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ink
03-07-2015, 05:35 PM
Article from January that nailed what ailed the Raptors. It was obvious all season that teams would figure them out, this article speaks to that. There was a brief period of adjustment where the Raptors did NOT bail on strategy and revert to ISO play but unfortunately that correction still allows for ISOs at the judgement of players who believe they can always take their man.


What worked for a while is not guaranteed to work in perpetuity.

Unless, of course, youíre the Raptors, then doing the same thing again and again must be the best course of action. Thatís the rejoinder that Raptors defenders (generally those paid to be on-air by the Raptors) seem inclined to cite in the face of the clubís recent struggles. They were gangbusters to start the season, so clearly doing the things that made them good then must therefore make them good now.

Um, no.

The Raptors started out the season playing an isolation-heavy offence that managed to grade out well with in terms of efficiency because they got to the line, hit threes and didnít turn the ball over. It was a great, effective system, right up until it wasnít.

Iíll never forget the quote from Doc Rivers after the Raptors beat the Clippers on December 27th. Despite the fact that the team was still rolling along, this quote leapt out at me that the tides may be about to turn for Toronto:

ďTheyíre telling everybody from last year that theyíre this big, physical defensive team and then when you play them, they run you to death and they score in the 100s.Ē

In other words, two months into the season the book was out on the Raptors. Yes, it was only one coach, and yes it came after a loss, but it spoke to an inevitability that strikes any good team in any team sport: eventually the opposition adjusts to what youíre doing.

In the weeks that followed that quote the Raptors have gone 6-8. Their offensive rating, which was second in the league at 112.0 on December 27th, has been seventeenth in the league at 101.3 in the month since that Clippers game. Their free throw attempts are down, their three-point percentage has fallen off of a cliff and the theyíre turning the ball over 3.4 more times per game. Their opponents adjusted, and the Raptors seem shocked about this occurrence.

The fact is that itís hard to maintain a consistent output when your primary offensive tool is isolation play on the perimeter. The urge has been to blame Dwane Casey for this stylistic preference, but the fact is that, for the most part, Casey is playing the hand that he has been dealt. You donít take this Raptors roster and turn them into pass-happy offence because this team does not have many good passers to utilize. This is a club made up of players whose strengths tilt towards iso-ball and Casey has designed a system around them.

Itís not that the team doesnít have plays that involve passing and movement. They do. In fact, they run many, many plays throughout the course of every game. However, the isolation instances stand out because, of late, theyíve been eye-catching in their horrendous-ness.

Casey tends to let his veteran players (which, on a team like the Raptors, basically includes everyone not on a rookie-scale contract) make the call in the moment to run an isolation if they feel they have an advantage against their man. The problem has been that the balance of Ďactual playsí versus impromptu isolation plays has gotten skewed in the last month as teams clamped down on their Ďactual playsí and the club responded by going one-on-one too often to compensate. Casey allowed his players to make that call and the players have, too often, been making the wrong one.

That doesnít mean that Caseyís approach in infallible, especially in light of the fact that opposing teams have caught on to what Toronto wants to do in isolations. Theyíve parked themselves in Torontoís passing lanes and refuse to bail them out with fouls (unless itís against Lou Williams). Theyíve also caught on to Valanciunas and his soft grip on the ball ó as well as his single pet hook shot ó so the team has had to go away from isolating him in the post and instead shifted to catch-and-dunk scenarios to keep him involved, even though Valanciunas is still posting up and calling for the ball every time down the court.

You see, what worked for a while wonít work forever because eventually opposing teams scout you better. When you are sitting on top of the Eastern Conference, people are going to pay closer attention to what you are doing. When you donít have a superstar like LeBron or a super-system like the Hawks (with the requisite players to run it, it must be said) then eventually scouting is going to catch up with you and youíre going to have to make adjustments or suffer a significant hit to your execution.

Itís like how a young player will develop a pet move that they can start killing opponents with, and then all of a sudden the opponents catch onto it and you have to come up with a counter move. Thatís where the Raptors are right now. They are searching for a counter move. Casey has timidly played with his rotations (much too timidly for most) but he has yet to find a suitable counter that will work consistently to knock back defences and allow the club to find their groove again.

For a while it felt like the Raptors were just expecting to have what worked for them before eventually work for them again. It hasnít and it wonít. That style of play that propelled them to the top of the standings in November and December has been neutralized by the rest of the league. Teams know what Toronto wants to run and they know what they are unable to stop on the other end (which is why you can practically see opposing point guards salivating whenever the lineup against the Raptors these days).

That isnít to say that the whole system has to be scrapped and redrawn. The club just has to alter some of their looks, cut back on the one-on-one play (or at least balance it better with sets from the playbook) and play enough defence to afford easy looks in transition. Whatís happened is teams made minor adjustments and the Raptors freaked out and started abandoning sensible basketball at both ends for long stretches every game. Over the last four they seem to have calmed down an bit and have rededicated themselves to the defensive principles that Casey prefers (even if the effort in executing those principles waxes and wanes) and against Detroit they made an effort to throw a few passes into the mix before a shot went up.

The team isnít broken, they just need a bit of a tune-up. This is new for them, having opposing teams scout them like they are top team, and they have to learn to play under that kind of scrutiny. The whole organization is behind pushing through this ebb in productivity, they just have to make sure they are doing it by pushing forward, not back into what they were doing in November.

http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2015/01/26/raptors-cant-go-back-novembers-style-play/

TO Rapz
03-07-2015, 05:47 PM
Great article.

