We’re going to introduce a third podcast into the Raptors Republic lineup. It’ll air on Monday mornings and will be 100% Raptors-focused. To start things off we got Sam and Will, one of whom didn’t actually see the Clipper game (shame on them). We’re running down a few topics, including:

  • Ross’s big night and the grade he received in the Reaction post
  • How have expectations changed for Ross since his rookie year
  • Who has the higher ceiling – DeRozan or Ross?
  • Does Ross’s big night change Casey’s view of him?
  • Did Hedo Turkoglu’s intend to injure?
  • Impact of DeRozan’s injury on the week ahead
  • Amir Johnson’s dip in form – temporary or sign of things to come?
  • Dwane Casey’s no-nonsense approach with Jonas Valanciunas – fair or unfair?
  • A comparison of second-year Jonas with the the second years of some notable bigs in the league
  • All-Star discussion – which of Lowry or DeRozan is more deserving and who is likely to get in
  • Competition for Lowry/DeRozan’s All-Star spot (ahem, one’s from Orlando)
  • Game-by-game preview of the week ahead starting with Brooklyn and ending with Portland
  • Look ahead to the 5-game Western road trip and a further look ahead to what follows that
  • Lots more stuff..

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (28:34, 34 MB). Or just listen below:

  • Billy_Joseph_Ma

    Thanks for not doing the stupid raping intro.

    • 2damkule

      there’s nothing worse than a raping intro. hoo-ah!

  • Dex613

    im not sure if you guys remember but jamal crawford dropped 55 on us when he was playing for the bulls. so he was probably right when he said he could go for 50!

    • David

      TRoss didn’t “go for 50”. He scored 50 within the flow of the game. Crawford would actually go for 50 and that’s the difference between the two I think

      • 2damkule

        i dunno…i was at the game in ’08 at MSG when he went for 40-something, and basically beat the raps on his own, and it seemed ‘within-the-flow-ee’. but i do get what you’re saying, he’s a gunner.

  • Dex613

    we need to stop comparing both ross and derozan other than for trades we have a great 1 2 punch and we should be grateful to have both guys!

    • Rick d

      Exactly man. Plain and simple. Ross is a good fit with dd and vise versa. The ceiling is high for both. As long as they work hard which you can’t question dd work ethic they will get better. Dd will still get way better especially when that 3 gets better. Ross has will get better as well.

  • tweed8

    Ross will get more time when he becomes more consistent and tightens up those passes. I think the Clippers’ game will just create stronger faith in Ross’ game when Casey is considering things.

  • tweed8

    Ya. You were too low, Zarar.
    A+ game for sure. lol

  • truth be told

    Quick thought.

    Saw Masai interviewed on Saturday and said “he needs to see where this is going”.

    Most posters here the past few days are content with Demar and Ross as their wing players.

    If everything remains the same shouldn’t Colangelo be thanked for putting this teams core together? Masai has made a few moves to tailor the roster, however the starting 5 and the head coach are all Colangelo acquisitions. Interesting.

    Loved Ross lighting up the Clips on Saturday but after reading the articles and fan feedback on the site I was wondering when this place turned into Raptor Homer Central?

    • jjdynomite

      You do realize that BC would likely have never traded Bustnani on his watch — and may possibly have even re-upped Gay, let alone not traded him — which would have resulted in the Raps continuing to be mediocre or worse, and certainly no All Star talk for DD or 51 point games for Ross. But nice try. Why are we “homers” for being happy that our first round pick, a sophomore, finally has the opportunity to break out, thanks to Masai trading the albatross contracts of Gay and Bargs?.

      • truth be told

        How do you know that? I’m no Colangelo fan but before AB got hurt he said he was pursuing trades for him.

        Just addressing this because most think that Masai has come in and changed everything but the core players (who many fans didn’t think much of until this .500 season) are players Colangelo brought in as part of his vision. That’s fact.

    • DDayLewis

      The “this is BC’s team” idea is flawed. Yes, it’s true that most of the players on the roster were acquired by BC, but ujiri was the one who shipped out two players who used a combined 50%+ of the team’s possessions. That’s a huge imprint made by ujiri.

      • truth be told

        It’s so flawed that the starting 5 and the head coach are Colangelo acquisitions.

        The bench is Masai’s doing and quite honestly some of the guys he brought in via FA like Augustin, Daye, Hansborough have not made that big an impact.

        I understand that everyone likes Masai, including myself but it doesn’t take away the fact that the core of this team is all Colangelo and if they decide to move forward building around this collection of players (a huge mistake imho) how flawed is the argument when the fact remains he acquired Lowry, Derozan, Ross, JV, Amir and the head coach is his hire?

        Is the argument that this is Masai’s team more legit? Didn’t think so.

        How do you know BC wasn’t going to ship out Gay and AB? He had already said he was going to do it with AB until he got hurt, and with gay anything was possible. I’ve seen BC acquire JO only to move him a few months later for Marion.

