Raptors grades and analysis

Hey kids, it’s time to give out some grades.  Warning: This is not pretty…

Chris Bosh: There really isn’t a whole lot to complain about Bosh’s season, except that he did miss 12 games.  His slump in March was more of him not getting his legs and strength back.  He was tremendous since day 1, he said he would get better during the off-season, and he backed up his words.  His added strength allows him to get better inside position on offensive boards.  He did this without sacrificing his quickness and his jumper is still deadly.  He will likely leave and I am not sure what you are going to get in a sign-and-trade.  Let me put it this way, the Raptors is a 20 win team without Bosh.  Grade A

Andrea Bargnani: He continues to evolve on offense.  He is much more comfortable around the post area, and I would like to see him go there a little more, instead of settling for jumpers.  His defense is another story however, while he is ok in terms of man to man defense, he still gives up post position way too easily, and he has to be one of the worst help defender in the NBA.  Very often, he ended up doing nothing because he had no idea where to go when help was needed.  A center who average 6 rebounds per game is just crap.  No excuse for that.  Definitely not worth the 50 million dollar contract.  Grade C-

Hedo Turkoglu: The only positive thing I can say about Hedo is that he is a great passer.  Unfortunately, that’s where the positive ends.  He showed up out of shape (which in hindsight is pretty amazing, since he did play in World Championship in Sept) during training camp, had trouble with his role, and his efforts was just horrendous at times.  His defense was non-existent, it looked like he just want to get out of the game by committing two quick fouls right away.  A lot of people including Bryan Colangelo and Hedo himself think he will be better next season, but here is a scary question that no one is asking.  What if he is washed up?  Maybe he just isn’t that good anymore.  Grade F

Jose Calderon: Calderon never looked comfortable running a up tempo offense, as he is more of a half court guy.  Then he lost confidence on his jumpers, add to his horrendous defense, you got yourself a disappointing season.  Colangelo would like to trade him but teams may not want to take on the contract. Grade D

DeMar DeRozan: I had little expectations from DeMar, and he exceeded them with ease.  He showed flashes of brilliance at times, but mostly inconsistent like a lot of 20 year old rookie.  I think he could have a Josh Howard type of career (hopefully without the injuries), and I think his future is at SF position.  He needs to work on his jumpers, handles and defense in the offseason.  Grade C+

Jarrett Jack: I like Jack quite a bit, and I would like him even more if he is a SG.  The biggest problem with Jack is that he is not a good PG.  He doesn’t see the court well, careless with the ball, and sometimes would throw the ball away for no reason.  He is tough and will drive to the basket where his strength helps him quite a bit.  He plays hard on defense, but struggle against quicker guards.  He hit his career high in terms of FG% and 3 point percentage, I don’t think those numbers can continue, so the Raptors might do well to trade him now.  His contract also makes him easier to trade than Calderon.  Grade B

Amir Johnson: If Johnson could stop fouling so much, he would be a very solid 6th man or even a starting PF/C.  He can rebound and he is a perfect partner for pick and rolls.  Needs to get stronger as he is getting bullied by bigger players.  A free agent, hopefully he comes back, otherwise he will be sorely missed.

Antoine Wright: Get out Bird.  Wright isn’t really that good of a defender, but on this team he is Alvin Robertson.  Wright plays hard on defense and is tough so he gets playing time on this team.  Unfortunately, he is horrid on offense.  I cringe every time he launched a three.  If he can hit 40% from three point line, he will have a career in the NBA, but he couldn’t.  He won’t be back next season which does say a lot about his defensive abilities.  Grade C-

Sonny Weems: From a bench warmer to a starter, it’s a feel good story with Sonny Weems.  You can make an argument that this is Weems’ rookie year, as he didn’t play much in Denver.  Sonny has good all around game, solid mid-range jumper, decent rebounder for a guard, a very good athlete who could finish around the rim, a good passer and a decent defender.  He needs to work on the range of his jump shots, his handles so he can get to the basket more and draw fouls, lateral movement on defense.  He is still young enough to improve and be even a better player.  He could be the answer at SG for the Raptors next season and his minimum contract is a bonus.  Grade B

Rasho Nesterovic: Got to love Rasho.  Never complains about his role or playing time, always ready to step in and play.  He didn’t do too badly once he was in there, hitting his mid range jumpers.  Slow down quite a bit on defense however.  Should have given more playing time in hindsight (he should play more than Evans), he may not be back and that’s too bad since he still got game.  I would sign him to the same 1 year deal for 1 million dollars again.  Not too many 7 footers who could play are available for that amount.  Grade B-

Reggie Evans: He gives a good effort, and a good rebounder.  But he is way too limited to get consistent playing time.  I am amazed that the coaching staff would run iso post plays for him; he has terrible hands, can’t jump, and can’t hit free throws if he is fouled.  Sounds like an solid offensive option to Jay Triano.  Shouldn’t get more playing tiem than Nesterovic.  Grade D

Marco Belinelli: Consider what you trade to get him, it’s not too bad.  Belinelli is such a streaky player that it’s hard for anyone to rely on him.  His shot selection doesn’t change whether his shot is falling or not.  Like most of his teammates, he doesn’t play defense and bad on the boards.  If he isn’t scoring, he shouldn’t be on the floor.  Grade C-

Marcus Banks: Actually did ok with limited playing time.  He is the best perimeter defender on the team, but gets no playing time because he can’t run an offense to save his life.  An expiring contract, so he will be used as a trade bait.  Grade C-

Patrick O’Brien: N/A.  Don’t see him enough to grade him, suffice to say he won’t be back next season.

