Posts Tagged ‘John Salmons’

Da Bulls might have Mad Cow Disease, again

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

If the following reports are, in fact, to be believed …

Thomas’ Bulls time likely about finished

With Tyrus Thomas it’s personal now

what becomes readily apparent is that

the people charged with running things in Chicago – i.e. Jerry Reinsdorf, John Paxson and Gar Forman - have temporarily lost their mind, if they simply want to ”give away” a player like Tyrus Thomas [23 yrs of age; 4th NBA season], either, now [as the NBA's trade deadline approaches], or at the end of this season. 

When you look at the significant progress which a player like Josh Smith [24 yrs of age; 6th NBA season] has made this season, as a young, unbridled Power Forward, with the world of talent but, also, the need for increased personal discipline in his individual game … it’s extremely short-sighted of Chicago’s current management team to fail to realize exactly what they actually have on their hands in the form of:

* young Mr. Double T

working [and maturing] in conjunction with

* Joakim Noah/C [24 years of age]

* Luol Deng/SF [24 yrs of age]

* John Salmons/OG-SF [30 yrs of age]

* Taj Gibson/PF [24 years of age]

* James Johnson/SF-PF [22 yrs of age]

* Kirk Hinrich/OG-PG [29 years of age], and

* Derrick Rose/PG [21 yrs of age].

Trading a still-young player with Tyrus Thomas’ physical ability and specific skill-set [i.e. Rebounding, Defense, Shot-blocking and an Increasingly Developed Offensive Repertoire] is one thing …

as long as an organization gets back, in return, an equivalent package of assets, or more …

but, simply giving that player away … for nothing:

——————————— 

Tyrus Thomas can be yours

I can’t think of a single player, with the possible exception of New York’s David Lee, that has been jerked around more than Thomas. And I can’t think of a single player, with no exception, that has acted like more of a prat than Tyrus. A nasty combination.

One doesn’t lead to the other, but it doesn’t help. Thomas was drafted as a project by the Bulls in 2006, but he was never treated like a project. Instead, he was treated like some four-year college starter that had been on CBS too many times to mention, and someone who was used to the grind. Thomas wasn’t used to the grind. He was a basketball scrub until his late teens. He only had one year of slapping the backboards at LSU. He was ready, but he wasn’t ready.

The Bulls not only acted as if he was ready, but he was also added to the Chicago roster at the start of Scott Skiles’ weird passive-aggressive phase. When Skiles – who often seems like a perfect mix of the best qualities of Larry Brown and Don Nelson – started utilizing the worst qualities of Larry Brown and Don Nelson. The strange rotations. The stubbornness. The attention to obsession, rather than detail.          

Thomas played less than a year and a half under Skiles, but it may have well been two years. Because Skiles was replaced on an interim basis by Jim Boylan, a pointless move in retrospect, because Boylan was Skiles’ number two, and he promptly spent the entirety of his obviously-interim gig taking out Skiles’ indirect frustrations with certain players out on the kids who had wronged Boylan’s buddy the most.

So Thomas would leave the game, for long stretches, for no apparent reason. And, just as much, he would stay in the game for no apparent reason. Almost to a night, the good play would go unrewarded, and the bad play would go unacknowledged. How in the hell was this kid, this man, supposed to learn?

Left to his own devices, the project acted like – and I know you’re shocked – a project. Until it was/is time for Chicago to write off another cheapo lottery pick, and take in the savings.

It didn’t have to be like this. And, potential suitors? Thomas doesn’t have to be like this.

———————————

Thomas big help in 109-101 Bulls’ victory

“He’s so athletic that he affects the game when he’s engaged,” John Salmons said. “He gets his hands on balls, rebounds, puts back shots. When he masters that, he really helps us.”

Salmons’ answer proved far more expansive than those from Thomas, who entered just 2:18 after tipoff and played the next 14:46. That’s close Thomas’ playing time from each of his last three games, which led to his frustration and blow-up.

Before the game, Thomas said he had “no regrets” about the incident and “there’s nothing to be frustrated about.” Afterward, he addressed his night, which included him grabbing three rebounds and playing six minutes before his first shot — a strong drive and score after passing up a jumper.