        Don’t think that the argument that this is more BC’s team than Masai’s is as flawed as you make it out to be. Most fans just don’t want to say it or have to acknowledge it.

        • DDayLewis

          Nobody is making excuses, nor is anyone trying to defend Masai. I just think that looking at the roster as X players are still around is flawed, because it fails to account for context. Had Ujiri simply traded away Aaron Gray and Landry Fields, and kept every other BC holdover, your point would hold more water, but Ujiri traded away two of the three top-dogs on the team. That’s a big difference. The definitive core of Colangelo’s team undoubtedly included Bargs and Gay.

          And playing the “BC could have” game doesn’t really get anyone anywhere. For example, I could assume that “BC would have traded away Valanciunas and Ross”. We can really only look at what we have.

          Is this team more of Ujiri’s, or BC’s? Well if that’s the question, then yes, it’s more of Colangelo’s, but that’s not the question we were addressing. “

          • truth be told

            I didn’t say anything about ‘x players’ being still around. I am talking the starting 5.

            AB wasn’t part of that core anymore and the fans made him quite aware of it. He was no longer part of the definitive core. Only Gay might have remained and even in his case, nothing was certain. We’ve seen Colangelo trade a big acquisition (JO, Turk) quickly before. What is certain is that the other 5 players were all highly coveted by Colangelo and he brought them in. That’s the core of the team as it stands today, so I’m not sure why that isn’t significant.

            I am looking exactly what the team has and those are Colangelos guys. He reupped Demar early (outbidding himself) trumpeted JV for a season before he got here, gave up a 1st rounder for Lowry and gave him the keys to the car, resigned Amir, and spent the 8th pick on Ross. These are not just players still hanging around. These were some of his big acquisitions (if you can include Gay and AB I can include these guys) and core pieces.

            Masai inherited these players but now everyone is acting like this is some new team he put together when it’s not.

            • JayTeam

              Colangelo “built” the core of this team by continually putting together crap product that kept finishing in the lottery. Yeah, he he made a few good moves , which is why the inept upper management didn’t can his ass years ago, but I would go easy on the praise.

              • truth be told

                No praise here at all. I was glad BC was fired and I do believe Masai will end up doing a good job (hopefully) but to me I look at this team and it’s still primarily Colangelo’s roster and I don’t think the players are significantly better today than they were a year ago, or the team.

                I’m just trying to address something that gets left unsaid.

            • DDayLewis

              It is significant. There’s middle ground here that you’re not acknowledging.

              Yes, Colangelo acquired every single member of the starting five, but was this really going to be the starting five had Colangelo been retained? Would Bargs not have made his usual foray into the starting lineup? Would Gay have played on the bench? I’m not playing the speculation game, I’m just skeptical that the starting five would necessarily be as is, and the playing style would be as is if it was Colangelo’s call. Is that so unreasonable?

              There’s value in knowing what to cut, and what not to cut. That’s literally half a financial advisor’s job — cut the fat, keep the lean. IMO, Ujiri has done that. The team is now under the luxury tax, with significantly less future payroll, and with better assets. It’s fair to argue that under Ujiri’s term, most of the assets acquired by Colangelo have appreciated in value (Ross, Lowry, Derozan). Yes, Colangelo brought them in, but there’s something to be said for development, which is what most people are claiming.

              And who are you talking about when you’re saying that “everyone is acting like this is some new team he put together when it’s not”?

              • truth be told

                But you are the one determining the middle ground.

                We can’t assume what was going to happen with Andrea. Prior to his injury, Colangelo made it known he was exploring trades for him. Not sure if he would have done it but you’re not sure if he wouldn’t have. Gay would have been here just like he was at the start of the year. Would he have been traded? I can’t say for sure but neither of us can.

                The playing style is another topic I can’t answer for certain. when Colangelo first hired Casey, they played decent defence that first year. Last year they were horrendous. I’m not sure what would have happened this year.

                There is value in knowing what to cut and not to cut. The fact still remains however that even cutting out those 2 high priced players, the secondary salary guys (Derozan, Amir, Lowry) are all Colangelo guys and the upside young players (JV, Ross) are his acquisitions as well.

                Many are indeed acting like this is a new team. Why such euphoria over a team whose core is very much the same as it was a year ago? Because the fat has been trimmed off the roster and the gems are shining now? Come on man. The roster was doomed to the extent that the GM was fired. Lieweke has poked fun at BC himself with the comments regarding “its hard to be capped out and miss the playoffs” so why not bring up Colangelo’s name when his finger prints are still all over this tea?

