It's been over a week since I posted the league team stats...time to get the league opponent stats up.
Here they are (full spreadsheet available here):
And this post wouldn't be complete without including a flawed, double-scrolling sortable table, now would it (full chart available here)?
Here are my Raptor-related thoughts:
- We already knew that Toronto's defence was bad - but specifically, the Raps allowed their opponents to have the second highest True Shooting percentage (TS%) of any team's opponents in the league. Perhaps a bit more interesting is that Detroit was the only team that allowed their opponents to shoot better....
- Is there anything particularly interesting about how the Raptors give up such a high TS%? Not really. The team allowed the 2nd highest 2PT%, the 3rd highest 3PT%, and the 5th most free throw attempts. They also had the 4th highest opponent free throw tendency (FTA/FGA). Add it all up and the Raptors allowed the 4th most points per 48 minutes, just behind the T-Wolves, the Knicks, and the Warriors.
- Raptors' opponents were in the middle of the pack when it comes to rebounding - only 15th.
- The Raptors were very generous with the ball, allowing their opponents the 7th most steals.
- The team was an unremarkable 15th in forcing turnovers.
- Put it all together, and opponents were only 15th in net possessions. Despite the glaring rebounding issues of the team's starting centre, it is defense - not rebounding - that led to the team's dismal record (something I'd attribute to the rebounding abilities of his various front court teammates).
- Getting into the "helpers", opponents collected the 7th most assists while playing Toronto. This makes sense, given the poor defense.
- Opponents blocked the 8th highest number of shots - I'm sure that Reggie Evans had at least a small part in that.
- Raps' opponents committed the 5th fewest fouls - and it's not because the team settles for threes. In fact, Toronto took the 2nd fewest 3PT FGs in the league (behind only Memphis), and the 2nd most shots at the rim (behind only Denver). Unfortunately, the team also managed to take the 3rd most shots from 16-23 feet; that would be okay if the team employed Dirk Nowitzki, but when you have Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan, and Leandro Barbosa taking most of your shots, those are shots that you should try to limit.
I'll wrap up with some brief thoughts on the recent happenings in Raptor-land:
- The team ended up with the 5th pick in the draft. Who should they pick, or should they trade the pick? I'll tell you who they shouldn't pick: Brandon Knight and Canadian Tristan Thompson. Both did not perform as well in college as the other NCAA players who are in the running to be selected at #5.
- I'm wary of the international prospects. Most have little experience playing against high-level competition, and the likelihood of drafting a bust is high. Of course, the potential payoff could also be large; all things considered, I would recommend that the Raptors avoid choosing the mystery box.
- Bryan Colangelo was extended for two years, with a team option for a 3rd. How do I feel about that? Not so good, but as a Raptors fan, I have learned to see the positive side of everything. Number one: the deal could've been longer. Number two: Colangelo finally sounds like he's tired of the Bargnani nonsense. All things considered, it could be worse.
- Head coach Jay Triano will not be back next season. While Triano wasn't very good at determining players' minutes and seemed like he doesn't understand even basic "advanced" basketball statistics, Triano simply did what was expected of him and was indistinguishable from most other NBA coaches. Perhaps he was simply trying to do what was best for his NBA coaching career, and as such, I don't really blame him.
- But the good thing about Triano was his price: as a coach with no previous experience as an NBA head coach, Triano came cheap. It's unlikely that the new head coach will be as cheap, as the team will likely target already established ex-coaches like Lawrence Frank and Jeff Van Gundy. If this new coach also does little to distinguish himself from other NBA head coaches, then this is simply wasted money.
- In terms of the right coach for the job, given the quality of the team, I would advocate for a coach that wants to play at a slower pace. Playing at a slower pace maximizes the chances that the worse team will end up winning the game, and given that it is likely that the Raptors will be a bad team next season, that is the way to go. The fact that most coaches who like to play at a slower pace also tend to be defensive minded coaches is simply a bonus. Given this, Frank and Van Gundy are actually pretty good options. My preference between the two would be Frank, but it would also depend on the asking salary. The best option is probably a relatively unknown (and cheap) NBA assistant coach.
In the next few weeks, I promise that I will have plenty of interesting draft analysis ready for you. Keep your eye on the Wages Of Wins Network for more announcements from other WoW writers, too.