Best Rotation for Raptors to win as many games as possible, given recent injuries to Evans and Stojakovic

Put aside for the moment whether or not the Raptors should actually be trying to win as many games as possible this season, given the unique opportunity they have to obtain one of the Top 3 Selections in the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery … which, this specific year, will likely bring with it the chance to add a franchise-changing player like Harrison Barnes, or Kyrie Irving, or Jan Vesely, etc.

Instead, consider what the Raptors’ ”regular rotation” SHOULD BE right now, if the primary goal of the franchise is to win as many games as possible this season, in an effort to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the last 3 years.

The team’s current roster includes 14 players:

POINT GUARD

#1. Jose Calderon

COMBO GUARD

#2. Jerryd Bayless and #3. Leandro Barbosa

OFF GUARDS

#4. Sonny Weems, and #5. DeMar DeRozan

SMALL FORWARDS

#6. Linas Kleiza, #7. Peja Stojakovic [injured], and #8. Julian Wright

POWER FORWARDS

#9. Reggie Evans [injured], #10. Amir Johnson, #11. Ed Davis [debut - TBD, after pre-season knee surgery], and #12. Joey Dorsey

CENTER

#13. Andrea Bargnani, and #14. Solomon Alabi 

A comparison between: [i] The Raptors Rotation vs Atlanta, and [ii] What the Raptors Rotation SHOULD BE vs Future Opponents would look like this:

RAPTORS ROTATION VS HAWKS

RAPTORS ROTATION VS FUTURE OPPONENTS

AREAS OF SUPERIORITY

POS.

PLAYER

ADV

PLAYER

POS.

STARTERS

OFF

DEF

REB

PG

Calderon

=

Calderon

PG

 

 

 

OG

Weems

à

DeRozan

OG

SF

DeRozan

à

Wright

SF

 

PF

Dorsey

à

Johnson

PF

 

C

Bargnani

=

Bargnani

C

 

 

 

 

0

 

+3

 

 

KEY SUBS

 

PG

Bayless

à

Barbosa

PG

 

 

OG

Barbosa

à

Weems

OG

 

SF/PF

Kleiza

=

Kleiza

SF

 

 

 

 

à

Davis

PF

 

PF/C

Johnson

ß

Alabi

C

 

 

 

 

+1

 

+3

 

 

RESERVES

 

SF

Wright

à

Bayless

PG/OG

 

 

 

à

Dorsey

PF/C

 

 

0

 

+2

 

 

EXTRAS/OUTS

 

PF/C

Davis

N/A

Stojakovic

SF/PF

 

 

 

SF/PF

Stojakovic

N/A

Evans

PF

 

 

 

PF

Evans

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

0

 

 

COACHING

 

 

Triano

=

Triano

 

 

 

0

 

0

 

 

OVERALL

 

 

+1

à

+5

 

 

Until Stojakovic and Evans are eventually able to return to the line-up, the Raptors would actually give themselves the best chance of winning games by taking advantage of:

- DeRozan’s size and athleticism at the OG position [relative to Weems] 

- Wright’s size and athleticism at the SF position [relative to DeRozan]

- Johnson’s increased agility and scoring ability at the PF position [relative to Dorsey]

- Barbosa’s speed in transition and his overall experience at the Back-up PG position [relative to Bayless]

- Weems’ size and athleticism at the Back-up OG position [relative to Barbosa]

- Davis’ size and athleticism at the Back-up PF position [relative to Kleiza]

- Bayless’ ability to score the ball at the Back-up OG/PG position [relative to Wright]

- Dorsey’s size and athleticism at the Back-up PF/C position [relative to an open roster spot]

and, in the process, diminishing the negative effects of the skill deficiencies of Andrea Bargnani [C] – who is now their best scorer – by focusing on their combined ability to Defend and Rebound at the other positions in a superior way to what they were ever able to do with Jarrett Jack [PG], Marcus Banks [PG] and David Andersen [C] on their roster. 

———————————–

PS. Since the belief of this corner is that it’s best for the Raptors to actually lose as many games as possible this season … in order to obtain the highest draft pick possible, this specific year … hopefully Jay Triano & Co. are never able to figure out for themselves the benefits of using a regular rotation like what’s been recommended here. :-)

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