Before we get to the grades, a quick explanation of how we did this. The three of us put our collective heads together last Saturday for an online discussion of the team to this point, looking at each player, and based on his performance up to now...we gave him a grade. Sometimes there was disagreement...but that's what makes these things interesting. As usual, we welcome all debate with our grades...and now, on to the discussion...
Franchise: Well...to start things off...the Raptors got a D- from ESPN.com...I don't agree considering many people had them as the league's worst team. I'd go C-
Chapman: Most people are blinded by the 1-15 starts...I'd go C I think...
Howland: Yep, C for sure...I think we'll start turning it on.
RAFAEL ARAUJO - D-
Howland: Ok...the players...starting with A which means...Hoffa and I think we are all on the same page with this...
Franchise: I give Hoffa a...hmmm....I might be tempted to go F
Howland: I think he should be sent to the D League
Franchise: Maybe D-, only because we hear so much about his effort
Chapman: I'd go D-...and send him the the D League
Franchise: Or the CIAU
Howland: I think we need to get him out of the eye of the Toronto fan base
Franchise: The lack of development bothers me. I don't want even 8 points a night...I just want 6 rebounds
Chapman: You're right Franchise, just rebound...that's all I ask
Howland: OK, I give Hoffa a D- as well...
MATT BONNER - C-
Franchise: I give him a C
Chapman: C-...and only cuz he can shoot. Defense is Dell Curry-like...and he can't shoot like Curry
Howland: I agree, he is a C-
Franchise: I think Bonner is one of these AD guys who has more impact then you see...little things
Howland: I still get nervous when he dribbles
Franchise: I mean, do you think he's worse then last year?
Chapman: No...but i don't think he's better and the novelty has worn off.
Franchise: I think he's even a bit better...it's just that the team is worse so you expect more and the novelty....yeah....you got it.
Chapman: I was hoping he'd develop more like Korver.
Franchise: Last year he couldn't drive at all....now he can once every 10 times...he's too bulky to be Korver
Chapman: I just meant develop his game as Korver has.
Howland: He's like the VW Bug...everyone liked it when it came out or thought it was cool...now...just a silly looking car...
(Typing ceases for a moment...silence...and then...)
Franchise: Um...ok...C- it is
Chapman: Just a penny for thought...Bonner shot 53.4% last season and is only shooting 44.7% this season. And his other numbers are down as well.
Franchise: Well...C- then seems pretty valid
CHRIS BOSH - A
Howland: Bosh gets an A
Franchise: Um...Howland you're gonna love this...A+
Franchise: I say A+ simply because he's surpassed my expectations for him....he still has some areas to improve on but this year he's really played well.
Howland: I don't give him a perfect grade....he still needs work on passing out of the double team....and still needs to lay into someone.
Chapman: I can't give him an A+ because...well...Howland just explained it.
Franchise: That's what I mean...for me it's an A+ because I didn't expect him to step it up like this...but A is fair.
Chapman: Still not super impressed with the D and he needs to step up and be more of a rebounding force, I think.
Howland: Hopefully he seems enough development in this team to stay around...he's saying all the right things..
Chapman: And another website has a great article about him and Freud
Howland: Did you read it?
Chapman: Yeah...and the little crack pipe comment at the end...I've come to the conclusion that that writer's a clown.
Franchise: Let's not mention that site anymore...on to Calderon
JOSE CALDERON - B-
Howland: Well Calderon has clearly been the biggest surprise I think
Franchise: A+ in terms of expectations...B- as a grade
Franchise: A better shot and defence would get him higher.
Chapman: And easy on the Paris Hiltonesque passes at times...
Howland: But he could be a key reason Bosh stays...B- I think
Franchise: By the way...a thought...if Roko gets healthy and comes over his D and size could get him the start with Jose off the bench...how good would that be? We'd have to close Space Mountain down though ha ha.
Howland: We'd have to open it's a small world
Chapman: Disney = Funny
Howland: Joey G
JOEY GRAHAM - C
Franchise: Yeah, agreed.
