First up, today is the last day for registration for the RR tourney so step up and take the plunge.

This week on The Doctor is In with Phdsteve, it’s a new year and after two weeks off, I called in the boys from the world wide roundtable to talk ball. We have a discussion about all the action in NBA and NCAA while continually tying it back to the Raptors! Joined by my brother Mike (who knows college basketball), Greg Mason (the brain from the south), Blair Miller from The Fifth Quarter Blog, and a cameo by Zarar, we discuss:

  • Just how good are the Raptors? A quick run down of thoughts about the Raptors run of 7-3 (before last night’s win versus the Pistons) since the OT loss to Charlotte when we did our last podcast
  • Legit contenders in the East after wins against the Pacers, Thunder, Mavericks, with close calls against Miami – or is this fools gold? How fickle are Raptors fans- eh? After months of people trolling our podcast complaining because we refused to acknowledge tank nation- now people are getting upset when pundits mention tanking! Lol.
  • Let’s just remind the listeners who told them Raptors would win the East and Lowry would be an All-Star!
  • No Rose and now no Deng- Chicago has entered the race to tank: who is next? And what does this mean for teams like the Raptors? Are there major bargains to be had for a team willing to take on some salary to help teams like Chicago tank? Who might the Raptors target (I still like Gasol and Rondo)
  • Thoughts on NCAA ball: conference play has started! The rise of ‘Cuse, the fall of Duke and maybe, just maybe, all the hype surrounding the draft is overrated- as guys like Wiggins and Randle show glimpses of being ballers but only Parker looks like a real legit franchise player right now (and even that is debatable)
  • What to do with Kyle Lowry?
  • Should we give Colangelo some credit for this team’s success?
  • Is Dwayne Casey now a good coach?

Heck, there is even a surprise visit from Zarar for the last 15 minutes. I mean, what more could you ask for?
Shout out to Evil Dead the musical for its closing weekend- go and see it!

Follow: @therealphdsteve

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (1:01:24, 58 MB). Or just listen below:

  • JayTeam

    Some thoughts on Colangelo and Casey.

    At times I think of Colangelo’s time here as being analogous to a guy playing good D, then committing a stupid foul with a second or 2 left on the clock. Whatever good moves he made, and there were a few, he managed to ruin with bonehead moves that continually doomed his teams to mediocrity.

    As for Casey. football teams have assistant coaches one of which is an offensive coordinator. With Casey being acknowledged as a strong defensive coach, but lacking offensively, why wouldn’t he have an assistant who’s function is more or less confined to plays/schemes on the offensive side?

    • DDayLewis

      He does. His name is Nick Nurse.

      • tweed8

        Beat me to it. 😛

      • JayTeam

        Thanks, now I know.

  • rapierraptor

    Per ESPN insider Lowry currently has the 4th best trueWARP rating of any PG in the NBA behind only Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook.

  • raptors phdsteve

    Hey dont forget to check out Blair’s blog: http://the-fifth-quarter.com/

    • sleepz

      Bargnani and Gay were both significant Colangelo acquisitions but so was Lowry. He gave up a first rounder for him. A first rounder is a big deal when you’ve been a consistent lottery team.

  • tweed8

    There’s a good name for nickname for Kyle on a Raptors team; “The Chemist”?

    • tweed8

      Pardon that messed up sentence.

      • Robert Wright

        Mistakes, we all make
        Yoda

  • Pingback: HIGH POSTS – Raptors Republic podcast out today! | The Fifth Quarter()

  • Dr.Scooby

    I agree that Lowry has had the most impact of any single Raptor in the winning ways of the past month, I am interested in keeping him. That being said, how much do you think Masai Ujiri would have to offer Lowry to stay?

    The Raps are currently over the salary cap; what is the financial implication of re-signing Kyle Lowry in regards to re-signing other valuable players such as Patrick Patterson?

    Would offers to Lowry & Patterson for example limit the Raptors ability to sign quality free agent talent next season?

