Best line-up for the Raptors [2009-2010]

According to published reports, Toronto will use the the following line-up for this evening’s first game of the regular season [at home vs Cleveland]:

ROLE

PG

OG

SF

PF

C

STARTERS

Jose
Calderon

DeMar DeRozan

Hedo
Turkoglu

Chris
Bosh*

Andrea Bargnani

KEY SUBS

Jarrett
Jack

Marco
Belinelli

Antoine
Wright

Amir
Johnson*

Rasho Nesterovic*

RESERVES

Marcus
Banks

 

 

 

Patrick O’Bryant

EXTRAS/INACTIVE

 

Quincy
Douby

Sonny
Weems

Reggie
Evans*

 

* - Solid rebounder at this position. 

The final standings in the Eastern Conference this season will most likely feature an exceptionally close finish between the No. 6 and No. 12 positions, as every team below the top 3 entries … i.e. Boston, Cleveland and Orlando, aka, Tier One … may be capable of playing well enough to legitimately compete for the 8th playoff position. 

———————————

Q1. What do the Raptors need to do in oder to give themselves the best possible chance of being in the playoff hunt for the entire season?

A1. Play their best players at their best positions AND set aside the damaged egos of those in the organization who still believe that former 2006 No. 1 [overall] Draft Pick, Andrea Bargnani [7-0, 250], has done enough, to point this in his NBA career, to warrant designation as the team’s Starting Center, in place of Chris Bosh [6-10, 230].

If the Raptors eventually use the following line-up, instead, this season:

ROLE

PG

OG

SF

PF

C

STARTERS

Jose

Calderon

DeMar DeRozan

Hedo

Turkoglu

Amir

Johnson*

Chris

Bosh*

KEY SUBS

Jarrett

Jack

Marco

Belinelli

Antoine

Wright

Reggie

Evans*

Andrea Bargnani

RESERVES

Marcus

Banks

 

 

Rasho Nesterovic*

 

EXTRAS/INACTIVE

 

Quincy

Douby

Sonny

Weems

 

Patrick O’Bryant

* - Solid rebounder at this position. 

which provides better balance overall for their team, by improving the Rebounding and Defense of their starting unit AND the Offensive fire-power coming from their bench …

they will give themselves the best chance possible to:

1. Make the playoffs;
2. Earn a Top 6 seed;
3. Win their 1st Round series; and,
4. RETAIN the services of their lone All-Star, Chris Bosh, when he exercises his right to pursue unrestricted free agency next summer.

The major problems with this year’s Raptors team …

i. Relatively poor Rebounding;
ii. Poor Transition Defense; and,
iii. Very poor Pick & Roll/Pop Defense;

———————————
For the importance of ii. and iii. …

The Second Big Man
Transition defense is a very important part of the NBA game. It’s one of the two most important areas of defense; the other is pick and roll defense. Every team spends a tremendous amount of time on these areas, and Stopping these two areas of the game is what leads teams to very successful seasons.
———————————

… can all be overcome effectively by reducing [not increasing] the role of Andrea Bargnani [C, 7-0, 250] and using him properly, for the first time since his rookie season, as the primary back-up for Chris Bosh [C, 6-10, 230].

Hopefully, the Raptors’ brain-trust [i.e. Bryan Colangelo, Maurizio Gherardini, Jay Triano & Co.] is able to figure this out, sooner rather than later.

Related:

NBA secret scout nails description of Bargnani

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17 Responses to “Best line-up for the Raptors [2009-2010]”

  1. Raps Fan Says:

    As much as I like Johnson, he hasn’t shown that he can stay out of foul trouble. I like that lineup, but how do you keep Bosh around when he himself doesn’t consider himself to be a Center?

  2. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    You keep Bosh around with … W’s, and lots of them, plus a Top 6 playoff seed, plus a 1st Round series victory, etc..

    Whether Amir Johnson fouls out, or not, is irrelevant, as Reggie Evans is an adequate replacement for him, at the PF position.

    If BOTH Johnson and Evans foul out, then, the Raptors SHOULD go in one of two directions:

    1. Use Nesterovic at the PF position.

    1A. Use Turkoglu at the PF position.

    Until Bargnani demonstrates in practice and during the 18-24 minutes of PT he SHOULD get in games, as Bosh’s back-up, that he can do a credible job Rebounding, moving his feet on defense vs Pick & Roll/Pop actions, being more aware in help situations, and getting back better in Defensive Transition situations he should NOT receive any time whatsoever at the PF position for this team.

    IMO, Chris Bosh considers himself to be a Winner … before he thinks about the position on the court he happens to be playing … and, if the team he is on is actually winning games, it won’t matter to him one iota, if he is working at the Center position [as opposed to the PF spot].

    Very good players … at all levels of the game … care, first and foremost, about winning … and, CB4 is a good basketball player.