                • DDayLewis

                  I’m not saying that Andrea and Gay were certainly going to be retained, but the likelihood of them being retained, and therefore involved in the fortunes of the team, were probably higher under Colangelo, considering he was the one who brought them in and tried to build around them. Could BC have dumped the two of them? Maybe, but we do know for sure that Ujiri did. We’re speaking probabilistically for the unknowns. If you want to challenge the assumptions made in this aforementioned paragraph, you’re free to do so, as your guess is as good as mine. That’s not my quarrel. My quarrel is the fact that Ujiri shipped out two core pieces from last year’s squad, and that’s a sizable impact on the roster. Colangelo might have done so, Ujiri certainly did.

                  Isn’t the fact that he cut Gay and Bargs (fat) a bump in Ujiri’s favor? He couldn’t have possibly traded the entire team. Knowing which guys to keep is important, and Ujiri has adequately done so while maintaining future flexibility.

                  I can’t speak for others (not nearly as pervasively as you can, apparently), but the euphoria probably stems from their recent success. The on-court product has been successful, but the question is long-term sustainability. If Ujiri feels that this current group is a good foundation, and can sustain their level of play, then he should build accordingly, and vice-versa. The fact that “player X was acquired by Colangelo” should be irrelevant to his decision making process. Ujiri should be evaluated on the quality of his decisions, which involves addition and subtraction, not simply on his additions.

    • GetLicks

      Why does Colangelo’s name keep getting brought up? No one ever said that he was a completely horrible GM who couldn’t do anything right (no one with any sense anyway). He was decent at scouting talent, but the fact remains that he tried to build a team around one of the worst 7-foot rebounders and help defenders in the league, someone who never dove on the floor for a loose ball or gave any amount of effort. Colangelo didn’t wanna admit he made a mistake drafting him, so his pride and ego prevented him from trading him. He also failed to get anything in return for Bosh, who clearly wasn’t someone to build around either. He wasn’t a horrible GM, but he made some bad decisions and needed to go. Now can we please stop talking about him?

      • mike, prague

        BC was consistently called crappy and a bunch of other very negative words in the times right before his firing. But looking back at him, he wasn’t all that bad, just that he didn’t have much of a sense of team chemistry and contract mangement.

        • jjdynomite

          How can you call 5 straight seasons of no playoffs when 16 of 30 teams (that’s 53% of the league) make the playoffs anything but “crappy”? And add hiring a shitty head coach (Triano), shitty Assistant GM (Gherardini) and hitching his ride to the Italian Stallion to your list.

          • mike, prague

            well … he wasn’t all that bad as a GM in its pure sense and nature. But due to the fact that he had no sense of team chem. and lousy contract management, it resulted in this team sucking. He himself wasn’t bad, but his job as a GM turned out to be very poor. He had some good qualities, but they simply weren’t enough.

        • GetLicks

          How is that different from anything I just said? Lol

          • mike, prague

            Just said the (some) specific things he did wrong, you opened the banana from the otherside

        • truth be told

          He wasn’t that bad of a GM?lol


          Based on what standards?

      • truth be told

        Because he put the main pieces of this team together. Why doesn’t he get brought up?

        He was fired for building a capped out non playoff team with not much upside. Much of the core nucleus of this team are the players 12 months ago, that many were saying the same thing about. How soon we forget huh?

        Why should I stop talking about him when the new GM is running with the same roster, but I’m supposed to pretend that the same concerns have dissapeared? I love it how fans want to bask in a .500 team but if you question it or speculate about the future, the homers get in an uproar. I bring up his name because its very relevant to the discussion. If you don’t like it, don’t respond.

    • tweed8

      I also think that BC was interfering with coaching staff way too much. More than enough folks have dropped hints of that over the years.

  • KJ-B

    My hope in that win, is that we don’t see Charlie Villanova 2.0 after his 48 point highlight in Milwaukee in his rookie campaign. There are few concerning similarities regarding motor, attention to detail, competitiveness that scare me.

    Let’s just say I trust in DeRozan’s 40 pt career high so much more so than TRoss’ outlier/1-off scoring binge. I like young fella but I’D if I can trust him just yet.

    The context also screams caution, a game where the “4star” gets injured and opposing team has a mental lapse that you can drive a Mack through in relation to an opportunity for an outlier performance such as Saturday night.

    Awfully entertaining, but I’D if Ross wants the spotlight and responsibility that comes with having zero breathing room vs Mack truck lane of opportunity that comes with it.

    If TROSS can score 18 pts tonight win/loss in a Brooklyn revenge game, I’ll sing his praises.

    • truth be told

      I forgot CV dropped a 40 burger against Milwaukee back when. Thanks for that reminder.

      Maybe the ‘Ross is Carter’ comparisons might slow down when we remember even the mighty Charlie V had a night to remember.

      • KJ-B

        Yeah…It was a nice moment but habits predict future not future/ceiling predict habits.

        For a long time I’ve not like TRoss’ habits. He went seriously adrift last year after returning from exposure to the spotlight at ASW festivities.

        Hopefully, he’s gotten more committed after that episode.