Huskies Alive
03-07-2015, 06:27 PM
If an opposing team is emphasizing that the shooting guard of the Raptors does not pass, then that sums up everything.

The league is a small community, coaches and scouts take notice and players are not dumb.

Analytics is on the uptrend.

Inefficiency will never win a title.

Get rid of Derozan. Include Amir Johnson with him.

ink
03-07-2015, 07:19 PM
Offensive Decision Making

The once powerful Raptors offense has slowly been atrophying over the last two months of play. The coaching staff has taken the heat for a lot of this, and a lot of that is valid. Lowry and DeRozanís slumping shooting has been at the heart of it, with DeRozan and Vasquez both feeling compelled to shoot every and anything in sight. Itís felt like unless Lou Williams was consuming the court in embers, the Raptors offense was pedestrian and too easily guardable. Itís looked more like a schematic problem than an execution issue at times, and thatís a potentially huge issue. Letís break down some of the team play type stats to look at where points are, or are not coming.

Using Jonas Valanciunas effectively has been a problem. I wrote a long article last week talking about how Big Valís personal stats are completely at war with his team effectiveness stats, and how the way the team is utilizing him is probably partially to blame for this. In this past weekís Rapcast, William Lou brought up how infrequently Jonas is used in the pick and roll despite his effectiveness. Jonas is scoring 1.2 points per attempt as the roll man in pick and roll situations, an outstanding number that his him in the 87th percentile of NBA big men, according to NBA.com. Jonas is shooting 65% in those situations and getting to the line on 18% of those attempts. Thatís money. And yet, Jonas is only being used in the pick and roll on 9% of his plays, an unpardonably low number. This isnít an isolated scenario though, as James Johnson has been an even bigger beast as a roll man in a smaller sample size. In 17 possessions as the role man, Johnson is shooting 78.6% and scoring 1.47 points per attempt, the 5th most efficient roller in the league. Johnson is playing this role on just 4.3% of his plays.

Itís not as if the Raptors donít run the pick and roll; Amir Johnson and Patrick Patterson have combined for over 200 attempts as the roll man. Theyíve both been in the top 80% of NBA players in efficiency on those plays as well though, suggesting that more would probably be more. Pick and roll has become the staple of the NBA. Itís a pick and roll league. The Raptors have big men who are very good at scoring in that situation, and they need to be used more in that scenario.

Ball handling is at the centre of a lot of the teamís offensive issues this season, as they simply do not have many players comfortable handling the ball, let alone creating offensive for themselves or each other. Each of Torontoís 4 top guards in Vasquez, Williams, Lowry and DeRozan average an incredibly high usage percentage as a result, with all of them coming in over 20% and Vasquez the only player who isnít closer to 30% than 20. Those 4 guards have been the focal point of the teamís offensive, consuming the lions share of the teams shots, possessions and set plays. How has that worked out for them?

Lou Williams has run 262 possessions as the pick and roll ball handler, and heís averaged 1.03 points per possession in that role. Thatís in the top 96th percentile for ball handlers. If you feel like Lou has been great on offense this year, itís because he has been. Lowry comes in at 0.82 points per possession in the pick and roll, a number that is above average but not spectacular. DeMar DeRozan and Greivis Vasquez are both averaging 0.76 points per possession as the ball handler, at the 51st percentile. Pretty much half of the league has been more efficient than DeMar or Greivis have been in trying to finish as the ball handler out of the pick and roll. Considering that weíre talking about 390 of the Raptors possessions this year just in that play type alone for those two guys, thatís a problem. Neither of them are using their bigs enough in the roll game. Defenders know this and compound the problem, setting their defense to take away the pass and force a bad shot from the driving Raptors guards.

The Raptors love to use dribble hand-offs as pseudo screens to get players like DeMar and Lowry the ball in motion out of the half court. It was their primary play type last season that Brooklyn punished them in the playoffs by taking away. The Raptors are still using it a lot, but seeing shots come out of it less than they were a year ago, as the copy-cat league has learned how to predict and defend it. Terrence Ross and Kyle Lowry are both scoring well out of a limited use of this play, putting up 0.97 and 0.94 points per possession shooting off a hand off. Lou Williams has trailed behind at 0.89 points, while DeMar has fallen well below the Mendoza line, scoring 0.77 points per possession on 52 such shots. It occupies the highest percentage of his play types of any of the guards and heís shooting worse than a full three quarters of the league in that situation. The Raptors are putting an oddly inordinate amount of work in the half court struggling to make a clearly telegraphed dribble hand off set happen that is rarely working out in a good shot, and more often than not leading to a bad isolation if there isnít a shot. This has been the DeMar set of choice, and the NBA has demonstrated far too clear of an ability to either defend it, or use it against the Raptors, knowing the DeMar is willing to take a bad shot out of it. DeMarís numbers have looked strikingly Rudy Gayish since coming back from injury, and so has his style of play.

