Tag:Toronto Raptors
Posted on: October 15, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 5:50 pm
 

NBA F&R Podcast: Basketball Prospectus

Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus join F&R Blogger Matt Moore to discuss the role of metrics in the NBA, team building, and exactly how much the Raptors are going to suck.
Posted by Matt Moore

Forget your preview magazines. Throw out your basic box score season averages. And get rid of your basic look at the NBA. If you want to really get inside the numbers of the 2010-2011 season, you need the Basketball Prospectus. Basketball Prospectus is a site that melds traditional basketball commentary with advanced statistical analysis. Each year, they publish the basketball alternative to the well-known Baseball Prospectus, which provides not only a detailed look at each team and player in the league, but projections based off of an articulate measure called SCHOENE. The authors of the 2010-2011 edition (available for downloadable purchase or at Amazon.com ), Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle, joined me for CBSSports.com's NBA Facts and Rumors podcast's inaugural run. We discuss the direction of advanced metrics in the NBA, the role of stats in team building, the Raptors, and what the numbers say about the Heat, of course.


If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .


Posted on: October 11, 2010 1:20 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2010 3:19 pm
 

Heat Stroke: You will pay to see the Heat play

Breaking News: Heat will make NBA ungodly amounts of money this year. Posted by Matt Moore

Mike Wallace, now of ESPN, commented Friday night in Kansas City for the Heat's sellout crowd (the first professional basketball game in KC's Sprint Center to actually feel like it sold out) that the Heat could be the NBA's stimulus package, with the way they're drawing people . Based on the enormous amount of attention the team is getting and a report today from the Wall Street Journal , that joke could be much closer to the truth than we suspect.

The WSJ today reports that ticket prices for the Heat are up across the land by as much as ...wait for it... 72% from the rest of the league. That's just stunning, I don't care how expected it was. That 72% increase is for the Celtics, though, arguably their biggest rival. But what's interesting is how widespread the increases are. The second biggest increase is in Cleveland, where the price is over $127 per ticket, versus the season average of $74.51.

Just so we're clear on this, the owner that has consistently disrespected James for what he feels is betrayal, and who played to the fans' heart strings, that owner will be making a considerable profit from James' appearance in Cleveland, and apparently demand is high enough to justify it. This is the great thing about sports. We feign outright disgust while still paying for that which disgusts us.

Meanwhile, the same effect happens with Toronto, where the price rises over $54 to see Chris Bosh not play defense for someone else, and even in cities who weren't burned by this summer. Rockets prices are up over $40, and Sixers prices are up over $52 Bucks. That's quite a steep increase in the middle of an economic downturn, regardless of when the recession ended. It's yet another sign of what the more rational among us tried to say this whole time. People can badmouth the Heat all they want, they are great for the league. Not good, great. Every team is going to profit significantly on those nights when the Triad Circus comes to town, and there's no denying they want those dollars.

If Dan Gilbert was really so outraged on behalf of the city over James' betrayal, he'd drop ticket prices for that game so that the fans could get afford to come see the man who broke their hearts and tell him how they feel. I'm still stunned the league is putting this on national television (which we'll get to another time), but the draw is obvious. Heck, just look at the ticket prices. Meanwhile, the Heat are going to put the NBA on the map in a way not even the recent Celtics-Lakers rivalry has been able to. This is going to be a peak season for the NBA in attention and revenue. Just a shame the peak comes right before the lockout fall.

Posted on: September 24, 2010 2:51 am
 

Preseason Primer: Toronto Raptors

Posted by Matt Moore

There's little but ruins left in Toronto with Chris Bosh gone. Bryan Colangelo managed to keep his job, as did Jay Triano, and the cast of characters remains largely the same. The goals have shifted, with the future now being the primary consideration as Colangelo has started shedding salary (including Hedo Turkoglu) and locking up younger talent. Training camp could be nice and relaxed. It could be a mess. There's no way to tell. But we'll try and get a feel for where things stand in our next edition of our Preseason Primers .