  • Tinman

    It’s like he has amnesia. Listen to his last podcast – totally contradicts what he now says.

  • Ragnarok

    An honest discussion of Toronto’s potential this year. Maybe second round fodder for Miami. That could be optimistic given the Raptors have been extremely healthy this year and have a thin bench, but not unreasonable. Is second round a good trade-off for losing Lowry next year for nothing and getting the 17th or 20th pick in the draft? Next year most of the teams in the East will be stronger for no other reason they will be healthier. Masai has to be debating this.
    Now I am happy with the team. Playing well. But remember how we all said that we needed to “get something” for Bosh? We got nothing. (Okay, trade exemption space.) We are all happy now. Is it in the long run interest of the franchise to get to second round this year only to struggle for the 8th spot next year? Maybe it is. The round table says yes. Tim W says no. I am in Tim W’s camp, even though it is too late to tank. This team as constructed is average in most years. Once we start from that reality, we can have a reasoned debate.

    • rapierraptor

      You make some good points but at the same time perhaps a winning season and a trip to the second round increases the likelihood of signing quality free agents. In my opinion the smartest thing to do is make a run at Wiggins once his rookie contract expires rather than suffering through ANOTHER rebuild. Drafting is a risky buisiness.

      • sleepz

        Tough to sign free agents when you are capped out and Raptors historically are not considered a prime destination.

        Not saying Raps can’t get FA’s moving forward but typically if you are not in a major centre like NY or LA you better be a consistent winner before good FA’s are taking you seriously.

      • 2damkule

        if wiggins is anywhere close to being as good as he’s projected to be, it will be many years before he’d hit unrestricted free agency – basically, there may be a player or two from this current roster still on the team when the time comes that he’s available. sure, there are some (nearly inconceivable) situations that could happen that would see him force his way out of the team that drafted him after his initial contract is up, but i think we’re getting a little too deep into the notion that he wants to play in TO over & above other NBA cities. he wants to play in the NBA first & foremost, have a chance to win, develop as a player, get rich, etc.,..all things he can do in any city.

    • leftovercrack

      The team is also young. Who’s to say one of our young players doesn’t break out in the future? (Also there is talk of DeRozan or Lowry being all-stars, and we might extend Lowry). Maybe there are no potential star players on our team right now – only time will tell – but I object to the way people state it like some kind of mantra or authoritatively proven fact. No one knows if this team is fated to be “average”: it feeds off this whole Toronto inferiority mentality. Also, a lot of the top picks in this draft are losing a bit of their luster and it is becoming clear that this draft is exceptionally deep. I’ve seen mocks in which Aaron Gordon falls to 19. There is no saying we can’t get a quality player with a middle-of-the-round pick this year if we can do some good scouting. Tanking is a good strategy but it is not to be for us this year and I actually think that this new road they are taking has potential

      • Ragnarok

        Good point. The team is young. I don’t think JV — and I think he is the key to the team’s future — reaches his prime for three years. What the team looks like in 2017 is the key. We are too good a team to tank. So we have to use our assets to assemble a team around JV. I worry about getting nothing for Lowry and then getting stuck in the middle of the pack for years. (BTW: I am not asking how you got your handle.)

        • leftovercrack

          Where I see some hope for this team is that by being young and competitive we become a moderately attractive destination for players (I don’t buy for a minute that players don’t want to play in Toronto, they didn’t want to play here because we were a bad team), with bad contracts coming off the books we get some financial flexibility in the coming years and by accumulating assets (the second first rounder in 2016 and the extra 2nd rounders) we could maybe make a trade for a star. This all depends on Masai being a great GM, winning trades and selling this city. In MU we trust. Of course, if the development of our young players stalls we do very seriously risk becoming the dread middle of the pack team.

    • sleepz

      +1

  • sleepz

    Marcus Smart is probably the highest ranked PG in college but when you addressed the PG prospects you didn’t mention players like Exum or LaVine. Both could potentially be game changers in the NBA.