When the Raptors offense devolves into isolation, the results have been mixed. When Lou Williams has been off, the 2nd unit has completely and utterly perished. Having said that, Lou Williams has been among the leaders in isolation isolating scoring this year, and he trails only James Harden in frequency and attempts, so the good has far outweighed the bad. Lowryís isolation numbers have stayed well above average too, despite the struggles that lead to his extended rest. James Johnson has been a wrecking ball in isolation as well, banging pretty well whatever joints he wants to. Even Terrence Ross has surprisingly good iso numbers, reigning enough jumpers in his limited opportunities to put him in the top quarter of the league. Valanciunas has been an absolute disaster in isolation situations. How bad has he been? Heís been so bad in isolation, heís been even worse than DeMar! The only difference is, Valanciunas has only taken 11 shots in isolation. DeMar has taken 114 in just 40 games. This. Is. A. Problem. DeRozan is scoring 0.81 points on an unacceptably high number of isolations. Why are we running this as a regular set? Itís not even just out of desperation, the Raptors spend several possessions a game running actions designed to get DeMar the ball in an isolation set. Itís an exercise in insanity. If 5 DeMar DeRozans played together running exclusively isolation sets against the Philadelphia 76ers, they would lose by 13 points. Please, stop this nonsense.

The Raptors coaching staff needs to tweak the offense heading down the stretch if they donít want it to atrophy in the playoffs. The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for coming up with something to start the season that best utilized the unique skill set of the guards that they had, consistently building shots for them on the specific spots of the floor where they felt most comfortable and able to succeed, and getting a crazy amount of free throws from unconventional spots on the floor. But as the league has learned what theyíre doing and scouted their offense, those shots have become more contested, and taken away before they can even happen. When youíre playing an offense designed to get a specific player a shot from a specific spot on the floor, it becomes easy to guard once itís figured out. The defense knows the play, and the Raptors have struggled to create good release valves and second options. But thatís not a reason to panic. The teamís bigs in Valanciunas, Patterson and special agents Johnson and Johnson (no relation) are all scoring at highly efficient rates, and the team is slowly realizing that. If they can figure out how to better incorporate those players skill sets into a bigger part of the teamís offense, it will allow them to dictate matchups to Eastern Conference teams lacking size, and free up more space for their talented guards whose numbers have dropped under the swarm of defense. This coaching staff is not offensively challenged; letís not forget that they designed the scheme that lead the league in offensive efficiency out of the gate. In the last week theyíve showed a couple instances. Terrence Ross is often inactive on the wings, stretching the floor and looking for a 3. Knowing that heís been slumping, and knowing that he isnít a serious threat to drive, defenders have gotten sleepy sitting on him. The team has used this to have Ross cut hard to the basket in the half court off the weak side and leap up for an alley-oop. Itís a smart and simply play that is reflexive to how teams have played the Raptors, gets easy points and helps boost the confidence of a young player whose role has diminished. Thatís an example of good coaching. Hopefully we can see more like this from a once great offense that might not be able to maintain being good if it doesnít adapt.

http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2015/03/05/offensive-decision-making/

Jamiecballer
03-07-2015, 08:05 PM
Why do you keeping making threads using old articles.

ink
03-07-2015, 08:54 PM
Why do you keeping making threads using old articles.

The second article is from Mar 5.

The ideas are current and fair-minded. They're also better detailed and expressed than the circular blaming that goes on in forums. I've answered your question so let's get back on topic: the league has figured out the raptors offence as predicted.

We are basically into phase II of the season. Many commentators said at the beginning of the season that it was surprising what they were able to get out of a lineup of mismatched parts. Can they readjust and pull off the same surprising result?

Jamiecballer
03-07-2015, 09:38 PM
He talks about the once mighty offense with its rating of 112. A month and a half later and here we sit at 110.8.

They will be fine when DeRozan shoots a little closer to his norm and they actually defend.

ink
03-07-2015, 09:49 PM
He talks about the once mighty offense with its rating of 112. A month and a half later and here we sit at 110.8.

They will be fine when DeRozan shoots a little closer to his norm and they actually defend.

So you're officially tying yourself to an offence that every team in the league has scouted and figured out? Cool.

DD looks pretty shaky, no?

TO Rapz
03-07-2015, 09:57 PM
That offensive article is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Thanks for sharing, great read.

Jamiecballer
03-07-2015, 10:12 PM
So you're officially tying yourself to an offence that every team in the league has scouted and figured out? Cool.

DD looks pretty shaky, no?
If every team had figured it out the results would show it. It is way too easy to get caught up in whatever narrative is popular and lose sight of facts.

Demar has shot like **** all season and our defense has been very poor, in no small part due to our terrible job on the defensive glass. These are our biggest concerns as our offense while up and down almost always scores enough for us to win.

The irony in the whole thing is that Chisolm is apparently struck by Rivers comments and they weren't the least bit true. Someone should inform Doc (and Chisholm) that the Raptors play at one of the slowest paces in the league.

ink
03-07-2015, 10:26 PM
So you're officially tying yourself to an offence that every team in the league has scouted and figured out? Cool.

DD looks pretty shaky, no?
If every team had figured it out the results would show it.

Maybe you haven't been watching lately as the guards have led us to a 1-7 record since the ASG. But let's take comfort that we beat the tanking Sixers.

Jamiecballer
03-07-2015, 10:31 PM
Maybe you haven't been watching lately as the guards have led us to a 1-7 record since the ASG. But let's take comfort that we beat the tanking Sixers.
There is a big difference between losing and losing for the reasons spouted off by the media. Just as there was no basis in fact to the claim that everyone has figured us out. Poor shooting does not equal figured out, nor does it entitle you to disregard the offensive performance as a whole to support your the sky is falling agenda.

ink
03-07-2015, 10:34 PM
Maybe you haven't been watching lately as the guards have led us to a 1-7 record since the ASG. But let's take comfort that we beat the tanking Sixers.
There is a big difference between losing and losing for the reasons spouted off by the media. Just as there was no basis in fact to the claim that everyone has figured us out. Poor shooting does not equal figured out, nor does it entitle you to disregard the offensive performance as a whole to support your the sky is falling agenda.

smh

It's not "my agenda". You're the last apologist for this mess. It's not working dude.

