TV schedule released (PDF). Schedule came out and some people are moaning how a lot of the games are on TSN2. To those people I say to stop moaning and get on the internet for live streams. You get to pick home or away commentary and browse reddit at the same time. This is a win-win situation. If you insist on watching it on TV and feel the extra 8 bucks a month (or whatever it is) is too much to pay, I suggest cutting back on your milk and/or pizza intake to make up the monetary difference. Also remember, that for every $1 you page to Rogers, $0 gets donated to sick kids in Africa so it’s going to a good cause.

I’ve never mentioned this but the one thing I REALLY like about Dwane Casey is that he spells his name the way its pronounced. He doesn’t get all fancy with Duane, Dwayne, and Duwayne, and keeps it simple. Credit to his parents for being sensible people and not insisting on giving their kid exotic names just so they feel like they’ve done something with their miserable life. I hate to drop a cliche but here it goes: he really has his work cut out for him this year. Let’s take a quick peek:

  1. Improve the offense while benching the more potent offensive point guard. Kyle Lowry is a sweet find, but he still lags behind Jose Calderon in terms of passing ability, awareness, and shooting. From being here for so long, Calderon’s familiar with every players’ offensive tendencies, and taking him out of the lineup for Lowry – who has known to have tunnel-vision at times – is going to have its drawbacks. Then again, last year the offense was 29th in the league so it can’t get much worse, right?
  2. Turn Terrence Ross into a reliable three-point shooter by designing offensive sets that utilize him correctly. Given the paucity of three-point shooting on the roster, Ross’ contribution in that department will be counted upon and it’s up to Casey to get him integrated.
  3. Manage expectations for Valanciunas because right now too much is being expected of him, partially because of the wait time. I mean, being picked #5 and stashed away in Europe, followed by talks of “he would’ve been #2 in this draft” hasn’t helped. From what I’ve seen of him, he’s quite raw in terms of offensive skill and as much defense translates to the pro-level, I do see him getting abused on many a night this year.
  4. It’s Year 4 for DeRozan and he’s played 35 mpg the last two seasons. I’d like to know, as would Casey, whether he’s going to be a J.R Smith, a Joe Johnson, or a Sonny Weems. I hate to put this on Casey, but it really is up to him to find out whether DeRozan is a player who the franchise wants to hang on to or to discard. Decision coming up next summer.
  5. Prove the doubters wrong about Landry Fields and show us that he’s more than James Johnson with a jumpshot.

  • Brain Colangelo

    James Johnson with a jumpshot and defensive focus would equal a 15 year NBA vet.  If Landry Fields had James Johnson’s size and athleticism he would be a rotation player on any NBA team.

    • Brain Colangelo

      [meant would equal a 15 year NBA career]…

  • Skeet

    It’s safe to say he’s no sonny weems…

  • guest

    how do you access the live streams?  I have an ipad- what is the best app to use- NBA Gametime?  Can you watch ‘on demand’ or DVR the game through the internet?

  • Daniel

    Our bad offense from last season had been a result of our deffensive strategy. It sounds counterintuitive however I’ll explain myself. Our defence had been predicated on a very high foul rate: we were last in NBA in FT differential. We hadn’t been too badly burned from it because last season the shooting percentages were bad across the board. Consequently we started the possession from under our own basket hence the other team had time to settle its defence. We were forced to play a half-court offence that requires 2 essential skills: moving the ball with purpose and efficient shooting. Our roster is particularly deficient in these 2 areas: we don’t have a secondary playmaker and our high minutes players are inefficient shooters (except Jose who’s practically gone). In other words, a slow pace is ill suited for our roster skillset. The slow pace meant that we had time to settle ourselves in our defensive schemes so we created a vicious circle. I don’t see any changes this season in terms of skillset notwithstanding the crap with “bulldog defender” and the likes. I would argue that our defence will be worse with the additions of Lowry (turnover prone=fastbreak opportunity), Fields (compared with James Johnson), Ross and Jonas (rookies).
    One more thing: in the last season with Bosh we had 33 wins. This season’s roster is worse than our roster from 2009-2010 season. In addition, our Division is much stronger and Miami, Bulls, Indiana, and Atlanta are powerhouses in the East. The conclusion is inevitable regarding our winning percentage this season however management, coaching, media and fans keep spewing the same BS. I’m wondering if some posters on this blog are not MLSE employees, paid to browse the blogosphere and create buzz around the team or some players. The alternative option is frightening. 

