Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

MacLeod: First-place Raptors make life tough for Masai Ujiri | The Globe and Mail

Before the season started, Ujiri stated that he needed about 25 games or so before he could get a handle on the talent level he had in Toronto before he would be comfortable affecting change. His job would have been a lot easier if the Raptors just did what many fans really want – stink to high heaven that would line Toronto up with a better opportunity in the 2014 draft lottery to nab home-brew college phenom Andrew Wiggins. The excitement is growing in the “Riggin’ for Wiggins” sweepstakes with people watching closely which NBA teams will tank in order to have a chance at nabbing the Toronto native, who is a freshman at Kansas. But the Raptors clearly didn’t get the memo.

Rudy Gay the best player who wasn’t | RealGM

Up until the 4th when he became ball stopper again he was incredible. He has athleticism to pick up easy rebounds, ability to draw and create for his teammates, its just his 1 on1 ball stopping play that holds him back. When he plays in rhythm and makes an effort to create for his teammates he is a very good player. Most talented player I’ve ever seen go to waste. Analyst have raved about his potential, Smitch compared what he could do to LeBron. I don’t get why Rudy doesn’t see it. It bothers me, honestly, If Rudy stopped with that 1 on 1 crap he could easily be in that upper echelon of players, top 3 or top 4 player alongside LeBron, Durant, Kobe. This dude could drop triple doubles on the regular.

Raptors: DeRozan scores 33 in easy win over Sixers | Toronto Star

History will ultimately judge whether the Raptors or Philadelphia 76ers were right in their approach to this NBA season, whether an early teardown process works better than a modicum of patience and a bit of a wait-and-see attitude. It will be years, most likely, before the final chapters of these books are written, and only in the land of instant gratification would you put Wednesday night’s Raptor romp over the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center on some list of significant accomplishments.

Raptors Drop 76ers 108-98 In Philly |

The Raptors may not have a winning record, but they have themselves in first place. “We’re nowhere near where we need to be,” coach Dwane Casey said. “We’ll take it, but it’s early. We’ve got to continue to work and stay hungry.”

Rapid Recap: Raptors Take Lead Of Atlantic Over 76ers, Win 108-98 | Raptors HQ

DeMar went for 33 tonight, after going for 29 and 37 against the Trail Blazers and Bulls respectively. He’s really picking up his offensive game all-around recently, firing a nice 50% from the field in that 3 game span. The same cannot be said for Rudy Gay; still struggling from the field. However, he did contribute with a career-high 8 assists.

Trio of Raptors buries Sixers | Toronto Sun

From the jump, it was clear Toronto had received the message loud and clear that the team wasn’t passing enough. After considerable work in practice on moving the ball from side-to-side, Toronto was even overpassing early, leading to turnovers which kept the Sixers in the game. But the visitors eventually started executing better than at any point this season. That, coupled with deadly shooting from outside (5-for-5 in the first quarter, 5-for-9 in the third) carried the Raptors to the win.

Raptors Take First Place With Win Over 76ers | Pro Bball Report

This was a battle between the ‘best’ 2 teams in the very weak Atlantic Division with first place going to the winner. The Raptors pulled ahead in the second quarter and never let the 76ers catch back up to win 108-98 and take over first place in the division by a half game over Philadelphia.

Raps 108 – Sixers 98…Not great, but good enough | Raptors Rapture

The Raps still haven’t played an entire 48 minutes with the skill they are capable of. I hope that last night’s Q4 was more coasting than a precursor of future games. Toronto now leads the turtle derby which is the NBA’s Atlantic Division, and can maintain that position with a win at home on Friday against another team off to a slow start, the Washington Wizards.

Raptors send Sixers to fourth straight loss |

“We don’t want to use that as an excuse with Thad being out for personal reasons,” Sixers shooting guard James Anderson said. “He’s a big part of our play. Without him, it was kind of a hole in our offense. And Mike coming back, trying to get back into his rhythm. “But like I said, we don’t want to use that as an excuse.” Even so, the Sixers were out of sync.

Die By The Three: Raptors 108, Sixers 98 | Liberty Ballers

Again, Spencer Hawes was tremendous shooting the ball, submitting a Hardenesque efficiency of 28 points on 13 shots. Honestly, it was too bad that Hawes missed a chippy off a nice pass from Michael Carter-Williams late in the game, because it prevented himself from reaching 30. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised to be typing these words, but Hawes has clearly been the team’s best player so far this season. In addition to his shooting, Hawes is also cleaning the defensive glass at a career-high level. We’ll see if that number holds.

6 observations from Sixers-Raptors | Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

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  • Milesboyer

    Absolutely hilarious and sad at the same time that after 7 years in the league, Rudy Gay topped his career high in assists with a whopping 8!

  • Matt52

    “All this winning making Ujiri’s job difficult”


    tied for 17th in the league
    6th in the east

    5-7 after 12 games

    Sad when Raptor fans get exited over 5-7

    This is called settling.

    • Nilanka15

      4th in the East :p

  • Rap fan 2

    Let’s see how they do against a top caliber team like Miami coming up. Definitely better flow in the offense. It’s a good start.

  • I like the link to the forum discussion on Rudy. This is why I think it is great the Raps have him. Everyone complains that the Raptors never seem to have one of those players who suddenly blossoms into a star, while they’ve traded away a tidy few such players. Rudy might well never be worth his contract, but he is a good gamble in my opinion because he certainly does have the talent and the tools. That college scouting report is strong evidence to the point. Apparently he WAS an unselfish player not so long ago. This might yet turn out to be B.C.’s best deal ever. Might even happen sooner than people think. Or it might not. That’s how pro sports works.

    • It’s been 7 years, Players don’t “blossom” after 7 years in the league. Rudy is who he is. A high volume, low efficiency scorer who isn’t quite as good as he thinks he is, but LOOKS like he has the tools to be so much better. NBA history is littered with guys like that.

      The problem with the Raptors is they keep acquiring these flawed players, like Gay and Bargnani, who fans start pinning their hopes on and never fulfill the expectations because their game is too flawed.

  • leahfaye

    Okay, how about this…Masai wants to wait not to evaluate his talent, everyone knows what he has, high volume low efficiency high priced line up…
    He is waiting for the pressure to come onto other GAS that seasons do not go as planned. Knicks got bargs so immediately they become bottom tier, pressure is in Brooklyn. Cleveland started not expectations, same with Washington, Bobcats are tired of being in the lottery same with Sacramento so some desperate GMs will now do dumb shit to save their jobs…like BC.
    At that point masai has an edge. Dec 15 comes around, he ships gay and fields as a package for draft pick lowry gray and Novak for draft pick leaves us with JV AJ DD TR QA and TH Fires Casey Dec 16 and replaces him with injured mascot. We lose like 60 I a row to end season and get the top 3 picks.