“I felt good,” he said. “I was just playing ball, trying to win, working for the team. I’m always ready to play. The more you’re out there, the more you can do.”

———————————

makes absolutely no sense … except, perhaps, from a $$$ standpoint … if the ultimate goal there is actually trying to win the NBA Championship, again, in the not-too-distant future.

With their current cast of characters, it would be a mistake for the Bulls to think that what their team actually needs to do this summer is add 2 high-priced, free agent signees … when all Chicago really needs is:

1. To add THE right player, and

2. Give their existing collection of players a legitimate chance to grow and develop together, 

3. Under the direction of a truly Top Notch NBA coach.  

————

Update:

Bulls not lacking for Thomas suitors [Feb 11 2010]

Credit where credit is due, in Chicago

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Despite what some might have you think …

———————————————

Rose leading charge for Bulls

Derrick Rose may not make the All-Star team, especially since the votes were all in before the Bulls’ win Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, but he’s finally emerging as a star. His impressive performance on the road against the Thunder — 13-of-23 from the floor (56.5 percent), seven assists, just two turnovers — was the latest in a series of virtuoso efforts.

It seems that the only thing that was holding him back the first month and a half of the season was the ankle injury he suffered in training camp. Check out his monthly splits:

  • November: 16.2 points, 5. 3 assists, 46.4 percent shooting
  • December: 20.4 points, 6.1 assists, 45.0 percent shooting
  • January: 23.5 points, 6.5 assists, 51.4 percent shooting

Thanks to Rose, the Bulls are 12-5 in their past 17 games, including 10 road games. Out of the blue, Chicago stands in complete control of the No. 8 seed in the East and in position to surge as high as No. 5 by the end of the season.

———————————————

the recently improved performance of the Bulls has not been rooted, soley, in the increased scoring production of their 2nd-yr PG, considering:

I. The shift of Kirk Hinrich into the Starting OG position;

II. The shift of John Salmons into the Sixth Man Role [i.e. coming off the bench];

III. The return of Tyrus Thomas, from the injured list …

Tyrus Thomas
Regular Season  - Game Log

FG

3PT

FT

Rebounds

Misc

Oppo

Score

GS

Min

 

M

A

Pct

 

M

A

Pct

 

M

A

Pct

 

Off

Def

Tot

 

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

Pts

@ OKC

W 96-86

0

18:32

 

6

8

75.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

1

1

100.0

 

3

2

5

 

1

5

1

2

3

13

@ SAS

W 98-93

0

21:33

 

1

4

25.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

0

0

N/A

 

2

5

7

 

0

1

1

2

0

2

@ HOU

W 104-97

0

23:35

 

3

5

60.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

1

2

50.0

 

0

4

4

 

1

2

0

6

4

7

@ PHO

W 115-104

0

20:56

 

1

7

14.3

 

0

0

N/A

 

1

2

50.0

 

0

7

7

 

2

0

1

2

0

3

@ LAC

L 97-104

0

36:19

 

8

11

72.7

 

0

0

N/A

 

2

4

50.0

 

0

6

6

 

1

1

2

3

6

18

@ GSW

L 97-114

0

19:48

 

2

7

28.6

 

0

0

N/A

 

0

0

N/A

 

1

8

9

 

0

1

0

1

6

4

WAS

W 121-119

0

27:33

 

1

1

100.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

2

2

100.0

 

2

2

4

 

0

0

0

2

3

4

@ BOS

W 96-83

0

17:15

 

2

8

25.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

1

4

25.0

 

6

1

7

 

1

1

4

0

3

5

DET

W 120-87

0

26:09

 

3

6

50.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

1

1

100.0

 

2

4

6

 

1

0

6

2

1

7

MIN

W 110-96

0

21:42

 

3

7

42.9

 

0

0

N/A

 

3

4

75.0

 

0

5

5

 

0

6

2

3

5

9

@ MIL

L 93-96

0

29:19

 

1

4

25.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

2

2

100.0

 

0

5

5

 

2

1

1

1

2

4

@ CHA

L 108-113

0

22:48

 