Training camp site: Toronto, Canada />
Training camp starts: September 28th

Key additions: Leandro Barbosa (trade), Linas Kleiza (free agency), Julian Wright (trade)

Key subtractions: Chris Bosh (Pat Riley), Hedo Turkoglu (trade), Antoine Wright (free agency)

Likely starting lineup: Jarret Jack (PG), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Linas Kleiza (SF), Amir Johnson (PF), Andrea Bargnani (C)

Player to watch: DeMar DeRozan. Andrea Bargnani will be under the most pressure, but DeRozan has the highest ceiling to improve. DeRozan flashed great athleticism last season and showed off an improved finesse game at summer league. He'll need to capitalize on his entire game in camp if he wants to set the tone of himself as the future for the franchise and give them something to build on.


Chemistry quiz: This team did not seem to like each other last season. Whether that was the pressure of the Bosh scenario, we don't know, but they're going to need to click more this year. Particularly, the team doesn't communicate on defense. At all. It's like radio silence. The jury is not just out on Jay Triano, it's in a pretty fierce debate at the moment. Nothing has been introduced to show that Triano gets through to this team in any capacity.


Camp battles: Jarret Jack and Jose Calderon may get in a knife fight. Linas Kleiza and Amir Johnson probably will get into a knife fight.

Injury issues:
Ed Davis is out after a meniscus injury. Calderon had some bumps and bruises, but in general, the team is young and healthy. Barbosa is trying to come back from not just injury but personal issues last year.

Biggest strength: Bucket-getting. The team can score, that's for sure. Bargnani can hit from anywhere on the foor, with touch and range. Amir Johnson can crash the boards on the offensive glass. Calderon still has a jumper in him. Barbosa is still fast. They can run and they can score and that's pretty much the extent of what they can do.

Glaring weakness: They couldn't stop a corpse with a flamethrower. Their defense is pretty much like the Death Star. Sure there are tall structures, but in reality, you can just fly in, do your business, and get out.
Posted on: September 21, 2010 2:03 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 2:08 pm
 

Ed Davis has surgery, out six weeks

Raptors rookie undergoes surgery to repair torn meniscus; fates may or may not hate Toronto.
Posted by Matt Moore


The Raptors can't win for trying. After losing Chris Bosh to the Miami Triad this summer, many people thought that the Raptors could contend for the worst team in the league . But as the summer's gone on, there's been a few murmerings about the Raptors possibly not sucking beyond belief. DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, a bigger role for Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani playing more as a scoring post-player rather than trying to compliment Chris Bosh which was like trying to add a red accent to slightly darker red room. And of course, promising rookie Ed Davis, who looked tremendous in pre-draft workouts and great in summer league.

That plan has gotten off to a very rocky start. Davis injured himself in workouts a week ago. Then Raptors play-by-play man Matt Devlin announced that Davis had undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and would be out six weeks. That's simply terrible news, as a meniscus injury is the kind that not only can vary greatly in terms of recovery time, but also has a nasty habbit for causing long-term issues that hamper a player's ability to stay on the floor.

Six weeks means Davis misses training camp, the first real opportunity to work with the team and let coach Jay Triano see where he fits in the rotation. Six weeks means he may miss the start of the season and when a rookie gets left out to begin things, it's often more difficult for him to work his way in once the games start going.

It's another disappointing turn in a summer defined by disappointment for Toronto. Hopefully he can bounce back and this is the end of the Raptors' turmoil. We're headed towards the big asteroid scenario at this rate.
Posted on: September 9, 2010 9:15 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 11:42 am
 

Shootaround 9.9.10: Dwight grants a big wish

Rodman's overheard orgy, Artest's ring on the market, and Bogut's MRI.
Posted by Matt Moore
Get your Kleenex ready. The Orlando Sentinel  reports of a visit from Dwight Howard to a woman dying of Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma. The one wish from a dying woman? A visit from the Orlando All-Star. It's a touching story, one that wound up with Howard being the one changed by the visit. Howard is in a unique position for these types of life-changing events. His relationship with his faith may come under constant scrutiny because of his fame, but it also equips him for times like these, comforting a woman on her way out with laughter and compassion.

