Tag Archives: Demar DeRozan

Raptor Report – School’s out for the Summer

The Toronto Raptors were 1 of 22 teams who took part in Vegas Summer League this year and ended the week with a record of 3-2. The win-loss record holds little importance here with the focus put on learning a teams system. The Raptors had 4 players on the SL roster who are under contract for the 2009-2010 season and the games gave the coaches a chance to see how they have been developing and pinpoint what they need to work on for the rest of the summer. The rest of the roster was made up of hopefuls trying to snag a roster spot on this team or any other that was scouting at the tournament.

DDDeMar DeRozan – I said it all week long – this kid is “As Advertised” and possibly more.
From Kevin Arnovitz on True Hoop

DeMar DeRozan is far more polished than advertised. He uses his quickness to build his game. As Mike Moreau said in David Thorpe’s twitter thread, “Demar DeRozan really comes off the curl with speed, balance and elevation-very controlled. Will come off a decade’s worth of pindowns.” He also rarely takes a bad shot — uncommon among rookies and in Summer League, and particularly uncommon among rookies in Summer League.

Breaking down his game, its evident that 3 point shooting is not part of his repertoire as of yet and I am happy about that. He showed a very solid mid-range game with the ability to get a shot of quickly before the defense was set. Dunkin’ DeRozan didn’t forget to show off his hops during summer league but struggled when he was sent to the free throw line. He was able to make room for himself and get to the basket consistently but with maturity will come the ability to make quicker decisions on passing out from the post. I was pleasantly surprised with his ball handling but if he wants to be a starter in the league at the 2 guard spot that is another part of his game he can work on which will help him create better. Tim Floyd instilled defense into the minds of his players and DeMar has good foundation but it would be to his advantage to focus on this facet of his game for the rest of the summer. The Raptors have a glaring weakness and he needs to step up to the challenge. The team has been horrid at protecting the 3 point line and have a penchant for constantly being slow on their rotations. If this kid can work on his man D and team D, coach Jay Triano will find it hard to keep him off the floor.

After only a year in college, Raptor fans got a little glimpse of what this guy is going to be doing on the next level. DeRozan showed why he was picked 9th and by years end I believe he will prove to be the steal of the draft.

unibrowQuincy Douby – Quincy Douby has been putting in the work and it showed. Knowing he is comfortable with his jump shot, the coaches asked him to be more aggressive and drive to the basket. He did as they wished, resulting in frequent visits to the free throw line. Showing his determination to improve he received high praise from the staff after leading the team in scoring and assists over the 5 games.
In a recent interview with the SacBee, Douby gave a ton of praise to the Raptor coaching staff.

“I learned more during one 10-day contract from coach Triano than I did during my three years with the Kings,” said Douby
“I went through three coaches in three years there. With Toronto coach (Jay) Triano is showing faith in me, letting me play my game. I’m out here showing that I’m a player, and I’m going to continue to work and help the team in any way I can.”

What impressed me more than the 18ppg was the 3.8apg. Summer league is after all a showcase and most players want to get theirs, yet Douby was able to do that and make the others around him look good. With Jarrett Jack Toronto bound, Douby will most likely be filling a spot at the end of the bench as the 4th or 5th guard. Watching his performance over the past week gave me a bit of confidence. Incase of injury to any of the other guards, he will be able to step in and provide some instant offense and take on PG duties in a pinch. Defensively this guy isn’t gonna be stopping Chris Paul from getting to the basket but he will do a better job than Roko Ukic. I envision Douby to try and become an Eddie House type of guy and he needs to just keep working at it which should in turn get him 10 minutes of floor time every other game or so next season. If he manages to discover waxing and fixes those eyebrows I’ll tack on an extra 5 minutes of playing time per game… just saying.

rokoRoko Ukic – Thank BC for Jarrett Jack, because if Roko was the guy coming in for relief PG duty, I don’t think any of the other off-season moves would have been worth it. The kid has potential but it is still raw. He could develop into an exciting player but he seems to be developing at a snails pace.

