Back on January 6, the RaptorsHQ team got together to give the team a grade based on its performance through the first third of the season. With the second trimester over, the grades are in...
RAPTORS TEAM GRADE - C+
Howland: Alright folks, let's get down to business. Lots to discuss...
Chapman: I'm setting the Grades off with an overall team grade...C
Howland: I say B-
Franchise: I'd go with a C for various reasons.
Franchise: I feel that this is the level they should have been playing at earlier...record is around .500 since our last report card, which is mediocre...so C.
Howland: Not even a C+?
Chapman: Nah...still lose way too many games they should win.
Franchise: I might go C+...we gave them a C earlier and I think they are a better team now, not just in the wins column.
Howland: I think they are a middle of the road team.
Chapman: C+ is fine...even as an orange pop...next.
RAFAEL ARAUJO - D -
Howland: I've been hearing Hoffa's body is like Matthew Good - "Hello Time Bomb."
Chapman: Classic Can-con...so what's with Hoffa?
Howland: Not sure...I hear he is getting one more opinion on that shoulder...
Chapman: Wonder what's up with the Hoff? Anyways, we gave Hoffa D- last time...he hasn't done anything since.
Franchise: D-....same rationale.
Howland: F+....seriously has he played his last game for us? I mean, he could be a one-hit wonder in 2019!
Howland: He needs D-LEAGUE time once his shoulder heals.
Chapman: The team is a solid 13 points worse per 48 minutes when he is on the floor.
Howland: He might get put on Academic Probation....D- for now however.
MATT BONNER - C-
Chapman: I'm gonna stick with C- here, same as last semester.
Franchise: Same grade...C-
Howland: D...this guy SUCKS!
Franchise: I don't think he sucks, but his shooting has been worse than last year...
Howland: His D has been way worse as of late.
Chapman: Down 10% on FGs...4% down on 3s, 5.1 points worse when on floor...but...he's still better than Scalabrine.
Franchise: You gotta ask if you're getting what you're paying for...we WANT him on this team...just not playing 30 minutes a game. You need some guys to come off your bench and grab a board here, shoot a 3 there...and he's done that.
Chapman: Exactly...he fills a role. When you overplay him, he loses his efficiency. The law of diminishing returns...Micro Economics 101.
Howland: I'm sorry guys I have had it up to here with him....I still say D. But I'm outvoted so C- it is.
CHRIS BOSH - A
Franchise: Still an A...still needs to work on his assertiveness in crunch time.
Chapman: I stay at A...he's played great...we wanted more boards in the last report card and he listened...10 RPG in Feb. Ninth in PER in the entire league...that's better than the Matrix and the Big Fundamental!
Howland: Agreed...he's extended his shooting range but there's still room for minor improvements...just take the ball from James in crunch time.
Chapman: Team is 6.5 points per 48 better when he's on the floor.
Franchise: How funny would that be? James comes off the screen and Bosh just runs up and grabs it from him!?
Chapman: Yeah, and then Mike Jones...I mean James pistol whips him in the locker room afterwards...Bosh gets the A.
JOSE CALDERON - C+
Franchise: C...this is a decrease for me from our last report card. Less minutes, less confidence...
Chapman: C...as for me. Some bad decisions on both ends.
Howland: Oh my God, are you guys watching Jurassic Park, or listening to Jurassic 5...cause we are not on the same page here! I go same grade. I find his shot is a lot better and he does a lot less one-handed passes.
Franchise: True...but I think his defence is even worse than it was first semester. Any stats on this Chapman?
Chapman: Assists way down...almost half as many as Nov/Dec. Most numbers are down, even on a per 48 minute basis...and he's playing 20 minutes a game, at most now, as opposed to 25-35 earlier...and it's not because of the job Darrick Martin's doing.
Franchise: I can't say he deserves a B grade of any type...you're telling me he's been above average CONSISTENTLY Howland?
Howland: Well I think he's at least at C+ and has been more of a service to the club than Bonner.
Chapman: I'll go orange soda on Calderon...just no Orangina, even though i know euros love that shizz...
Franchise: C+ I can vouch for...let's move on.
JOEY GRAHAM - D+
Howland: Joey gets a C from me...his mid-range shot is looking better every game.
