The best, a list and a whole whack of other interesting stuff
A little extra time for you today for you to digest all the goodies in here. Don’t forget, we’ve got a rare 3:30 start; and don’t forget the in-game blog.
Until then, have at this:
Q: Hey Doug, as of today, who do you think is the best all-time Raptor: Vince or Bosh, and why? If it's Vince, what does Bosh need to do to pass him?
Geoff A, Toronto
A: Vince Carter is hands-down the best player to have ever worn a Raptors uniform. So far. And no one is going to supplant him until they play on a team that wins a playoff series or two.
Q: Just an idea for another list - top 2nd round draft picks of all time?
Ryan M, Ottawa
A: That’s a tough one because there are so many.
If I had to pick five, and only of the current players, I guess it’d be:
And that’s leaving out Stephen Jackson, Mo Williams, Mehmet Okur, Paul Millsap and Monta Ellis.
And, luckily, you didn’t ask me for all-timers because where would I put guys like Mark Price, Toni Kukoc, Antonio Davis, Anthony Mason and P.J. Brown?
Q: Bit of a random question but maybe a new one? I was wondering if there are specifications for how thick and bouncy the floors of NBA courts have to be? Also since various courts use different types of wood, does that lead to any differences in their responsiveness to player's weight etc? Finally, are there any specifications for how visible the out of bounds lines have to be? That seems to vary quite a bit depending on the arena.
David S, Toronto
A: There are no specific specifications as to under-padding or resiliency or “bounce” and floors differ from each other more than you’d think. Players appreciate “soft” floors to lessen the toll on knees and, here’s an interesting thing: When the Raptors are deciding where to hold training camp each year, they dispatch staff members to check out the suitability of the court even more than they worry about hotels and other amenities.
The lines? All have to be at least two inches wide, according to the rule book.
Q: Hey Doug, a lot has been mentioned about the Raps not being able to keep their mentality focused on what they need to do defensively/offensively, and I've heard the term "mental breakdown" used many times in the past couple weeks. With that being said, what is the role of the sports psychologist that BC hired a while back? Or to put it bluntly, has she even been of use to the team? Thanks again!
Sam C, Kingston
A: Her role is to be around as a resource for players who want to avail themselves of her considerable talents. I’m not if any have, it would appear they haven’t, but that’s an individual decision and not something management can force on anyone.
Q: Assuming we don't resign Marion, do you think BC should target a primary wing (first or second scoring option) or depth? I would think the wing as you can add depth in future years with the MLE but once we're over the cap, the only way we get the wing is through draft or trade (and we're not trading or core and who would want the rest). If we target a primary wing option and can't make it happen this summer, do we hold on to cap space (sign one year deals) and try again at the trade deadline and/or next summer?
Ron F, Toronto
A: See, this is the flaw in most of the arguments I see, or proposals or fantasies I read.
Things are not linear.
You make your calls, see who’s available and if the first guy you like is a three, you make that deal and then try to find a two. If the first guy out there is a two, you do that and then get a three. And you make your moves for the short-term rather than horde assets because you never, ever know how the landscape may change.
Q: Given the Raptors fairly consistent lack of effort/hustle/"heart", who would you rank at the top for this team that brings near 100% every night and has that burning desire to dig deep when the game is going the wrong way?
Tom L, Toronto
A: I’d say Jose plays hard every night and wants to perform best when things are toughest; I think he was limited physically in the ability to do that for almost half this season.
I also think Parker plays as hard as he can every night, I think some nights his body isn’t as willing as his mind.
Q: I've been to about 10-12 games this season and have noticed that there has been no half time show at the raptors game (with the exception of the mini-ballers, don't get me started). I thought this was something league wide until last night I saw a clip from the half-time show from the Cleveland vs. Orlando game. What's up? Do I just have really bad luck with the half time shows or has Toronto cut them out completely???
Gavin B, Scarborough
A: I don’t see a lot of halftime – even without fresh air breaks, I’m generally in the back trying to find eight or 10 Advils to quell the headache I’ve developed watching the first two quarters – but I am told the shows, un, are brutal.
