It’s a solo effort this week on The Doctor is In with Phdsteve podcast. I look back at the last 7 days where the Raptors went 2-1 and explore a little bit of life after Rudy Gay. As always, I dig deeper into the season that still has optimism and potential even after a hugely disappointing loss at home to Charlotte on the eve of a Western Conference Road trip that will take the team to Dallas, OKC, and San Antonio.

Some topics of discussion include:

  • Why the Raptors are not a flat track bully and why that’s the difference between them making the playoffs or falling back into obscurity?
  • What’s the deal with this 2 point guard rotation? Are Greivis Vasquez and Kyle Lowry a long-term solution or a short-term play?
  • Kyle Lowry is currently the best player on the Raptors – what to make of the trade winds?
  • Does Jonas still play for the Raptors? Can’t tell anymore
  • What is Casey thinking in his lineups?
  • Losing = bad habits = bad play = losing AND that’s why you don’t tank!

As the year end approaches, a big thank you to my brother Mike (who knows college basketball), Greg Mason (the brain from the south) and Blair Miller from The Fifth Quarter Blog. The worldwide roundtable returns in the New Year as we start looking ahead to the trade deadline and the cards that Masai Ujiri has in his hands.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and safe holiday season.

Follow: @therealphdsteve

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (27:38, 26 MB). Or just listen below:

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  • morgan c

    Sorry man, but Jonas is not a future super-star like you claim. Comparing him to Wiggins? Come on man. Like so many others, you overrate and hype Jonas beyond what he is. He’s a good player, and will be a solid dependable big man in this league. I doubt he’ll make an all-star game. He’s not strong enough, he’s not really a true seven foot dominant force, struggles defensively, and is predictable offensively. He is NOT some franchise savior. Not close. Not sure what you are watching, but try to be objective.

    • Mihkel Bafter

      Jonas isn’t even the best center in his draft class.

    • Duke

      Just like saying Jonas is the next superstar would be overrating him, your analysis is pretty poor and premature as well. At 21 years old, a Centre on a bad team can only develop by playing heavy, crunch-time mins. And sitting out a quarter and a half then playing a full OT doesn’t count. He’s still a highly regarded prospect in the NBA, so it’s safe to say your analysis is pretty off as well.

  • ac1011990

    Maybe the raptors lose, develop bad habits and miss coverage’s and free throws because their just not talented enough. Portland has an amazingly talented rookie of the year in Lillard and Lamarcus, a guy who many people think should be in the MVP race. Indiana has an emerging superstar in George and Hibbert, A defensive monster. Name one guy on the raptors who you think could lead this team? We have good pieces but nobody to get us over that hump, we arn’t going to magically become good just by letting these guys play. Obviously players on the team want to win but that hasn’t been working for the past 5 years. Do you honestly think a guy like Derozan who works his butt off every day and keeps getting better, aspires to sneak into the playoffs year after year. These guys want to win and hold the championship, not keep trying to make it into the playoffs, I can bet you anything if Masai told Derozan that hes going to build this team the right way and significantly up its ceiling that he would be on board. I really doubt Derozan enjoys going out there knowing that his team has 50 percent chance winning against bad teams and almost no chance against good ones.

    • sleepz

      “Maybe the raptors lose, develop bad habits and miss coverage’s and free throws because their just not talented enough.”

      Such a simple and concise thought, but about as dead on as you can be. Some of the anti-rebuilders think they will just naturally get better based on letting them play, yet there is no elite talent present, so once again the Raps would be trumpeting average or decent players as potential all-stars or franchise players.

      The Colangelo model.

      • ac1011990

        Lolz it’s kind of like having a piece of paper, no matter how badly you want it to turn into a 100 dollar bill, it won’t.

  • pran

    derozan is very average. How many players have improved from very average to allstar after 5 years in the league? I would sell while derozan’s value is high.

  • Connor

    SO in conclusion. we need a good coach…

  • drunkmunky

    i skipped the stupid rapping again. thank god you can visually see it on the soundcloud display

  • Steve

    I get the whole young can’t teach winning by losing, but it’s not like we’re winning so well, we’re 9-14 8th in a VERY weak eastern conference. This current team could get 7th-10th spot which is the worst place to be in the NBA. So if we are going to lose let’s lose hard so we can get a top 6 pick which could drastically change the future in a good way. Colangelo messed up big and the only way to recover is to start fresh. Ujiri knows what he’s doing and whatever he does I’m sure will be the right decision and we have to support it. As bad as Rudy was, he got it done late in the game and we’re back to sucking late in the game, so expect a lot of close game losses for those in favour of a meaningless playoff spot.

