Last week, speaking about injured forward Jared Sullinger, Dwane Casey made this comparison:
Dwane Casey on Sullinger when healthy: "He gives us the same thing Horford gives the Celtics."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 9, 2016
In honor of Casey’s comparisons, here are a few more:
“He gives us the same thing Jamal Crawford gives the Clippers.” Terrence Ross is still an up-and-down player on a nightly basis, but the highs — like his 25 points in 20 minutes against the Bucks on Monday -- have been very high, and Ross has shown a lot of promise in his fifth season that this sixth man role is something he’s ready to fully embrace. The question, like many questions about this team, is whether that will translate in the playoffs. Ross’s previous playoff struggles (disappearances?) have been well documented, but if this is the Terrence Ross we’ll get in the playoffs, a player that can come off the bench and be instant offense over a seven game series, that adds a completely different dynamic to this Raptors team that’s already positioned themselves as the second best team in the East once again.
“He gives us the same thing Kobe Bryant gave the Lakers.” The Kobe comparisons have existed for all the obvious reasons. By now we know what DeRozan brings to the table and what he doesn’t. For a long time, we focused on what DeRozan couldn’t do (above average individual defense, three-point shooting), and yet he kept honing his skills in areas of the game he was great at, and now he’s become a near 30-point per night scorer. The debate still exists, despite the scoring numbers, whether DeRozan or Lowry is the more important player to this game, and taken as a whole, you still have to take Lowry in this argument. DeRozan isn’t Kobe, but he’s becoming a version of Kobe Bryant that slots perfectly into this lineup.
“He gives us the same thing Alvin Williams could have given the Raptors.” Their games are not entirely the same, but I couldn’t help thinking about Alvin Williams the other night when I saw him in a commercial with Lowry. I’ll always have a soft spot for Williams, because of how critical he was during the 2001 playoff run, especially in the Game 5 clincher against the Knicks in the first round. If not for injuries, I always wondered if Williams could have been Vince Carter’s running mate, and extended his stay here, and perhaps the team could have rebuilt around the two into something resembling a contender during Carter’s prime instead of seeing him run with Jason Kidd in New Jersey. Lowry is incredible, and sometimes I wonder if Alvin Williams could have been the OG Kyle Lowry in an alternate universe.
“He gives us the same thing Shane Battier gave to all of his teams.” I mean, look at this:
Patrick Patterson: 5 points, 2-2 FG, 4 reb, 3 assists, +18 in 25 minutes. #GlueGuy— Chris Black (@ByChrisBlack) December 13, 2016
There’s always a desire for Patrick Patterson to put up better numbers, really impose himself on the game, but then you see the plus-minus stats, and you remember, well, he is really the no-stats All-Star on this team. I’m curious to see what kind of money he’s going to get in the open market, but for now, I’m going to continue cherishing PatPat as a key cog on a 60-win team (wait, did I just say the Raptors are going to win 60? I did).
Let’s keep this going in the comments: [Insert player name] gives us the same thing [different player] gives to the [insert team name].