Besides DeRozan, Roko is the guy I focused on during summer league and came away unimpressed to say the least. He needed to work on his jumper and 4 games into the tournament I still cringed every time he took one. The ball handling is there but he seems overly excited to be running an NBA team offense leading to an inexcusable amount of turnovers. He needs to slow it down, stop leaving his feet to make passes and make smarter decisions when he decides to drive the basket. Another thing… Whats with these Euro players dribbling with their head down? It drives me crazy when Bargnani does it and even more so when the guy leading the offense is doing it.

Considering going into the offseason, Ukic was the primary backup point guard, after just 4 games he was completely outplayed by Quincy Douby at that position. He has a long road ahead of him to develop into the guy people projected him to be. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is waived at some point before or during the season and is back playing ball in Europe next year.

pobPatrick O’Bryant – The knocks on this kid have been about commitment to put in the work and take direction. Personally, I rather his derriere be warming the Raptor bench next season over Will Soloman.

I’m going to keep telling myself that big guys take longer to develop and with the Raptors being desperate for size in the front court a 7 foot warm body can’t hurt. POB has a nice jumper but so do most of the bigs on this team. He needs to use his frame, get stronger on the boards and impose his will to become a reliant shot blocker. My advice would be to watch some Samuel Dalambert tapes and try to become that type of player.

Worst case scenario … Patrick O’Bryant = 6 fouls to give off the bench.

Rest of the Class (Notables)

Smush Parker: A guy who has been a round the block and then some, didn’t do much to impress me as he jacked up shot after shot. He has no chance of taking a spot on the Raptor roster that is already handcuffed with the untradeable contract of similar player Marcus Banks.

Brent Petway: Petway is an entertainer. Unfortunately, all the athleticism in the world can’t help him until he manages to do more on the floor beside provide a few highlights. He may want to look into Jamario Moons approach of making it and if he keeps at it I wouldn’t be surprised to find him on a NBA roster a few years down the road.

Ekene Ibekwe: This guy was my surprise on the Raptors roster. He had good instincts, moved the ball, active on the boards and shot a good percentage. All the skills are there in raw form and with more playing time in other leagues, he may have a chance to play on the big stage soon.

Share

Advertisements

Raptor Rant – Never Underestimate an Athletes Will to Win (Race to 50K)

cb4 V/S cv31

These are the dog days of summer when it comes to the NBA. You are trying to get excited about next season and summer league ball just isn’t cutting it.

Enter twitter…

I joined twitter about a year ago (@Nat77) and used it primarily to connect with other sports bloggers and fans. It was different from facebook because it lends itself to discussions. Slowly it began replacing my RSS reader and before I knew it I was addicted. Twitter has become a primary platform for athletes to connect with their fans and several athletes on twitter have echoed my sentiment, admitting the addiction.

Sometime last week, Charlie V(@cv31) challenged Chris Bosh(@chrisbosh) to see who could amass 50 thousand followers first. It’s not uncommon to see athletes conversing over twitter and this was a chance for fans to take part. The wager was that the loser would have to star in the winners video on Youtube. CV wanted Bosh to do the Shane Mercado and Bosh left it up to his “twitter army” to decide CV’s fate if he came out on the losing end of this. Bosh started off the challenge behind Charlie by about 2k followers but with the help of some major twitter spam, live chats and a entire country backing him – he managed to take the lead. The two started pulling out all the stops. Bosh pulled out the free stuff card and CV raised using the charity card.

This was all meant to be in good fun but at some point along the way it started to annoy the diehards. These guys were straight up begging – Charlie V even offered up $3100 worth of diamonds if he won! At any given time my entire twitter feed was taken over by the two, lost in the mix were tweets from people that were actually offering up intelligent material to ponder over. It came to a point I just wanted one of them to win quickly so my twitter could return back to normal. I found it amusing at times to see these athletes showing how bad they wanted to win even though this duel wasn’t going to be settled on a basketball court. No one likes to lose, especially two guys who play a sport for a living – winning is everything.

Late Tuesday night,  Bosh was down about 500 followers with under 1000 to go. It was the 4th quarter, it was go time and for a change Bosh came through in the clutch. He thanked his fans, CV gave him a virtual pat on the back and the world was spinning again.