I don’t know if it’s cost or lack of imagination or the lack of offers; it’s probably a combination.
But, seriously, better halftime entertainment is so far down the list of things that need to be dealt with, I can’t imagine anyone in the organization’s thinking too hard about it.
Q: Do you know if BC is planning on heading south to catch any of the March Madness for scouting purposes? In my opinion I'd rather have him paying attention to players that might be added to the team then another 15 games of him standing in the tunnel and shaking his head at the Raps. Who knows, he might actually crack a smile at a game or 2 down there too. Bonus Q: Do you see BC doing something to move up in the draft this year if we don't draw a good position in the lottery?
Graham H, Toronto
A: Bryan, along with his entire staff, have been out scouting for weeks.
And we’ll worry about possible draft trades when we know where teams pick. That’s in late May.
Q: After everything that has happened to the Raps this season, your heart has to really go out to Kris Humphries. The guy got hurt at exactly the time when his playing time - and his development as a reliable big man - would have gone through the roof. Instead, he has to sit and watch while guys like Pops, Joey, Jake (and even Nate for a few games) chew up minutes that would have been his. Two questions: What kind of a difference (if any) would a healthy Hump have made for the Raps after the JO trade? Given nobody (including you) is talking about him anymore, does Hump fit in the Raps' future plans or is he gonzo alonzo?
Rex R, Winnipeg
A: I feel terrible for Hump, too, as do a lot of people in the organization because he got hurt at precisely the time he would have been asked to carry a heavier, more consistent load.
And since he’s got a contract for next year and Pops doesn’t, I think there’s every chance Hump will be here and Mensah-Bonsu will be elsewhere when training camp opens.
But would he have made a difference in wins and losses this season? I doubt it. He would have been a role player who wouldn’t have a huge impact on many games.
Q: Hi Doug, with the financial situation in some NBA cities (ex. Milwaukee) what it is, do you think any team would take Kapono simply so they could trade a more expensive player (and save money), such as Richard Jefferson or Michael Redd? Toronto would be in a position to make such a trade this summer. David S, Ottawa
A: I can see a team with someone making the same money as Kapono for the next four years at least considering obtaining Jason and the two years he’s got left on his deal, yeah.
But if you’re Toronto, do you want to take on, let’s say, four years of salary instead of having two, knowing that if there’s a coaching change and significant personnel change, you may see an improvement in the guy you’ve got.
That’s the question they have to ask themselves.
Q: Doug, I think that Raps should look at trying to obtain Travis Outlaw of the Blazers. I've seen him in many trade rumors and I think he would look good at our 3 spot.
John S, Hamilton
A: If you’ve seen him in even one imagination-inspired trade rumour in the last two months, it’s the absolute figment of someone’s imagination and you should seek out more legitimate information. Until the Blazers are satisfied Martell Webster is going to be healthy long-term they are not in any way, shape or form thinking of moving Outlaw.
I don’t know where you saw these “many trade rumours” but avoid that place at all costs.
Q: Hey Doug! Love the blog. I think I find it more entertaining than the games lately. But anyway, this is not a Raps related question, but a basketball rule question: what is the point of calling offensive goaltending/interference? I mean, isn't the point of the game to put the ball through the hoop? What does it matter if the offensive player helps the ball go in the bucket if it's in the imaginary cylinder? Isn't that the ultimate goal? Obviously, I am missing something here. Please enlighten me.
Lubo S, Unionville
A: I can’t speak for exactly why that rule exists but I’d bet it was put in during the days when play above the rim was rare and was to make sure the one team with the one big guy didn’t have a huge advantage. And I can see that.
Q: In looking a bit ahead towards draft day, what do you think is the most important quality to look for in a potential draftee? NBA-readiness, potential, athleticism, intangibles, etc?
Ryan M, Ottawa
A: If you’re this team right now, you’ve got to get a guy who can come in and play. Immediately. So, I’d say the order you’ve got is about the best one.
Q: Long time reader of your blog Doug keep up the awesome work. I was just wondering what do you think are the odds of Bargnani winning the most improved player of the year award? If he can continue to play at the level he has been that number 1 pick will start to look like a good decision.
