I went back and forth a number of times about how I should write this recap. On one hand, it’s well known what I feel the best course of action for the Raptors is. On the other hand, the Raptors beat one of the best teams in the league and the team is playing the best basketball since Chris Bosh wore the Raptor name across his chest.

In the end, I decided the recap should match this dichotomy.

I know there are many Raptor fans who enjoyed seeing the Raptors beat the Pacers last night and want nothing more than to bathe in the glory of it a little longer. When the team has had the history, both recent and long term, that the Raptors have had, it’s natural to look at this short term success as the best thing for the franchise.

A man dying of thirst in the desert will be thankful for any drop of water he gets. Even if that water is dirty and stale.

And in a desert, there are mirages and there are truths. Just like in the game against the Pacers and the last twelve games.

First….

The Truths

DEFENSE

If there’s one thing that Dwane Casey is known for it’s his defense. He was supposed to be the brains behind the defense when the Dallas Mavericks won their lone Championship and he brought that same mentality to the Raptors when he came to Toronto.

Defense relies on three things. The first is a good strategy. Casey may not be the best head coach around, but he understands defense. And he understands how to build a good, solid defense.

The second thing is the right talent. Andrea Bargnani being traded away did more to help the defense than any strategy. But even without Bargnani, the Raptors defense wouldn’t be where it is without three players. Kyle Lowry, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas. Lowry still gambles a little too much and still needs to be more consistent, but Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong zeroed in on what Lowry does really well. He takes charges.

While I’m still not convinced Lowry has what it takes run the offense on a contender, his ability and willingness to take charges sets the tone for the Raptors’ entire defense. And last night he made one of the biggest plays of the night when he took the charge that knocked Roy Hibbert out of the game (see the above screenshot).

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 1.59.17 AM

Of course, no matter what Lowry does, without the interior defense of Amir and Valanciunas. The “Doctor of Denial” is the best interior defender the Raptors have had since Antonio Davis roamed the baseline. He doesn’t have Davis’ strength, but he’s got grit, desire and very good defensive instincts. And he ended up taking a couple of charges himself that changed the course of the game.

Valanciunas still has a lot to learn defensively, still makes a lot of mistakes and gives up deep post position far too much, but the Raptors are a better team when he’s on the floor. He doesn’t have the defensive instincts or potential to make you think he’ll ever be in the running for any Defensive Player of the Year award, but he’s decent now and he’ll only get better.

JONAS VALANCIUNAS

Speaking of Valanciunas, it’s been great to see the development of the 21 year old Lithuanian since Rudy Gay left for Sacramento. Before Gay was traded, Valanciunas looked to be struggling with the sophomore jinx. He was shooting closer to 40% than 50% and his minutes were few and sporadic. Since the trade, he’s shown more of what we saw from him at the end of last season.

In the last 10 games, Valanciunas is averaging 13.1 ppg on .526 shooting and 10.4 rpg. And against one of the best defensive centers/centres in the league, Valanciunas held his own and then some. He scored most of his points on Hibbert and defended him fairly well.

The future is bright for Valanciunas and while it’s important not to get expectations too high, it’s good to see Valanciunas’ development back on track.

i-13

TERRENCE ROSS

Through the first month and a half, Ross looked like a guy who might not have an NBA job at the end of his contract, let alone being a decent NBA player. When Gay was traded, Ross stepped into the starting lineup and never looked back. As a starter, he’s averaging 14 ppg, while shooting .468 from three.

He’s also handled the toughest wing defenders and done an admirable job. He’s not shown much in the rebounding or passing department, but a 3-and-D wing player is always useful.

The Mirages

DeMAR DeROZAN

DeRozan was hot right after the Gay trade and shooting the lights out, including from three. But he simply wasn’t good enough to think he’d sustain that pace. And he didn’t. In the last ten games, DeRozan has struggled scoring, shooting less than 40% from the field and his range from three has wavered. He’s now just shooting .307 from beyond the arc for the season. Against the Pacers, he went 9 for 24, in a Rudy Gay-like showing, and while he ended up scoring 26 points on the night, it was not an efficient 26 points.

And DeRozan’s defense has continued to be subpar, for the most part. He loses his man too much and doesn’t sustain his defensive effort enough. Mostly, though, he just doesn’t have the defensive instincts to suggest he’ll be anything close to the defensive player many Raptor fans hope.

On the plus side, DeRozan is passing and rebounding the ball better, but he’s not a good enough decision maker to make you want the ball in his hands a lot. I stand by my assertion I made earlier in the season that the Raptors would be better of trading DeRozan while his stock is as high as it is. Even if the goal isn’t to tank.

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NINE AND THREE

After 30 games into the season, the Raptors have valiantly fought through a losing record for the first month and a half to reach .500. For those unclear, that’s smack dab in the middle of mediocrity.

Of course, they haven’t been playing .500 ball lately. They’re 9-3 in their last twelve, which would put them on pace for 61 wins over the course of a season. But this isn’t a 61 win team. This isn’t even a 51 win team, most likely. It wouldn’t even be a question if the East wasn’t as horrible as it is.

While they are playing .750 ball, that’s not going to last. They’re just not that good. In the past two weeks they’ve beat Oklahoma, Dallas and Indiana, and the players should be commended for playing as well as they have. But all teams go through streaks.

Back in 2010, the Raptors went 24-11 over 35 games from December 4th to February 20th. Keep in mind, this was the year that Hedo Turkoglu was a Raptor and it was also Chris Bosh’s last season. Even if Bosh had not gotten hurt, does anyone think that team would have been a playoff contender? Ever?

When your best player is Chris Bosh and your second best player is Hedo Turkoglu, it’s really hard to argue that even if the Raptors had remained healthy and made the playoffs, and then convinced Bosh to stay, that that team was not built to contend. It was built to compete. And for a lot of fans, that would be fine. For a lot of fans, they just want to enjoy each win as it comes and not worry about the big picture.

When you’re a fan of a bad team, it’s almost necessary to just take each game as they come and enjoy each win, not thinking about the big picture because, in the back of their mind, they know they don’t come around often.

It’s ironic that the Raptors beat the Pacers to get to .500, because so many Raptor fans point to the Pacers as the blueprint the Raptors should follow. The problem, of course, is that the Raptors lack the one player that makes the Pacers into the elite team they are and not a good team that simply doesn’t have the talent to be anything more.

They don’t have a Paul George.

110813-NBA-pacers-raptors-george-gay-LN-PI_20131109010237381_660_320

And yes, George was taken 10th in the 2010 draft, proving that you can find elite talent anywhere, but go back and look at what other players were taken 10th over the years and who was available. The pickings are VERY slim if you’re looking for anything other than a decent player.

Besides, with the course the Raptors are currently on, a 10th pick is going to be as likely as a 3rd pick. If they make the playoffs, and continue to do so year after year, then even drafting in the top ten is out.

This recent streak of good play may be great for the short term, but it just makes the bigger picture that much fuzzier.

  • blue falcon

    So your argument is that all the raptors need is an injury to their best player for two months to be back on the tank? Thanks for the obvious, genius.

  • The Truth

    This is Bryan Colangelo Team. Check how well Denver is doing and that’s Raptors after Ujiri era: Fools Gold

    • Jake

      Why is it always like this on the internet:

      Compare current roster of our GM’s former team, current record, to our current team.

      Are the Denver players cloned and the exact twins of the Raptors? no.
      Are they coached by the same coach? no.

      Then why does “What Denver is doing now will be what Raptors will do” just because the GM is the same?

      • truth be told

        Why is it logical to look at the Pacers and say that’s who the Raps are modelling themselves after?

        They don’t have the same GM or players yet I hear them being used as a team comparison often.

        • Jake

          We are being compared to Indiana because it’s not a super attractive spot for free agents, they built well through the draft and good signings of mid-level guys, they play more as a team than most NBA teams and it’s a good team to want to be like. That said Ujiri never said this will be Indy 2.0 or Denver 2.0 – this is Raptors 2.0, post Gay, post Colangelo, post the Italian. Let’s just let them be THE RAPTORS for better or for worse and not say they are LIKE someone else.

          Plus, I never compared them to the Pacers, FYI.

    • Jimi

      Ah so you’re a troll.

    • raptorspoo

      That’s what I’m saying man. Won’t judge Ujiri yet but I’ve seen enough Raptors fans falling over for the same fools gold over and over again and that’s what gets me the most. It’s like they have this very short term memory.

    • Dagger

      You’re right, it’s not like the Nuggets fired their coach of the year and lost their best player or anything . . . .

  • Jake

    Is a top ten espn power ranked team a mediocre team?

    • milesLeg

      Really eh, I was surprised the Raps are way up there in the power rankings. I am a hardcore raps fan, but this raptors republic is s blog dedicated to bashing the team. I haven’t seen a positive blog on this site all year. its absolute garbage

    • #TankNation

      Yeah that’s entirely possible, mainly because the East sucks this year. Context matters.

  • Scott

    You have a new name. It’s Debbie Downer. The Raptors are a much-improved team. Barring any trade, is there any doubt they will win the Atlantic?

    I also don’t think we are watching the same DD. His play is miles above what it was when Rudy was still on the team.

    • Jimi

      ‘I also don’t think we are watching the same DD. His play is miles above what it was when Rudy was still on the team.’

      That’s insane.

      • Scott

        He’s rebounding better, passing better, getting to the line more. Yes, he’s better since the trade. I like the small things – it’s why I’m such an Amir fan.

        • Jimi

          And his shooting has plummeted. You could argue that he’s slightly better (although I don’t even buy that) but to say he’s MILES above where he was when Rudy was here is crazy.

    • Robert Wright

      I prefer ” Throw in the Towel”

  • raptorspoo

    This is like getting married to a hot blond that you absolutely know is going to ruin your life but it feels too good right now.