Howland: He frustrates me sometimes.
Chapman: He hasn't shown the athleticism (except for spurts) that I saw at Ok St...INCONSISTENT ....
Franchise: And honestly his D isn't what I expected either after watching him in college. However are we being too harsh? If you think about some other rooks from previous years it took a few seasons for them to really step up and grow into their current games.
Howland: I think so and you can tell he is not confident a lot but considering the role he is given...plus there's still thoughts of VC when you see him because of the trade, and hence expectations are quite high.
Chapman: C is an average grade...even considering the expectations, i don't think he has really surpassed them. Not that he has been a hoffa-esque disappointment...C is a fair grade, I believe.
Franchise: Ok...let's go C.
MIKE JAMES - B+
Howland: Ok...Mr. Space Mountain.
Howland: B+...hard not to think about Rafer, and he gets an A because of the deal...but strictly based on the play....B+. Sometimes he gets into foul trouble and sometimes he just can't shoot at all. But he's all pride.
Franchise: I think on an individual level he's a B but his value to this squad....that's in the A range.
Chapman: B+....Consistency prevents an A-level grade...I mean, his nickname is Space Mountain, not Detlef Schrempf.
Howland: I now shudder to think if we had kept Rafer...and this makes me lean towards an A.
Chapman: Do I need to break out my evaluation rubric?
A-level...displays an excellent mastery of course fundamentals at all times
B- level...displays a solid mastery of course fundamentals most of the time
Howland: Just a thought...imagine if we had Rafer and he was hurt like he is in Houston?
Franchise: Let's NOT think about it...Ok...so B+ it is
DARRICK MARTIN - INC
Howland: ...Hard to evaluate
Franchise: Maybe...I think I'd go C- though...limited minutes but has been a steadying force. He's played decently enough with Jose out...nothing Fancy...like Fran's Diner.
Howland: Yeah I say incomplete.....can't evaluate on the court really and at this point has only been with the team for 13 games.
Chapman: If we can't see his influence, then we can't evaluate the unknown.
Howland: Because we don't have press passes.
MORRIS PETERSON - B+
Chapman: Sidenote on Martin...did you know his career high is 38? Anyways, MoP...B+
Howland: This is what I have always expected of MoP.
Franchise: Me too...some slashing...key shots...solid D...leadership. You can't ask for more from a 21st pick.
Howland: He's much more complete now as a player.
Chapman: I've done a 180 on Mo this season...more consistent....road improvement ....still takes some "Girls Gone Wild shots" though and somehow hits them. Ii'd say B+ just for the steal last night and the REDONKULOUS end of regulation sequence vs. the Bullets.
Franchise: Aight, B+ for Mo but speaking of Girls Gone Wild...did you know they shoot a Canadian one at Guvernment?
Chapman: I think Loren Woods is a regular...next...
JALEN ROSE - D
Franchise: he gets the D from me....and not for his DEfence
Chapman: Roser gets a D
Dave says: C-. Reason? Well, he could be way worse about his situation publicly. He's not rocking the black garb this year. However, now that I think about it...he should be pro anyway...so D. It's funny how I raise the bar when they act like they are SUPPOSED to!
Franchise: SO TRUE. D is fair because he has had a handful of games where he's helped the team win...
Chapman: Agreed...don't give him extra credit for acting like a pro...that's why he gets $16 mil a season.
Franchise: I'd even go higher if it was just a matter of not getting minutes...but man, he's even bricking his free throws which have always been automatic.
Chapman: Offense still way too stagnant when he's on the floor...
Franchise: And that pushoff move...yikes
Howland: He's just getting too old. D for the man who plays none...NEXT....drum roll...
PAPE SOW - INC
Franchise: Pape...same as Martin.
Howland: Can we grade him?
Franchise: Well, based on the early D League returns maybe...then he gets an A+
Howland: Good point
Chapman: We can't give him a grade...not using the same rubric as the other students...um...players...
