Whole Truth wrote:With Kawhi averaging 35 pts on 53% shooting while also being an upgrade defensively over Derozan, Philly should have never taken Raptors to a 7 game buzzer beater. Philly didn't even bother defending Gasol, they had an undersized wing Harris guarding him in the post (Something they could have never done with Jonas), they were even switching guards onto him without fear of being post up & were as a result able to seamlessly switch onto Lowry to help contain him as well. Gasol has nice passing ability but it was mixed in with a lot of deferring of wide open shots that Philly didn't even bother guarding. He was at his best defensively not being backed down in the post but when Orlando & Philly were stretching him out & had him moving they were getting wide open shots all over the court where neither opponent are particular good shooting teams. I hope I'm wrong but I don't see them beating the Bucks with Lopez capable of stretching out Gasol. Think it's quite possible at some point in that series Raptors will have to ask Ibaka to start. Who by the way was the Raptor big that stepped up in game 7. Reason, why Embiid was + 84 in this series over his replacement being matched up primarily against Gasol, despite not doing much individually outside of his game 4 performance.
Game 1 vs Bucks
Nurse played Kawhi almost every minute of the first 3Q's burning him out for the 4th as Bucks kept pace. Lowry had his best playoff performance of his entire Raptor career. Both players combined for 61 points & they lost with Bucks not playing or shooting well. How's that?
Gasol 2-11, 2-7 from 3, with a 70 Ortg, bricked wide open 3's. He is shooting 18% on post ups in the playoffs despite teams giving him a size advantage in the post & are generally leaving him unattended to lock down, double others, Green being one, who's taking flack from Raptor fans for not producing. How does a player not getting much defensive attention, basically being left open put up such abysmal offensive production? He's passing not just for a better shot but to defer offensive responsibility. Yet he's getting "full" defensive credit for Raptors being able to crowd, double the paint against 2 previous opponents who were not good shooting teams.
Lopez put up 29 pts, 11 boards while Raptors were outrebounded by 12 in the 4h Q alone. Can't give a good shooting team like Bucks so many 2nd chance opportunities & expect to win. Lopez also didn't shoot well from 3 but as I mentioned he would, he shot & will continue to shoot them just to spread out Gasol & the Raptors defense because Bud is just a better coach. Both Orlando & Philly exposed this flaw in parts but fortunately for the Raptors, they're not good shooting teams & they went away from trying to stretch him. I thought after Embiid's big performance in game 4 he would continue to take 3's but he went back into trying to take it into the post. Orlando's failed strategy was to try & switch Vuc onto a smaller player & crowded paint. Everytime Embiid attempted to stretch the floor, he was able to take a wide open shot hit or miss or walk around a closing out Gasol & Philly abused the Raptors, not something they will get away with against the Bucks. What's funny is Raptor fans are still trashing Jonas to anyone pointing this fact out, stating they would not have even beat Orlando with him. Now I ask Memphis fans for the truth. What happened in the 2 games when Jonas went up against Orlando who was still trying to make the playoffs with a 22 win team that sat 7 rotation players including Conley? Was he the liability these Raptors fans claim?, Do you think Raptors would not have advanced against those poor shooting teams with slow traditional bigs, with Jonas, considering that Kawhi averaged 35pts on 54% shooting for the entire playoffs, while playing worlds better defense than DeRozan ever could?.
Memphis IMO have a good start to the rebuild with Jonas/JJJ/JA, hopefully trading Conley can do 2 things. Net another pick in this draft & potentially position the team for another top 6 pick next year before conveying at worse.
When Raptors were in the lottery I did some research on the effect of a successful draft pick. Future superstars added on average 20 wins to bad teams. Allstars added around 8-12 wins.
The only way this team would be top 6 next year is if we're wrong about Jaren, Ja or they're intentionally sat out to throw games