  • ac1011990

    Oooo your going to get so many angry comments lol. But nah I agree, this team doesn’t have that elite talent, and I personally don’t think their going to play this good the whole season. Either way it’s fun, I know the tank dream is dead, hopefully Masai can bring in elite talent some other way. It’s going to suck next year I have a feeling but meh whatever going to enjoy this streak and see where it goes. Hopefully they do make it far into the playoffs, at least we can have fun with that.

  • Blue Falcon

    Also…the bottom line is, what about Ross? You know, the guy who shut down Paul George, the star we should be tanking to find?

  • golden

    Very disappointed, Tim. Starting with the title of the article – this is a troll blog. You and RR are better than that. Just stick to game analysis and everybody’s good. One game at a time, you know.

    • Chewwy

      I thought the same thing. Tim has to put a negative title to his write up just to be Tim. It’s not cute nor funny. Also when you say all teams go through streaks, how many teams beat the top two teams in the NBA within a few weeks? Also keep in mind that 2 of the 3 losses were to another top 5 team, the Spurs. This is a very different kind of streak. I will admit that the following 3 games will say a lot. One is a trap game against Washington followed by road games against the 1 and 2 teams in the East. I’m just glad the tank talk is starting to fall off

      • Steve Lam

        how is 15-15 being mediocre a negative title? isnt that exactly what it is? what else do you call winning as much as you are losing?

        as for how many teams beat top teams within weeks? lots of them do.

        sacramento, the lowest of the low. beat the heat and then beat houston on the road within a week.

        take a look at laughing stock brooklyn. nevermind earlier in november when they beat the heat (which the raptors havent done in years now), but tonight they beat OKC on the road and clippers few weeks before.

        knicks just beat the spurs on the road tonight. maybe they’ll beat houston tomorrow. shit happens all of the time.

    • Zimdim

      A blogger’s gotta get some hits.

    • c_bcm

      Agreed. Even after they start winning 50 games, he won’t be happy until they win 55 games a season. After they win a championship he will complain about the lack of flexibility and sustained championship runs. How about just being happy that half of the games I have watched this year resulted in a win. Fun wins.

      Holding a franchise to a higher standard is one thing, but they are already performing better than last year, and considerably better than I expected.

  • ACC10

    its obvious we need a superstar player.. but i am pretty we can get him another way… there isnt only the draft.

    and no team can keep up this pace.. unless of course you are the heat..

    • ac1011990

      So then where does this leave us exactly? If we can’t keep this pace up we aren’t elite, that makes us mediocre. The truth is getting an elite talent through other ways requires us to part with our foundation, I don’t think anone here wants to part with Jonas, Derozan or Ross. If we don’t give either of those up, no chance of getting an elite talent.

      • onemanweave

        You’re right. It IS hopeless. Let’s all jump off a bridge.

        • ac1011990

          Lolz ok you first, il join after :)

      • DC

        “If we can’t keep this pace up we aren’t elite, that makes us mediocre”
        What happened to good or very good, i.e., somewhere in between?

        • ac1011990

          In this league your either elite, mediocre or shit, that’s it, there is nothing in between. There is no spectrum of shit, then a bit better, then below average then average etc. Like i said if we keep this up for the whole season and into the playoffs then we can be considered elite. This is an elite pace, i just don’t think as of now this is an elite team. The thing is i don’t think we stay on this pace, so then you fall into mediocre. I’m having fun just like everyone else, we all deserve to witness good basketball, especially after the past 5 horrible years. I’m i being cynical, sure, but you cant fault people for not believing in a win streak.

  • Stu Jackson

    You are too negative, you are never satisfied

    • #TankNation

      And you are too satisfied with mediocrity.

      • Tinman

        But mediocrity is the next step. Last year we were horrible.
        Progression

        • #TankNation

          This is no next step. This is fool’s gold. A mirage if you will. Once Kyle Lowry leaves, this team will go to the gutter.

          • Robert Wright

            What if we replace him with Chris Paul?

  • Stu Jackson

    kobe was 13, nash was 15 the list goes on

    • #TankNation

      Right, and Gilbert Arenas was drafted 30th, and Manu Ginobilli was drafted 57th. Ben Wallace wasn’t even drafted! Well no shit anything can happen, but what matters is the probability of selecting a stud at a given draft pick. Look at the top 5 picks of the last several years (or any year for that matter). Sure, there is never a guarantee of a sure thing, but the most talented players are generally concentrated there.

  • Dagger

    Look, I was an advocate for tanking, because it’s true that the draft is the best place to find elite talent for a city that’s not a top destination for free agents. As we all know, top-10 players are usually essential if you want to be a contender.

    But this is getting a little silly. The draft is not the only way of acquiring franchise players. When building a contender, it’s perfectly viable to acquire good young pieces on reasonable contracts, because those pieces can be traded for elite players.

    Moreover, although it’s hard to be a contender without a top-10 player, it’s not impossible (the 2004 Pistons are a fine example). It’s also still possible that one of our young players will emerge as a star. At the beginning of last season, for example, Paul George was a third year player who hardly looked like an elite scorer. He averaged 17 PPG on less than 42% shooting, offensive stats that Derozan has eclipsed as a first option. And by the way, there are few bigs who have played better than Amir since the trade, and few point guards who have played better than Lowry.

    Is it possible that this is all a mirage? Yes. But right now, tanking would be completely irresponsible. There are too many terrible teams, and the Raptors are just too good.

    As usual, Zach Lowe puts it better than anyone: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10218662/the-overhaul-toronto-raptors

    • raptorspoo

      That Detroit team you talk about is a once in a lifetime type of team. Don’t think i’ll ever see another like that.
      I’ll agree and disagree that “if” our goal is to win a championship, then we have to “rebuild from the bottom up” (tank is so negative).Tanking completely irresponsible? Probably as of now. I think it’s too late this year. Ship has sailed.

      • Ds

        The 5 starters are as good as any other 5-man units in the league. They’ve gone up against some of the toughest teams in the past 12 games and came out on top. The bench is the weakness.

        So, with the hopes of a proper tank completely gone now, what if we packaged some of the extra picks we have for some extra bench help (someone like Jordan Crawford, Thad Young, Nick Young, etc.). A third seed in in sight and some extra punch would get us into conference semi-finals or maybe conference finals.

        • raptorspoo

          Sorry to break your balls but you’re judging the quality of this roster on a winning streak. There’s got to be a little more logic to your reason.

          Do you think this team can take on the best teams in a playoff series? Where they do more scouting and adjustments.

          Who do you think they will turn to when things get tough? DD? I’m sorry, you need that go to guy that has high IQ and killer instinct. Even that Championship Detroit team had Billups.

          So I’ll disagree with you on the “as good as any other 5-man unit” comment. I think ‘every’ western conference team in the playoff picture right now has a better 5-man unit then us.

          I mean, if your end goal is to make the conference semi-finals then I think victory can be had – woohoo! But just know that all those really bad teams in the east are reloading with top talent and won’t be as bad in the next few years.

          • Ds

            You don’t make a move right now. You have 18 games in January to assess this streak. If the maintains this level of play, then yes, you acquire assets and move the needle even further up.

            • raptorspoo

              To do what?… is my point.

              Win a championship? Do we make moves to win a championship this year? I think you’ll need to really jerk that needle and I don’t think we have the pieces.

              So if we’re not winning a championship this year then all the “really bad” teams in the east just got really good talent in this years draft and become a significantly better team.

              Where does this leave us? Exactly where BC has put us for the past how many year – in the middle of nowhere.

              • Ds

                To do what? To win. Do the Pacers stop trying to win, just because Miami is in the way? You just keep trying until that breakthrough. NOTHING is guaranteed for ANYONE. If the Raptors keep winning until the end of January, you know that you have a winning formula and you try to push the envelop. The 17th or 18th pick is not going to be a better player than, say, Thad Young, Ryan Anderson, etc. You get a player for today AND tomorrow.

              • raptorstand

                Watch how the team is playing defense. Everybody has a hand on someone, everybody has a hand in a passing lane , everybody is switching, I just replayed the second half and the d was smothering. Indiana hasn’t seen that or any of the other teams we have beaten. Seriously man I watched Demar say we know if we win on the defensive end we can score, and he meant it. Totally new mind set , completely different team. Maybe you should develop a different mind set.

          • cesco

            What was the average age of the players on that Detroit team ? Billups who you mentioned was 28 then . What will JV and TR be at that age , possibly all-stars ? Of course they would have to be resigned which is another matter altogether .

  • Zimdim

    Long time reader, first time poster.
    Tim sticks to his guns in the middle of RR’s cease fire celebrations. Nice touch.
    You point to several facts but neglect the explosion of Ross.
    You also underrate Lowry’s leadership and his ability to score and create at will. He’s easily the raps mvp this year.
    MU: Sign the man. Trade for/sign another impact player…We’re on the right path.
    Enough dwelling over the burning tank.

    • AxlT

      I would like to agree but I’m not there yet. This streak fits well within the pattern of the Raptors treadmill journey: A little run before the all-star break, shock a few teams with some unsustainable effort wins. But there’s nothing in the past to indicate that the team has the talent reserve to overcome adversity, such as a major injury or even the all-too predictable post all-star lull in energy, when truly talented teams start ramping it up and effort teams get back on their heels.

      That said, I’m not sure why Tim is so sure that we have no potential elite talent on this team, so if they keep winning through the season, that means that JV, DD, Ross, even Lowry may have another level we haven’t seen yet and can sustain it. That’s sports, the Hibberts, Georges, Boshes of the world can come out of nowhere and surprise you.

      • Tanks-a-lot

        “shock a few teams with some unsustainable effort wins”

        Wow, you really aren’t paying attention to how the Raptors have closed out every win with the maturity of a playoff team. They were not simply ‘effort’ wins.

        • CJT

          Nice to see you supporting the good play and sticking up for your team again. Keep it up!

