Wednesday, December 29, 2010

All-Raptor teams

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I haven't been around very much over these holidays - I'll have the Week 9 numbers up tomorrow (hopefully) - but today I have a year-end type of post ready: the All-Raptor teams.

Basically, my All-Raptor teams are just like the yearly All-NBA teams; there is an All-Raptor First team, a Second team, and a Third team. The only difference between the All-Raptor teams and the All-NBA teams is that, whereas the All-NBA teams are a yearly affair, my All-Raptor teams are of the all-time variety. I've already (thanks to Andres) used Wins Produced to determine the top Raptors of all-time, so all that remains is to use positions to slot everyone into three teams. Every player must have spent some time at a given position to be eligible for said position, and both absolute production and rate of production have been taken into account. Here is the list, with brief explanations to follow:

1st Team:

C - Chris Bosh
Bosh is the franchise leader in several categories, including minutes, blocks, rebounds, points, and wins. Given the paucity of great Raptors' centres - and the fact that Bosh spent some time at the position - Bosh is the best option here.

PF - Donyell Marshall
According to my informal research, Donyell Marshall is the most under-appreciated Raptor of all-time. In terms of both raw productivity and WP48, Marshall is the most productive player to ever don a Raptors uniform; despite this, few fans seem to recall how good he was (as evidenced by the results of my various unscientific Sporcle quizzes). An easy choice.

SF - Tracy McGrady
T-Mac is an interesting case; while he was an efficient player, he didn't play in Toronto for very long, and he actually got better when he left. In fact, once McGrady left for Orlando, he put up some of the very best seasons of the last 20 years. Still, he was very good in Toronto, and his main competition at SF is Jamario Moon. Moon's raw productivity was actually better, but Moon spent a bunch of time playing PF, and T-Mac played more minutes and created more wins. Really, it's a toss-up between Moon and McGrady, but given their ages and subsequent seasons, I'm going with T-Mac.

SG - Vince Carter
Arguably the most famous Raptor ever, Carter actually struggled to best Doug Christie and barely made it onto the first team. While Christie had a better WP48, Carter had both a very slight edge in raw productivity as well as a huge edge in minutes played. Then there is the matter that the tail-end of his numbers with the Raptors are somewhat tainted by his intentional poor play - a fact that could either help or hurt his cause, depending on your viewpoint. Everything considered, I'm going with Vince.

PG - Jose Calderon
With the second most wins produced of any Raptor and the franchise leader in assists (and still adding to his totals), Calderon is hands down the best point guard the Raps have ever had.

2nd Team

C - Antonio Davis
Davis too was more of a power forward than a centre, but spent most of his time as a Raptor in the centre position. Although he was not an above-average player for most of his career, he was quite serviceable and - for a Raptor - relatively long-serving.

PF - Jerome Williams
The Junk Yard Dog is the second best Raptor power forward of all-time. Unfortunately for him, JYD played the same position as Marshall, so unless I engage in some suspect position arrangements (like putting Marshall at SF) he's stuck on the second team.

SF - Jamario Moon
Although he entered the league as an undrafted 27 year-old, Moon played quite well for the Raptors across three seasons. Although best known for his Super Jamario dunks, he was also good at rebounding, blocking shots and avoiding turnovers. Another unappreciated Raptor.

SG - Doug Christie
Mr. Christie does more than just make good cookies! He's fourth in wins produced, behind only Bosh, Calderon, and Carter. For a long time Christie was the one who carried the team, which a lot of people seem to forget.

PG - Damon Stoudamire
Despite all the fanfare, the much heralded Mighty Mouse was about average during his time in Toronto. He scored a lot and racked up the assists, but his shooting wasn't very efficient. Although there have been point guards who were more efficient than him, Stoudamire played more minutes and racked up more total wins, so he manages to make it onto the second team.

3rd Team

C - Keon Clark
After Bosh and Davis, I'm sad to report that the next-best centre is none other than Keon Clark. My favourite memory of Clark is when he sucked the gravity right out of the building and dunked over everyone's target of choice, Shawn Bradley. While Clark was above-average during his time in Toronto, he didn't last very long, and once he left he quickly succumbed to drug problems and couldn't stick in the league.

PF - Charles Oakley
Oak was solid during his Raptor years, but clearly a shadow of the player who grabbed 35 rebounds in one game while in Chicago. He was acquired in a trade with the Knicks that cost the team Marcus Camby (who - as Andres has noted - hadn't been very successful in Toronto but went on to become very productive).

SF - Morris Peterson
While he hovered around average over his 7 seasons with the team, Mo Pete played the most games and the second most minutes of any Raptor. Ideally he'd be slotted in at shooting guard, but I put him here in order to fit in the next two players.

SG - Anthony Parker
Parker was a brilliant signing by Brian Collangelo - while he was drafted by the Nets in '97, he didn't last in the NBA for very long and went overseas. Eventually, when Maccabi Tel Aviv became the first European team to beat an NBA in North America, Parker was the one who hit the game winning shot, and he was signed by the Raps shortly after. While he's showing his age right now in Cleveland, he was above-average in Toronto and helped to contribute a significant number of wins to the Division-winning '06-'07 team.

PG - Alvin Williams
Williams was kind of similar to Antonio Davis, in that he was not an above-average player for most of his career but was relatively long-serving. He also played a lot of minutes while he was injured, which eventually took its toll and forced him into retirement. Williams was acquired in the trade that sent the disgruntled Stoudamire to Portland.

I suspect that the All-Raptor third team would not stack up well with the third teams of most other NBA teams - something that I'd chalk up to the young age of the Raptors. Although I'm sure that these three teams would beat the three teams offered by the Bobcats or the Grizzlies.

 - Devin


  1. Devin,
    Awesome! Too good of a post not to make a similar one about the Nuggets in the near future. Something I have to wonder about is the "just missed em" window of Toronto. With Vince, McGrady and Camby you've had some good players split before becoming very good. I still wonder what could have been in Toronto if you could have convinced some players to stick around.

    Also despite helping you with the data. . . I completely bombed the quizes :)

  2. I was hoping you'd make a Nuggets version of this post!

    The Raptors have had the right players...just never at the right times. Billups, Oakley, Willis, Olajuwon....

    The quizzes are hard. Even I have trouble with the unproductive players, and I spent all that time making the damn things!