2

5

40.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

2

6

33.3

 

1

4

5

 

3

1

1

2

2

6

OKC

L 85-98

0

20:37

 

3

12

25.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

1

1

100.0

 

3

3

6

 

2

3

0

1

2

7

ORL

W 101-93

0

14:59

 

3

7

42.9

 

0

0

N/A

 

0

0

N/A

 

1

4

5

 

1

2

1

0

4

6

Oppo

Score

GS

Min

 

M

A

Pct

 

M

A

Pct

 

M

A

Pct

 

Off

Def

Tot

 

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

Pts

@ DET

W 98-87

0

27:31

 

4

6

66.7

 

0

0

N/A

 

11

14

78.6

 

4

3

7

 

2

3

2

1

1

19

IND

W 104-95

0

31:08

 

2

10

20.0

 

0

0

N/A

 

4

4

100.0

 

2

13

15

 

3

5

1

3

1

8

NOR

W 96-85

0

32:15

 

10

17

58.8

 

0

1

0.0

 

1

3

33.3

 

0

9

9

 

2

3

1

2

2

21

each of which coincided with the Bulls’ game against New Orleans [Dec 26];

and,

IV. The continued solid play of Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Brad Miller, since the start of the season.

The truth of the matter is that during this specific stretch of games played, the Bulls’ head coach … the once-beleaguerd Vinnie Del Negro … not Derrick Rose [PG], has actually been the person most responsible for Chicago’s improved W-L record.

What the Bulls can do to weather the storm

Monday, December 14th, 2009

In an effort to build further on a specific request which was made of yours truly this past weekend …

This is the recap which Kelly Dwyer [BDL] posted concerning Saturday’s Chicago Bulls/Boston Celtics game:

Behind the Box Score, where the C’s outclassed the Bulls

This is the specific comment [#9] which yours truly then contributed:

KD,

PART ONE

When I was an active contributor to the Blog-a-Bull comment section 2 seasons ago, I did my best to inform the regulars there that Chicago’s problems at that time were NOT rooted in the poor [shot-happy] play of one Ben Gordon and that, instead, what the Bulls needed to do was:

1. Use Ben Gordon as their Starting Point Guard;

2. Use Thabo Sefolosha as their Starting Off Guard;

3. Use Luol Deng as their Starting Small Forward;

4. Use Tyrus Thomas as their Starting Power Forward;

5. Use Joakim Noah as their Starting Center; and,

6. Trade Kirk Hinrich, in return for either: A. The Scoring Player they needed to bring off their bench; or, B. An Interior Scoring Center.

Unfortunately …

7. Most Bulls fans were under the delusional impression that Captain Kirk was a better NBA player than Gentle Ben;

8. Ben Gordon was incapable of succeeding as a Prime-time PG, in the NBA, and was the player who Chicago needed to trade, in order to improve their prospects for the future.

If the Bulls would have done what I suggested and then Derrick Rose fell into their lap in the 2008 NBA Draft, they would not be where they are today.

—————————–

PART TWO

How to fix the Bulls’ problems right now?

1. Cut Lindsey Hunter

2. Sign Von Wafer.

3. Scale back Derrick Rose’s MPG to 32.

4. Increase Pargo’s MPG to 16, as the Primary Back-up PG.

5. Sign a post-up Guard-Forward like, Bonzi Wells.

6. Use Aaron Gray as their Starting Center [until Tyrus is healthy].

7. Use Joakim Noah as their Starting Power Forward [until Tyrus is healthy].

8. Use the following rotation:

STARTERS
Rose + Wafer + Deng + Noah + Gray

KEY SUBS
Pargo + Hinrich + Salmons + Gibson + Miller

RESERVES
Wells + Johnson

That 12 man team, right there, would be good enough to make the playoffs in the EC this season.

Cheers

——————————————–

Then, this is the follow-up comment [#13] submitted by Keith Singer:

Hi Khandor,

You’ve done an excellent job of analyzing the Bull’s problems and made intelligent suggestions. Here are a few thoughts for you. Please respond on the forum or via e-mail, your choice (ksinger@kasesq.com).

