This week on The Doctor is In with Phdsteve, Mr. Dr. Positivity returns! Zarar drops by for a year in review podcast where we look at all the positives to take from this season (and by “all the positives” we really mean the play of Jonas). I ask Zarar if this season has been wasted or if we are rebuilding can we see this season as a step in the right direction.

We spend some time disagreeing about Andrea Bargnani and Rudy Gay before tackling the 3 big questions for this franchise moving forward: 1) Dwayne Casey: stay or go? 2) Who is the core of this team moving forward? and 3) what does this roster look like on opening night 2013-2014? As always your comments and insight are wanted and welcome- but please, keep it classy San Diego, my Nona reads this site!

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (32:08, 29 MB). Or just listen below:

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  • Darien

    The only thing that will cure my negativity is BC being sentenced to work in salt mines for crimes against the population of Toronto, DC fired, Gay, Bargnani traded for picks or bags of balls, and a first overall pick when Wiggins declares., Not asking for much.

    • raptors phdsteve

      cant argue with that!

  • albertan

    Bring back Alan Anderson!………bahahahahahahaha

    • raptors phdsteve

      please no!

  • Paradigm Shift

    I hope you address my major concern. After such an exciting NCAA tournament, culminating in last night’s game, how can I go back to watching NBA, let alone the Raptors?!?!?!

    • raptors phdsteve

      the final game was great! but I actually found the rest of the NCAA tourney was really quite dull in comparison to years past. I think the NBA will be very exciting starting in 2 weeks, I mean look at these 1st round playoff matchup! lots of good teams going head-to-head

      • Paradigm Shift

        You know you are the first person I’ve heard say that. Everyone is talking about how great the tournament was this year and although the results were very exciting, with lots of upsets, I don’t think there were as many close nail biters games as in the past.

        …Still, more exciting than the Raptors games for sure. I haven’t watched any ball since Monday. I think the break will do me good. I hope you’re right about the playoffs

  • Mediumcore

    Dwight Howard, really? Lets be realistic when proposing these trades.

    • DumbassKicker

      Especially when one considers it can only happen with a S & T, requiring the Raps to be Howard`s choice destination. More fantasy basketball managing.

      • raptors phdsteve

        As for S&T, yes the layer has to agree, but with the new collective bargaining agreement, that’s a lot of extra $ to turn down just to walk away and choose your own team. I would argue making a run at Howard via S&T is not a fantasy move at all (but this all hinges on LAL not making the playoffs).

        • Wilson

          The Raptors are not going to be the only ones who want Howard if he is available. It’s not like Howard would be deciding between max money and a desirable destination. I’m sure enough teams will be after him that he can have his cake and eat it too.

    • I also don’t know why you’re mortgage the team for Howard. He’s got a bad back, has shown himself to be quite immature and I think would be too much of a headache, quite frankly. This isn’t the same Howard from a few years ago. He’s damaged goods both physically and mentally.

      Plus, in a sign and trade, he’s still have to agree to sign with Toronto.

      • raptors phdsteve

        Howard is a major asset. Top centre in the league. Top 5 player in the league. A complete franchise changer. I disagree with your assessment of him. Injuries and situation have limited him for the last 2 years, yes, but its not like he’s Bill Walton or Greg Oden.

        • Oh, I think Howard is a franchise changer, don’t get me wrong. I just think he’s not the same guy who lead the Magic to the Finals, a few years ago, both physically and mentally. It’s the mental part that concerns me the most. He doesn’t seem to realize his offensive limitations and seems too emotionally sensitive. I think anyone that has him is going to have to do a lot of major babysitting and are in for a wild ride.

          I would also be VERY suspicious of any elite player a team doesn’t want anymore. Considering how few there are, if a team is willing to give him up, there’s got to be a very good reason.

  • Great podcast, although I’m not sure how positive it was. Especially considering the future both of you guys are predicting. Can’t say I disagree. It’s just a little depressing.

    I do have a few points, though (surprise, surprise).

    The Raptors stopped rebuilding when they traded for Lowry, not Gay. When you trade away a guaranteed lottery pick for a 26 year old PG who lost the starting position battle on his two previous teams, AFTER having struck out on hitching the franchise to a 38 year old former MVP point guard who didn’t even make the All Star team this year, then not only are you banking that the future is now, you’re probably banking on the wrong player.

    And no matter whether you make the Rudy Gay trade or not, considering all the roster upgrades the team made even before the season started, I don’t see how you could argue it was a success. Keep in mind, they may finish the season with only a slightly better winning percentage as last year, a season that they were basically trying to tank.

    If you’re building around Gay and Lowry, you’re hooped. Both guys are inconsistent defenders and poor decision makers. You really think you can win Championships with those types of players? And I completely dispute the idea that Gay is an above average defender. I think that’s one of the big myths about him. I think he definitely PLAYS above average defense, but he doesn’t do it consistently. That was his problem in Memphis, too.

    There are three guys on the Raptors roster who I can see one day playing on a Championship team: Valanciunas, Amir and Landry Fields, all for different reasons.