Jay Triano: I am still shocked that Colangelo is bringing him back for one more year.  His team ranked 30th in the league in defensive efficiency, so  yes let’s bring the coach back.  That logic amazes me.  It was no secret from day 1 that defense is the team’s biggest problem and yet it never improved.  The team made the same mistakes over and over again.  No one ever learn how to stop the ball handler on transition defense.  No one is held accountable for defensive miscues and opponent’s offensive rebounds.  At times he looked like a deer in the headlights, clearly in way over his head.  Players don’t seem to respond to him or worse respect him.  They sure don’t listen to him.  We know he doesn’t like to call out his players in public, but I am not even sure he is doing that in private either.  Players like Jack and Wright has publicly asked the coaching staff to hold players accountable.  It’s no secret that Hedo Turkoglu is a player that needs someone to kick his butt once in a while, Stan Van Gundy did this monthly, and yet nothing ever happens.  Triano doesn’t know how to utilize his roster properly either, for example: Jose Calderon is a horrible defender, so it would be smart to hide him on a relatively bad offensive player, but instead I see Calderon guarding Deron Williams or Russell Westbrook.  Another example: Jack isn’t good at running the show at the point and Hedo Turkoglu wants to handle the ball, so wouldn’t it be a good idea to give Turkoglu the ball more in a half court set?  The Raptors hope that he will be a better coach this coming season, if not he may not last past December.  Good riddance.  Grade F

Bryan Colangelo: He didn’t do too badly in terms of off-season moves.  Turkoglu signing is a huge failure, but the trades to get Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems and Marco Belinelli worked well.  The problem for me is that he believed in the core of Calderon/Bargnani/Bosh and tries to build around that.  In reality, Bosh should be the only core player there.  Like many GMs, he overvalued his own players.  He thought Jose Calderon will be the next Steve Nash, he thought Andrea Bargnani is the next Dirk Nowitzki.   He thought Hedo Turkoglu is worth 53 million dollars, he thought the coaching staff would be able teach a bunch of bad defenders (which is possible if you got the right coach, but Triano is the worst teacher).  It’s pretty much the same as last season when he thought Jermaine O’Neal is the answer and giving up way too much to get an injury prone, washed up O’Neal (I think this is where Colangelo jumped the shark, he should have traded for Gerald Wallace instead).  It’s the lack of judgement by the GM that concerns me and many Raptor fans.  Obviously he wants to make moves to amend the situation and keep his job, and I do hope he succeed, the odds are against him right now.  He and the Raptors need some good fortune (a dumb GM or luck in the draft lottery) this offseason and hope that Bosh would stay around.   It’s much easier to right the ship with CB4, as the team ranks 5th best on offense with him as the # 1 option, so it’s possible to fix the issues with him here.  If they get a player equivalent of David Lee in a sign and trade coming back, the Raptors would be a 33 win team.  If they get almost nothing, then it’s a 20 win season, with Colangelo and Triano looking for a job.  Grade D

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5 Responses to “Raptors grades and analysis”

  1. Toronto Raptors Morning Coffee April 22 | The AltRaps Blog Says:

    [...] New Leisure Blog Antoine Wright: Get out Bird.  Wright isn’t really that good of a defender, but on this team he is Alvin Robertson.  Wright plays hard on defense and is tough so he gets playing time on this team.  Unfortunately, he is horrid on offense.  I cringe every time he launched a three.  If he can hit 40% from three point line, he will have a career in the NBA, but he couldn’t.  He won’t be back next season which does say a lot about his defensive abilities.  Grade C- [...]

  2. Toronto Raptors Morning Coffee April 22 | Slam Dunking Says:

    [...] New Leisure Blog Antoine Wright: Get out Bird.  Wright isn’t really that good of a defender, but on this team he is Alvin Robertson.  Wright plays hard on defense and is tough so he gets playing time on this team.  Unfortunately, he is horrid on offense.  I cringe every time he launched a three.  If he can hit 40% from three point line, he will have a career in the NBA, but he couldn’t.  He won’t be back next season which does say a lot about his defensive abilities.  Grade C- [...]

  3. Buddahfan Says:

    Interesting stuff:

    However why no grade for Johnson?

    Actually I think that you comments are a fair assessment of him, however in addition to

    1. Reducing his foul rate
    2. Bulking up

    He needs to improve his mid-range game and develop a post up jump shot preferably shooting with both hands on the post up game.

    • pchu1234 Says:

      You are right, I forgot about the grade. He would be B+.

      I know he is working on his jumper, and him bulking up with help him with his post up game.

  4. Vincent Says:

    I like most your player analysis, but your analysis of Triano is quite off. It’s not his fault that neither of his “starting calibre” point guards are quick enough or tough enough to stay in front of their man and play consistently good defence. There is no defence that you can “coach” that will prevent the other team from exploiting a weakness like that. They tried switching, hedging, zones, pack-line, man to man – you can’t blame the coach for that. I suppose you could blame him for not benching Calderon in favor of Marcus Banks, but that might have gotten him fired on the spot.

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