Posts Tagged ‘DeAndre Jordan

Raptors at Clippers Points Per Game:

- January 23rd, 2012

So, eight losses in a row. All but maybe two of them well-deserved. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark right now with the Raptors and it seems Dwane Casey is at his wit’s end. Some thoughts:

- Casey sat down Ed Davis earlier this year when he felt he wasn’t playing hard enough, not running the floor the way he can, etc. Casey did the same thing on Sunday against the Clippers to Amir Johnson who has not looked like himself of late. Another change to the starting lineup could be coming, unless Casey wants to see if Johnson finds himself when Andrea Bargnani comes back, likely on Tuesday in Phoenix. If Bargnani isn’t back, Casey needs to give Aaron Gray – who played well – a look. The Davis-Johnson combo is too small and slight and is getting lit up every game now.

- Casey sent a message by playing his bench – which has been better than the starters for two or three game snow – for large portions of the game.

- The Raptors aren’t playing like a team. Some evidence of it I noticed came in the fourth when the just-returned Jerryd Bayless got absolutely annihilated on a screen that Linas Kleiza (or anybody else in the vicinity) failed to warn him about. That’s how team chemistry suffers.

- Jose Calderon is back to not being able to keep anybody in front of him. He did a decent job of it early in the season, but something has happened and a system that was covering for it well is no longer doing so. It wasn’t just Calderon who had trouble with this though, as the other Clippers guards did whatever they wanted against whoever was guarding them. Most notably, Mo Williams,who scored the first 17 points for Los Angeles in the fourth quarter and 25 in all.

- Clips have an embarassment of riches at the point. Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams would all be upgrades for the Raptors and Eric Bledsoe is much more of a true point guard prospect than Jerryd Bayless, though I like Bayless in a Leandro Barbosa role long-term.

- Horrendous performance by the starters, but you probably already know that, and a decent effort from the bench to at least give the Raptors the feeling they were in it a couple of times.

- Davis has a lot of work to do on his offensive game. Another reason why Johnson/Davis doesn’t work as a starting frontcourt stems from their offensive failings. Neither can create for themself and while Johnson can hit a few jumpers, Davis currently is lacking any semblance of an effective jump shot. That needs to change.

- As a whole, Toronto’s shot selection without Bargnani has been mostly horrible. Where is the basketball IQ? Bad shot after bad shot with no spacing or movement. For a few games they were getting good looks but just missing, but against the Clippers, the offence looked completely out of sorts and the players looked exhausted. The stagnant group missed 10 straight at one point.

- Another fatal flaw is the fact that Toronto tends to foul like nobody’s business but doesn’t draw enough at the other end. You can’t win if that keeps up.

- Finally, the zone again worked for a while and continues to be a good weapon for Casey’s Raptors, but like any scheme, it loses its effectiveness the longer it is used. The Clips figured out how to beat it eventually and that was that.

- Positives? The bench. Drew fouls, scored, hit from long-range. Linas Kleiza: Played reasonably well. Bayless: Returned to the lineup. Gray: Did his job.

We end today with a quote from Casey:

“We compete in practice harder than we do to start the game. Our starts in the first quarter and third quarter aren’t who we are. I’ve got to find seven or eight guys who are going to come out and compete.”

Free agent options for the middle

- April 19th, 2011

Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo admitted on Monday that the team desperately needs a defensive centre. The team has been the worst defensive outfit in the league the past two seasons in terms of defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions). Here are some of the players he might have his eyes on:

Restricted:

Marc Gasol, Memphis – Spanish stud isn’t the best on the boards, but is solid, blocks a ton of shots, scores from the low block with ease and hits his free throws. Memphis can match any offer, but has spent a ton on Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley already so big offer could scare them off.

DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers – Bigger, more explosive version of Amir Johnson will be in huge demand after breakout season. Clippers will surely match, which could shake loose former all-star Chris Kaman on the trade market.

Greg Oden, Portland – Former top pick has been ravaged by injuries. Will anybody gamble after all that has happened to him?

Unrestricted:

Nene, Denver – Will opt out of his contract and likely become one of highest paid centres in league.

Has connection to Toronto and likes city so huge offer could sway him.

Tyson Chandler, Dallas – Mark Cuban’s Mavericks surely will reward Chandler with a huge extension. Almost a Raptor via trade, but worked out very well in Dallas.

Samuel Dalembert, Sacramento – Not the brawny space-eater Toronto needs, but excellent rebounder and shot-blocker and Canadian to boot.

Yao Ming, Houston – The only big man with a longer injury history than Oden, hard to see Yao not trying to revive his career in only North American home he has ever known.