Last time the Raps were on pace to post a 28-38 record. Despite the decent start, I said that I expected to see that number shrink towards 19-20 wins. Where are they right now?
Well, as I expected, the team is now on pace to win far fewer games. They currently on pace to post a 16-50 record this season. Why the sudden drop-off? Who's to blame for the poor performances of the past six games?
Once again, the team is still being led by Jose Calderon, Amir Johnson, and Ed Davis. After a decent start, Bargnani has begun to return to his usual level, driven by his reduced TS%. Gary Forbes was much improved in limited playing time, and Anthony Carter almost made it back to an average level (WP48 of 0.100). DeMar DeRozan also had a tough six games shooting the ball, as did Rasual Butler and Jamaal Magloire. Barbosa just barely missed escaping the negative range, but this was an improvement and boosted his numbers for the season.
But the key player over the past six games was Amir Johnson. While his TS% has fallen, it is still good, and he is taking more shots. At his efficiency level, every additional shot he takes helps the team, so this is a good thing. His rebounding has also jumped, from 11.6 (per 48mins) to 13.8. His turnovers have fallen by 0.9. Blocks and steals are down and fouls are up, mostly likely due to the fact that he's had to cover taller and larger players during Bargnani's absence.
Despite the coaching change, I still have to point out the following: the Raptors' coach does not know how to allocate playing time properly. Last year that was Jay Triano's fault, but this time the offender is Dwane Casey. Ed Davis should be getting more playing time, and Magloire should be riding the pine. Barbosa and Butler's minutes should be way down, and Anthony Carter and Gary Forbes should be much higher. Despite his age, Carter is likely the team's second best guard. Forbes played well in Denver last year and should be given a chance to prove that he is better than the other options at SG/SF.