Franchise: D as in league...Eric Williams has been stealing his minutes...I think that just about closes the case.
Chapman: D-Unit...his minutes played per game look like a sine curve.
Howland: I plead the fifth on this or we will be here all night.
Chapman: I liked Joey getting to the line last night even though the jumper wasn't falling...again.
Howland: His defence is still way too slow...he needs to get mad...maybe he should spend some time with K-Mart and sending him to the D league is not the answer...that won't improve his defence.
Franchise: I've been rooting for some D League time for him for a while...he needs to get his confidence up...once he realizes he can take most of these guys off the dribble without putting a forearm into their chest...
Chapman: If you look at his shooting....he's on or off...not much middle ground...that seems to be a confidence issue...he misses a few early and his night is done...that's why I liked getting to the line last night.
Franchise: He does have a sweet shot...but I want an improvement in his ferocity.
Howland: Joey needs to be Artest like.
Franchise: He'll never be Artest like...he's not crazy...however I think D might be a bit steep....D+
Howland: He could use a week with Artest.
Chapman: At Best Buy?
Howland: So Joey needs to hang out at K-MArt and Best-Buy...guess we're going D+ here than.
MIKE JAMES - A-
Chapman: As an aside NBA XL 's not the same as it used to be.
Franchise: Yeah...I miss Nam and Cab.
Howland: Yeah Mark Strong is a lot better on the radio...where is Nam?
Chapman: Franchise, I GUARANTEE Nam is at the Urban Music Showcase on Saturday...guarantee like Lil' Penny...
Franchise: Speaking of Strong though (and a perfect segue to discuss our boy Mike James I might add), today is Strong's birthday...and Mike James phoned in to sing to him. Best part though was that the other host Jemini asked James what his kids were watching in the background and he goes "Care Bears." So Jemini asks him who the the enemy of the Care Bears was...his answer..."Badbear!"
Chapman: Jokes! Good ol Mike James...Swishahouse...Ice Age! He's been great since our last report card.
Franchise: A-...I guarantee that if James was not on this team we would have won 10 less games.
Howland: I'm going with a B here, Badbear or no Badbear.
Chapman: Minutes are up...points per game by month - 15.9/14.8/20.1/23.0. He was B+ at our last report, so for sure I now say A-
Franchise: Sure, over dribbles and takes Space Mountain type shots at times....but absolutely carries this team in stretches...and I feel is the most important player on this team after Bosh...and this coming from a Mo Pete fan.
Chapman: Woah...James is ninth among NBA PGs in PER...team is 3.2 points better while he's on the floor and his effective shooting percentage is 53 per cent when there are three or less seconds left on the shot clock. That's gotta be among the best in the NBA.
Franchise: Man, those stats say it all and he's been the most clutch player on this team which is why he also gets his share of criticsm...ball is always in his hands in crunch time.
Chapman: Yep...check this out...Kobe is only 41 per cent late in the shot clock...Dirk is 46 per cent and a full 15 per cent of Space Mountain's field goal attempts are in the last 3 seconds of the shot clock...that's a HUGE number. Even Kobe's only taking 11 per cent of his attempts really late...KG is 22% of FG attempts late in shot clock and he has a 50% EFG in that zone...Just looking at these numbers really reveals that James has been UNBELIEVABLY clutch.
Howland: I agree, A-...I just think he is A for three quarters and then C in the fourth sometimes...
Franchise: Yep...but he's the leader of this club...moreso than Bosh.
Chapman: I agree...much more vocal.
Howland: Bosh is a locker room guy i think and he is so quiet with the press.
Chapman: Except when he's ripping Cabbie at Madden...A-, his caddie Darrick Martin up next...
Darrick Martin - INC
Franchise: I'd give Martin a B...he moves off the INC for me. He has done everything the club wanted and more in that one game vs. the Hawks.
Howland: N/A...still don't think he plays enough to grade.
Chapman: I'm leaning towards the N/A too...he's played a grand total of 48 minutes since the last report card.
Franchise: Ouch, one game...didn't realize it was that little. I guess it's too tough to evaluate but it LOOKS like he's having a good impact.