        • AxlT

          Defense is mostly about effort. Ball movement, cutting, running all equals effort. And come on, this is by far the hardest we’ve seen Kyle Lowry play since he’s become a raptor. DD has stopped complaining to the refs and is just playing … Lots of little things that may or may not be sustainable for an unproven team.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            But man, it would be nice if they keep it together and just keep getting better.

            • AxlT

              Completely agree. This tanking thing is really a red herring argument. Management is either happy with their best players or they are not. If not, they dump them, the team loses and you get into the draft. If so, you win and you try to upgrade at a position or bring someone in to address a weakness.

              More important is that the philosophy of the GM matches the coach and the players match that. That’s where BC blew it. He found talent, but nothing matched.

              • Tanks-a-lot

                I kind of figured he didn’t ‘get it’ when Bargs was picked. I remember the spiel back then was that Primo Pasta was also being picked to lure Italians in the GTA to buy tickets to see him play.

                Anyone that actually has grown up in Toronto knows that Italians took up Hockey, and aren’t exactly fond of black people, so Colangelo looked like a pandering jackass to me.

                • AxlT

                  Yeah, BC did the team a real disservice by making moves based on factors other than winning basketball games …

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  Well, our ownership was a bit more naive then. Steve Nash made players and the GM look far better than they deserved.

      • Kyle Weber

        “There’s nothing in the past to indicate that the team has the talent reserve to overcome adversity”

        How can there be? THIS team has only been together a few weeks, they don’t have a past to indicate anything. That being said, you can’t grade a team with adversity in mind, like injuries. Obviously the Raptors would get knocked down if Amir, Lowry, and JV all suffered simultaneous career ending injuries, but what team wouldn’t? Try a little optimism!

        • ItsAboutFun

          Naw man, some of these people dug their heels in so far that they’re stuck on stupid. Why they have a need to keep spreading their misery (or is it just trolling jollies?) is pathetic.

        • AxlT

          Past is the best predictor of the future … all I’m saying is it’s too soon to plan the parade. I am actually optimistic about this team, just not getting off the fence just yet. Seen it before enough times to know you need a larger sample size to conclude that a team is truly turning a corner.

  • keon’s parole officer

    I was wondering….
    Yeah it would be great to get one of these supertalents in the draft, but a rookie Wiggins. contract is for 4 years, which means these kids (jabari, Wiggins etc.,) would all be 23 at the end of their contracts right? So let’s say we get Wiggins as a rookie. He goes through all of the rookie challenges/ maturity/ adjustments for a few years and then feels he’s done his “back playing at home” phase. So now he’s 23 and ready to sign a contract. Now comes LA, New York whoever and we lose the golden child just when he’s entering his second contract, when typically players are better than in their rookie deal. (I’m sure someone with more brains and time can check my anectodal assumption). Wouldn’t a better plan be to develop a winning attitude, develop stability, store assets and then make a push once we’re established? Then we get a more developed player, a more mature player and a more effective player. Keep in mind that blueprint is exactly what Houston did with Harden. Frankly I’d love to spend the next two years for a team that’s winning and building than a team that throws it all in the toilet in the hopes of getting a young explsive player that may or may not be all he’s cracked up to b then watch him leave once he actually gets good.

    Just Sayin’

    • Bendit

      I believe you have missed the “restricted free agency” signing possibility after the rookie scale period. Teams with good to great rookies will never allow them to walk/sign with another team without matching the competing offer (prerogative of original team under the cba). Therefore, the true waiting period for a Wiggins to become a true unrestricted free agent is more like 7-8 years. Harden was an anomaly because of the great talent already being paid on OKC and the lacking desire of ownership to venture into tax territory.

      • Keon Clark’s parole officer

        Right, I understand that, but if we look at likely possibilities look at lottery picks, how often do they stay with a team that drafted them and how great are those teams? Balance that with the ability of a team to go out and get a player even if they are unrestricted. Wasn’t harden a sign and trade? The intricacies of salary cap magic are a bit beyond me but we have to admit a winning culture is more attractive to players than a team whose entire future winning philosophy is stink in the hopes we get the number 1 pick with which we select a homegrown talent who leads us to the promised land and then leaves to take his talents to south beach.
        Not that anything like that would ever happen.

        • Keon Clark’s parole officer

          One last thing 2 number on picks have won a title with the team who drafted them in the last 15ish years. Tim Duncan and David Robinson. HOw much of their success is due to a solid management, scouting system and winning culture?

          • Bendit

            My only point was that it is a rare occasion if ever (I dont know for sure) a drafted star (other than Harden) moved after/before their rookie deal expired and without signing on to an max extension or a match of a rfa contract offered by another team. Just referring to your stated original point (and one offered by the esteemed Paul Jones – commentator) that someone like Wiggins would be available after he has been primed in the NBA after 3-4 years. He would have to take a shave in his 4th year and hope he did not get injured before becoming unrestricted to sign with the team of choice. A big gamble you have to agree.

  • Clericalbeats

    Pretty cynical and disappointing read. Appreciate the effort but always finding the negatives is exhausting to read. The part about DeMar being a mirage irked me. He is facing the toughest defensive matchups, doubles and help of anyone on the team now that Rudy is gone. His shot selection still isn’t great but the D is giving him that shot and protecting the rim.

    For the record I was on board to tank early on as well, but only because I didn’t think our roster could win games anyways. The way they’re playing deserves more respect than this from our so-called “fan” site.

    • Ion66

      Remember that nowadays, if you build a perennial top five team, but don’t win a finals, it’s just “fools gold”. :)

      • Clericalbeats

        Winning an NBA Championship is extremely difficult. Can’t crucify a team that’s playing great basketball just because their record is considered mediocre. Sure, they might not win it all, or even a playoff series but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy the show they’re putting on right now. Nothing is a guarantee. Tanking doesn’t guarantee a bright future, rebuilding on the fly doesn’t guarantee winning series’, and winning now doesn’t guarantee mediocrity. Enjoy it while it lasts.

        • Hassan Mehmood Khan

          I think we can beat detroit milwuakee washington in a playoff series and if we stay where we currently are then we will

    • vanlivin

      who let this guy write feature articles?

      • CompeteNOW

        Really ? Whose decision was this !!!

      • ItsAboutFun

        Retaining him is even more troublesome. Is it for clicks? Gotta wonder.

      • Bryan Colangelo

        It’s not a ‘feature article’. This is supposed to be a game recap, but Tim W’s head is so far up his ass he turned it into a little soapbox about his feely-feelings.

        In the most recent podcast, Zarar admits that while Tim is entitled to his opinion, he was also supposed to actually write about the game, which he completely failed to do. It really cheats the readers of the site, and ruins their opportunity to discuss what might be one of the best games this season.

    • Borg

      We could trade Tim. W for first round pick to the Lakers/NY perhaps? What say you RR?
      Boneless article bro and an insult to RR reader’s intelligence.
      Even though all the points you’ve made could hold true in the end, you’ve failed to acknowledge the positive momentum of the team and the recent buzz around them in the league. Finally, true fans are rejoicing in years and we all know nothing lasts forever in this competitive business due to several variables. The team is good and even if we don’t win it all, this home team has earned the respect of many around the NBA circle that has made me proud fan :)
      Don’t worry, you’ll be a great fit for the Lakers or NY blogs this year.Go Raps!!!

      • Steve Lam

        come on really? you remember last year when raptors with gay went on that win streak and EVERYONE thought they were finally making that playoff push we so badly wanted? then we started losing to milwaukee and a string of more horrible losses vs horrible teams and that dream ended quickly. theres a reason raptors fans need to temper their expectations or else end up really disappointed.

        this run has been great and its been SUPER FUN to watch. but we have to remember that brooklyn just beat OKC (without westbrook but still), knicks just beat spurs and golden state just destroyed the heat tonight. lots of crazy shit can happen. and for all the people making fun of brooklyn/ny, well guess what? they’re literally only 4 to 5 wins behind us with plenty more games to go.

        i love the raptors. but when people get overly excited about a .500 record, thats when you know expectations and standards are pretty low. and i wouldn’t put it pass the raptors to lose a lot of games in what LOOKS LIKE an easy january schedule. last time we underestimated an easy schedule, we got completely destroyed and went without a playoff berth again in 2012-2013.

        • alboy

          Hi Tim ! No need to spam your opinion all through the comments . “Shit happens” , we got it , no need to repeat it .
          I won’t even think about telling you some things that you seem to forget (like the fact that the Raps haven’t only won some upset matches , but also the matches you’d expect them to win like the couple against NYK ; improvements in assists total , def and off efficiency ; ball movement ; defence ; their 4th quarter comebacks ; rise of Valanciunas and T-Ross and some other shit that happens) : fact is that not only raps fans are excited about this team , but also it seems to me ESPN , NBA.com and all other non biased sites . Maybe you should ask yourself why …

          Ah , the last thing : Raps fans aren’t excited about the .500 record , they are clearly excited about the games after the Rudy Gay trade , but you want to keep your point so I do understand this comment , although you know that it is intellectually dishonest .
          In being a Raptor fan I would be excited even by seeing only the games the team plays , the heart and the defence that their shown , so I find it difficult not to be excited after this run that have comprehended even a couple of deserved wins against “Elite” NBA teams .

          Sorry for my English , that’s not my native language and I have some big difficulties .

          • raptorstand

            great post , your English was great

    • Tinman

      Yeah – that’s Tim. Didn’t think RR could find anyone worse than PHD Steve, but they have.
      Tim didn’t you write an article last year about how we should not follow Indy’s example of building a contender?
      As a fan how do you feel about our recent play. DALLAS, OKC, NY(X2), BULLS(@HOME NO LESS) and now the 25-5 Pacers. Must really suck to be you.
      As a parent do you ever ask your child to try to lose?

      • Steve Lam

        brooklyn just beat OKC. knicks just beat the spurs. golden state just destroyed the heat. lots of crazy shit can happen.