    The big problem with Bargnani is he’s simply not a hard working player. Do you want that type of player on your team? Especially on a team with Gay, whose also not the hardest worker. That’s why you can’t compare him to guys like Steve Novak, who is a hard worker.

    I also hate this whole notion that has recently come out that you need a stretch four to play beside a post player like Valanciunas. I think that’s crap. Great post men have been playing beside standard big men for decades, and excelling. I’d much rather have Amir play beside Valanciunas than Bargnani because Amir moves way better without the ball and he’s not going to put a whole lot of pressure on Valanciunas defensively and on the boards, as Bargnani does.

    The whole thing is that you don’t want Valanciunas playing with a four whose defender can leave him to double Valanciunas. And Amir’s man can’t because Amir shoots such a high percentage, moves so well without the ball and is such a good offensive rebounder. Plus, Amir is a very good interior passer.

    Lastly, you say Casey should be back, but you don’t make a good case for it. Other than the fact that it’s good to have consistency, why should Casey be back? He’s proven to not be great at developing players, refusing to play Ed Davis until he basically had no choice, despite how well he was playing, and Terrence Ross has regressed over the course of the year. And you get the feeling the only reason he’s played Valanciunas as much as he has (until the last few weeks, when the season was basically done) was because Colangelo was making him. He’s not proven to be a good tactical coach, the defense, which made a big improvement last season, regressed to the point that they’re now in the bottom ten in the league. His substitution patterns have been head scratchers and most of the players on the team have had disappointing seasons, so it’s not as if he’s had much of a positive effect on the players.

    So why exactly do you keep him on?

    • eurofan17

      After all those time stay away to picket fence now picket fence come here to republic. How you let this happen? Now constantly same bullshit over an over with this guy Bargnani bargnani lissen to me Im so smart I told you Bargnani is bad Im so so smart. I cant do this. Not beleive you let this guy to write here. Very mad for this. Sad for this. Stupid. goodby.

      • raptors phdsteve

        actually if you listened to the podcast that you are commenting about, you would have heard that I in fact argued against this point. AND if you come to this site as much as you claim in your comment, then you would also know that TIm W. and I agree on just about nothing. In fact, we have almost never agreed on anything- BUT what I will say about TIm in his defense is that he is never rude or insulting and always takes the time to think about what he wants to say and then spends time to write out his arguments in logical manner. I dont agree with many of them, but he is a fine person and a solid writer and a valuable contributor to RR.

        • raptors phdsteve

          BUT do you know who is not a valuable contributor to RR?
          1) People who post comments that have nothing to do with the article or podcast whose page they are posting on- or who post without having read or listened to the piece.

          2) People who insult other people on a website because they disagree with their points
          3) People who swear in their posts and make our site look like its a 12 year old’s fan page instead of an ESPN affiliate.

          But for the record, he was right about Bargnani (at least to date he is right)

        • Much appreciated, Steve. We do agree on very little, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do so in a respectful and intelligent manner. And that’s the case with a lot of other Raptor fans. Comments like the one above you don’t bother me because they say far more about the commenter than anyone else.

  • Wilson

    1. Also, with sign-and-trades, ultimately, the player still has to agree. They’re not signing that extension if they know they’re going to be traded to a team they don’t want to play for. With a sign-and-trade, you have to satisfy both the player being acquired as well as the team that currently owns the player. Why in the world you would say owning big contracts for mediocre players is a plus because that lets the Raptors turn around and trade them for something useful is beyond me. Yes, you could argue that it’s still easier than free agency because you can effectively offer them more money than you could’ve in free agency – but you’d be wrong; if the Raptors should be willing to pay them max money, there are going to be many other teams trying to do the same and there is no advantage to be had.

    2. Am I the only one annoyed to hear Valanciunas pronounced incorrectly over and over again? It’s probably not your fault; it probably stems from getting drafted by the Raptors in NBA 2K13 and hearing it pronounced the same incorrect way (albeit a bit exaggerated) over and over and over again in-game.

    3. … Oh my God, I hope you know how badly you were grasping at straws with Bargnani in your attempt to be optimistic.

    • raptors phdsteve

      part of the problem hear with Valenciunas’ name is that Colangelo has pronounced it 3 differnet ways himself since drafting the guy. Maybe we can get him in an interview to give us the correct pronunciation. When I interviewed international scouts on this site 2 years back before the draft they all pronounced it VAL-N-SEE-EWE-NESS. Colangelo called him that before the draft too! but after the draft he started calling him VAL-N-SHOE-NUSS. And since that point we continue to get a combination of the two and even some interesting hybrids as well. HELP US JONAS PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME THE RIGHT WAY…YOU ARE OUR ONLY HOPE!

      • Wilson

        I am 90% positive it’s pronounced Val-un-chew-nus.

  • Doc

    The fact you two chuckleheads have a podcast proves anyone can. You really think Howard is coming to TO? Your dreaming.

    • raptors phdsteve

      Of course that would be dreaming! BUT I never said Howard is coming to Toronto – what I said was that if I was the general manager I would very strongly pursue one of the several top flight players, like Howard who will be available this summer and I would happily package DD and Val to get into the conversation.

      Again folks- it helps to listen to the podcast if you want to make comments.