Chapman: Yeah, but that's like saying Tim Thomas LOOKS like a basketball player...
Franchise: I've NEVER seen Tim Thomas look like a basketball player....not even at Villanova!
Chapman: And especially not Howland's fantasy team...
Franchise: A team of Lebrons couldn't help Howland's fantasy team.
Chapman: Especially 4th quarter versions of LeBron...still can't believe the fans booed though...
Chapman: As for Martin...if we must give a grade, i'd go with C...he hasn't hurt the team when he's been out there, hits the occasional big shot....but the Hawks game (Jan. 3) came in our first round of reports and the same goes for the short period Calderon was out so I'd still say INC.
Howland: Martin hasn't gotten this much discussion in his whole career...even if he kept his own diary as a kid...INC and we're moving on...
MORRIS PETERSON - A-
Franchise: Tough call...I think better than B+...but if we gave the A- to James...
Chapman: I'd say...and I've always got something to say even though I'm not an Okayplayer hater, A-...he's been great at both ends.
Howland: Yeah I think so too...in fact if you go back in that draft class he's a top eight player.
Franchise: Well...I've got his number on our HQ T's...so you know I'm down with the grade. This has been his most consistent year ever.
Chapman: Yep...check out this consistency in a seven game stretch in early February in terms of scoring: 21/25/25/10/22/20/19...18.4 PPG in Feb...that's up four to five points over other months.
Franchise: AND....he still entertains us once a game with a "girls gone wild" shot...
Howland: Go Mo P, getting the material down just in time for the final exam...A- looks good going into the final semester.
Franchise: But James, for the love of God, pass Mo the ball sometimes in the fourth. I feel like Chris Farley in that skit with Adam Sandler, the Herlihy Boy. "For the love of God, let the boy move in with you! Let Mo Pete get the rock in the fourth quater!"
ANTONIO DAVIS (in place of Jalen Rose) - D
Franchise: AD...can we evaluate? If so, D.
Howland: C-...maybe D.
Chapman: I'd say C-. He does play minutes at a weak position for us.
Howland: Maybe if he stood on his pile of money he would get more boards.
Franchise: Slow, TERRIBLE shooting, especially from the line, taking our youngsters time...hence my D. Saving grace was that he's only played a bit and had some nice offensive boards in the Miami game.
Chapman: He shoots free throws worse than Chris Dudley.
Franchise: Dude's OLD...And his wife isn't helping...
Chapman: He's beat up...possibly by his wife!
Franchise: She's probably taken 8 years off his life expectancy. I bet you could do a study.
Group A: Men without AD's Wife as a lifetime partner
Group B: AD and Doug Christie...wonder which group would have longer life expectancies...or at least fewer coffee burns?
Chapman: Group C: Andrei Kirilenko
Howland: Hmmm. think AD's wife and AK-47's hang out? Now THAT would make for some good reality TV.
Howland: Final call on AD...D?
Franchise: I will add a caveat to this....I think he'll go up once we see him play more and play into shape and lose the bad habits...he was playing for the Knicks...
PAPE SOW - C
Franchise: B+...I think he's been better than Bonner...and Calderon. And I mean, he's been mountains better than anyone thought he'd be! Maybe B+ is a bit much...but I'd go C+...just think he's surpassed expectations.
Howland: We have some very different opinions on this franchise ha ha, LOVE IT. And speaking of the Franchise...see that Chad Ford said that Mike James should only get $3 million a year? It was in Chad's chat wrap....interesting.
Chapman: Chad Ford....I prefer Chad Hugo...I'd go C at best here for Pape....dude hasn't played in 2.5 weeks. Plus he needs to simmer down a little out there and I like what Pape brings, but please cut down on the fouls.
Franchise: Pape's fouls are also because of his intensity...isn't that what we want from Spider-man? I WISH some of our other players displayed that passion...but we'll close the books on this one with a C to this point.
Chapman: Ok...C like Rayz Walz...better than last trimester's N/A.
CHARLIE VILLANUEVA - B+
Franchise: This is an up for me from last report card...yeah, B+ too.
Chapman: B+ for the sweep.
Franchise: Still needs work on his D, especially in his new position...but what an array of offensive moves and his rebounding has been much better as of late.