1. Ben Gordon- Bulls management may have undervalued the contributions of Ben Gordon or they may have recognized his talents but decided that the asking price was too high. They probably felt that Gordon was too small to guard some 2’s and his defense was sub-par. They obviously thought that Salmons would step in and continue his production of last year. Personally, I felt Salmons would drop off closer to his career numbers. His defense was expected to be better than Gordon’s but that D has been disappointing. They probably felt that the cap space saved would be better spent on a free agent in 2010 than on Gordon. We won’t be able to assess the wisdom of their choice until the summer.

2. Derrick Rose- I think they expected a big season from Rose; they couldn’t have known that he would experience an ankle injury. Part of the failure of the current team is the sub-par year that Rose has experienced, thus far.

3. Tyrus Thomas- They couldn’t have anticipated the injury to Tyrus Thomas. I think they believed that Thomas would have been the starting PF all year. Yes, Taj Gibson is a rookie and looked good but Bulls Management expected a career year from Thomas. When Noah is out of position trying to block a shot or overmatched in girth, Thomas could double team or grab a rebound for which Noah would be out of position.

4. Aaron Gray- I think your point about Gray is interesting. I am not sure if Gray is as good as you think. Although I agree with you that he is on the roster and large enough to keep the larger centers out of the lane. We have not seen him play enough but giving him a chance is not a bad idea. Look at the Dallas Mavericks, they are utilizing a platoon system with Dampier and Drew Gooden. That could work with Noah and Gray as well.

5. Kirk Hinrich- I agree that Kirk Hinrich is overrated. He has had a sub-par season thus far. He was touted for his shooting and defense; both aspects of his game have been missing. The Bulls did sign a back up in Pargo, however he is a scorer more than a pass first point guard.

6. Von Wafer- It is tantalizing to think about his potential and how he could help the Bulls or any other team for that matter. However, you must remember the problems that Rick Adelman had with him. Adelman has proven that he is a fantastic coach but could not get Wafer to listen and learn his system. Other point guards are available like Brevin Knight who was a pass first point guard. I don’t know about his conditioning and ability to play today.

7. Bonzi Wells- An inside scorer would help the Bulls but Bonzi Wells caused trouble wherever he went. They would be better served looking for a post up player in 2010 free agency.

I think you make some good points and the Bulls certainly have their work to do the rest of the year and over the summer to improve. They are definitely not playing at the same level as the Celtics; but remember the Celtics are an older team. They Bulls should be building a younger team that will compete for a championship in future when the Celtics are rebuilding. Regarding the article by Kelly Dwyer, I couldn’t agree more. Luol Deng played well while the rest of the team was not as talented and not as well prepared as the Celtics. The Bulls do have their work to do but they do have cap money to spend in 2010.

Best regards,

Keith Singer, Esq.

——————————————–

Hopefully, Keith [and KD] won’t mind too much if we shift the discussion over to this location … i.e. to allow it room to grow in a place where it will be easier to moderate and ensure that other interested parties can have direct access to it without first having to sort through a series of unrelated comments.

Keith,

The answers to your specific questions are as follows:

1. Chicago’s management … and a great many of the Bulls fans … have been wrong about the specific skill-set which Ben Gordon brings to the table in the NBA game.

Yes, Ben Gordon is a shorter Off Guard, when it comes to checking some of the taller #2/3′s in the NBA.

However …

I. Ben Gordon is not considered a shorter player when he’s used defensively to check the Point Guard position. If he’s allowed to use his height/size to advantage … i.e. by gapping … and not required by his coach to apply “turn-the-screws” defensive pressure at all times, Ben Gordon is a capable defender at the PG position.

II. If/when Ben Gordon plays beside Derrick Rose, they become almost inter-changeable, at the PG and OG positions, minimizing any height advantage an opponent’s taller OG might have … due to the fact that the opponent’s guard tandem would then have to:

i. Cope with the Bulls’ ad hoc ”Switchability”, on defense, while still maintaining a physically solid player [Gordon/6-3, 200; Rose/6-3, 190] against their scoring/shooting guard [e.g. Ray Allen/6-5, 205; or, Kobe Bryant/6-6, 205]; and,

ii. Cope with the Bulls’ ad hoc “ability to generate high percentage shots which stem from dribble penetration” by either Rose or Gordon, for both [A] themselves and/or [B] their less dynamic teammates.

iii. Cope with the Bull’s ensuing height/size advantage at the Point Guard position, while attempting to Rebound and Defend against Rose and Gordon.