  • Maya

    Sorry, but I’ll trust Ujiri over a blogger. Get out with headlines and “articles” like that.

  • Ion66

    So we go from everyone preaching “tank”, to “fools gold” being the new favorite phrase. Now we get to look forward to a year of people saying “division champs” with “air quotes”.

    • arsenalist

      ROTD

    • Jamshid

      These guys can not be happy.This is real people. This team is real. This success is real and with few small moves and little bit of luck, Eastern conference final will be real too.

  • ckh26

    An open discussion needs multiple points of view. Not all are popular but without them you run the risk of Groupthink. Vehemently oppose your point of view Timbo but you if you believe it and have enough credible data to continue to make your points, stay the course.

    • Zimdim

      Voila

  • Philoveritas

    If Masai really is the man he will trade Demar and Hansbrough to Cleveland For Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thompson. The salaries and contract lengths match up, and it makes them a worse team according to Hollinger.

    • DC

      Which team is “them”??

  • Kyle

    If a team is on pace to finish as high as 3rd in their conference, you’d think their fans would show a little optimism. I think people are so hung up on this team being the Raptors they can’t see that sans Rudy Gay they have a pretty solid team. If this exact lineup comprised the Celtics, or the Knicks, and were 9 of 12 since a major deal people would be talking contender.

    This thinking of “we can’t beat Miami, so we may as well be dead last” is pathetic and ruins everything about sports

  • Plus

    Paul George is not elite. He’s not on the same level as Lebron. There’s only a few players that you would consider elite. Paul George is great but not elite. The Pacers play hard nosed basketball and the core have been together a long time. I’ll give you DD. If anyone needs to be traded I would go with him first. At times I wish he would show some more alpha male behaviour in 48 minutes AND be consistent. But he needs to work at it. But who replaces him in the starting five outside the Raptors?

    • ac1011990

      Nobody is on the same level as Lebron, that’s why he is the best player in the world by FAR. Paul George is elite, he plays elite defence, he’s a good rebounder and he vastly improved his offensive game, not to mention this team started emerging as a force when he started his ascent into being a superstar.

      • Minks77

        agreed with everything but my only criticism of PG so far is that he definitely takes games/plays off and after a nice start he’s starting to fall back into bad habits of lazy passes and dribbling upright which is resulting in a lot of turnovers. It’s a little slippage in a long season but he’s definitely regressed a bit from the beginning of the season.

    • Nilanka15

      Paul George is definitely elite in my books.

  • Tee

    Tim your ego gets in the way of your writing. That was a pretty weak recap. Why must you always write about your morbid predictions? It’s a raptors fan site.
    take a hint from your hero Z Lowe and write a balanceed perspective on the game. Nonody wants to hear how you think derozan schooling george in the 4th is a mirage.

    Get over yourself

    • raptorspoo

      Why don’t you just stop reading Tim’s articles if it bothers you so much?

    • Tinman

      Zach Lowe wannabe

  • SR

    Honestly, if all Tim wants to do is write tanking articles, can he please be limited to doing that? I come here to read game recaps the morning after a game, and Tim’s last couple recaps haven’t been recaps at all. I don’t mind the discussion, but can’t it be relegated the forum and more specific team-building articles? After a fantastic win, we’d all love to celebrate the great basketball that was played last night – no matter how you feel about tank/anit-tank.

    • SR

      Honestly, after beating one of the top teams in the league (outgrinding the #1 defense in the NBA and killing them in the 4th quarter), hitting .500 this deep into the season for the first time in 3 years, and going 9-3 over the last 12, the headline is “Raptors Reach Mediocrity!!!” I don’t care what you think about t*nking, that’s Grade A Trolling that belongs to the comment section, not to a front page headline. Disgraceful.

      • ItsAboutFun

        It really has reached the point of disgraceful. Well, it did a long time ago, but it has reached a new level.

  • j bean

    Mediocrity-The quality of something that is not very good.
    -A person that does not have the special ability to do something well.

    Which is more mediocre, The Raptors or this article?

    • SR

      I know! I know!

    • Age

      The article.

  • JawsGT

    Hate to break it to ya Tim, but Demar’s defense has been stellar lately.

    • ItsAboutFun

      No kidding. The guy really doesn’t know the game. He really doesn’t. It’s becoming clownish/trollish. Take your pick.

  • Zig Biv DeVoe

    Ahhh, what it is to be a raptors fan. We’ve beaten some of the best teams in this run and alas, it doesn’t satisfy our RR columnists.

    Instead, preach losing/tanking. Preach trading our players, preach negativity. It’s sad really.

    It’s so easy to write articles like this, instead of writing about what’s made us great so far.

    Disappointing read.

  • TrueTorontoFan

    Tim W…. I don’t agree with a lot of the things you say. You seem to be the most depressing and pessimistic “Fan” ever. I will however say a few things. I agree with your points on Demar. I never used to agree with it but we need to trade him, and preferably without trading ross. I think if we can trade him and and someone for a mid teens pick and someone serviceable at the 3 or an up and coming starting power forward that would slot amir back on to the bench we could have something moving forward. Again I don’t think we can get the top 5 in the draft. We can however buy into it. Internal growth isn’t a bad thing especially when you wanna persuade some of these guys to stay eventually.

    Lastly, I want to point out that a few fans used to clamour for a line up of Ross and Demar and it is actually working out.

  • wrapfan

    Pacers, your immaturity is showing!

    Kudos to Casey, his staff and namely Lowry, Ross, JV and DD for strategically exploiting the Pacers’ core weakness by way of a Frustrate & Foul Out method…a thing of beauty and well worth watching over and over – did you see Amir pump up the crowd in the dying seconds? Not only are the Raps staking claim to their new identity (4th quarter lock down, team ball, etc.), but Casey is also saying, I can coach with anybody! Hibbert limited to 21 frustrating mins, six foot Lowry draws foul with 17 mins left to play – brilliant!

    Doesn’t Casey deserve a bit of Sun Tzu recognition for the past few games in the very least (Popovich being really the only true adversary)? Agreed, Casey knows defence, is not an offensive genius, and his current winning strategy is not a traditional, easily identifiable, offensively oriented strategy, but in the long run it might produce better results – the right players know which weakness to target, when to exploit it and how to do it together (and on both sides of the ball)! Truly. Remarkable. Coaching.

    Now, I’m worried about the Pacers’ chances against the Heat come playoffs…Morway/Vogel may be running out of time to improve the level of maturity/leadership this squad can deliver. Throughout the game it just seemed like George and Hibbert were following West’s lead (forgetting how to keep calm) and Vogel didn’t know what to do about it/is missing the pieces to do something about it. Going out on a limb here, but it may be time to move David West…just not sure which vet(s) to replace him with. If Morway can pull a Masai before the deadline, the Heat might be in trouble, otherwise it may come down to Miami’s ability to prevent injuries or the Spurs getting lucky #lastchance.

    Back to the Raps…Tuesday’s game in Indiana should be revealing. Prediction: every Raptor gang up on Hibbert (again), Indiana has a tough time staying calm after the Raps find a new way to get under their skin.

    • Don Carlos

      Totally agree with this. Towards the end of the game I caught a shot of George and Hibbert with these puzzled, “I can’t believe this is happening to us” faces. But beating them again on Tuesday, on their home court, after playing Miami, when they’re ready, is going to be another story.

  • Raptor fans

    Demar d is bad and that’s being nice you would expect your best player to lock other people down you put a second year player on the best player on Indiana come on post was kinda harsh but some real but building throu one draft for raptors fans how many times have we heard that raptors republic never talks about how the fans go throu build throu the draft blow it up wait 4 years I’m tried of that lets make the playoff win games and trust our gm but I bet raptors republic won’t talk about this either

    • AK

      try using “.” or “,”

  • Reupped

    Ugh. You need help Tim.

  • morgan c

    For someone that was a pro-tanker as recently as the Charlotte loss, even I am pretty disappointed with this piece. The Raptors are playing great, exciting ball. There is excitement in the fan base we haven’t had in forever it seems. The guys genuinely seem to play hard and for each other. Outstanding team chemistry. The way this team is playing, I just hope Masai keeps them together and they make a run. 500 may be the definition of average, but 4th or 3rd in the conference is not. It doesn’t matter that the East sucks. And hell yeah, I’d take a homecourt first round playoff series over a tank with only a 50/50 chance AT BEST to get a true future star.

    The more I think about it, the more ridiculous that analysis and viewpoint is. Literally, there are 4 teams that have a legit shot of winning the title, and in the NBA, it’s usually 3. Unlike hockey, football, and baseball, there aren’t many upsets and the best teams usually win. Being totally candid, the Raps wouldn’t be a legit title contender with everyone they have now AND Wiggins, to be honest. 1 team wins a championship. The other 29 do not. I guess there is no point to be a fan, Tim, if we aren’t either number 1 or number 30?!

  • DC

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics!
    The team has not REACHED mediocrity; their AVERAGE performance has reached mediocrity, by virtue of the present SUPERIOR performance. Big difference!
    From here on, it’s a new ball game. Stop belittling it!

  • Paul

    Tim. Buddy. I was as pro tank as the next guy, but even you have to admit the circumstances have changed a bit?
    This is no longer a team led by Rudy Gay and going for 37 wins and a first round out. This team is being led by Amir and Lowry with huge contributions from Ross and Valanciunas. And it’s looking like a strong bid to make the second round. This has been done precisely once in franchise history.
    To blow this up now would be like the nerdy guy refusing to go to the prom with the cheerleader because he wants to go with Beyonce.
    When a franchise has had as little success as the Raptors, you don’t throw away a chance to win a playoff series for yet another year of lottery luck.
    Please. Put the tanking stuff to bed.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    So, what are we supposed to think if the Raptors beat the Heat in that same mature ‘close out the game’ sort of way?
    What if the Raptors are not punching above their weight but actually sparring with equals, as a team?
    What if the Raptors have fallen into a new paradigm for success in the NBA?