I'm certain the Raps are not grasping at straws. And if they are, they'd better wake up.

Jamiecballer
03-07-2015, 10:44 PM
smh

It's not "my agenda". You're the last apologist for this mess. It's not working dude.

I'm certain the Raps are not grasping at straws. And if they are, they'd better wake up.
It's not your agenda, in the sense that you are alone is pushing it. It is however completely your agenda in this conversation to push as fact things that can be demonstrably proven as untrue, as evidenced by the comment about being figured out by everyone. I'm sorry, is everyone supposed to ignore the fact that we've scored more than enough to win most games because it's not being floated about by the media right now?

You are posting like an emotional fan instead of an objective one.

ink
03-07-2015, 10:46 PM
smh

It's not "my agenda". You're the last apologist for this mess. It's not working dude.

I'm certain the Raps are not grasping at straws. And if they are, they'd better wake up.
It's not your agenda, in the sense that you are alone is pushing it. It is however completely your agenda in this conversation to push as fact things that can be demonstrably proven as untrue, as evidenced by the comment about being figured out by everyone. I'm sorry, is everyone supposed to ignore the fact that we've scored more than enough to win most games because it's not being floated about by the media right now?

You are posting like an emotional fan instead of an objective one.

Seems like the reverse but let's drop the personal.

KingoftheFall
03-08-2015, 12:06 AM
Its shocking how alot of people didn't see this coming. With the way this team is currently built, they're either going to be streaky good or streaky bad. It's apparent now that any decent nba (.500-ish) team can beat them as long as they keep baiting them into iso plays and long contested jumpshots (Which is exactly how the Hornets have beat us everytime we've played them).

EDIT: If we were in the west we would be the Phoniex Suns right now, a perenial treadmill team, which in that case I pray to basedMasai that he has a plan to aquire superstar talent in the near future.

albertajaysfan
03-08-2015, 02:14 AM
Its shocking how alot of people didn't see this coming. With the way this team is currently built, they're either going to be streaky good or streaky bad. It's apparent now that any decent nba (.500-ish) team can beat them as long as they keep baiting them into iso plays and long contested jumpshots (Which is exactly how the Hornets have beat us everytime we've played them).

EDIT: If we were in the west we would be the Phoniex Suns right now, a perenial treadmill team, which in that case I pray to basedMasai that he has a plan to aquire superstar talent in the near future.

Agreed. I am really curious to see what route he takes this off season. I am hoping for some trades that alter the core in some way.

Great articles. Thanks for sharing ink.

Jamie you sound like you work for the emperor who has no clothes at the moment. It isn't all doom and gloom for the Raptors but you must see this team as constructed isn't going very far.

Jamiecballer
03-08-2015, 09:31 AM
Agreed. I am really curious to see what route he takes this off season. I am hoping for some trades that alter the core in some way.

Great articles. Thanks for sharing ink.

Jamie you sound like you work for the emperor who has no clothes at the moment. It isn't all doom and gloom for the Raptors but you must see this team as constructed isn't going very far.
We have to define going very far. Is making the second round very far? I think for this team it is and I'm still comfortable saying that is very possible.

I think if you subtract Lou Williams from this group you would see a similar record but a team that looked much more like last years. I think the notion that a massive shakeup is needed is not seeing the forest for the trees.

pulzar
03-08-2015, 10:35 AM
The goal for the team this year was to win Atlantic and win a playoff series. That's still quite attainable.

The only thing that's falling apart are the dreams that this team could be more than that, for those who had them.

We'll see what Masai does in off-season, but this team, as constructed, is not too bad, in my opinion. From what I've been hearing from the players lately, though, I have a lot of doubts about the quality of mentorship from the bench, and the choice of utilization of players.

deaner
03-08-2015, 11:05 AM
The goal for the team this year was to win Atlantic and win a playoff series. That's still quite attainable.

The only thing that's falling apart are the dreams that this team could be more than that, for those who had them.

We'll see what Masai does in off-season, but this team, as constructed, is not too bad, in my opinion. From what I've been hearing from the players lately, though, I have a lot of doubts about the quality of mentorship from the bench, and the choice of utilization of players.

I don't remember masai or anyone saying this goal, did I miss it or did you make this up?

ink
03-08-2015, 11:57 AM
The goal for the team this year was to win Atlantic and win a playoff series. That's still quite attainable.

The only thing that's falling apart are the dreams that this team could be more than that, for those who had them.

We'll see what Masai does in off-season, but this team, as constructed, is not too bad, in my opinion. From what I've been hearing from the players lately, though, I have a lot of doubts about the quality of mentorship from the bench, and the choice of utilization of players.

It's why I started a thread about what people thought Masai would do in the off-season. If this struggling continues it's increasingly clear that he needs to re-work the roster and the coaching. All we know for sure is that the team can't get far on coaching that gives borderline all stars the decision-making ability to call ISOs for themselves. Not a winning combination and especially not good since every team in the L has figured them out. It happened long before GSW had it on their whiteboard. It's in the coaches' court now.