Ron Artest is selling his championship ring , for charity, before he even has a chance to wear it. NBA.com reports that Artest will sell the ring without putting it on in a fundraiser to help put more mental health professionals in school. This comes on the heels of Artest working in schools to promote good mental health. It's indicative of a drastic reversal in public perception, with Artest going from being considered crazy in the negative, non-serious sense to really putting himself forward as a champion for the cause of mental health intervention. Standing "O" for Crazy Pills.

Dwyane Wade is in court this week for the custody case of his children. His lawyer is recommending custody for Wade, obviously, and there's a lawyer for the boys with three recommendations in play. All three recommendations feature Wade in a custody position to some degree. It would appear the talk of family being important for Wade is talk that's being walked, in this instance.

Depressing news out of Sacramento , as police are investigating vandalism of a Kings mural with a swastika that may be related to Kings' Israeli player Omri Casspi. Seriously, folks. We can move past this, right? The vandals really should watch the kid pass in transition. It's hard to hate him after that.

Andrew Bogut is seeing a hand specialist and having an MRI done . Nothing to worry about, really. After all, there's still like, two weeks before training camp...wait, that's not much time at all. Dang.

So Dennis Rodman? Yeah, he went to a party, and was MC'ing, and then left his microphone on when he went upstairs. That's embarrassing. Wait, what's that you say? He was upstairs having sex with six women? What's the word I'm looking for here? Oh, yeah. Icky. But hey, good to know that just like his playing days, Rodman is hyper-efficient. At least those guests that overheard him on the microphone downstairs can cross "eavesdrop on Dennis Rodman in an orgy" off their bucket list.

Spain fell to Serbia yesterday, in a minor upset. Here's how Spain unraveled . It was a shocking loss for Spain, and for those that believe that Ricky Rubio can actually walk on water, part the seas, and hit a jumpshot.

A look back at Dwight Howard's career nights . It's posts like this that make you think twice before criticizing his play too much.

If you have Raptor fan friends, prepare for them to be a grumpy bunch next season . They're gaining a great scorer (as he's shown in World play) in Linas Kleiza, but they're worried about his usage. They have a dynamic scorer in Andrea Bargnani, who, quite honestly, they hate because he doesn't rebound. There's just a lot of bad blood there right now.

I can answer this question . Does Luke Harangody have a role with the Celtics? Sure. Someone's gotta be mascot.

Jared Dudley is resigned to a good-faith situation with the Suns. That rarely works out well in the A. 
Posted on: September 8, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 9:50 pm
 

Pop Quiz: Which coach is on the hot seat?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Which coach has the hottest seat going into the season?


Scott Brooks.

No kidding, you have to put Scott Brooks on this list. Even though he's been instrumental in taking a team with nothing but young players and turning them into a playoff team that looks every bit ready to challenge for a Western Conference title, Brooks has to be on this list. Why? Because he was so good last year he won the career death sentence: the Coach of the Year award. Let's take a look at the previous winners, shall we?

Mike Brown: canned.

Byron Scott: deleted.

Sam Mitchell: terminated.

Avery Johnson: gonezo.

Yeesh. Watch your back, Scottie.

Okay, besides the superstition, who's actually in danger of losing their gig this year? Here are four candidates.