On Offense, Gordon’s specific skill-set [i.e. his ability to create his own shot and stretch the defense with long range 3's] is a terrific pairing with Rose’s ability to dribble penetrate.

III. On offense, when Derrick Rose is out of the game …

If Ben Gordon is used at the PG position, what’s required is:

* 1st, to get the ball out of his hands

[e.g. with a simple pass to either wing]

* 2nd, to get the ball back into his hands, in a scoring position, from a designated action which also allows his teammates to touch the ball

[e.g. with a simple UCLA cut/back screen to the block; and a straight-forward "Single-Double" action, Ben Gordon becomes a devastating scoring Combo Guard, in the mode of Vinny "The Microwave" Johnson.]

Used in this fashion, Ben Gordon is a High Level NBA player … who is worth every penny of a large, long term contract.

Chicago made a BIG MISTAKE in letting him go this past summer.

[Please Note: While there's a great deal to like about the specific skill-set which John Salmons has, as a Big Guard, when the starting SF on your team is Luol Deng ... who specializes in the mid-range game, as well, without really being able to stretch the D with the 3, or slash to the hoop in a first-class way ... then, it is simply not a good fit using him for major minutes beside a PG like Derrick Rose, who struggles with his perimeter jump-shot and a Center like Joakim Noah, who is not a high precentage back-to-the-basket scorer, or an efficient mid-range jump-shooter.]

2. Yes, Derrick Rose’s ankle injury has significantly reduced his overall effectiveness, so far this season … but, primarily it’s because Chicago has not yet replaced Ben Gordon’s ability to stretch the defense with long range 3′s and create open shots for himself and/or his teammates. If Rose still had this type of player beside him in the line-up for major minutes, his limited agility/mobility/explosiveness/etc. would not be such a detriment to the Bulls.

3. Yes, losing an athletic, energetic and exuberant Power Forward like Tyrus Thomas, for a major stretch of games, has been a huge factor in the Bulls’ poor play this season. In partnership with terrific overall athletes like Rose, Gordon and Noah [i.e shot-blocker #1A], last season Thomas [i.e. shot-blocker #1] gave Chicago 4 starting players who were each capable of Rebounding and Defending multiple positions on the floor during any given possession … which is a major advantage for a team.

4. It’s a total fallacy that a player needs to have a high degree of “NBA talent” in order to play effectively at the Center position. What matters most is:

- Does a player have the speed and quickness and stamina required to run the floor consistently in transition?

- Does a player have a solid frame with adequate size [i.e. some combination of girth, strength and length]?

- Does a player have a solid aptitude for the game [i.e. the ability to read the game and play with/off his teammates]?

- Does a player have solid eam attitude [i.e. unselfishness]?

- Does a player have a specific type of shot which he can make on a consistent basis [i.e. Catch & Shoot mid-range jump-shot; Drop-step power lay-up; Turn-around jump-shot; etc.]

- Does a player have the ability to pass the ball with his back to the basket? 

If the answers to these questions are, “Yes”, then the player can succeed playing the Center position in the NBA. 

The two simple equations look like this:

OPTION #1. The less “NBA athletic” talent a player has at the C position the more “NBA athletic” talent his 4 teammates must be.

OPTION #2. The more “NBA athletic” talent a player has at the C position the less “NBA athletic” talent his 4 teammates can be.

Aaron Gray [C, 7-0, 270] is plenty “good enough” to be used for spot minutes in the NBA.

5. Kirk Hinrich simply hasn’t been the same player since he lost his spot with the USA National Team.

IMO, no other player who participated with the USA national teams that failed to win Gold Medals at the 2002 and 2006 World Championships, and the 2004 Olympic Games, has been [psycho-emotionally] “damaged” more by those specific losses … and the impression which they created across the NBA … than Captain Kirk. It’s a real shame, too, as prior to his experience with that team … where his confidence was shot … he was on track to have an outstanding pro career, as a highly versatile Combo Guard, who could do a little bit of everything fairly well without excelling at any specific aspect of the game.