Sanyo
03-08-2015, 11:59 AM
Pretty much everything I said in the friday thread:

1) JV and JJ (and Amir for that matter) don't get involved nearly as much. Case in point Lowry with 22 shots and JV with 3. Poor running of the offence by a supposed All Star
2) No D whatsoever. Some guys like JJ still play effective D but for the most part guys have gotten soft there
3) Too many ISOs which I think everyone on this forum has been saying for months, especially Lou and Demar. Lou is actually a half decent passer when he wants to be and showed that in the Cleveland when he ran the offence...for some reason Kyle has no faith in his big men and thinks this team is a "3 point team" which they clearly are not.
4) Predictable offensive plays....wait no real set offensive plays (well I didn't say this but it is too predictable)

ink
03-08-2015, 12:02 PM
Agreed. I am really curious to see what route he takes this off season. I am hoping for some trades that alter the core in some way.

Masai absolutely has to address the lack of an inside game with the coaches and with roster moves. It's crippling the team.

Jamiecballer
03-08-2015, 12:29 PM
It's why I started a thread about what people thought Masai would do in the off-season. If this struggling continues it's increasingly clear that he needs to re-work the roster and the coaching. All we know for sure is that the team can't get far on coaching that gives borderline all stars the decision-making ability to call ISOs for themselves. Not a winning combination and especially not good since every team in the L has figured them out. It happened long before GSW had it on their whiteboard. It's in the coaches' court now.
Are you ever going to justify the statement that every team in the league has figured them out, or just keep repeating it in the hopes that people will forget it's an opinion, and a rather debatable one at that.

It's not even the fact that we have opposite points of view here, it's the fact that your statement is completely contradicted by just about every statistic out there. Yes, they are not performing as well as before. If Lowry/Derozan/Williams were shooting well we would still be winning quite frequently. But then we'd be one of the first teams to ever complete a season without hitting a shooting slump and we'd be a 55-60 win team. Did anybody think we were that at the start of the season, I think not.

However, if the "L" has figured us out we will win 2-3 games the rest of the way and I will be sure to give you your props.

pulzar
03-08-2015, 12:38 PM
I don't remember masai or anyone saying this goal, did I miss it or did you make this up?

No, not from Masai. This was, as I felt, the consensus goal here on the board at the beginning of the season -- i.e. what most here would've called a successful season. It was only after the crazy start that the other inflated expectations came out.

aman_13
03-08-2015, 12:45 PM
So much talk about the offense, but what about the defense? One can easily argue that defense has been biggest reason for this recent slump.

ink
03-08-2015, 12:52 PM
Are you ever going to justify the statement that every team in the league has figured them out, or just keep repeating it in the hopes that people will forget it's an opinion, and a rather debatable one at that.

You seem to be the only one that can't see it. I can't disavow you of your belief so I'll just get back to hoping the team can manage to get things straightened out.

ink
03-08-2015, 12:56 PM
So much talk about the offense, but what about the defense? One can easily argue that defense has been biggest reason for this recent slump.

Why choose? Neither are working well as the chemistry MU felt he had has evaporated. They're still saying all the right things but the on-court teamwork is showing huge cracks. They're not able to execute the defence. Do the coaches relent and simplify? Or do they keep drilling the players to get them to make rotations they can't seem to manage?

deaner
03-08-2015, 12:57 PM
No, not from Masai. This was, as I felt, the consensus goal here on the board at the beginning of the season -- i.e. what most here would've called a successful season. It was only after the crazy start that the other inflated expectations came out.

Ya I agree. Most of us here thought this would be reasonable progress. My issue is the way we are achieving it. Masai's goal all along was growth, and I just don't think he was talking about shawts falling or not. The direction is the disappointment, not the W-Ls.

aman_13
03-08-2015, 12:59 PM
Why choose? Neither are working well as the chemistry MU felt he had has evaporated. They're still saying all the right things but the on-court teamwork is showing huge cracks.

Im not saying choose. All I been reading is the offensive issues.

ink
03-08-2015, 01:04 PM
Ya I agree. Most of us here thought this would be reasonable progress. My issue is the way we are achieving it. Masai's goal all along was growth, and I just don't think he was talking about shawts falling or not. The direction is the disappointment, not the W-Ls.

The approach reeks of win-now desperation at both ends of the floor, especially when the team is struggling. If we're going to win some and lose some, as we have since January, I'd rather see the workload spread around so the entire roster gets involved. What I liked about last year was just that: that the players and coaches took last year as a chance to show they deserved to belong together. The ball moved much better, team D was excellent because they wanted the group to be preserved. Ironically, winning has made the group relax and not care about proving anything. It's also made the coaching staff desperate to get Ws when that's not what this organization needs, at least not getting Ws by sacrificing team play.

ink
03-08-2015, 01:14 PM
Im not saying choose. All I been reading is the offensive issues.

You're right, the defence has been horrible. There was some pretty good discussion in a thread that broke down the defensive strategy and problems a few weeks ago. The consensus seems to be that the system the coaches are running is too difficult for the players to execute and unecessarily so, since most of the league emulates the more conservative approach coaches like Thibs use. Do the Raps keep hammering away at what isn't working (as Chisholm says in the article) or do they make changes to the system?

One thing we do know is that if the defensive system didn't require such athletic switches and rotations, a slower player like JV might have a consistent chance of staying in the game. But that would only matter if the guards decided to utilize him on offence, which for the most part they never do past the first half.

aman_13
03-08-2015, 01:47 PM
You're right, the defence has been horrible. There was some pretty good discussion in a thread that broke down the defensive strategy and problems a few weeks ago. The consensus seems to be that the system the coaches are running is too difficult for the players to execute and unecessarily so, since most of the league emulates the more conservative approach coaches like Thibs use. Do the Raps keep hammering away at what isn't working (as Chisholm says in the article) or do they make changes to the system?