  • Sprechen

    Thanks fellas,

    I’m digging the the recent run as well. I don’t think it is certain that Lowry is gone; it’s smart for Ujiri to be patient and get a better look to make a re-sign a safer bet. Don’t forget, we’re only talking about a month of this new Raptors squad, a pretty short period of time. Gasol would be a terrible move; I don’t know why Amir’s not getting the love, his numbers have been very strong since the Gay trade as well. He has earned the starting job and if the Raptors were an atom, he would be the proton (I guess that makes Lowry the electron and Derozan the neutron). Also, the term Amirsborough, while very funny, is a disservice to the great play we’ve been getting from Amir and the work he has put in.

    I don’t think that it is a certainty that Casey is gone at the end of the year either. One thing none of you seem to remember is a comment Ujiri made in the off season about getting players that fit the coach. All of the moves we have seen thus far support that strategy and we are now seeing dividends; we have a tough defensive minded team that can score. Admittedly, Casey definitely made some boneheaded moves early in the season but a quick scroll through the quick reaction will reveal that he is much improved (recall the game against the Bulls where it was argued that he out-coached Thibodeau for example). We are witnessing the evolution of this team all of a sudden and I think that toughness now runs throughout the entire organization.

    I like the prospect of Ujiri being able to pull a fast one on some unsuspecting GM looking to sell before the trade deadline Though I don’t want to tamper too much with this team. I suppose upgrading the back up PG would be my first preference.

    Good to finally put this tanking business to bed. We already have a bunch of lottery picks on this team that are starting to look pretty darn good.

    Drop your pants and cough!

  • Roarque

    LeBron James did not drag the Cavaliers to the NBA championship. He made them better for sure and then left as soon as he could to join Bosh and Wade for a guaranteed ring in Miami.
    So Toronto should think hard about doing the dirty for a low draft choice. It’s just not THAT easy to build a team in the NBA.

  • raptorspoo

    Imagine we signed Nash for $30mil/3 years.

    If I was intentionally trying to screw a team I’d make all the same moves BC made.

  • 2damkule

    i know this is going to seem odd, but perhaps it’s prudent to wait until, oh, i dunno, halfway thru the college season before deciding on whether this draft class is overrated? or – SHOCKER – waiting until the players being discussed are actually in the NBA before determining whether they’re any good IN THE NBA?

    all things considered, the ‘fact’ that there’s ‘no lebron’ in this draft is just fine. there’s probably not going to be – in this draft or any future drafts – another lebron, or jordan, or kobe, or wilt, or russell, or oscar, or bird, or magic. not because there won’t be phenomenally talented players again, but because those guys are not only all-time greats (the best of the best of the best), but they are preternatural talents in that they were all not only supernaturally skilled, but they were uniquely skilled. to complain that an 18-yr old is overrated because they don’t appear to be as good as a once-in-a-lifetime player like lebron seems a bit over the top; to compound that by saying they’re more like blake or paul pierce just adds to the lunacy of the argument, since BOTH OF THOSE GUYS ARE HALL OF FAME CALIBRE/ALL-NBA/SUPERSTAR players. if it turns out that this crop of draftees don’t develop into a team of lebrons, but rather, paul pierces & blake griffins, well, i think the teams that drafted them will be just fine with that. this whole discussion about the draft not being as good as originally hyped seems more like an exercise in patting yourselves on the back for being in team anti-tank. congratulations, i’m sure it will be very comforting when these guys are merely all-nba players (vs generation-defining super-duperstars), and the raps are back to fighting for the 7/8th seed year in & year out. but hey, PLAYOFFS, BABY!!!

    • sleepz

      preach

  • DarkGhettoNight

    I know this has nothing to do with content, but the “rapper” at the beginning is possibly the worst, least talented rapper I have ever heard in my life and the garbage intro is unworthy of this great podcast.