    • Skeet

      Hmmm…Atlanta and Chicago powerhouses eh? The bulls will be playing without rose for most of the season. Also, Speaking of the division, I’m gonna say now that the sixers will be worse than last season. They lost their two best players from last season, but added Bynum. He’ll prob be a beast on the boards, and be good defensively but where will the offense come from?

      • Lorenzo

        Never thought about it that way. Hmm..

        • Tinman

          I think two teams can be guaranteed the playoffs. The Heat and Celtics. Indy looked great last season, lets see them do it consistantly. 
          Hawks seem to be rebuilding, look for them to dump Josh Smith and tank. Orlando is in tank mode as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bulls shut down Rose for the season and try to get him a quality teammate in the draft. I’m not sure if the Sixers got better or worse. The Nets got better but they were awful last season and I don’t think they are that much better, and the Knicks are well, the Knicks. 

          • Lorenzo

            People are exaggerating on the Nets. What have they really done to improve so much according to these “professional” analysts?

            They got Joe Johnson. That’s it. Same starting five as last year except now they’re paying $13 million for Mr.Kardashian while also wasting a valuable roster spot on Andray “throw the ball of the glass so I get a triple-double” Blatche. Some are projecting them to go #3 in the East, I say this is crazy. They have done absolutely nothing to prove themselves, and Joe Johnson is EXTREMELY overrated!

            God I hate bandwagoners.

            • howlonghowlong

              They didn’t add much but …
              1) Wallace and Williams only played 12 games together last season and they were 6-6.
              2) Lopez played 5 games last year
              3) Joe Johnson is still an all-star (I agree he’s not a max contract franchise player)
              4) Brooks is in his second year now and coming off the bench (he had more rebound and assists than derozan last year in less minutes)
              5) they still have Williams

              They may not be a 3rd seat … but they’re playoffs bound.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the Nets but they’re much better.

              • Lorenzo

                Okay, maybe I should have looked further into the details, but on paper, this Nets team isn’t even better than the Knicks.

                We shall see…

    • howlonghowlong

      Interesting perspective Daniel.  I never thought of it this way before.  I’m not sure we’re going to be worse defensively especially when you consider that Lowry is a better defensive PG.  JV will be a defensive liability as he will be a relatively poor man defender due to his size; that said, he’ll be the best help defender C we’ve had in years.  Plus, I’m not sure he’s much worse than Amir/Davis splitting time at C last year.  Turnovers will be an issue yet again this year and so will fouls.
      As for offence, I see you point. We really didn’t add any offensive talent this year.  That said, the raps didn’t have Bargs much last year and when they did they were 6-7 in his first 13 games.  The two players to have the most influence on our success this year would have to be Derozan and Fields (IMO).  If they play like they did las year, we might have the worst wing combo in the eastern conference.

      Raps playoffs hopes hinges more on what other team do in the Eastern Conference.
      The way I see it there are 4 categories of teams in the East.

      1) Teams that WILL make the playoffs
      Heat – Celtics – Indiana – Nets

      2) Teams that will LIKELY make the playoffs
      Bulls – Nicks – 76ers – Hawks

      3) Teams that COULD make the playoffs
      Bucks – Raptors – Wizards

      4) Teams that will NOT make the playoffs
      Bobcats – Cavs – Pistons – Magic

      • ad

         I dont understand how you can say the raptors COULD make the playoffs but not the pistons or cavs. To me, these 3 shitty teams are in the same category. They are all 30-35 win teams. The only two teams that I would eliminate from the playoffs at this moment are the magic and bobcats. Also, I dont think Hawks are likely to make the playoffs.

        • ad

          Some might say the cavs are even better than raps because they have a star (irving) to build around. Pistons have monroe who is promising as well.

        • howlonghowlong

          I was going back and forth on the Hawks so I’ll give you that one.  As for the Cavs and Pistons, the biggest difference between them and the Raps is supporting cast and bench.  

          I think the Cavs have a brighter future and I’d much rather be in their shoes than ours because of Irving, the man is a potential “franchise player”.  Reality is for the 2012-2013 season, their next best players are Varejao, Thompson, and Casspi and a weak weak bench.  They had a 32% winning percentage last year and only added Waiters/Zeller, rookies that are not going to be huge difference makers this year.  