  3. MC_B-rad Says:

    so with this proposed lineup change, how many minutes would you suggest bargs shoudl be receiving, and where is he going to get those mins. In my opinion, Bosh is worthy of at least 38 mins a night, so your suggesting then that bargs plays 10 or less?

    What would it take Bargs doing (stat wise or any other way of qualifying it) for you to stop inferring Bargs is a subpar player that was a mistake to draft

  4. khandor Says:

    MCBR,

    It’s doesn’t seem as though you’ve read my reply comment to Raps Fan. The answers to your questions are already given there.

    [In a general sense, it would take the type of consistent performance on the boards and on defense that would eliminate the possiblity of a NBA "secret scout" ever again describing him as a true liability in these two very important ... and less noticeable, perhaps ... phases of the game, during limited PT. :-) That is what's commonly referred to as "earning your chops", as a legit Big in the NBA.]

    ——————

    FWIW … and, given his history of knee injuries … CB4 should be playing approximately 30 MPG.

  5. MC_B-rad Says:

    i did read, i just prefer to believe that if bosh is such a star and so much better than bargs, shouldnt he be lpaying more than 6-12 mins more than bargs in your proposal?

  6. Brain Colangelo Says:

    If Bargs can’t get better at the things you mentioned quickly enough then his minutes should be reduced to the 20-30 range. At the high end (30mins), the minutes should be distributed as follows (assuming Bosh plays 38 mins per game):

    Bosh plus Johnson/Evans/Rasho – 18 mins
    Bargs plus Johnson/Evans/Rasho – 10 mins
    Bosh plus Bargs – 20 mins

    Keep the total Bosh plus Bargs minutes as low as possible in every situation… even if Bosh and Bargs each play 38 minutes, keep one of them on the floor at all times so that they are collectively paired with another big for the full 20 mins that one of them is on the bench.

    Reduce relative minutes for Bosh/Bargs depending upon how well they do alone or with others and try to give Bargs as much time as possible as the first option on offence. Reduce Bargs’ minutes in absolute terms if he can’t improve his team defence and rebounding enough to stay on the floor.

    Incidentally, from what I’ve seen in the pre-season, I don’t like Rasho with either Bosh or Bargs. I think he brings less than Johnson/Evans in that combo. Maybe he was not going full tilt early on…

  7. khandor Says:

    MCBR,

    If Bosh plays 30 mins and Bargnani plays 18 mins this would then give the Raptors 48 solid mins at the Center position … assuming, of course, that Bargnani can actually hold his own for this relatively brief period of time.

    If he can’t do this, however, there would then be nothing exceptionally negative/wrong about reducing Bargnani’s PT even further and upping the MPG at that spot for either Bosh or Nesterovic.

    What matters most of all isn’t whether, or not, Mr. Bargnani is a “happy camper”; but whether, or not, the team is actually winning a high percentage of its games.

    By limiting Bargnani’s MPG …

    A. He can be allowed to just focus on his offensive contribution to the team, in high energy spurts off the bench; or,

    B. He will actually “learn” that, in order to get major minutes in the NBA, as a legit Big … whether, or not, he shoots the 3-ball effectively … he must first be able to take care of “his business” properly, at the back end, so-to-speak … i.e. in terms of providing adequate D & R for his teammates.

  8. Brain Colangelo Says:

    PS. I think Bargs will surprise the haters this year.

  9. khandor Says:

    Brain,

    The only major problem with what you’ve suggested there is the part that says,

    Bosh plus Bargnani – 20 mins

    From a team performance standpoint, there is absolutely NO [as in "zero"] reason to give that combo any time at all … when you’ve got other Bigs like Johnson, Evans, Nesterovic and [even] Turkoglu on the roster.

    [i.e. If you do, IMO, you are simply giving points away to your opponent.]

  10. MC_B-rad Says:

    2 things….there is no way bosh/rasho is nearly as effective in “All” aspects of the game as bosh/bargs….maybe 2 years ago this could have been argued, but then bargs was 2 years younger and still being babied…i like rasho, but hes lost a few steps…

    second…didnt we already try the bargs off the bench thing and it failed miserably….what makes you believe it would work now???

    ohhh and i too believe bargs is gonna silence the hater…not with 8+ boards a game, but i think he will do enough to impress…and may even be in the running for MIP

  11. khandor Says:

    Brain,

    re: “PS. I think Bargs will surprise the haters this year.”

    I, for one, would like nothing better than to see that happen this season … contrary to popular belief.

    The one provision is this.

    THE surprise NEEDS to NOT be measured ONLY by an increase in his:

    i. Points Scored per game;
    ii. Rebounds per game;
    iii. Blocked Shots per game;

    but, also in terms of, “How he actually performs/is measured in Defensive Transition situations, Defensive Pick & Roll/Pop situations, Defensive Help situations, and Rebounding Differential, etc., when he’s on the court.”