Mike D, Porterville, CA
A: I got asked this question an awful lot when he first started playing well and what I said then was if he kept it up for another 25 or 30 games, he’d get some consideration.
I still think he will and could creep into the top five but I still think it will be guys like Danny Granger, David Lee, maybe Devin Harris who will lead the voting.
He’d be in my top five, though. And he’d be on a lot more ballots if the Raptors’ record wasn’t so wretched.
Q: Doug, how much if at all, will this depressing Raptors season affect MLSE's bottom line? Is there motivation for them to invest? Are the lost revenues from the TSN2/Rogers debacle a factor?
David J, Toronto
A: The impact on the bottom line is quite simple: They will lose the revenue they expected from playoff dates. But that won’t motivate them to invest any more; they’ll invest in moves they think will improve the product, regardless of the past.
And the revenue they get from local TV is so miniscule as to be irrelevant. No one pays them rights fees, they provide a product, do the production and share in whatever small ad revenues there are.
Q: With what seems like complete capitulation from this Raptor team the natural reaction is that a complete overhaul is required. I know it's difficult for you to speculate and maintain a relationship with the players, but it's time to speculate. I don't see the aura of this team change without making some changes to the core (Bosh, Calderon, and Bargnani) of this team. Agree or disagree? If you agree who might generate the best return, and who do you think that could / should be? If you disagree, do you think Brian has the resources available (money / cap space, tradable assets) or is there someone in the draft that might generate instant change to keep the core intact?
Steph R, Glencoe
A: Yes, I disagree; I think the core could be just fine, surrounded by a better supporting cast, as it was in a 47-win season two short years ago.
I think the possibility of a sign-and-trade transaction with Marion, the money available in the non-renewed contracts of Graham, perhaps Parker, Voskuhl and O’Bryant, various cap exceptions and a top 10 draft pick provide enough to get better players.
I also think he will try to trade Kapono, which may bring something back in return, perhaps in a Marion sign-and-trade, perhaps to a team where Jason’s a better fit (and there is always a general manager who thinks he can turn a guy around).
And this has nothing to do with my relationships with anyone, it’s something I tell Bryan, Jay and anyone within the organization that asks.
Q: Triano seems to get a bad rap from many fans - when you have guys like Steve Nash give him full support, I believe that should carry some weight. However, do you believe there may be a "fit" issue with this team? Seems several Raptors players need a coach with more "stick" and less "carrot". Would it be possible to approach this weakness in Jay (if it is one) with a savvy vet with a strong work or does this piece really need to come from the coach?
Tom L, Toronto
A: I see your point and the one failing that Jay has is that he could probably be tougher, which can be a learned behaviour. But I’d also say I expect there will be as many as six or seven new faces on this team next year and perhaps that group polices itself rather than needing “stick” from its coach.
Q: Watching the NCAA tournament and having recently watched the NBA all-star weekend, I got to thinking …
Not saying it would ever happen, but do you think a quick one-and-done tournament might be a valid replacement for the current mess at the NBA all-star weekend? I see all sorts of upsides, especially if you give it some kind of minor significance in the standings.
Jeff P, Toronto
A: Teams, and players, use all-star weekend as a break; I don’t think anyone has any desire to add anything the least bit competitive to the festivities.
I do think they have to come up with something more fun, new and innovative to spice up the boring Saturday night but nothing that involves games that mean something.
Q: Hey Doug, in the flavor of March Madness and all, which rules from the NCAA could improve the NBA game? I've got two I would like to see:
1) Change the foul shooting to one-and-one, this way poor free throw shooting teams are at a disadvantage and brings the hack-a-Shaq to a whole new level, plus it might make the ends of games more exciting
2) Five fouls instead of six; might increase the flow of the game with less touch fouls and whatnot.
Marcus E, Boston
A: There is not one single rule from college basketball I’d like to see in the NBA. Or one that I think would improve the product.
Q: Hi Doug, Basketball 101 question for you. If a player has one foot on either side of the 3-point line, but his last point of contact with the ground is his foot outside the line, is that a three pointer or a two?
Eric K, Toronto
A: That’s a three-pointer.