Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Toronto's Bench: A Cluttered Tool-Box

"Why are we wasting our careers playing with these shitbags?"

The NBA regular season is long. No team escapes the brutal wear-and-tear of the 82-game schedule without sustaining an injury to one of their starters. When this (invariably) happens, bench guys are thrust into unfamiliar roles and called upon to replace the production of the missing starter. Depth is important, especially in the regular season.

Unfortunately, the Raptors have no real depth.




Our bench is like my toolbox; it's a cluttered mess of spare parts and semi-functional tools. If everyone's healthy, the parts actually fit together quite nicely. The pieces compliment each other. They have defined, and rather successful role players.

Novak and Daye are great spot-up shooters that can stretch the floor. Unfortunately, they'll also butcher the defense when they're in the game. They can't really be called upon to produce in a capacity beyond spot-up shooting.

Conversely, guys like Hansbrough and Acy are only good for rebounding and defense (questionable). They won't produce much on the offensive end (despite Hansbrough shooting lots of free throws), and they will invariably clog the paint, forcing our wing players to settle for long jumpers, which is a terrible result (Gay and DD are poor shooters from long range and three-pointers).

Then you have the sure-handed, spot-up shooting backup point-guard in DJ Augustin. He'll avoid turnovers and he'll give you some spot-up shooting, but that's about it. He literally can't do anything else. I don't know enough about Dwight Buycks to say anything definitive. Maybe he can do something. I doubt it.

Finally, you have the Ying/Yang twins (not these guys; I wish) in Landry Fields and Quentin Richardson (if he's not bought out). Landry gives you defense and excellent rebounding, but unless his shot comes back, he'll be limited to cutting (which sounds morbid). Conversely, Richardson can hit the three...and nothing else.

My point here is, if one of the starters go down with injury, the Raptors are basically fucked.

Now, this can be said for many franchises. For example, what the hell do the Pacers do if Paul George goes down (with injury; I'm sure he's a caring lover)? Or what do the Heat do if Wade misses a month (because his Lucille Bluth loafers caused him to slip over his own-self awareness)?

The difference is that the Pacers and Heat have more depth, and they have excess capacity. If George goes down, Danny Granger can fill-in (at least on offense). If Wade goes down, Ray Allen steps in and Lebron shoulders the load.

The Raptors, as currently constructed, have everyone operating at full-capacity. There's nobody who can really shoulder a bigger load right now; everyone's maxed out. If this season is successful (ie: they make the playoffs), then everyone has to stay healthy, because the Raptors are a carefully constructed Jenga tower; pull out one block, and you're fucked.

So let's all keep our fingers crossed; hopefully the Raptors will be fully healthy. But if the basketball gods absolutely need to have a sacrificial lamb, take DD (sorry Demar...).

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Lol that's becoming my schtick; shit on DD and Bargnani while posting lots of charts with stats.

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    2. It's only a matter of time before you attract a parody blog...

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  2. Hi, great article!
    A suggestion though is to cut the language. It will surely make you look more professional. Love your articles and are slowly becoming a have to read for me.
    Keep up the good work!

    Mo Pete

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    1. Hey! Thanks for reading. I'm glad you liked it.

      I'm trying to curb the swearing. It's tough because the Raptors are so frustrating, but I know the articles can often do without it. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Keep coming back, morris peterson (there's like less a 1% chance that you're actually him, but if you are, this is really cool and I'm honored).

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    2. Yeah ... by no means am I Mo Pete sorry dude.

      Just the first name that came to mind (and my favourite player ever)

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    3. A fine choice. Every Raptors fan is proud to call Mo Pete as one of our own.

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    4. this writer has no clue about the very quick, great shooter, slasherand regular backup for the 1 and 2 positions namely d Buycks one of the leading scorers for the whole sumer league. He also had OKC Miami and houston trying to sign him . He saw a better opportunity with the RAPTORS! Unless you saw him in summer league this four year Marquette product a LEAGUE MVP in europe last year he wil be a major suprise this year!!! STEVE FISHER RAPTOR JUNKY

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    5. This writer has no clue about the very quick, great shooter, slasher and regular backup for the 1 and 2 positions, namely D Buycks one of the leading scorers for the whole summer league. He also had OKC Miami and houston trying to sign him . He saw a better opportunity with the RAPTORS! Unless you saw him in summer league this four year Marquette product a LEAGUE MVP in europe last year will be a major surprise this year!!! STEVE FISHER RAPTOR JUNKY

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    6. There's reason for hope with buycks but euroleague and summer league success does not necessarily suggest star potential. Josh Selby and randy foye hve both previously won the mvp for the summer league. I don't put too much stock in it.

      Hopefully, I'm wrong about buycks, but I have my doubts.

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  3. Psycho and Acey can both rebound and score. Psycho gets fouled and scores and Acey showed in Summmer League that he can do more than rebound. Buycks is the real thing and with Augie they are are a dangerous and fast combination. Put Novak in to do 3 and D and open up the middle and these 5 might give the starting 5 fits!

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    1. Since when is Novak a 3 and D. He's a 3 and that's it. He was benched during playoffs for 2 years because of poor d. Knicks couldn't afford to have him out there..

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