    A team that courts a starting 5 that are all capable and confident clutch scorers and defenders. What the hell do you do with a team that can burn you at every position, not just the two or three (or four with Miami) designated ‘superstars’?

  • dribbles

    So many people are so quick to judge young players. Amir’s contract was a laughing stock across the league but now you can argue he has one of the best contracts around (credit to BC for a change). Ross was looking like a bit of a bust earlier in the year and now people are raving about his upside as a good 3 and D player. Bullshit. Nobody knows how good he may be (even if passing on Drummond was a mistake). How many 3+D guys are that athletic?

    Roy Hibbert looked like an uncoordinated oaf his first couple of years in the league. People are already putting a ceiling on Jonas’ potential and he’s a 21 year old still learning english and filling out his body. I don’t love DeMar either but he’s objectively improved his all around game. He’s in a shooting funk but how can anyone say this is the definitive version? Nonsense.

    I can’t imagine Suns fans are this down on their team because they’re exceeding expectations. This Raptors team is playing the best ball I can remember them playing, and the oldest starter is 27. There are no albatross contracts anymore. I’d love to be able to watch a group of young guys grow together. If a no-brainer deal comes around for Lowry or DeRozan or anyone else, fine. But you don’t get a lot of those. For now, they’re balling and it’s fun to watch. I’ll worry about a championship later.

  • Crushers

    Are you blind? Demar schooled George when game was on line, and hit tough defended shots in crunch time WHEN HIS TEAM NEEDED THAT TO WIN!Plus nine boards and some decent passes.

  • VCR

    It seems many fans think a team is either Elite or Mediocre…talk about no grey area (how about young up and coming teams?). Based on the categorization, was Indiana Elite last year? No they weren’t but they continued to build their team (not all of their improvement this year is due to Paul George) and I believe Indiana did a pretty good job last year in battling the Heat who are Elite, in the playoffs. People undervalue playoff experience, it is a different game and going through that kind of war shows your true colours, builds character, helps develop the toughness and nastiness you need to compete and win games, and helps the GM/Coach determine what improvements are needed to make a playoff run. Indiana’s playoff experience against the Heat last year has made them into what they are this year.

    You have to remember this team is young, and their ceiling is not defined yet so why limit them? Let them develop and if they suck, then they suck which will result in the a rebuild. But if they compete and continuously improve, why would you limit a team’s potential and the potential of the players. All teams have to go through mediocre to become elite.

    Two of the most underappreciated and underrated factors in a team’s success are Competitiveness (their effort and the will to fight) and Chemistry (the way they play as a team and the way they help/protect each other).

  • elkabong

    good grief … instead of celebrating the end of #tanknation let’s celebrate the birth of mediocrity! basketball relies on units to compete and produce and the better the unit the closer to the top of the heap you become ….. is our starting 5 championship caliber? heck no but it sure as s**t is better than a team looking at a bottom 5 lottery pick so i’d expect our GM to try and improve the unit one step or piece at a time so maybe you’d better get used to that instead of the blow it all to kingdom come theory

    the Barngani trade was improvement via subtraction and he somehow got a 1st and 2 seconds along with some salary matching fluff ….. the Rudy deal fixed in one fell swoop one of our biggest weaknesses in the quality of the bench and since then the concept of “team” play seems to at the for front of the players as well as the coaches

    the tankers are sad to see the thoughts of Wiggins + company floating away into the sunset but go back and look at your historic 2003 draft and you’ll see the 5th best player by winshares was selected at pick 18 so there’s still hope for a pretty nice but likely not franchise player so let’s go looking for the nugget that everyone else misses

  • Paul

    Tim. Do you think it makes you more credible to be so ardently pro tank?
    Do you think that everyone else who flip flopped is just a fickle, short sighted fan?
    Here’s the thing. Circumstances change and on the basis of new information, people revise their opinions.
    I am totally OK with Ross and Valanciunas playing significant minutes on a team with second round potential.
    If Lowry and Amir tore their ACLs tomorrow, I would be back on the tank train immediately.
    But there’s no denying this team has something right now. To snuff it out for another year in the lottery would be asinine.
    Discounting the team’s obvious improvement is just making you look foolish at this point.

  • cesco

    This team may have a couple of future all stars in JV and TR . So the possibilities to see them in a conference final in my lifetime are real . I will be cheering for them to win it all .

  • Boss

    The Raptors can be deemed “mediocre” only if we we look at their full record up until this point. They were terrible before the Rudy Gay trade, and have been outstanding since the trade. Average that out and you have “mediocre”, but that is not a true representation of what this team is. The Raptors have shown a lot of promise over their last 12 games, and we shouldn’t devalue that by blending their recent success with their failure from the start of the season.

  • onemanweave

    Tim, Do you really mean this or are you trolling for hits? Not sure even you know at this point. Anyway, setting your head on fire sure draws a crowd. Congrats.

    • raptorstand

      Oneman I have a question for you? Do you think the Timbo man is from Manitoba or Regina ? Maybe hes from half way between , little town called Mangina ? Cold out in Mangina , Saskatechewan this time of year. This kind of article reflects 40 below out on the prairie in the little town of Mangina.

      • onemanweave

        At this point, I have no idea where Tim is from OR coming from.

  • Reggie Evans

    Sure Tim. What’s the alternative? Tank? Accrual of assets and becoming Denver East until the right opportunity comes along is much more attractive than waiting on lottery balls.

  • ItsAboutFun

    In a word, pathetic.

  • DR

    Since you’ve already been taken to task for the rest of the crap here, can I just point out that only a crack addict would think that Hedo was that team’s 2nd best player? Calderon, Johnson and Davis were all far better than that sack of manure. They would have easily been in the playoffs that year if the team had just strapped Turk and Bargs onto a rocket and pointed it into the sun at the beginning of the year.

  • Statement

    Tim W,
    This is vintage trolling. Very sad….and I’m actually one of the few that used to vist thepicketfence
    Just a blatant hit grab and awful.

    • Tinman

      You wonder why there were at most 2 comments per article on his sight. His writing didn’t attract any followers, so he bailed and joined a site(Raptor’s Republic) that he has ridiculed in the past.

  • RaptorFan

    WOW Tim W……OMG. You are one truly stubborn writer. Why is it so hard to say that you were wrong and this team is better than you give them credit for?? I find it hilarious that your still touting that trade Demar CRAP. Dude, its not happening.
    “DeRozan’s defense has continued to be subpar, for the most part.” You’ve been saying this a whole lot……do you even watch the games anymore??? Your losing credibility timmie.

    It must hurt to see him school Paul George and Stephenson when you say he sucks. It must really hurt to see them explode on him and go for 12 and 8 points respectively…..I wish i could see the look on your face. lol

    To be honest, I don’t really like your writing technique/style (whatever you call this junk). Maybe you spout this stuff to get hits and comments…..I just think you should be careful. You are seriously losing any credibility you had (which i don’t think was too much to begin with). Maybe you don’t care that only obsessive pro-tankers agree with you and your views. My words of advise are…

    Give up this negative/tanking crap and come back to reality!

  • cdub

    I’s like to say Tim’s writing has reached mediocrity but that would be paying him an undeserved compliment. Broken records aren’t mediocre..they’re just broken.

    • Tinman

      Comment of the year

      • ItsAboutFun

        Agreed!

  • BoomboxSaints

    How do you even work for RR?
    Must be working for MU’s secret service in reading the public on their “Tank” feelings. In that case, great job Tim.

  • enlightenment

    We can compete for the 3rd seed in the East. How in the world does that qualify us as mediocre? Making the 2nd round for the 1st since Vince is not a mediocre result.

  • Chris

    Horrible. Get off the train and post your negative perspectives somewhere else!

  • Ds

    As per ESPN’s playoff odds machine, the Raptors’ projected win total is 48 (even with the bad start). If that were to pass, this Raptors team would have played .656 ball since the trade. Contenders?

  • afrocarter

    I love how Tim ignores the fact that the Raptors, without “elite” talent, have worked their asses off to achieve a top 10 defense. And how he continues to ignore the obvious importance of grinding towards establishing a winning culture. “Mediocre” indeed. Did anyone consider Indiana having “elite” talent last year? Learning what it takes is how teams achieve elite levels of play. Is a legit top 4 seed not good enough for you, friend? Get out of here with your negative drivel.

    • Tinman

      Don’t bring up Indy
      It’s a subject Tim likes to forget

  • d_1212

    What about writing about the total team effort, defence, chemistry and ball-sharing. Paul George is striving in a team well constructed and coached with a great team and defensive system. Put him with the Milwaukee Bucks now, would he still be an elite player, and make them win and a contender? What about the phoenix suns, who taught they would be where they are now? They don’t have any “elite” player. I thought they were supposed to tank this year?? And by the way, Wiggins hasn’t lived up to the hype this year in college.

  • Andrius

    My two cents:

    The Raptors are winning. They are playing well, they have good pieces to build with. No, they don’t have a superstar player but tanking is a viable strategy in any given year, really. You can give up and start losing at any time you want but turning it on and starting to win is a bit harder. This year – it’s probably a little different, because a lot of teams are losing (on purpose or otherwise) but the team has a good chance to get its young players some valuable experience in the playoffs (round 1 at least). A top-10 pick this year (outside of the top 3 or 4) won’t turn the team into championship contenders any time in the next two or three years at least so sucking to get good can be put off for a year. Or, another option is to shop Lowry or Derozan or whoever while seeing how long this run lasts because there is still time until the Feb. trade deadline.

