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Thoughts on Birch so far?

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Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#1 » by Hero_Panda » Tue May 4, 2021 9:01 pm

(Other than double-checking to make sure auto-correct doesn't input an improper word when typing out Birch)

I haven't been watching many games lately (~5 since the new year) so can't really gauge how Birch has been faring so far. I do look at box scores and he seems to be contributing well compared to his ORL days along with increases in ASTs and 3PTs. So I took a look at his stats as a Raptor (https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/birchkh01.html):
28.9 MPG
10.8 PPG
58.7 FG% (7.7 FGA) / 37.5% 3P% (1.3 3PA) / 62.0 eFG%
7.7 RPG
1.8 APG
0.9 SPG
1.2 BPG

Fairly impressive for a C whose expectations were that to be a backup big. With all the talk of the team needing a starting C, I wouldn't mind seeing Birch start next season if the team doesn't find a bonafide starting C through FA or trade. Birch, along with Gillespie, could be a pretty solid C rotation.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#2 » by Grew » Tue May 4, 2021 9:03 pm

10/10 would take over Aron Baynes
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#3 » by Son Goku 25 » Tue May 4, 2021 9:08 pm

Love him, pretty much everything we need in a center. I didnt realize how smart he was, he knows when to quickly shoot those jump hooks before defenses get ready, can pass decent for a big and even dribble a little. Excellent off the bench and a chance to become a good starting center.

Shooting and fts could be better though.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#4 » by OakleyDokely » Tue May 4, 2021 9:10 pm

You have to wonder what the F Orlando was doing because he looks like a starting calibre C.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#5 » by UcanUwill » Tue May 4, 2021 9:11 pm

He has been way better than I thought he would be.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#6 » by bboyskinnylegs » Tue May 4, 2021 9:14 pm

Birch shows us just how low the bar needed to be to have a massive upgrade over Baynes. His stats with Orlando weren't really that different than Baynes' stats here, but he's fit in really well and even had some career games here. We can't let that distract us from needing a better starting C if we want to become contenders in the future, but he's certainly capable of being a rotation big and can allow you to avoid overpaying another one if that's all that's available this summer.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#7 » by Michael Jordan » Tue May 4, 2021 9:21 pm

I think if you replace Birch with Baynes/Len to start the season the Raps could have won a lot of those close-call games and probably be in the play-in IMO.

OakleyDokely wrote:You have to wonder what the F Orlando was doing because he looks like a starting calibre C.

Tanking
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#8 » by NUCKER101 » Tue May 4, 2021 9:23 pm

I think he's a solid backup 5(maybe starts some nights depending on matchups) on a playoff team. Ideally the team finds another starting caliber 5 during the off-season, as much as I love what Birch has brought so far, I think it's a bit ambitious to just assume that he's full season starting material for a playoff team.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#9 » by Vorticity » Tue May 4, 2021 9:31 pm

Good wood, would buy again.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#10 » by howlin mad axer » Tue May 4, 2021 9:40 pm

A firestarter.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#11 » by bluerap23 » Tue May 4, 2021 9:49 pm

I've been very impressed. I thought he would be a good back up but he fits really well in the starting unit. Very good Bball IQ. Better shooter than expected. Better passer than expected. Solid defence. He was below average against the Lakers but played really well in every other game.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#12 » by vulture » Tue May 4, 2021 9:49 pm

He's played well, but this is a small sample. He's good as a backup, but not starting caliber imo.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#13 » by elecblue » Tue May 4, 2021 9:49 pm

Birch is solid if unspectacular. Reminds me a lot of Daniel Theis - can do a little of everything, well-rounded, perhaps without an elite skill, but no glaring weakness either. They are high-floor low-ceiling type of players that most teams can actually use, but tend to overlook. I guess that makes sense, teams want to be either great or terrible, no one wants to be just solid. It's funny how Danny Ainge dealt away Theis to force Stevens play Robert Williams more, and Orlando bought out Birch so they can tank better and Bamba plays more. I hope we sign Birch to a reasonable long-term contract this summer.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#14 » by lolwut » Tue May 4, 2021 9:53 pm

Thoughts on Birch so far?

Let's ask Baynes.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#15 » by phanman » Tue May 4, 2021 10:02 pm

He's a much better finisher than I thought and have been pleasantly surprised at his soft touch/floater he has inside the paint. The guy has that constant motor of a garbage man and IQ required to fill into those open areas for the dump off. He's flashed an ability to hit the corner 3, for a do-it-all big.

Ideally he is the first big off bench, capable of filling in for either the 4 or 5.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#16 » by Pooh_Jeter » Tue May 4, 2021 10:07 pm

He's solid, pretty much always has been since he got into the league. He is still a bench big on a good team though.

The problem is if he plays himself out of a low salary deal. You can't be spending decent money on a guy like him when you can get cheap, productive bigs every year.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#17 » by Merit » Tue May 4, 2021 10:08 pm

Pleasantly surprised by his passing ability. Glad we have him on the team and hope he re-signs.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#18 » by Johnny Bball » Tue May 4, 2021 10:21 pm

OakleyDokely wrote:You have to wonder what the F Orlando was doing because he looks like a starting calibre C.


I think he can be a good backup, and he can take threes here, and take shots here and it looks like it really helped him. Having people to pass when he cuts. The way we play suits him better.

Or he starts on a bad team maybe. Which Orlando was. But they obviously were not going to re-sign him, or play him over Bamba, (Vuc Past tense) and WCJ and maybe even Wagner now (who's doing the same kind of god audition lately but for Orlando).

Pretty sure Birch asked to be waived for the chance here and it was no sweat for them and saved them some.

He comes back on a sweet deal I bet.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#19 » by elmer_yuck » Tue May 4, 2021 10:38 pm

I was very skeptical when we got him.
But now I think he's fine starting at center.
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Re: Thoughts on Birch so far? 

Post#20 » by Van_Trump » Tue May 4, 2021 10:54 pm

Every time he makes an athletic play, I think how Baynes would have flubbed it.

And I know that is a very low bar.

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