In this running segment, I will be attempting to break-down offensive and defensive plays of the Raptors. The purpose of this segment is double edged,. First, it is an attempt to provide a different dimension while watching the game and secondly it will provide insight into the development/digression of Raptors players.
In the first play Sonny Weems fronts Gerald Wallace without having any help behind or without Amir Johnson pressuring the ball-handler: Boris Diaw. Ultimately, Bargnani provides help after it is too late. The fault here falls squarely on Weems, who does not fight with Wallace at the beginning and gets seal out and he cannot expect Amir to pressure Diaw at the 3-point line either.
This play is a good example of how Andrea hedges out hard against the pick to prevent DJ Augustin from driving to the hole. Amir picks up the roll guy (Brown) and DJ passes the ball the Diaw. This makes DeMar hedges towards Diaw before getting back to Jackson, which gives Bargnani a chance to get back to Diaw and help disrupt the shot and evidently lead to a fast-break.
Compare the previous Bargnani hedge to the Ed Davis hedge. Davis is worried about his player diving to the hole which allows DJ to drive to the hole, luckily he misses. Eventually, Davis will learn that his help will be there and he can hedge out harder against DJ.
The last play is about DeMar DeRozan. We all know the improvement he has made (http://raptorsmatchup.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/demar-derozan-why-hes-playing-better/). The next step in his player development is his ability as a creator. In this play he tries to make a play in the middle. Generally in this situation, you see most PGs driving baseline and kicking it baseline 3-pointer. DeMar should have went up and hit Sonny cutting baseline towards the basket
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The pick is the Miami Heat‘s first-round selection this year, which is owned by the Raptors.
Johnson was selected in the first round of the 2009 draft by the Bulls out of Wake Forest, but the 6-foot-9 small forward has averaged career totals of just 3.8 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
“It [stinks],” Bulls center Joakim Noah said. “I consider J.J. a little brother. But he wasn’t playing a lot, and I wish him nothing but the best. And I hope that he gets an opportunity to get out there on the court and show what kind of player he is.”
The Bulls face the Raptors on Wednesday.
ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher first reported the move.
ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.