Jay Triano: It's been stunning how Triano has managed to avoid harsh criticism for his squad's performance which helped lead to Chris Bosh's departure without so much as a consideration for staying in Toronto. Brian Colangelo takes all the blame for constructing a spineless defensive team with too many inconsistencies offensively, despite acquiring Amir Johnson and Reggie Evans and being willing to spend for Hedo Turkoglu (who despite all his problems, was a legit quality free agent last summer). Yet Triano's team wound up with the worst defensive marks in the league, falling out of the playoffs down the stretch, and he walked away largely unscathed. Now the Raptors are suffering with a significant lack of talent, and often, guys who underperformed with talent end up getting removed when they actually have good reasons for underperforming... much like Triano faces this season.

John Kuester: The offensive wiz of a team now considered to be one of the greater disappointments of the last decade had a rough opening season. Injuries and subpar play from their big free agents (which most people saw coming outside of the Pistons, though not to the degree) played a part, but this is a cold hearted business that very rarely provides reasonable responses to legitimate causes for losing. If Kuester can't get the Pistons turned around with that payroll, his reputation may not spare him from the axe of Joe Dumars.

Flip Saunders: If anyone in the entire league has an excuse for struggling through two seasons, it's got to be Saunders. Saunders was at the helm for one of the most disastrous seasons in league history last year, and had to preside over the meltdown, grin, and bear it as all his talent was shipped out in a rebuilding plan. John Wall was a Godsend, but Saunders has to deal with re-integrating Gilbert Arenas, containing the combustible Andray Blatche, and trying to move the franchise forward with John Wall. Throw in new majority ownership from Ted Leonsis, and Saunders may have too much stacked against him to survive a poor start, fair or not.

Jim O'Brien: Larry Bird has committed to O'Brien, has stayed by his side, and recently gave him a vote of confidence. But he's in the last year of his deal, which makes letting him go much easier to swallow. On top of that, the questions about talent are no longer going to valid this year. The Pacers now feature a legit center in Roy Hibbert, a legit star forward in Danny Granger, and a star point guard in Darren Collison. If O'Brien can't make this team work in a thin Eastern Conference, with at least some improvement, Bird may run out of patience for him.


Posted on: September 8, 2010 9:20 am
 

Shootaround 9.8.10: Super Scola

Posted by Royce Young
  • Luis Scola was a one man wrecking crew yesterday against Brazil. He finished with 37 points and scored six in the closing minutes for Argentina. He was so good, he got his general manager to tweet, "Scola goes into video game god mode to finish off Brazil. Wow."
  • Jason Friedman of Rockets.com on Scola's performance: "Having watched him for three years now, Rockets fans know the truth: Scola is simply passion personified. He loves the game. Loves the competition. Loves the challenge of improving himself every day. The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen once wrote that Scola is the walking, talking embodiment of every fan’s ideal: that if we, too, were able to compete at the world’s highest level, we would do so with the sort of passion and professionalism Scola displays on a daily basis. 99.999 percent of us play the game we love for free. If every professional basketball league on the planet were to suddenly dissolve, rest assured Luis Scola would play gratis, too. And he’d do so with a giant smile on his face."
  • Doug Smith of the Toronto Star looking at Team USA's added incentive against Russia: "If the United States is looking for any extra motivation as the quarter-finals of the world basketball championships unfold, the players can look back on one of the darkest moments in the international history of the sport in that country, to a time before any of them were born. It was at the 1972 Munich Olympics, in one of the most storied games in international basketball history, that Russia beat the United States in a gold-medal game marred by a replayed finish that had all the stench of a pre-ordained result."
  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! looking at the same thing: "Thirty-eight years later, all the hate and acrimony between the Americans and Russians is gone on the basketball court. They used to look across the floor and wonder what in the world they had in common. All those Eastern European states – Serbia, Croatia and Lithuania – gobbled up the best players, and Russian basketball is left fighting for its identity, its soul, its future. Chicken fingers and potato skins in the shadows of the Ottoman Empire and Sea of Marmara — yes, the final victims of American sporting capitalism have paid a steep price."
  • Charles Barkley had a history of demanding trades and potentially chasing rings. Yet, he continues to rip on LeBron for the same things. Matt Bunch of Hot Hot Hoops looks at it: "So what’s the end result? Let your biases be known. Identify you’re being hypocritical, and explain why your present-day view is right and your past one is wrong. I don’t think anyone is clamoring for ideological rigidity from Trent Dilfer or Mark Schlereth or Charles Barkley, but if you’re going to say something that will figuratively make the listening audience’s ears bleed, preface it (or follow it) with an explanation of why you just said that thing. It’s the least you can do; we’re not stupid."
  • Could Chris Bosh's departure lead to Andrea Bargnani's breakout? RaptorsRepublic looks: "Maybe it’s a psychological thing with him, Bosh’s departure might not open up space on the court, but it could in his mind? Huh? Or maybe it’s simply a matter of hoisting more shots? Perhaps 14.3 FGAs a game doesn’t cut it for him and if he ups that he’ll be more interested in playing defense and will be more comfortable making plays for others. I’m clutching at straws here, but any way one looks at it, the burden of proof of whether Bargnani can become the player he was touted to be rests solely on him, not anyone else. It is no-one’s “fault” that he’s been under-performing except his. The coming season presents a different opportunity for Bargnani to excel, not necessarily a better one."
Posted on: August 30, 2010 9:15 am
Edited on: August 30, 2010 11:30 am
 