Howland: He's in the special class...he's special ed.
Chapman: It's like getting a calculus grade when you're taking grade 9 general math...so he's Special Ed..."I'm The Magnificent."
Franchise: This typing is "TAXING but I Got It Made."
Howland: Next...CV Smooth...
CHARLIE VILLANUEVA - B
Chapman: He gets a B from me.
Howland: Yeah B from me too...consistency and sometimes I see that laziness which scares me.
Franchise: Yep B's all around while I look for some more Special Ed jokes...In all seriousness I want to see more "aggressive on offence" CV...not so many jump hooks...more post spins to the rim for strong finishes.
Howland: I think B....could be higher...shown great flashes.
Chapman: Shot selection please.
Howland: Yeah I know he likes the threes, but more high low feeds instead please!
Franchise: I don't think shot selection is terrible actually...he just sometimes gets a bit trigger happy.
Howland: But great passing obviously.
Franchise: And offensive rebounding...so B it is.
AARON WILLIAMS - C-
Franchise: Ok...well...this is another tough one...I say a C.
Chapman: Hard to grade, maybe C-
Franchise: He doesn't get much time but always does an ok job when he's in.
Chapman: I've seen some flashes...especially the first Detroit game before he grotesquely skewed his finger.
Franchise: I think Hoffa just gets the time that Aaron would because of politics...And then Bosh and CV are just better offensive options.
Howland: Ok, well I refuse to go higher than a C-
Chapman: I go C-
Franchise: And C- it is
ALVIN WILLIAMS - INC
Franchise: Alvin = A for effort...but he gets the DNP right?
Chapman: Alvin - incomplete. A for effort and works well with others
Franchise: Guess that means Eric gets the Inc. too...what are we, team INCOMPLETE?
Chapman: No that would be the Buffalo Bills with Losman at QB...
ERIC WILLIAMS - INC
Franchise: Incomplete...he's only played 3 games...
Chapman: Yep...YESH! Incomplete...small sample size.
Howland: Listen, the union is going to come after your ass if you don't start grading your students!
Chapman: I'm not part of the union...plus i'm done in 27 days.
Howland: At least put him on the Bell curve...incomplete it is however...
LOREN WOODS - F
Franchise: Loren...well...you know my Grade....No mercy - F
Howland: He gets a special Ed F.
Chapman: He should beg for mercy...
Franchise: G Unit...
Chapman: Like the unit, i'll give Woods a G...
Howland: Man, not just an F....a complete and utter failure.
Franchise: I believe he tries but he just...um...sucks...
Chapman: G for Gawdawful.
Howland: When Chuck goes off about how good Arizona players are I keep going to back to Loren...
Franchise: Uh oh...don't get Chapman going...
Chapman: And Michael Dickerson and Miles Simon...
Franchise: Too late...here we go...
Chapman: And Khalid Reeves...
Franchise: I'm laughing out loud here
Chapman: I mean Kenny Lofton was good...in BASEBALL ! And anyone seen Jason Gardner recently?
SAM MITCHELL - B
ROB BABCOCK - A-
Franchise: I agree...I think he's doing the best with what he has...and his substitution patterns are way better now. And it looks like Keady's defence minded attitude is starting to take hold.
Chapman: B for Mitchell and Babcock gets...hmmm...
Franchise: Babcock would be getting an A from me without Hoffa...
Chapman: Remember, we're only evaluating this year to date...so B+ from me, maybe A...
Franchise: Yeah, A isn't too far fetched...I mean....could he have done ANYTHING else better this year? The Rafer deal looks better and better each day.
Chapman: Let's go A-...that'll bring the haters out...
Franchise: Yep, maybe Dime magazine too...
Chapman: That's a wrap...
Howland: Nope...in-game entertainment...F
Chapman: Z-....as in zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Howland: See Loren Woods
Franchise: Can't believe that they're still playing the "Crazy In Love" intro...I could go on about this forever...
Howland: We know...but that'll be a topic for another day...I gotta cut the mop and get groceries...