          Pistons, to your point, have Monroe, who’s a stud but after him, the next best players are stucky, prince, and knight .. and gain, a poor bench. Prince and stucky are are not going to get much better, while knight is no where near Irving and got ways to go before being a legitimate starter.  This is a team that had a 34% winning percentage last year and is counting on internal growth from knight and monroe.  Drummond is a non-factor this year.

          Raps on the other hand added Lowry (plus from last year), who’s not as good as Monroe or Irving but his supporting cast includes, a healthy bargnani (plus from last year), Derozan, upgraded on SF (Fields > JJ) and the biggest difference a deep bench.  Another big difference is a top 1/3 defence in the league compared to the pistons (6th worst) and Cavs (4th worst).  I’m not saying the Raps will make or likely to make the playoffs but they got more going on in the 2012-2013 season than do the Pistons and Cavs.

        • Nilanka15

          The Cavs will soon regret their last 2 draft picks (i.e. Thompson and Waiters) considering who else was still on the board (e.g. Valanciunas, Lillard, Barnes).

  • Mike

    Does anyone know that NBA League Pass will not let you stream the game if you are in Canada. They send you a message that says something like “you can watch it on tv” League pass only works for people outside the area. It is a very crap system.

    • Mark

      From the past experience I have had with it you cannot watch live League Pass games broadcast in Canada (no matter where you live in Canada). This means no live Raptors games. You can watch the Raptors games after they have ended on-demand. 

  • Vanlivin

    Jose’s passing and awareness are up there with anyone in the league.  His shooting is also relatively up scale.  What he has lost over the last couple years is the ability to penetrate.  Lowry is more than capable of penetrating.  I also imagine Lowry will push the ball more often than Jose off of stops of a defense which should be even more improved.  Casey wanted guys who could make shots.  The roster turnover saw shooting much improved.  These and Jose running a bench that is full of players who have been our starters the last few years and we should score at a better rate.

    This team is TOO deep. That is its strength and its weakness.  If played right should create huge competition beginning of the year.  Then hopefully right trade presents itself. Cause serious the bottom of our roster is probably one of the best in the league.  They have to figure out how to transfer that to the top of the roster.  Hopefully Colangelo doesn’t make some rash decision the people surrounding him don’t approve of.

    The goal in that locker room should be 7th seed not playoffs.  If things click its hardly impossible.  If they don’t click, they wont be anywhere close.  The fact they’re all here early; they want it bad.  Coach Casey value is still growing exponentially.  Every new body.  Every practice.  A training camp!  With this deep team if you don’t click your out. I dont see why they can’t do it. Everyone outside of Miami has question marks.

  • ZZ

    “I’ve never mentioned this but the one thing I REALLY like about Dwane Casey is that he spells his name the way its pronounced. He doesn’t get all fancy with Duane, Dwayne, and Duwayne, and keeps it simple. ”

    Don’t look at Wade’s first name then. It will BLOW YOUR MIND the way that it’s spelled.

    • Lorenzo

      It’s always been a pain in the ass to say his name

  • Lorenzo

    Hold up, there’s an option to NOT listen to Matt Devlin?! Now you tell me!?

  • j bean

    Improve the offense by benching the more potent PG? Calderon is not a potent anything and it is a little early to be trying to start another controversy. 

  • :)

    R Sen A List should be your spelling then.

  • FAQ

    This season’s Raptors are going to be a big surprise…!!!

  • Brian B

    Landry Fields has a jump shot? That’s a look like saying Antoine Wright or Rasual Butler had a jump shot. My biggest doubt of Fields is how he tends to be a ball stopper and chuck up dubious threes.

    As to his defense, he is not as big or strong as JJ. He will have trouble with big or physical wings (Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Carmelo, Deng, Paul Pierce,Granger, Paul George, Lebron, DWade… gee , that’s about half the East). He will not be effective when called upon to switch to cover stretch 4s. Casey will prove his mettle as a defensive master if he can hide AB, DD and Fields.

    • 2damkule

      agree completely…the raptors really need to focus on getting a wing who won’t ‘have trouble’ defending Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Carmelo, Deng, Paul Pierce, Granger, Paul George, Lebron, DWade….

      because, y’know, there are all sorts of those guys.


  • Kevin

    I wish I could live stream for 8 bucks a month but all Raptors games get blacked out on league pass if you live in Canada

    • Dnjin

      Last year no games were blacked out on which is the newly branded league pass broadband. Don’t know if this was because of shortened season because you are right the year before all Canadian televised games were blacked out. Even Spurs TWolves on a Tuesday.

  • raptors

    fuck tsn2