FIVE QUICK HOOPS THOUGHTS
1. RAPTORS OFFENCE: Spoke on Monday about the need for better ball and player movement. Entering Wednesday's game here in Memphis the Raptors are last (30th) in the NBA in assists. On top of that the types of shots they're getting has to improve. They sit 26th in the League in field goal percentage and 21st in three-point percentage so the efficiency is an issue. Dwane Casey and his staff are constantly hammering the points home that need to be made yet progress has been slow so far. Somehow and someway this component of their team needs growth/development. Really curious to see how this team responds to the challenge Coach Casey has put to them. After the game in Memphis, six of the next seven games are at home. They will have a better schedule and more practice time. By the end of that stretch, they'll have had more than ample time to fix the issues. Then we'll know what true level this team can play at.
2. COLLEGE HOOPS: Caught a little of Julian Randle (Kentucky) and a good chunk of the Duke (Jabari Parker) vs. Kansas (Andrew Wiggins) game. Great energy in these early season games. All three guys showed me flashes of significant ability and potential. In NBA cities where the possibility exists for a high draft pick in 2014, something tells me that TV ratings for games this wonderful draft class plays in will be higher than normal. Should be a fun season to watch and see the progression of an exciting group.
3. ED DAVIS (Grizzlies): Entering Wednesday's game in Memphis, he's been limited in his role (11.6 minutes per game) and his numbers (3 ppg + 3 rpg) reflect that. Considering they didn't lock him up contractually long term it's pretty evident that his current employer is in a wait and see mode with him. He plays behind some talented big's and the opportunities aren't as plentiful as in other situations. Stay with it. As frustrated as I'm sure he is he has to be ready every night and sooner or later will get his break. That break could potentially be with another team down the road. Jury is still out on his true ceiling as a player.
4. TREVOR ARIZA (Wizards): When I think about the development of young guards John Wall and Bradley Beal it's important to have an older player who is efficient and steady. He shoots threes and plays hard. His ability to be pretty consistent and keeping the floor spread will allow his younger teammates time to develop.
5. TYLER HANSBROUGH (Raptors): He's been exactly what I expected as the Raps' third big man. He plays all out all the time and is someone you can count on every night to give you all the effort plays. He's a terror on the offensive glass and smartly only takes shots (56 per cent) he can make. Does a terrific job drawing fouls and for a big man he's an exceptional free throw shooter (84 per cent) which is rare. He is what he is, yet I like that - you always know what you're getting vs. the roller-coaster ride that you get with other players.