Rudy Gay punching a wall

Toronto Raptors fans should give up on dream of Steve Nash playing in Canada | National Post

But please, let’s stop the Steve Nash stuff before it starts. It’s not happening. It will never happen. The notion of Steve Nash playing for a Canadian team is, for all intents and purposes, over. Multiple Raptors sources confirm the club has zero interest in Nash, and hasn’t since he chose L.A. “It makes no sense,” said one Raptors source. “It wouldn’t work for us.” And that’s OK. It is tempting as an idea, sure, fine. In Vancouver we always used to say that if only the Grizzlies had drafted Nash in 1996 — instead of, say, drafting point guards with top-four picks in the next three consecutive drafts — or traded for him in 1998 then perhaps the franchise could have been saved, which is romantic hogwash. Maybe he could have lifted the Raptors beyond their traditional sub-mediocrity.

Toronto Raptors look to pick up the pace on offence | National Post

“Play off of our defence right now,” Kyle Lowry said. “Get out in transition. Get easy baskets. Get [DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay] good shots. Make sure we’re playing in transition and not playing slow-down basketball, because our offence isn’t as up to speed as our defence.” Essentially: run. The Raptors have ranked 23rd in the league so far in pace of play. (A note on all statistics: The sample size is very small, obviously.)

Toronto Raptors not scared of Miami Heat | Toronto Sun

Struggling or not, Casey knows the Heat will be a handful. “It doesn’t matter (when you play them), they’re a very tough team whether it’s today, summertime, it doesn’t matter. They’re prepared for every situation,” Casey said. Casey helmed the Dallas defence that beat LeBron James and Co. three seasons ago, but said things have changed. No longer can Erik Spoelstra’s group get thrown off or surprised by “blitzes and zones,” Casey said. “Now, there’s no surprises.”

Armstrong: Five thoughts on Fields, Billups, and more | TSN

None of us have any control over the bloated contract he received yet we do have control over our pure objectivity in assessing a guy’s game and overall contribution to a team with money left totally aside. I like what I see. Would he be a guy I’d want as a teammate? Yes, definitely. Would he be a guy I’d like to coach? It would be an honour. He gets it. He’s all about team and sacrifice. Smart and tough. Does he have limitations? Yes, but he’s a solid rotation player who you can count on and trust to try to do the right things and be in the right places. He won’t always be successful but you know the intent is precisely what the script calls for.

Sources: ‘No meat’ on Nash-to-Raptors rumour | Sportsnet.ca

But just as obvious is that the Raptors would have little practical need for an expensive, veteran point guard—his passport aside. While it’s believed the Raptors would be open to moves that would land them picks in the 2014 draft, the Lakers can’t even offer that as they traded their 2015 first-round pick to the Suns to acquire Nash from the Suns and NBA rules prevent teams from trading first-round picks in consecutive years.

Raptors’ Gay revels in chance to play LeBron | Sportsnet.ca

Gay, who’s averaging 17 points and 9.3 boards a night — he grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks — is co-captain of the Raptors this season with DeMar DeRozan, but he feels he won’t need to make much of a pre-game speech before taking the floor against the Heat. “Honestly, you shouldn’t have to say much, this is NBA basketball right here, and if you don’t get up for the best, what do you get up for?” he said.

Raptors: The Week Ahead | Dino Nation Blog

What you almost hope for is the Miami game to be decided early so Dwane Casey can allow his team to rest and live to fight another day. Dropping a game to the Bobcats simply can’t happen if the Raptors are expected to tread water with their schedule that is starting to show its teeth.

Toronto Raptors’ Rudy Gay shrugs off shooting slump | Toronto Sun

“We’re still winning, we’re 2-1 and I don’t think I’ve hit a shot in five games, and we’ve only played three,” Gay said with a laugh. “I’m pretty sure the ball will go in.” On the plus side, Gay hauled in a career-best 15 rebounds on Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks and has helped the Raptors surge to the top of the league in rebounding.

  • arsenalist

    What drove me crazy last summer was Grange saying how the Raptors should sign Nash and how it would be great for the team and city. He even said on Fan590 that the winning should be put on hold and we should enjoy Nash’s twilight years. This year it’s somehow “obvious” that the Raptors don’t need him. Honestly man, this was a terrible idea then, and it’s a terrible idea now. I don’t get some people…

    • ckh26

      Couldn’t agree more. Why would a team in transition suddenly want a 40 year old PG with declining skills and a history of chronic back problems as he enters the twilight of his career. Must have been a slow news day at the rumour mill.

    • Nilanka15

      In Grange’s defense, last summer the Raptors were very much in win-now mode, no thanks to Colangelo’s infamous “accelerated rebuild”. And although old, Nash was coming off a solid 12pt, 10ast year, where he only missed 4 games all season.

      Now fast forward 1.5 years, we’ve got new management who isn’t going to put a patch-work group together in a desperate attempt to squeeze into the 8th seed. And Nash has shown just how quickly age can catch up to someone.

  • youngjames

    The only reason this rumor is even around – is because some Yank reporter made it up. Nash is playing like crap this year so far and was injured most of last year, he is over 40 and his skills have drastically decline. So it is natural that when he is staring retirement in the face and the beloved Lakers are stuck with a homer contract, that it would be rumored that T.O is his next landing spot. It is how it goes in the NBA, some non Canadian in sports media said “I know, send him to the Raptors – they are a crappy team going no where, they will take on bad contracts, plus he is Canadian, right!” and it just so happens, it has taken off. There wasn’t one Yank reporter last summer (who at the time thought Nash had game left) predicted he would sign in Toronto, not one. Why? because they felt he was still at the point where he could lead the NBA golden boy to another title. And now that is not the case – to Toronto he naturally goes – the Lakers need to rid of a bad contract….Toronto will bail them out! Its BS and shouldn’t even be talked about anymore!

  • Sheptor

    Nash to Raptors? Front Office, Sure! Anything else and I’ll start cheering for another team after 16 years of loyalty. Sacramento anyone?

    • HogyG

      Don’t you mean Shaq-ramento! haha

  • HogyG

    It’s too bad that Nash’s contract is a payout for an elite starting PG because if it was smaller (much smaller) it would be great to bring him into the organization as a backup behind Lowry. I liked the change of pace from Calderon (passing first) to Lowry (attacking the rim) last year and we could have that again in the aging Nash without the concern of stealing the starting role from Lowry. Of course this is NOT the case, so I’ll just put that in my pipe and smoke it!