    As for the author: writing an article with a title obviously intended to incite anger and basically trolling will not bring anyone round to your way of thinking. Maybe that’s not the intention, but as a writer on a fan blog, writing with the intent to troll a large part of the readership is just strange. Maybe in future, if this run doesn’t work out, you’ll be able to gloat and link to this and all the other articles you’ve written and say, HA, I KNEW, BOW DOWN TO MY SUPERIOR BASKETBALL KNOWLEDGE but that’s a pretty sad way to make a name for yourself. I guess it must feel quite frustrating when you think yourself intellectually superior to others and can’t understand the opposing viewpoint. In that situation, antagonising the other side probably seems like the only logical solution. But that’s just not healthy and there are other, more amicable way to express yourself.

    Here’s to the winning streak, anyway.

    • Tinman

      Ask him for a ink to his article – why Toronto should not follow Indy’s example – he forgets

  • Age

    Demar’s assessement is very myopic. The one thing that is constantly over looked is DD’s progress over the last 5 years into being a more complete player. He wants to get better. Every year he brings something new to his game. 3 years ago all he did was drive and crash (as per Doc Rivers). After summers working with the likes of players like kobe, demar can shoot the 3, shoot mid range shot, pump fake and free throws. Demar has been the opposite of what Bargnani was. Bargnani never worked his craft and never brought a new dimension to his game which is why bother players are going to opposite directions in the league.

    Demar may not be the most efficient player, but he is also not a very expensive player. He is helping guys like Ross and JV to understand how the game is to be played and bringing the desire and intensity to the younger players to help them develop faster

    • Keepup

      Absolutely. Remember when everyone slagged Barnagni for his lack of rebounding. DD had 9 rebounds last night, and a couple of important steals down the stretch. He made a couple of ill-advised shots, but he kept George engaged on D the entire night and was a leader.

  • Roarque

    Understanding that this writer considers anything less than winning the NBA Title is unacceptable then I think I understand his perspective. It is a noble objective but that goal involves a lot of factors that are difficult to bring together, especially in Canada. The right coach who would not want to be anywhere else, the right superstar(s) who could not imagine living anywhere else, the right glue guys who would make the stars accountable for their shortcomings (defensive coverages) and the right schedule that would ease the team past the critical first and second round opponents injury free ( see R Westbrooke) would be my short list of needs for such a winning scenario.
    Interestingly, much like the 2004 (?) Detroit Pistons – who had no superstar – the current Toronto Raptors might just have the magic stuff needed to make it to the Finals but they don’t have the depth to win it all. But which of the team starters should be traded to get more depth?
    The real issue for me is that winning it all year after year is nearly impossible unless the team “games” the system (Miami) and then the team becomes just a footnote to history. Better in my opinion to have a team that is filled with guys who truly want to be in Toronto and who embrace the city as their own. Oh, and who win more than they lose.
    One other footnote – Many, many years ago Sam Pollock, the wily GM of the Montreal hockey club in the NHL convinced his counterparts that the Canadiens should have first right of refusal on every young player living in Quebec. Perhaps if we could convince the powers that be in the NBA to bestow the same exclusivity on the Toronto team then we could achieve what TimW is after.

  • TheR3dMenace

    Garbage. You can fuck off any time now and no one will be sad to see you go. You can spend more time maturbating over the next 3 years of mocks drafts that way. Win/win?

    • raptorstand

      decorum, boys decorum ,we don’t want anybody feeling like we hurt their feelings.

      • TheR3dMenace

        My feelings are fine, I just don’t want to hear a personal diatribe where a game recap is supposed to be. Please have Zarar do these instead

        • raptorstand

          I am with you 100% I’m just sayin that these moderators here arnt cool and they get all politically correct on peoples asses if the real fans start telling the powers that be the truth. Just trying to save you some grief , but what you wrote is exactly how I feel too.

    • raptorstand

      but that is some seriously funny stuff

    • ac1011990

      Jeez man calm down, if you don’t like his articles don’t read them. He feels a certain way, that’s upto him. Not everyone agrees on things in life, doesn’t mean you start attacking people. And by the way I’m curious, is maturbating a form of masturbation while at the same time gaining knowledge and becoming a more mature individual, I like it Lolz :)

    • ckh26

      so we’ll mark you down as PH7 – neutral to no opinion on tim.

  • FREEJV

    Raptors : “Hey Tim tell me how my ass taste”

    • raptorstand

      Now that’s funny , I don’t care who you are.

  • Keepup

    The Raptors should ONLY make basketball trades that result in better assets than they trade away. The idea of “tanking” now is nonsense, since they would basically be tanking for a pick that is not top-5 unless they get fleeced in trades for players like DeRozan, Lowry and Amir. Ujiri should now consider what he has and what he needs to make the Raptors a consistent team. JV is looking more and more like a top-10 C. Lowry is likely a top-20 PG on an expiring. They should extend him or trade him for a good return (but don’t give him away). DeRozan looks like a decent 2nd or 3rd option, and Ross looks like he could be a very useful 3+D wing player. I think the Raptors should use their assets wisely, draft well in the upcoming drafts and continue to build. The worst idea is to lose a couple of trades just to worm their way up to the 6th or 7th player in the draft, who might not be any better than their own pick. That train has left the station, Tim W.

  • keith

    And you think shipping out Derozen and others to get Wiggins or some other “future star” is going to make this team a champion? What, five years from now after Wiggins is tired of playing with no one?

    HA!

  • Jude

    how are you going to say Kyle Lowry can’t run the ship on a contender?…dude had 14 assists last night and a few timely 3s.

    • raptorstand

      Against the team with the best record in the NBA ? Naaaawww he cant do it on a contender, lololololololol

    • Tanks-a-lot

      There is nothing sweeter than the Dagger shot.

  • doggy

    worst article ever

  • raptorstand

    What everybody fails to realize the Timbo man wrote this as a comedy routine for The Raptor Nation, come on people humor is a very subjective thing and this article is truly one of the funniest pieces of comedic writing I have read in years. Good Job Timmer Yes we are a tough crowd but we will start to understand your brand of humor ty sir for belly laughs coming from this direction and like good comedy I don’t have to read it anymore to hear the joke. Have a nice Raptor day buddy.

  • Derek

    Its easy to say “sign Lowry” – but the question is, sign him for how much, and for how long? With the kind of season Lowry is having, he’s setting himself up for a big payday in free agency. If someone is willing to pay him $10M per season – do the Raps really want to spend that kind of money on Lowry? As great as he’s playing this year, bear in mind that its a contract year for him. He was a mess last year, and was similar in Houston. If he signs a big money deal before next season, are you 100% sure you’ll get the same player next year from Lowry that he is this year (because I’m not).

    The Lowry issue is my biggest concern with this team. With Lowry on the team, and Vasquez backing him up, I think this team IS good enough to beat some of the best teams in the league. And if we had Lowry locked up for 1 or 2 more years on a reasonable contract, that’d be a different story. Right now all these wins are doing is guaranteeing Lowry a bigger paycheck on his next contract. There are two possible scenarios I see that really worry me:

    1) Lowry leaves the Raps at the end of this year to go elsewhere, and Raps get nothing in return. Lowry takes whatever team is offering the biggest contract. Raps are now back to being a bottom-tier playoff team – back in that 7-10 range in the east.

    2) Raps re-sign Lowry themselves to a big money contract. You have no guarantee that Lowry will be the same player next year once he’s signed a big deal AND you’ve given up a big chunk of the financial flexibility that Ujiri has worked so hard to free up this year.

    Its because of these 2 possible scenario’s that I think Masai needs to trade Lowry before the deadline, and get the best possible package in return for him. And if you remove Lowry from the equation, without receiving a comparable point guard back in return (which is unlikely), then does anyone think this team will be just as good with Vasquez playing Lowry’s minutes, and Buycks playing his back-up?

    I LOVE seeing the Raps win, and beat tough teams like OKC and Indiana. But this team MUST look at the big picture (beyond this season). I want to see them beat (or compete) with those kind of teams EVERY year. If we get a bunch of great wins this year and then suck again next year when Lowry leaves, these wins now mean nothing.

    • raptorstand

      This is my take on the situation, hes going to get the money. But he is really liking Jonas and Terence , those assists arnt lucky. With Jonas on this team he will be the leader soon with Lowry and that means Jonas wont let Lowry become mediocre. You want that guy mad at you? I say sign him and the fit will be like a glove , let those past places he has played be behind him.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Lowry will take into account that his services work well in Toronto.

  • Minks77

    While I agree the team needs a legit top ten player, that ascendent talent any and every team needs to become a real contender, and I was pro tank because this year is a golden opportunity to draft one of those kinds of players, I disagree that tanking is the only way to go. Losing breeds bad habits, discourages fans, advertisers, tv audiences and free agents. Tanking is a total crap shoot anyway.This article ignores the fact that there are teams light years ahead in the craptastic tank sweeps than the raps so our chances of landing a real game changer are really low. Are Randle, Smart, Parker or Wiggins really as good as the hype? So far it really doesn’t look like it. They look good but do any of you really get the same feeling you did watching KD in college? LeBron in HS?

    I’ve abandoned my tank. I think a 4/5 seed is doable. I also think a matchup with Washington say could give them a shot at the second round. I’ve given up thinking I know what Masai should do. He’s getting paid to make these decisions and so far has shown no reason why we shouldn’t just trust him and enjoy the ride. I have far more faith in his eye for talent and shrewd bargaining ability than I’ve ever had in a Toronto GM in any sport.

  • Bryan Colangelo

    “In the end, I decided the recap should match this dichotomy.”

    Um, Tim comparing his feelings with actual results isn’t a dichotomy. It’s him reaching Doug-Smith levels of self-important jackassery.

    • Minks77

      “It’s him reaching Doug-Smith levels of self-important jackassery”

      Bwahahahahahahaha, awesome.

  • Bryan Colangelo

    I’m sorry, but you can’t judge Demar without including his impact on Terence Ross’ improvement. Ross’ success is partly due to the defense that Demar draws and his willingness to give up the ball.

    Ideally, Demar would be the second option on a contender. But the way Raptor fans shit on him, they make it sound like he is some kind of ball-hog with Mo-Pete level talent. He’s definitely not that. He’s legit player.