  • Richard Garcia

    Nooooo. You forgot to press the record button Steve? This is the only Rapcast I look forward to listening to!

  • Steve Gennaro .. wow.. do you like anybody on this team besides JV …lol. I’ll agree Vasquez was horrible but there is lots of blame on that overtime for everybody, I believe it was 3-10 and the Bobcats only had 4 or 5 shots. seven shots missed in overtime and still had a chance to take it into double OT. Not a bad effort….Vaz could make the Raptors great back up in the future, I believe he is still getting back his shot after the surgery, he did not get to play until the beginning of the season….In about 10 games with a real team like the Raptors (unlike the ME>>>ME>>>ME Sacramento Kings) he should be good..
    I hope this tanking is all a bunch of manure cause I’m getting tired of reading about it…

  • Bendit

    Lets see now, Casey is making befuddling moves in tactics and player deployment. The team is not tanking. Further begs the question…why does Masai just sit back and accept the status quo re the coach? Podcaster is incredulous about JV’s usage and wants MU to give him a call on this.

    Any possibilities that player usage has been mandated by MU to Casey. Why? He wants to study how certain combinations of players are performing (incl. the newly acquired) and that your assumption re the “tank” is wrong and it remains a strategic priority.

  • Team that deliberately tanked and then went on to win a Championship: 1984 Chicago Bulls. They ended up with a guy named Michael Jordan who helped Chicago be fairly successful.

    It’s pretty much a consensus that they tanked that year, and Bill Simmons has discussed it on several occasions. Let’s put that argument to rest now, please.

    • Mihkel Bafter

      Throw in the 84 Rockets

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Jordan had 3 years of top coaching in college, not to mention it took another 6 years to finally get a team built that could get to the finals. So, by your estimation, it will take at least 8 years of NBA seasons for a player like Wiggins to become a possible future winner like Jordan.

      • So by me disputing a point PhdSteve made in his podcast that no team had ever tanked and then won a Championship, somehow you take that to mean that I was saying that if the Raptors tank, then their future will then exactly mirror the Chicago Bulls?

        Did you get to there with a GPS, because that is some circuitous route you took.

        Just to be clear, you can’t estimate anything from my original comment other than that it’s possible to tank and then win a Championship.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          Just remember that magical Jordan contract.

          Please tell me that paying a superstar $3,000,000 per year is a possibility.

  • David

    That was painful to listen to.

  • Rjak27

    I don’t buy the argument against 2 point guard line ups at all.

    There’s plenty of guys that run the offense from a position other than point guard. Magic did it, Jordan did it, and LeBron does it. In fact, I would argue that to have a great team you really need a guy that can run the offense from a position other than point guard.

    I’d also argue that the Spurs do just that when they have Parker and Manu on the court at the same time. It’s what makes Manu such a valuable player. That’s what the Raptors are looking for from Greivis – to be their Manu.

    The problem with the Raptors two point guard line up isn’t that there are two playmakers on the court at the same time, and it’s not that Greivis is undersized for the shooting guard position, it’s that both Lowry and Vasquez are low efficiency scorers.

    I don’t mind Vasquez and Lowry working together, but I think that it should only really happen when both Amir and Jonas (two high efficiency scorers) are in the front court.

    If it’s Hansborough or Patterson at one of the big positions, then there just aren’t enough high efficiency scoring options on the court.

    Either way it will take time for Greivis to grow into his role on this team, so I wouldn’t expect the Raptors two point guard line up to look good until after an off season to prepare, and a training camp to work out the kinks.

  • jjdynomite

    Steve, this podcast had terrible logic. You talk about the Raptors’ bad habits resulting in them losing, citing DD missing the last FT, but they lost to the CHARLOTTE BOBCATS, who were the second worst team in the league last season, and the worst team in the league the season before that. I guess Kemba channeled his winning UConn days from 3 years ago?

    The one and only difference between both teams is: 1. When he’s on, Kemba is a better closer than anyone on the Raptors — kind of a Lillard-lite or a young Jamal Crawford, 2. Casey sucks. Nothing to do about players being somehow acclimatized to losing.

  • Dr. Scooby

    Steve Gennaro a.k.a PhD Steve: you are one passionate Raptor’s fan dude.

    The Raptors have been losing for so long with middling rosters just like this one.

    I cannot fathom why you are so absolutely (and feverishly) convinced that this roster needs to be preserved? Why?

  • 2damkule

    i can’t even.

  • RNsteve

    Look we lost…but damn we obviously need more talent on this team. Tank, get out from our bad contacts, develop our rookies-then win! Look Lowry trade for a late 1st round pick or so young talent-then you you focus on winning. One bad year will put us in a much better situation going forward. How is this a issue?!

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