Shootaround 8.30.10: Can't read BJ's poker face

Dragic slowed up, Jordan giving out, and Brandon Jennings does Lady Gaga. For real.
Posted by Matt Moore


So Brandon Jennings lost some sort of bet, and as a result, was forced to do a video online of him dancing to Lady Gaga . Yes, it is as bizarre-looking as it sounds.

Goran Dragic has been great so far in the FIBA World Championships, but found himself in foul trouble on Sunday in Slovenia's loss to Team USA. Twice, Dragic got caught trying to sneak up on a player's weakside off the inbounds. It's like Dragic got too comfortable playing non-NBA players and forgot just how well-trained even this inexperienced Team USA team is. And Chauncey Billups is anything but inexperienced.

Sam Amico of NBA.com reports that the Nuggets are looking at the Nets, Wolves, and Kings as possible options for trading Carmelo Anthony. But this assumes the Nuggets have all the leverage, which they don't .

Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats donated a quarter of a million dollars to middle-school athletics in Charlotte. It's another instance in a continuing theme of Jordan looking to invest in the Charlotte area. If he's planning on being the absentee owner many thought he would be, he's at least making a good show in the other direction.

FIBA play isn't necessarily the place for post play. But as NBA Playbook points out, establishing position is just as important there. Also, they provide a look at Ante Tomic, the Jazz draft pick who looked good for Croatia.

A resources company in Cleveland is cashing in on a former LeBron James ad campaign with a 'Witness' campaign of their own. Yet another indication that the bridges he burned in Cleveland won't be rebuilt in a day.

As a reminder, Brandon Rush got tagged with a five game suspension for violating the NBA's drug policy. The interesting note? He's yet another Kansas or Kansas State player found in trouble with drugs. You'll remember Mario Chalmers' problems at the rookie transition program, along with Michael Beasley.

Bryan Colangelo is on the hot seat in Toronto. The question is, why isn't Jay Triano also feeling warm in the butt? It's been Triano's defense that has been systemically bad, despite good man-defenders in Amir Johnson and Antoine Wright. It's been Triano's team unable to close out games, despite having Chris Bosh. Everyone looks at Colangelo as the problem, but as Raptors Republic points out, Colangelo has yet to to hand pick a coach in Toronto.

Wanna know just how far back your team's good (or bad) decisions go? Take a look at these flowcharts . The Knicks one is especially hilarious/tragic.

Rich Cho says there's no way to know how Greg Oden's knee will respond until it's "under stress." Pretty much, Greg Oden's not going to be considered healthy until he's considered healthy. It's a binary question.




 
 
 
 
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