  • Paul

    I’m disappointed with the tone of the article but I’m going to take a different position when it comes to Tim and the other vehement tanking brigade. I’d like Tim and others to post as much of their viewpoint as they like because I think it’s motivating the team. I think the surprise of the Rudy Gay trade, the subsequent rumours about shipping Kyle or Demar out and the tone of a lot of fan sites this year beating the “tank at all costs” drum have helped put a giant chip on the shoulders of the remaining players. I think they’re playing with everything they have for each other because there’s a case to be made that they don’t feel a lot of people are in their corner.

    I posted last night that I couldn’t remember seeing a better Raptors game in the past decade and that was before the outcome was decided. I love the fire these guys are playing with so I say let Tim and the others continue to ride the tank and give these guys the fuel they need to keep this going.

    • j bean

      These players are motivated to excel since before they first showed signs they could be NBA material. They are motivated to reach their goals by many things such as their teammates, coaches, family, fans, money and most importantly themselves.
      Please don’t give too much credit to a self absorbed blogger who in reality has inconsequential effect on the success or failure of the team he is so critical of.

  • raptorstand

    The thing about young men learning a championship defensive scheme , is that when they finally get it , they don’t unlearn it. Its there, and can be taught to others that come in. San Antonio anyone? This team is getting off on defense and as a Raptor fan that could see glimpses of what they could be, its amazing lolololol What a great time to be a Raptor fan !!

  • Hassan Mehmood Khan

    I think raptors have the pieces to be a contender , For me its all about the big Lithuanian in the middle . If he can develop into an allstar which I think he can he shut down the top 3 centers in the league. I also trust Masai way more then BC so I have full faith he will complete the puzzle around Demar TRoss and JV

  • Anonymous

    The problem I have with this column isn’t necessarily that he’s wrong or negative. This is a .500 and there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that it’s lucky to be there (great health and a bad conference chief being 2 big reasons). However, the writer seems to cherry pick his points on WHY this is fools gold and why it’s still prudent to ‘tank’.

    First off, every team that wins needs some sort of luck to get them to be where they are. The Miami Heat needed 2 great coaches to take out their 7 footers at critical times for them to win the NBA championship last year. The Memphis Grizzlies benefited Blake Griffin and Russel Westbrook injuries last year. Golden State sure looked good against Denver when Gallinari was out and Faried was hobbled. The Raptors shouldn’t feel bad because they have had a few breaks go their way and they have Jason Kidd and Mike Woodson in their division.

    There’s is no Paul George on this team, but 2 years ago, Paul George wasn’t even Paul George. When he won his Most Improved Player award, there was a lot of “He’s just getting more minutes, but producing the same” talk about him. Now? He’s a beast, but no one could have predicted this. Throw in a great coach, Larry Bird being a steady hand, a perennial DPOY at the 5, season vets like David West and George Hill and even Born Ready, it’s easy to see how a young player might flourish. Who’s to say that he would be what he is if he landed in a spot like Charlotte or Sacramento? Demar Derozan has never really been thrown into the deep end for being ‘The Man’, but who’s to say that he can’t respond? He’s 24 years old, he’s gotten better every year and he seems to actually give a crap. Maybe now that there are solid teammates around him that care about team defense with a coach that preaches it, he might get even better. It’s boggles my mind that sometimes people can’t entertain the fact that guys can mature and be better. Why does DeRozan have to be Jeff Malone 2.0 for the rest of his career? Is it that absurd that Terrence Ross couldn’t be an impact player when we’ve seen cases like Marc Gasol and Lance Stephenson?

    Even the point about the Raptors 2010 season is a little silly. Hindsight is always 20/20, but that team was bloated with long term contacts ($70 Million for Jose Calderon AND Jarrett Jack?!?!?!?) and vets. Hedo was their 2nd best player (?) but he was 31 at the time. He wasn’t getting any better. Plus that team had the worst coach in recent NBA history not named Michael Curry. This team is relatively young and doesn’t have any long term contracts that are hampering them. Even if this all goes to heck, the only one they are tied to is DeRozan and $9 Mill a year isn’t exactly a killer.

    Yes, tanking is a viable option and I would love to see Andrew Wiggins play for the Raptors. But it’s not the only way and it’s not a guarantee for anything. Cleveland and Charlotte have had some high picks and they have whiffed on them. Kevin Love is a Top 5 player in the NBA and he’s never made the playoffs. Chris Paul might be the best PG to ever play and he’s never reached an NBA CONFERENCE Finals. LaMarcus Aldridge looks great now, but 12 months ago, Portland was a miserable team and he was rumored to go to Chicago. Tanking (to me) just feels too much like a lazy and convenient way for GMs to sell their failures and complain about their lot in life. Yeah, it sucks that LeBron James at the height of his powers and he’ll probably win as long as he’s healthy and motivated, but he’s not Superman. You can’t just throw your hands up and hope the lottery balls land in your favor. There’s value in putting out an entertaining product and having a stable organization that values working hard and having a winning atmosphere. Watching that game last night and seeing that crowd, that’s something that someone should look at and say “How can we build on this” not “Geez, we better stop this for the 10% chance we can get the next Joe Johnson”.

    • raptorstand

      Nice piece of writing, I don’t know if your new here, but Tim doesn’t care about what you think , your opinion , or anything positive. Tim only thinks about Tim and Tims world. Tim is the only one that knows anything about basketball and especially the Toronto Raptors. When Tim reads your writing he is sneering and calling you a fool . Its Tims world and we just live in it as Raptor Nation.

    • Keepup

      Nice comment. I agree with this completely. I would add that Ujiri previously traded away a “top 5″ talent in Carmelo to create a nice mix in Denver. There is more than one way to build a franchise, and competing with a bunch of tanking teams in the hopes that you land one top talent (against the odds) is the lazy and unpredictable route. Indiana is a prime example of how good management and good coaching can be a more satisfying and logical approach.

    • Zimdim

      *Golf clap*.

  • Frankthetank

    Couple things that have been left out over and over with the raptors republic writers and audience:

    First, DD as a first option is great because he doesn’t hold the ball (most of the time) and kill the offensive movement and the ball movement (rudy gays slow feet, slow decision making and inability to run plays properly because he is too good to run offensive sets and plays killed Toronto’s offense) . DD’s ability to cut hard and use screens is his best attribute along with a jump shot that is one of the best in the league in terms of verticals and mid-range. The rest of the team plays off DD’s hard cuts and ability too use screens and read what the defense is giving. This allows TRoss to do what he does best which is shoot 3’s and punish close out defenders with his speed and jumping ability. Also allows us to run lots of pick and rolls which take advantage of our two bigs who are really good at pick and roll play.

    Defensively our overall team speed and athleticism is really showing recently without a slow footed Rudy Gay. We’re finely playing good ball and taking advantage of our athleticism. This could have been BC at the helm but he got married to the idea of having a ball hogging superstar run the show.

  • Saskatoon Raps Fan

    I hope RR has Timmy on the trade block. A lot of tanking teams this year whose blogs could prolly use his “talents”

  • Vimsanity

    Maybe Tim W. just does this to get attention and reactions. I mean, look at all these heated comments he always gets! Maybe Tim is paid to be the designated devil’s advocate of RR. There’s a reason guys like Skip Bayless are as popular as they are.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I think Tim W. is the real mirage here.

  • Alex Vostrikov

    raptors need a good leader… as in player/coach on the floor, or as in coach who players look up to. this organization always luck leadership….
    I don’t buy into “talent” as the most important thing. raptors need character/personality/system, and then suddenly you will start seeing talent… even within the organization. I will always look up to spurs as an example. no one on that team is un-human skill wise. all the players, look to be smarter and more organized then the rest. even james with all the skill he has, plays within the system… and looks to be determined on every play.
    its not a coincidence, but Toronto have a tendency to give their top dogs the keys to the car (mighty mouse, bosh, carter, gay, bargs)… and with obvious failure each time, take the head of that same players. even so, when carter had huge success, don’t forget the role players Toronto had. you had hand full of very smart and responsible players, which made carter look one of the top players at the time.
    by bringing top college star to this team, and making him the messiah, wont take the team no where.
    I hope this time around we will have systematic progress, and players might buy into all team first mentality.

  • Louvens Remy

    I’m loving mediocrity.

  • Dr. Scooby

    It does read like like a kill-joy article, but it isn’t; This team is what it is and not what many want it to be.

    • raptorstand

      Kill joy article? shoot he didn’t just Kill joy , but he raped her and cut her up into little pieces and then spew her out on these pages so Joy would forever be in our memories as something that Tim never seems to have.

  • Rapfan22

    I guess the real test will be at MIAMI SUNDAY.

    • raptorstand

      Yea the real test was the Texas swing, then the real test was the New York games , could we beat the teams we should beat, then the test was Chicago in their barn , then the test was the team with the best record in the NBA, ……… But But , the real test is Lebron and the Two time NBA Champions. No matter what happens , I think the team is thinking , bring them on . come on bring em on. Test this.

  • doncity

    Anyone can have an opinion on anything. The true test of an opinion’s worth is whether one considers it informed or not. For whatever reason, this writer has shown that he has an axe to grind regarding the direction of the Raptors. It’s clear by this point that everything he writes has to be seen through this prism, therefore I dismiss his analysis outright.

    I’ve felt since the beginning of last year that the Raptors had the makings of a good young team on the rise and nothing that has happened since has changed that view. Those who feel otherwise are welcome to their opinions as long as they realize that the facts are beginning to prove them wrong.