    —————————-

    PS. What’s wrong with Bargnani, at-present, is the “cumulative negative effect” he has in these other specific areas of the game, many of which are over-looked, or under-valued by both the casual fan and the so-called “expert” who doesn’t really know what s/he’s talking about if/when s/he raves about the Big Guy’s “upside” as an offensive player while neglecting these.

  12. khandor Says:

    MCBR,

    Bosh plus Johnson SHOULD get the most PT.

    Bosh plus Evans SHOULD get the 2nd most PT.

    Bosh plus Nesterovic SHOULD only be getting the 3rd most PT.

    [Bosh plus Turkoglu should be getting the rest of the PT.]

    ——————————————————–

    Bargnani off the bench did not fail to produce wins during the 2006-2007 season.

    The fact is … it’s only once Bargnani’s MPG began to GO UP, during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons, respectively, that the Raptors WINS TOTALS began to COME DOWN. :-(

    [of course, there were other factors involved in this occurrence, as well; but, it would certainly not be accurate to suggest that, "The more Bargnani's played the better the Raptors have become," when in fact it's the opposite that's true.]

  13. brothersteve Says:

    There is no reason to run with 5 backups on a full time basis. But off-setting some of Bosh & Bargs minutes makes a lot of sense.

    Amir Johnson hasn’t proven he can handle more than 12-15 minutes and hasn’t positioned himself well on defense during the preseason. He’s still developing, could even call him a project. Maybe he’ll earn more playing time as the season progresses.

    Reggie Evans isn’t a project despite his limitations, and more deserving of minutes than Johnson or Nesterovic so far. Until someone plays better than him, I can’t see him losing his backup role.

    For the 12th man I’d rather see Weems on the bench than Banks. Neither is likely to play except in garbage minutes but I’d rather Weems get those minutes.

  14. khandor Says:

    brothersteve,

    re: Amir

    If Johnson commits a foul every 5 mins [approx.] he’s on the floor this means that he could actually play through UP TO 30 mins of a full game before fouling out.

    “Projects” who do NOT hurt their own team in terms of D & R need to get better by playing in real live games.

    Mr. Johnson [at 22 yers of age] fits into this category, with this team, until proven otherwise.

    re: Reggie

    Mr. Evans is the epitome of a high energy player who is at his best coming off the bench, as opposed to starting, provided that a team has other players who can adequately fill the starter’s role. In this case, Mr. Johnson is THAT man … which means that Mr. Evans can assume his rightful place in the NBA game.

    From a D, R and O perspective, IMO, Johnson has actually out-performed Evans through the pre-season schedule.

    re: the 12th man

    I, too, would rather see the Raptors go with Mr. Weems, as the 12th man on a game-to-game basis this season. He was left out of the suggested line-up above because I do not think the Raptors see the benefit of using him in this specific role right now, relative to Marcus Banks and, then, later on, Quincy Douby/Patrick O’Bryant. He’s a touch under-sized as a legit #3/SF in the league and doesn’t shoot the 3-ball well enough just yet to get any meanigful run at the #2/OG position. Down-the-road, however … if Mr. Hopla can continue to work on the development of Sonny’s perimeter J, there’s no reason why Mr. Weems cannot become a competent #2/OG for a team in the Association.

  15. Dan Says:

    Hang on, Khandor, I specifically remember you saying that Marco Belinelli should be our starting point guard, as he’s the best option on the team. Have you changed your mind?

    In fact, here it is:

    http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress/2009/09/30/understanding-who-the-raptors-best-players-are-by-position/

  16. khandor Says:

    Dan,

    That’s completely correct.

    However, I do not believe that specific option is a legit possibility this season, in the mind of the Raptors’ brain-trust, as long as Calderon and Jack and Banks and Douby are on the roster.

    Whereas, contrary to what others might think … I do believe that shifting Bargnani to the back-up Center position, in arears of Chris Bosh, is now a legitimate option which this team is ready to consider, in an effort to qualify for the playoffs this season, in hopes of RETAINING the services of Chris Bosh, moving forward to next summer.

  17. Brain Colangelo Says:

    “khandor Says:

    October 28th, 2009 at 11:58 am
    Brain,

    The only major problem with what you’ve suggested there is the part that says,

    Bosh plus Bargnani – 20 mins

    From a team performance standpoint, there is absolutely NO [as in "zero"] reason to give that combo any time at all … when you’ve got other Bigs like Johnson, Evans, Nesterovic and [even] Turkoglu on the roster.

    [i.e. If you do, IMO, you are simply giving points away to your opponent.]“

    ————————————

    I agree – if Bargs and Bosh can’t play together, goodbye Bosh or Bargs.

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