One thing we do know is that if the defensive system didn't require such athletic switches and rotations, a slower player like JV might have a consistent chance of staying in the game. But that would only matter if the guards decided to utilize him on offence, which for the most part they never do past the first half.

Casey showing very little adjustment in his defensive strategy is what frustrates me the most. Especially since he's acknowledged as an defensive specialist. It seems like he's developing a pattern where he is able implement a competent strategy every other season.

ink
03-08-2015, 01:54 PM
Casey showing very little adjustment in his defensive strategy is what frustrates me the most. Especially since he's acknowledged as an defensive specialist. It seems like he's developing a pattern where he is able implement a competent strategy every other season.

He seems to fix things that aren't broken but sticks with broken things regardless of whether they're working or not. Ultimately it will probably be his downfall with the Raptors.

deaner
03-08-2015, 02:16 PM
Casey showing very little adjustment in his defensive strategy is what frustrates me the most. Especially since he's acknowledged as an defensive specialist. It seems like he's developing a pattern where he is able implement a competent strategy every other season.

Signs to me that his scope is too vast. He's a good assistant coach and I'm sure he would do a very good job as our defensive specialist. I'm actually cheering for him to grow and learn how to let other coaches help him. I don't think he is using nurse for his offense and I would really love to see him realize that crazy sterner could be running the sidelines yelling at the players while casey thinks big picture. It's really embarrassing to watch right now. He looks shell shocked. He's 57 and a tireless worker. With this schedule even guys that work half as hard as him would be tired. He needs to somehow look after his mind and find some rest.

Jamiecballer
03-08-2015, 02:24 PM
You seem to be the only one that can't see it. I can't disavow you of your belief so I'll just get back to hoping the team can manage to get things straightened out.
In the future, if you don't mind - don't respond if your intention is to ignore 99% of what is put forth. Have the courage of your convictions and engage in a discussion please, or just ignore the posts. Say what you will about me - I am at least direct. I don't go on and on in my posts but duck and weave when someone takes the time to respond because the response contains facts or ideas that don't fit with mine. If I did I hope people would challenge me on it. I welcome that discussion.

ink
03-08-2015, 02:31 PM
In the future, if you don't mind - don't respond if your intention is to ignore 99% of what is put forth. Have the courage of your convictions and engage in a discussion please, or just ignore the posts. Say what you will about me - I am at least direct. I don't go on and on in my posts but duck and weave when someone takes the time to respond because the response contains facts or ideas that don't fit with mine. If I did I hope people would challenge me on it. I welcome that discussion.

No need for digs like "courage of your convictions". I don't see anyone else denying that the league hasn't figured out the Raptors so I don't see the point of continuing what's become a circular discussion in here.

The point of the thread was what to do next for the Raptors. That's still the point of the thread.

KingoftheFall
03-08-2015, 02:49 PM
The goal for the team this year was to win Atlantic and win a playoff series. That's still quite attainable.

The only thing that's falling apart are the dreams that this team could be more than that, for those who had them.

We'll see what Masai does in off-season, but this team, as constructed, is not too bad, in my opinion. From what I've been hearing from the players lately, though, I have a lot of doubts about the quality of mentorship from the bench, and the choice of utilization of players.

TBH Winning the Atlantic and a playoff series shouldn't have been the goal. Internal growth (development of Ross and JV) and improved team play should have been the goal, and winning the atlantic and a playoff series a byproduct. They lost sight of that thanks to the buddy ball egos of Derozan and Lowry, as well as the grown dependence of Lou Williams. Im actually glad that they're losing so that they can re-focus their goals towards development of play.

Jamiecballer
03-08-2015, 03:10 PM
No need for digs like "courage of your convictions". I don't see anyone else denying that the league hasn't figured out the Raptors so I don't see the point of continuing what's become a circular discussion in here.

The point of the thread was what to do next for the Raptors. That's still the point of the thread.
Its not a dig. Its me saying either respond to my points or don't bother responding please. I welcome anybody to question what I say, its healthy discussion. If I say "hey guys the sky is orange" and someone responds with "no its not, its blue and here is why", they deserve the courtesy of a response in my books. It keeps everyone honest.

By the way, its not a given that everyone would agree that the entire league has figured us out. You've fallen into a pretty big trap if you are taking the two dozen or so posts on any given day as evidence of what everybody thinks.

Freakazoid
03-08-2015, 03:35 PM
It goes beyond style. When defenses take away our options, we just keep hammering away at the same god forsaken spot. At least it fits the "pound the rock" mantra...

aman_13
03-08-2015, 06:22 PM
Signs to me that his scope is too vast. He's a good assistant coach and I'm sure he would do a very good job as our defensive specialist. I'm actually cheering for him to grow and learn how to let other coaches help him. I don't think he is using nurse for his offense and I would really love to see him realize that crazy sterner could be running the sidelines yelling at the players while casey thinks big picture. It's really embarrassing to watch right now. He looks shell shocked. He's 57 and a tireless worker. With this schedule even guys that work half as hard as him would be tired. He needs to somehow look after his mind and find some rest.

Casey is a good coach but he lacks the X's and O's imo.
Sterner should coach here forever lol.