6. Von Wafer can be a difficult player to handle … but, only if your roster is filled with other players who are just as good or better than he is, as an explosive scorer at the wing position. This is not the situation with the Bulls current line-up.

7. Bonzi Wells … signed to a 1-yr, NBA veteran’s minimum contract … would not be a difficult player for the Bulls’ to incorporate at this time. When he knows his role, and is actually used in that role, exclusively, he becomes a very valuable post-up scorer for a team like Chicago, without a high percentage post-up player on its current roster. To get the Bulls to next season, without being totally embarrassed this year, he becomes a decent, inexpensive add that effectively addresses a specific short term need.

Thanks for your feedback! :-)

Toronto Raptors Season Preview: Game 8

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

re: How an astute NBA observer might expect the first part of the schedule to unfold for the Raptors this year

Game 8– vs Chicago [Wed Nov 11]

 

RAPTORS

ADV

BULLS

PG

Calderon

à

PG

Rose

OG

DeRozan *

à

OG

Hinrich

SF

Turkoglu $^

=

SF

Deng

PF

Bosh

ß

PF

Thomas

C

Bargnani

=

C

Noah 

 

 

 

PG

Jack #

ß

PG

Pargo $

OG

Belinelli ^

=

OG

Salmons

SF

Wright ^

=

SF

Johnson *

PF

Evans ^

ß

PF

Gibson *

C

Nesterovic $

=

C

Miller

 

 

 

G/F

Douby

=

G

Hunter

PF

Johnson ^

=

C

Gray

 

 

 

HC

Triano

à

HC

Del Negro

 

 

 

+3

OUTCOME

+3

Legend: ADV – Individual match-up advantage; * - 2009 NBA Draftee; ^ - Acquired via trade; # – Restricted free agent; #M – Restricted free agent, matched offer; $ – Unrestricted free agent; $R – Unrestricted free agent, re-signed; $^ – Acquired via Sign & Trade; Italics – Returning player.

The Bulls will be a significantly bigger team than they were for much of last season, substituting Luol Deng at the #3/SF position in place of John Salmons, shifting Salmons to the #2/OG position in place of Ben Gordon, and then introducing 2 athletic 1st Round Draft Picks … each with good size at their position … into their rotation at the back-up #3/SF-#4/PF and #4/PF positions, i.e. James Johnson [No. 16, overall] and Taj Gibson [No. 26, overall], respectively. Last year’s arrival of Derrick Rose [PG, 2008 No. 1, overall, Draft Pick], in conjunction with Joakim Noah [C, 2007 No. 9, overall Draft Pick] and Tyrus Thomas [PF, 2006 No. 4, overall Draft Pick], means that Chicago now has a collection of talented young players that can rival the other up-and-coming teams across the NBA. Given the invaluable experience the Bulls gained from their epic 1st Round playoff loss to the Celtics, this team is going to be a dangerous squad this year … but, one which is still going to suffer periods of inconsistency considering the youth on the roster. Playing their 3rd game in 5 days and the 2nd half of a back-2-back, Chicago should be in a vulnerable position for this game … with the Raptors in desperate need of a home-court victory to get back on the right track after their disappointing road trip. 

Raptors expected W-L Record: W, 3-5

Raptors Bench Strength: In eye of beholder

Friday, August 28th, 2009

In line with the series of “Raptors vs Eastern Conference Opponent Match-ups” which are being presenting in this space [i.e. I & II], there’s an interesting POV expressed today, by Arsenalist, at Raptors Republic, i.e. Comparing our bench to others, which sees Toronto’s 2nd Tier of players as actually holding sway this season over the likes of Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago, while being even with Orlando.

