If the Raptors actual intent this season is to try to win as many games as possible, then, Dwane Casey needs to make an adjustment in his current starting line-up.
Following Sunday’s loss in Los Angeles, a game that was once again dominated and all but determined by a listless first-quarter Raptors performance, Casey is no longer content to stay with the status quo. At the very least he’s seriously considering changing a few pieces.
It’s not so much the mounting losses, although that’s clearly part of it, but how the losses are coming.
For the first time this year on Sunday, Casey called out one of his players for a lack of effort, clearly identifying Amir Johnson in the process.
Casey went to great lengths on Sunday to emphasize that he wasn’t placing blame on any one player. In fairness the questions Sunday left him little choice but to address the fact that Johnson played only seven minutes.
He had to explain why he wasn’t out there and the truth was Aaron Gray was running hard and ensuring DeAndre Jordan didn’t add to the number of crowd inciting lob-finishing dunks he was throwing down much to the appreciation of the Staples Center crowd.
Monday in Phoenix, though, Casey pointedly said that were any changes coming, it wasn’t going to be done to single out any individual’s performance or lack thereof.
“We still have a couple of positions we’re looking at,” Casey said. “Right now, we’re going to sleep on it again tonight. Everything we’re aiming to do is nothing that’s an indictment of any one player, it’s more of us having balance, finding the right combination to get off to quick starts and a balanced game.
“We’ve got too many ebbs and flows with the game as far as our points production, our defensive focus and the whole nine yards. That’s what we’re trying for more than: ‘Hey, it’s this one guy’ (that’s the reason) we’re not winning.”
|STAT||Joe Johnson||Leandro Barbosa||DeMar DeRozan|
GP – Games Played; MP – Minutes Played; FGM – Field Goals Made; FGA – Field Goals Attempted; FTM – Free Throws Made; FTA – Free Throws Attempted; REB – Rebounds; AST – Assists; TO – Turnovers; ST – Steals; BS – Blocked Shots; PF – Personal Fouls; PTS – Points Scored; kPER – khandor’s Player Efficiency Rating [i.e. PTS – (FGA-FGM) – (FTA-FTM) + REB +AST – TO + ST + BS – PF]; kPER/GP – khandor’s Player Efficiency Rating Per Game Played; kPER/MP – khandor’s Player Efficiency Rating Per Minute Played.
If, however, the Raptors actual intent this season is to try to lose as many games as possible – so that they can obtain as high a pick as possible in the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery … which is precisely what it SHOULD be – then, Dwane Casey needs to keep using DeMar DeRozan [OG] exactly how he has been used in Toronto’s line-up for all 17 games thus far this year.