- Andrea Bargnani is averaging career highs in points, free throw attempts, and free throw percentage. You should be happy about that. But... it's not all that "exciting." It was expected, for the most part.
- 5 players in the NBA that are 21 years old or younger get to the free throw line more than 4 times per game: Blake Griffin, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, and DeMar DeRozan. You should be happy about that. But... 190 NBA players have taken at least 8 three-pointers this season, only 5 of those players have a lower 3pt shooting percentage than DeRozan's .125. That's why you shouldn't be excited about him.
- Jarrett Jack is shooting 40% from the field, and 17% from 3pt land. That's all I have to say about him (for now).
- Linas Kleiza has a very interesting accent. That's all I have to say about him right now.
- Reggie Evans grabs boards. Many of them. He also plays beside someone that doesn't like to grab boards. You should be happy about that. But... 109 NBA players have played at least 300 minutes this season, only 11 have a lower offensive rating than Evans. So... he's a bit of a one-trick pony (Ya, I know, not a lot of groundbreaking stuff on Caldeford just yet).
- Amir Johnson is averaging 16 pts & 9 reb per 36 minutes. We get it. This guy produces when he's on the floor, and for that, you should be happy. But... he's also averaging a career-high 7.2 fouls per 36 minutes. So.... ya, you get the picture.
- Leandro Barbosa's 19 pts per 36 minutes ranks 3rd on the team (good). But... he needs a team-high 18.5 shots per 36 minutes to get those points (chucker = not so good).
- Joey Dorsey grabs a rebound every two minutes. But... his jersey is a bit too tight.
- I'm excited about David Andersen's hair (and his hair elastic). But... I don't think that applies for the purposes of yadayadayada either.
- I'm excited about Jose Calderon. But... I'm always excited about Jose Calderon, so he doesn't apply for the purposes of this article.
- 14.1 pts per game (2nd on team)
- Shooting 53.1% from the field (2nd on team)
- Shooting 42.9% from three (2nd on team)
- Averaging 2.9 ast per 36 minutes (best non-point guard total on team)
- STAT OF THE DAY
10. Dwyane Wade .492
9. Devin Harris .496
8. Steve Nash .503
7. Monta Ellis .514
6. Vince Carter .514
5. Chris Paul .520
4. Ben Gordon .520
3. Tony Parker .524
2. Jason Terry .525
1. Sonny Weems .531
So ya, I'm excited about him.
I'm so excited, I'm going to tell the Raptors how they can maximize Weems' performance on the floor (and in turn, the entire team's):
Lesson #1 - The DeRozan & Weems buddy-buddy routine should stop
The Devlins, Rautinses, Smiths, & Joneses of the world love to talk about the chemistry that exists between these two young players. How they "feed off one another"... and "make each other better."
When those two have been on the floor together, the Raptors' point differential is -35. In all other instances, the team is -7.
Lesson #2 - Weems is most effective as a shooting guard, not small forward
Because they love to play Weems with DeRozan, over 3/4s of Weems' playing time has come at the 3. But that totally negates Weems strengths as a player. Offensively, he differentiates himself from other players by his ability to elevate and get off his mid-range jumper. That ability is neutralized when he's being covered by long, athletic 6'8ish small forwards, and the numbers back me up on this:
Weems as a small forward: 23 pts per 48, 16.0 PER, -60 +/-
Weems as a shooting guard: 32 pts per 48, 27.1 PER, +19 +/-
Lesson #3 - You should have seen this one coming - Weems is most effective with Calderon as his PG
This shouldn't come as a surprise. Calderon looks to set up others in the offence, while Jack looks for his own shot first, and isn't as gifted as a passer. To wit:
With Calderon and Weems as the backcourt, the Raps have outscored the opposition 91-73 in 42 minutes. With Jack and Weems as the backcourt, the Raps have outscored the opposition 49-48 in 23 minutes.
ADD UP ALL THE LESSONS AND WHAT DO YOU GET?...
You should be starting Calderon & Weems at the 1 & 2, and obviously Bargnani should start at the 5.
Looking up all the lineups (at basketballvalue.com) that have been used this season that satisfy those criteria, here's what you get: The Raptors have outscored the opposition 38-19 in 14 minutes.
(Your welcome for solving all of the Raptors issues in one single post)