FWIW …

The view from this corner, on this specific topic, is somewhat different:

————————————————————

RAPTORS BENCH COMPARISON 2009-2010

TOR

Jarrett

Jack

Marco

Belinelli

Antoine

Wright

Reggie

Evans

Rasho

Nesterovic

ADVANTAGE

Arsenalist

khandor

Bos

Eddie House, Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Rasheed Wallace, Baby Davis

Celtics

Celtics

Cle

Daniel Gibson, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, Leon Powe, Ilgauskas

Raptors

Cavs

Orl

J.J Redick, Mickael Pietrus, Matt Barnes, Ryan Anderson, Marcin Gortat

Even

Magic

Det

Will Bynum, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Kwame Brown, Chris Wilcox

Raptors

Pistons

Chi

Lindsey Hunter, Jannero Pargo, John Salmons, Joakim Noah, Jerome James

Raptors

Even

Atl

Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, Maurice Evans, Zaza Pachulia, Joe Smith

Hawks

Hawks

 

 

RATIONALE

 

Vs Boston Celtics

 

When House gets used beside HOF players like KG, PP & Ray Ray, neither Jack nor Belinelli is a comparable player, in terms of actual productivity.

 

Davis may comparable to Evans … until you include the fact that Reggie can’t shoot the ball, at all, and is a veritable pylon on D.

 

Wallace is simply a far better Big than either Evans or Nesterovic.

 

Vs Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Parker [6-6] is a semi-legit starting OG-SF in the NBA, compared with Belinelli, who is a legit starting PG-OG.

Moon’s versatility and PER are far better than Wright’s.

 

Ilgauskas is a solid mid & long range jump-shooter who is a tough check for either Nesterovic or Evans that far away from the basket.

 

Vs Orlando Magic

 

Pietrus is a far superior rebounder, defender and scorer than either Belinelli or Wright.

 

Anderson is a solid mid & long range jump-shooter who is a tough check for either Evans or Nesterovic.

 

Gortat is simply a far superior Big to Nesterovic or Evans, at this stage of their respective careers.

 

Vs Detroit Pistons

 

Villanueva is a far superior scorer, as a Big, to either Evans or Nesterovic.

 

Maxiell is a tougher player than Evans and a better interior scorer & rebounder than Nesterovic.

 

Wilcox is just as tough as Evans but a much better scorer.

 

Vs Chicago Bulls

 

Neither Belinelli nor Wright is as good a Wing player as Salmons.

 

Noah is a much better rebounder and shot-blocker than either Evans or Nesterovic.

 

Salmons & Noah together are enough to off-set the advantage which the Raptors have when compared to the trio of Hunter, Pargo & James.

 

Vs Atlanta Hawks

 

Crawford played over Belinelli last season [in G-State] for a reason [i.e. Jamaal can defend Marco; Marco can’t defend Jamaal].

 

Evans may be a comparable to Wright on D but he is a better player on O, as Maurice actually shoots at a solid percentage.

 

Pachulia is an even tougher Big than Evans.

 

Smith is a solid mid-range jump-shooter and a tough check for Nesterovic or Evans that far away from the basket.

————————————————————

Vive La Différence!

48 minutes, 4 meaningful possessions for the Raptors

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Raptors fans …

Coming down the stretch of last night’s game versus Sacramento …

What did you learn about your favourite NBA team?

Player Alignment

PG – Jose Calderon vs Beno Udrih
OG – Anthony Parker vs Bobby Jackson
SF – Joey Graham vs John Salmons
2B - Chris Bosh vs Spencer Hawes
1B - Jermaine O’Neal vs Brad Miller

With 56.9 left in the 4th quarter, Brad Miller made 2 free throws.

Raptors 103, Kings 99.

Possession #1

The Raptors then advanced the ball into the front-court without the benefit of a Time-out and attempted to execute a set play in their half-court offense, i.e. PG dribble to the Right Wing; Right Wing cross-screen for 1st Big, Flash High off the clean-up screen from the 2nd Big. When Hawes successfully denied the entry pass to O’Neal [1B], Bosh went to set a pick on the Wing for Calderon. Calderon used the pick to drive to the middle of the court. O’Neal executed a Duck-in, and moved across the lane and into the Left Low Post position. Udrih was picked off. Hawes jumped out to Show/Help vs Calderon. Udrih recovered to Calderon. Calderon passed the ball to Bosh who had begun his roll to the basket and was stopped just outside the lane when Miller positioned himself to middle the Raptors’s two Bigs. Hawes recovered to Bosh. Miller re-positioned vs O’Neal. Bosh executed a shot-fake and drove baseline vs Hawes for a layup attempt. Salmons helped off Graham and was able to knock the ball free from Bosh’s hands as the drive unfolded. The loose ball was recovered by Jackson. Jackson advanced the ball into the front-court and Sacramento called a Time-out.

