Pt Shooters) receiving more MPG;
  4. Create & Combat an assortment of mismatch player personnel combinations.
  5. Keep their group of Core Players together for another season.
  6. Firmly establish their Team Identity with Chris Bosh at Center & Jose Calderon at Point Guard.

 

By staying the course for one more year, essentially with this same group intact, adjusting only slightly – by removing TJ Ford from their roster and replacing him with a solid young Wing player – and focusing their attention on Team Rebounding & Defense, the Raptors are actually not that far away from establishing themselves as a perennial ‘Top 4 Team’ in the Eastern Conference.