Jamiecballer
03-08-2015, 09:34 PM
It goes beyond style. When defenses take away our options, we just keep hammering away at the same god forsaken spot. At least it fits the "pound the rock" mantra...
I agree. It would be nice to see the players look a little more aware when it's not their night but it's really hard to tell whether they are stubborn or being told to stay the course and trust that if they stay confident the shots will eventually fall. If you've calculated the odds you can make the case that sticking with the game plan is the right move. But you can also make a strong case that it does nothing to make the team better long term.

Sadds The Gr8
03-08-2015, 09:47 PM
Casey showing very little adjustment in his defensive strategy is what frustrates me the most. Especially since he's acknowledged as an defensive specialist. It seems like he's developing a pattern where he is able implement a competent strategy every other season.
I have no clue why he has JV and Amir our trapping/hedging pg's on PnR's....neither is quick enough to do that. Only PPat is quick enough. Amir used to be but he's way too slow now with his ankles.

He doesn't adjust at all....

aman_13
03-08-2015, 10:05 PM
I have no clue why he has JV and Amir our trapping pg's on PnR's....neither is quick enough to do that. Only PPat is quick enough. Amir used to be but he's way too slow now with his ankles.

He doesn't adjust at all....

Yeah and if they managed to trap the pg, all he would have to do is throw it to the big rolling towards the rim and that opens up the defense.

bartron_44
03-09-2015, 11:46 AM
Can people just look at who we have played during this streak. Other than losing to the Knicks and the Hornets (both on the road), are there any other games during this losing streak that we "should" have won?

@ Houston
@ New Orleans
@ Dallas
vs Golden State
@ NY
vs Cleveland
@ Charlotte
@ OKC

We haven't won in Charlotte in forever, so really the only game we really screwed the pooch in was the game against the Knicks. We had a shot to win a few more of those games, but just didn't make enough plays down the stretch.

We need Lowry back playing at a high level. He really struggled against Houston, Dallas and Golden State...and didn't have a very good game against OKC either. To be fair though, not many teams are beating those teams, especially in their buildings. We took advantage of the early part of our schedule, and now we are almost through the gauntlet part of our schedule. After we go into San Antonio our schedule comes back down as far as difficulty level. We have 19 games left and if we can win 12 of them we will have won 50 games for the first time...

Let's just hope Lowry gets healthy and we go into the playoffs with everyone @ 100%.

Sanyo
03-09-2015, 11:58 AM
Can people just look at who we have played during this streak. Other than losing to the Knicks and the Hornets (both on the road), are there any other games during this losing streak that we "should" have won?

@ Houston
@ New Orleans
@ Dallas
vs Golden State
@ NY
vs Cleveland
@ Charlotte
@ OKC

We haven't won in Charlotte in forever, so really the only game we really screwed the pooch in was the game against the Knicks. We had a shot to win a few more of those games, but just didn't make enough plays down the stretch.

We need Lowry back playing at a high level. He really struggled against Houston, Dallas and Golden State...and didn't have a very good game against OKC either. To be fair though, not many teams are beating those teams, especially in their buildings. We took advantage of the early part of our schedule, and now we are almost through the gauntlet part of our schedule. After we go into San Antonio our schedule comes back down as far as difficulty level. We have 19 games left and if we can win 12 of them we will have won 50 games for the first time...

Let's just hope Lowry gets healthy and we go into the playoffs with everyone @ 100%.

Much of the success will lay on Lowry -- he's played very bad in the last 2.5 months, bad enough that he wouldnt not be starting if he wasnt be paid $12 mil to be the franchise player -- if he continues to play like he has, the Raps will have some very difficult days ahead of them and I hope thats not the case and that Lowry finds a way to play at the level he was before late dec.

bartron_44
03-09-2015, 01:01 PM
yeah, having a PG (and a starting SG) with a FG% under 40% is really bad. Not to mention our current starting SF and our 6th man. The 4 guys taking the most shots are all like 41.3% or lower on the season, and the 3 regulars with good FG%'s (56% and higher) are all taking 8 shots or less per game. Until this team starts going inside out a heck of a lot more our offensive efficiency is going to be pretty inconsistent. If your not going to throw it into the post, then someone has to be able to break people down off the dribble..

If we had Marc Gasol would we still play like this? (All shots coming the perimeter)

smith&wesson
03-09-2015, 02:28 PM
this is on the GM...

When you already have a back court consisting of Derozan and Lowry, and then trade for GVZ, and then add Lou Williams with out adressing your front court needs then yes, you become gaurd heavy and those gaurds mentioned above love to play iso ball.

The team is gaurd heavy, and the gaurds we have were inevitbaly going to play thier style of game. You add to the fact that they are not great defenders accept for maybe Lowry, that puts added pressure to what is already a weak front court.

Obviously apposing teams, coaches, players, scouts are eventually going to suffocated our gaurds and make them go 1 on 5 knowing that our front court cant make up the difference when our gaurds shots arent falling. Jonas has been better, but there just isnt enough talent and or deptch in our front court and it has been exposed as a weekness. Teams just close out on our gaurds and thats the scouting report. doesnt take a genius to figure it out.

Bramaca
03-09-2015, 02:50 PM
this is on the GM...

When you already have a back court consisting of Derozan and Lowry, and then trade for GVZ, and then add Lou Williams with out adressing your front court needs then yes, you become gaurd heavy and those gaurds mentioned above love to play iso ball.

The team is gaurd heavy, and the gaurds we have were inevitbaly going to play thier style of game. You add to the fact that they are not great defenders accept for maybe Lowry, that puts added pressure to what is already a weak front court.