    Stupid wrong, in fact. LOL

  • tonious35

    Tim, you have to know that even when you draft a superstar, you have to manage, lead, and control a SH%T-tonne of other things around the team to make it become a championship team. So you get another LeBron, now you better make sure his elite talent and athleticism fits your system and maximizes your other players as best as possible. How are you going to “nurture” or train your player to be a great professional? Will your coaching or veteran players do more of the consulting? Up to your team to turn him into a true pro, or neglect him into a “talented” scrub/knucklehead? You got cap room to sign a player or two maybe worth 8 to 10 million a year, his skill set and PERSONALITY+PASSION+LEADERSHIP better help the team too (*bad example of this, Larry Hughes was the beginning of the end for Cleveland in 2005). Then you have more draft picks in the future and in the current draft, it’s up to the team management to do their homework and trump the other team on finding the players are under their radars, and fits what you need for the team (eg. Norris Cole in Miami).

    For the Raps case; You can draft the late 1st and early 2nd rounds and find some X-factors of players that just want it more (Michael Redd before injuries, Asik, Manimal, Parker, Ginobili). Don’t give me that talk of “oh, but it only happens, once in a thousand” spiel. Okay, some of it is luck and outside circumstances that no parties that can control, but they can also happen because a GM understands, hires, and manages a scouting department that can evaluate players and INTANGIBLES that they truly believe that makes them succeed. Later on, team management keeps monitoring those players to either keep the player or trade/cut him. Pretty much nothing granted to that player so it makes them just work harder and gain more respect. Great teams tell themselves and to their fans that controlling as many connected factors will lead to better destinies. It’s what makes great teams. It’s exhausting and requires plenty of sleepless nights, but it just pays off. Enjoy this team winning as much as possible, and let Masai deal with the year-end evaluation.

    • Alex Vostrikov

      great point… all around.
      its obvious that there are no sure picks, trades and etc. to me, even bargs has spot on any nba team. problem is, he was always squeezed as a savior and a top dog on a bad team, which obvious he was not…
      so even if he was skilled enough to be a star, as we all know, his personality was “quieter than water and lower than grass”. now, he is pretty much set as a player he is. no one knows, but in the right system, he really could have became a very good player.

  • tonious35

    Guess what: maybe Tim is pulling some moves from the Miley Cyrus play book of “getting a many quantity views and comments either positive or negative”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My2FRPA3Gf8, okay must follow it up with this –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6DmHGYy_xk . A kill-joy artist shall always exist in the existence of the REPUBLIC. First it was Khandor, then FAQ, now it looks like Tim W. Who knows..it could be me…MUHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

  • nikita

    What’s wrong with you, Tim?? When the Raps were losing you aired all kinds of complaints about the players & coaches. Now that they are winning, you are still complaining. Dude, you are the kind of guy who wins the lottery finally and then moans about the taxes.

  • Tinman

    Wow – the editors sure buried this story fast.
    3 articles immediately afterward.
    Tim – are you getting along with your new colleagues at RR?

  • Jack Hodgins

    Can honestly say I really dislike reading Tim.W and don’t think I can put myself trough it anymore.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo Please just try doing it once Tim

  • Justafan

    I get it, write shitty stuff about raptors and get lots of comments, what a loser.

  • Mihkel Bafter

    As a non raptors fan, I’m having fun watching this team treadmill

  • thegloveinrapsunifrom

    you guys do realize that you’re calling out Tim in everything he says, calling him a troll and everything, but yet he’s still here in RR writing stuff like this and probably is the #1 columnist here now.

    Why? check the number of raps. stuff he writes about garners the most raps than any other columnist on this site. bad publicity is still good publicity.

    the more people react to what he says, the more RR likes it because it gets more people in here.

    much like when bosh or any former raptor player comes to town, is your booing resulting in the player missing shots, or fueling the fire even more?

    think about it.

    • raptorstand

      well if thats how you get fame on raptors republic I just wont click on the tim man anymore and he can take his opinion and have a nice day. I will never read another word the man writes on here , just not worth it.

  • Shadow Of Christ

    I didn’t think I would find a more narrow-minded POV… Then I read this article.

    Tim W, I really didn’t think you could get any worse with your analysis. All I’ll do in response to this article is repeat what my friend posted on Facebook… Good day.

    _____________

    Alright lets go…from many conversations, and opinions we seem to want similar things as NBA fans. Here’s what I’ve been reading, or hearing.

    Some fans are in win now mode with the Raptors last 4 game win streak, 9-3 in thier last twelve, with wins over teams like Mavs, OKC, and Indiana now making them 15-15.

    With thier 15-15 record we are now worthy of that 4th place division lead as we have now joined Pacers, Miami, and Atlanta with a record of .500 or better.

    there are 52 games left and I wonder if they can win 26-27 out of those 52 to finish with a 41-41 or, 42-40 record. Could the Raps go 27-25 to finish the season?

    Some fans believe since this draft is projected to be as good as 2003 the Raptors should ‘tank’ thus resulting in 6 years of no playoffs.

    The dream is all to real for Raptor nation because a certain player by the name of Andrew Wiggins from Canada is available in the top 5. As it stands he still raw, underweight, and is no LeBron James so lets stop that comparison right now.

    Canadians are finally making some noise as we see in the pictures below Tristan Thompson has become a solid piece for the Cavs, Andrew Nicholson needs more PT in Orlando, Cory Joseph is now a rotation piece for the Spurs after being drafted 26 or lower.

    Honorable mentions still finding thier place, Anthony Bennett has been a dissapointment at #1, and Myck Kabongo went undrafted due to his suspension in college.

    He now plays in Spurs farm team and for Bennett its still really early to write him off. Spurs have made it thier mandate to find solid international players, so why not the Raptors?

    If Bennett can be a bust this early to some what if we ‘tank’ and get Wiggins which some want, and he doesn’t live up to the ‘game changer’ franchise hype then what?

    It may be better to play for a playoff spot because we may not get an opportunity like this with so many East teams underachieving. No one could have predicted New York teams would be this bad.

    The thing about organized sports is thier is something you can’t teach and its heart, will, and continuity. With how bad the Raps have been in recent years should we wait another 5-10 years for them to make playoffs again?

    Great teams have great players yes, at the same time they also need to enjoy playing with one another. Team chemistry is why the Heat have the last 2 titles. At many times thier talent hasn’t played up to its potential and due to sacrifice they still found a way.

    Despite this team not having ridiculous talent the reason why they are winning is because they leave it all on the floor. When I was at Pacers game yesterday they made mistakes that young teams do. Mistakes like blown assignments and silly turnovers.

    What I have noticed about these Raptors since the Rudy Gay trade they are learning to trust one another and believe they can beat anyone. For me I would love to see them make the playoffs as we could be beat a Charlotte, Detroit, Washington, Atlanta, or Boston in the first round.

    Not to mention we have a new brand, possibly new colors, Management, an Ambassador, and a General manager who found Kenneth Faried despite his colleagues not being high on him.

    If fans truly believe Masai is the right GM for the job then what does ot matter if we pick top 5, or top 20? I know we’ve been ‘butt’ hurt with BC and his many mishaps. So far in 8 months Masai has done good by his crediability thus far.

    I want not only Wiggins, I want Andrew Nicholson, Tristan Thompson, and Cory Joseph however im the right time. Maybe, just maybe the time is not now.

    • Shadow Of Christ

      Tired of all of the one track, narrow-mindedness!

  • Nikita Kruschev

    Tim,

    I don’t understand your aricle, bro. Do you know anything at all about English composition? No? Sad.

    “THE TRUTHS” — I’M not sure whether “truth” can be made plural with an “s” but let’s say you are right on it. Your first sub-title is “Defense” but you didn’t actually expound on its concept or why it is important to the Raps. Instead you wrote about who or what Dwayne Casey is known for. Then you wrote defense “relies on three things”: 1) good strategy, 2) right talent, and 3)… where is the third thing? I read your article three times to find it but couldn’t. Where is it?

    Your second and third sub-titles are “Jonas Valanciunas” (whose “future is bright” but let’s not “get expectations too high”) and “Terence Ross” (“not much in the rebounding and passing department”). Where was the in-depth writing about them? Are we supposed to be happy with these two boys or not? Shouldn’t you tell us more about them; something we mortals don’t know about?

    And that’s it; those are “the truths” as you saw it. I feel I didn’t know anything substantial after reading it, man.

    THEN THERE’S “The Mirages” — I am guessing DeRozan is “the mirages”, right? Why is the subtitle in plural, though? Shouldn’t it be just “the mirage”? I have a feeling you don’t like him much, Tim. Since you pointed out the Raps are not a 61-win team and not a 51-win team either in this sub-chapter I can only conclude that you are blaming DeRozan for it. That he is not — in your words — a “Paul George”. Well there are about 200 of them in the league who are not Paul Georges either, Tim. Shall we label them all as mediocre talent? And if we trade him away because he is a mirage who should we take in his stead? Since the opposite of “mirage” is “real” I’m guessing you have someone for “real” who you want to be taken into the fold. Who is he, Tim, tell us.

    AFTER READING IT 3 times I come out scratching ny head. What exactly are you proposing, Tim?

  • Dr. Dread

    they have a 3.9% chance of going all the way! You don’t know shit. This team needs the playoffs to get better and get too the next step. Get with the program!

    http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/playoffodds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbUpPVOEkdA

    When the Raptors make the playoffs. Don’t bother watching them. Remember you didn’t want them to get there so why should you enjoy the long playoff run.

  • Daily RR Reader

    I’m not clicking on anything with Tim W’s name on it in the future.

  • Cameron Becker

    No, people are not excited to be “mediocre” or .500, well maybe some are..Personally I am just having fun watching players who are easy to support and play a fun, team orientated style of basketball. I was pro tank as well, would’ve loved the prospect of Wiggins or someone playing for the raptors, but this isn’t doom and gloom. There are two young prospects in JV and TRoss who aren’t close to their ceilings yet, and are getting the chance to get better and better, and that’s a lot of fun to watch.

  • chriscross

    Never posted before, but I agree with a lot of the points made by others. Sick of the negative comments. I am enjoying watching this team since the trade. I’ll be avoiding Tim’s articles going forward.