Possession #2

With 29.2 seconds left the Kings inbounded the ball with the following player alignment:

1 Beno Udrih vs Anthony Parker
2 Bobby Jackson vs Joey Graham
3 John Salmons [Inbounder] vs Jamario Moon [replaced Calderon]
4 Brad Miller vs Jermaine O’Neal
5 Spencer Hawes vs Chris Bosh

Sacramento then had difficulty completing their inbounds pass, after which Salmons had the ball returned to him, drove the Right Baseline vs Moon, and beside Graham, and was smothered under the basket by Moon & Bosh. Salmons’ attempted pass out from there was then intercepted by O’Neal [who had rotated down to the opposite baseline [in support of Bosh's rotation]. Toronto called a Time-out with 21.9 seconds left.

Possession #3

When play resumed the two teams were aligned in the following way:

1 Beno Udrih vs Jose Calderon [Inbounder, Right Sideline]
2 Bobby Jackson vs Anthony Parker [outside Left Elbow]
3 John Salmons vs Jason Kapono [Left Corner]
4 Brad Miller vs Jermaine O’Neal [Right Elbow]
5 Spencer Hawes vs Chris Bosh [Left Elbow]

at which point the Raptors then ran the same Sideline Inbounds play they attempted several weeks ago vs Portland but had failed to execute properly, which eventually contributed to one of their most dis-heartening losses this season.

The OG cuts over the top of stationary screens by 2B & 1B into the near Corner. The 1B pops out towards the Centerline, as a Pressure Release, to receive a pass from the PG. The PG cuts to receive a quick return pass from the 1B. The SF remains still in the Weak Side Corner.

The difference was … last time Kapono [Inbounder] and Calderon [Opposite Corner] were in the opposite roles.

After the Raptors successfully inbounded the ball, Sacramento then fouled Calderon with 18.3 seconds remaining.

Calderon stepped to the FT Line, in an effort to keep alive his league-leading consecutive FT’s Made streak … and to preserve a much-needed road W for the Raptors.

Calderon made both FT’s.

Raptors 105, Kings 99

At which point, Sacramento then called a Time-out and moved the ball into the front-court inbound position.

Possession #4

When play resumed the teams were aligned in this way:

1 Beno Udrih vs Anthony Parker
2 Bobby Jackson vs Joey Graham
3 John Salmons vs Jamario Moon [replaced Calderon]
4 Franscisco Garcia [Inbounder] vs Chris Bosh
5 Spencer Hawes vs Jermaine O’Neal

The Kings then had a difficult time making a successful inbounds pass and eventually took and missed a contested 3PT-shot [Garcia vs Graham, on a defensive Switch] that was rebounded by O’Neal, who was then fouled.

O’Neal made 2 more FT’s.

Raptors 107, Kings 99

At which point, Sacramento called a Time-out and moved the ball to the front-court inbounding position.

When play resumed, the Raptors used the same 5 players on defense.

Sacramento made a final driving layup [Salmons].

FINAL SCORE: Raptors 107, Kings 101
Game Info

——————————————–

On Offense

1. When the game was on the line, the Raptors best match-up advantage was with Chris Bosh, facing up versus the Opponent’s Big, 12-15 feet from the basket, initiating a drive to the rim. 

On Defense

2. When the game was on the line, the Raptors best defensive match-ups were:

vs PG – Anthony Parker

vs OG/SF – Jamario Moon

vs SF/OG – Joey Graham

If these 4 Possessions in last night’s game actually did signal a New Awareness of these perceptions/FACTS? by the Raptors’ coaching staff then another corner may have been turned for this team. :-)

Time will tell.