Obviously apposing teams, coaches, players, scouts are eventually going to suffocated our gaurds and make them go 1 on 5 knowing that our front court cant make up the difference when our gaurds shots arent falling. Jonas has been better, but there just isnt enough talent and or deptch in our front court and it has been exposed as a weekness. Teams just close out on our gaurds and thats the scouting report. doesnt take a genius to figure it out.

An argument could be made that MU did address the front court issues to a certain extent. JJ was added, a mobile defender who can play both the 3 and 4, can score down low or by driving, and is a good passer. And while people dismiss Bebe and put him in the same category or raw that they place Caboclo he is a 22 year old player who spent multiple seasons playing in the top basketball league outside of the NBA and was considered one of the best defensive players there. JV was a year more experienced and coming off what looked like a potential breakout from the playoffs. And the Raps didn't lose any of the other big men like Amir, PP, and even end of the bench depth players like Hans and Hayes.

The Raps just haven't used them on the offensive end anymore then last season. I actually think they have used them even less and haven't even tried to use Bebe. Imo It's tough to say if we don't have enough talent or depth at the big position unless we see them used.

Eagles4Lyfe
03-09-2015, 03:43 PM
Lmao

Freakazoid
03-09-2015, 04:43 PM
I agree. It would be nice to see the players look a little more aware when it's not their night but it's really hard to tell whether they are stubborn or being told to stay the course and trust that if they stay confident the shots will eventually fall. If you've calculated the odds you can make the case that sticking with the game plan is the right move. But you can also make a strong case that it does nothing to make the team better long term.

I think the players and the coaches are bad at adjusting. I've seen great players adjust on the fly on poorly coached teams and I've see low IQ players adjust on well coached teams. I rarely see either in Toronto. Players like Lowry, Amir and even PPat do a decent job but Lowry is approaching it with the wrong mentality, Amir is injured and I don't think PPat is a game changer. I liked Lowry more when this wasn't his team.

smith&wesson
03-09-2015, 05:18 PM
An argument could be made that MU did address the front court issues to a certain extent. JJ was added, a mobile defender who can play both the 3 and 4, can score down low or by driving, and is a good passer. And while people dismiss Bebe and put him in the same category or raw that they place Caboclo he is a 22 year old player who spent multiple seasons playing in the top basketball league outside of the NBA and was considered one of the best defensive players there. JV was a year more experienced and coming off what looked like a potential breakout from the playoffs. And the Raps didn't lose any of the other big men like Amir, PP, and even end of the bench depth players like Hans and Hayes.

The Raps just haven't used them on the offensive end anymore then last season. I actually think they have used them even less and haven't even tried to use Bebe. Imo It's tough to say if we don't have enough talent or depth at the big position unless we see them used.

you and I have always been on the same page with Nogueira being given a chance. It never happened and now that were aproaching the tail end of the season, I highly doubt Casey will give him some burn. its to bad, I think Hassan Whiteside was treated the same until the heat finally gave him a chance.

Freakazoid
03-10-2015, 12:12 AM
rofl was listening to the BS report and Zach Lowe was saying how he was hanging out with some of the Raptors and they were saying they didn't mind LV hogging the ball because he's fun to play with. SMH.

ink
03-10-2015, 12:44 AM
rofl was listening to the BS report and Zach Lowe was saying how he was hanging out with some of the Raptors and they were saying they didn't mind LV hogging the ball because he's fun to play with. SMH.

Who is LV?

mike_noodles
03-10-2015, 01:21 AM
Can people just look at who we have played during this streak. Other than losing to the Knicks and the Hornets (both on the road), are there any other games during this losing streak that we "should" have won?

@ Houston
@ New Orleans
@ Dallas
vs Golden State
@ NY
vs Cleveland
@ Charlotte
@ OKC

We haven't won in Charlotte in forever, so really the only game we really screwed the pooch in was the game against the Knicks. We had a shot to win a few more of those games, but just didn't make enough plays down the stretch.

We need Lowry back playing at a high level. He really struggled against Houston, Dallas and Golden State...and didn't have a very good game against OKC either. To be fair though, not many teams are beating those teams, especially in their buildings. We took advantage of the early part of our schedule, and now we are almost through the gauntlet part of our schedule. After we go into San Antonio our schedule comes back down as far as difficulty level. We have 19 games left and if we can win 12 of them we will have won 50 games for the first time...

Let's just hope Lowry gets healthy and we go into the playoffs with everyone @ 100%.

We should have beaten the Pelicans in there. They didn't have AD for that game. So that's three that they let slip away over that stretch.

pulzar
03-10-2015, 07:59 AM
Who is LV?

I'm guessing it's LW. He does seem like a fun guy to play with. Seems like he's always laughing at something, and always the first to say "my bad" when he lists the ball (not when he shoots and misses, though:) ).

gwrighter
03-10-2015, 08:43 AM
rofl was listening to the BS report and Zach Lowe was saying how he was hanging out with some of the Raptors and they were saying they didn't mind LV hogging the ball because he's fun to play with. SMH.

Yep I heard that too. The Raptors have such a terrible mentality. It's funny because they're unaware of how ridiculous some of the opinions they hold about the team are.

Freakazoid
03-10-2015, 03:15 PM
Who is LV?

oops meant louis williams

Sanyo
03-10-2015, 09:14 PM
Ujiri will make the change to get the big guy Im sure of it... lots of cap space opening up with Fields, Hayes, Hans and Lou all expiring. Those guys are largely replaceable. I hate Iso ball and wouldn't keep Lou. Need some guys who can pass and play D... find those guys...