Howland: Sam needs to get him in the post more.
Chapman: If just the last 2 weeks, A-....but there were some godawful performances in mid-Jan. before he was starting. And boards are up...7.1 RPG in Feb.
Franchise: I actually see some Rasheed Wallace in his game minus the technicals and defense at this point. But great inside and outside game including a sick array of up and under post moves. Very similar in that way.
Chapman: He's definitely a matchup problem.
Howland: Not impressed with the reports from ESPN that Colangelo may try to trade him for an "established big."
Chapman: What does that even MEAN? Are we getting Shaq? Tim Duncan?
Howland: Maybe you could get a guy like Brad Miller for him...not that I want to do it. I think he and Bosh are a pretty scary 1-2 punch.
Franchise: I want to see what he does this offseason before we make any rush decisions. If he gets his defensive game up...
Howland: I don't want him moved...
Franchise: Me neither...I want Eric Williams moved...and speaking of Mr. Happy, he's up next...
ALVIN WILLIAMS - INC
Chapman: Wait...first Alvin...he's still in the INC ride from our last report card.
Franchise: Nope, correct...NOW on to Eric.
ERIC WILLIAMS - D
Franchise: 'Nother tough call. Hasn't played all that much...but more than Martin. I say D+...or not even...D.
Howland: Sorta wish his contract would go the way of Marcus Haislip and disappear.
Franchise: Or INXS...he's been pretty invisible when he's played.
Howland: Williams doesn't get a letter grade from me...he gets a number: 1-800-opts-out.
Franchise: I'm glad he didn't get to go to New Jersey...I want them out in Round One. The funniest is Lamond Murray. Weakest bench in the league behind maybe Philly...and STILL gets no love.
Howland: In fact every guy they signed this off season got no love or playing time.
Franchise: Yep...and why didn't THEY draft Granger?
LOREN WOODS - D+
Howland: As a friend apparently an A...as a ball player...D+
Franchise: Loren gets a D+ Has played some useful minutes lately...decent defence...and he hasn't had to catch the ball to score in traffic!
Chapman: Agreed, D+...5 blocks vs. Dallas! Where did that come from? And The Dunk!
Franchise: Yeah...that will forever be known as The Dunk for Loren.
Howland: That spin move was crazy too.
Franchise: If he keeps this up he could go up to a C by end of semester.
Chapman: Stat time...played eight minutes in January...five in the first trimester.
Howland: Eight minutes a month...Loren is the kid in class that has the potential but no matter what he doesn't ever shine. He's stuck with the D+ for now.
SAM MITCHELL - B-
Franchise: I think about the same grade...still not sure on his subs sometimes (Bonner on Dirk, although that could have been rotation.)
Howland: Good thing it is not hunting season because this guy is a sitting duck. Players can say what they want....new sheriff in town.
Franchise: And all these close losses....gotta wonder whether another coach could stop the bleeding.
Chapman: Substitution patterns....team still loses more games than it should and I think that falls on the coach at times. I'm voting for B-
Franchise: So, worse than last trimester? When we only won 3 games? Can't agree....I say B. We weren't even IN those games before!
Chapman: Team has improved, but could be better...I love how the team comes to play every night...that's on Mitchell...but the subs and close losses hurt.
Howland: I think he got a good grade for keeping the team together first trimester.
Franchise: Right...so close losses are worse than blowouts?
Howland: No, his grade was perhaps higher than it should have been for different reasons.
Chapman: Just in watching these close losses, don't you get the feeling that some things could have been done to change the ultimate outcome?
Franchise: Don't agree based on our past marks considering the team is BETTER but...I'm outvoted.
Howland: Do we grade Babcock?
Chapman: He is no longer employed so no...but we'll still have a Creemore in his name...
Howland: He was for part of the semester...but I guess his final grade is F...as in fired...
Franchise: Grade is "could be not given a chance by madman Peddie..."
Howland: Anyone else? Swirsk? Leo? Peddie? Embry?
Franchise: Embry and Babcock are the same in my books...no one REALLY knows who was behind the Aaron and Jalen deals.
Howland: Good point. Whew...ok...that just about does it than.
Franchise: We out like sauerkraut.