In other news…

Lets NBA! – Trading away Jawai and Humphries suddenly left the Raptors lacking depth at the 5 spot. It has been widely rumored that the team is interested in bringing back Rasho Nesterovic using their bi-annual exception ($1.9M) Rasho has openly stated that he has always loved the city and the feeling is the team would welcome him back with open arms. The reunion will happen, the only question remains is – when?

Jacked Up – We are at the halfway point regarding the waiting period to see if the Pacers are going to match the offer sheet signed by Jarrett Jack to join the Raptors next season. Multiple sources have mentioned they don’t believe that Indiana is in a position to match but as we have seen this summer (See: Marcin Gortat) it ain’t over till the clock strikes 12. For what its worth, Bosh did have Jack as a guest on one of his live chats where the two spoke about Jack coming up to Toronto soon to find a place to stay – that is if bosh doesn’t plan to set up the bunk beds in his home. The two were roommates in college and from listening in on the chat, they seem to have maintained a solid friendship. I wanted the team to draft this guy in place of Joey Graham in 2005 and getting him now with the experience under his belt would be so much sweeter.

D Squared – The heir apparent in Toronto coming through “As Advertised” at NBA summer league. In 4 games, he has averaged 16.3PPG and 4.5RB (DD stats) He has been aggressive in all the games, his jump shot has been falling and aside from the production at the FT line, DeMar DeRozan is already proving to be just what this team needs. He has not shied away from having the ball in his hands in late game situations and the coaching staff have trusted him to make the correct decisions on the floor. With just 1 game left to go, he knows what he has to work on for the rest of the summer. There has been nothing but praise about this guy from the day he got drafted – check out this interview by Holly MacKenzie from the score – and we are still a few months from seeing him take the court in Toronto, but I believe this rookie will be in ROY conversations by mid January.

Delfino – $5 million? Apparently that’s what its going to take to get the former Raptor to return to the ACC. News came out yesterday that he was offered $4million a season and he was none to thrilled by that number. Personally, $4 million is still too much for a guy who didn’t show us enough the first time around and I would be hesitant to bet the bank on him. Sure he fills in some of the leaky spots in the rotation but I would much rather have Jack split time at the 1 and 2 and sign a Matt Barnes or Linus Klieza to fill the holes at the backup 3 spot. Either way we probably wont see any movement on this issue until the Jarrett Jack deal is finalized.

Share

Raptor Rave – Air Canada DeThroned

Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

With the 9th pick in the 2009 NBA draft the Toronto Raptors selected DeMar DeRozan.

Looking back at a sub-par draft track record, I think the team got it right this time. I haven’t been this happy with a Raptor draft pick since Chris Bosh and it’s only fitting going forward, a new category on HoH is created called “Raptor Rave”

It is no secret that since the departure of Vince Carter, the Raptors have been hurting at the wing position. The lack of scoring and a player who can create his own shot has been an ailment being treated by weak band-aids for temporary fixes. The selection of DeRozan finally gives the team a legitimate player who can develop into a version of the man they called Air Canada. On a day when the original Air Canada was sent home (traded to Orlando), DeMar comes into Toronto with a lot to live up to. Vince Carter put Toronto on the map, dunked his way to a max contract and whined his way out of town.

Coming out of a weak draft class, DeRozan has all the coveted attributes – Upside, Athleticism & Raw Potential. It will now be up to him to work through the summer, nurture his skills and come into the season vying for a starting job.

Shortly after being drafted, DeRozan hopped onto twitter and sent out this message: DeMar_DeRozanToronto here I come. Air Canadas back.

He may want to rethink using that name though, since the mention of it brings back a sour taste into the mouths of Raptor fans. I am all for someone taking over that nickname and putting Vince Carter in the past but it would be nice to give the kid a name of his own. With no Chuck Swirsky around, its up to the fans to come up with something before Matt Devlin comes up with a sorry ass nickname (see: J Killa).

Justin Walsh from Slam Online: Q&A with DeMar DeRozan
Raptors Republic: Linkage from 2009 NBA Draft