Attitude Is A Choice.
I am gonna agree with Matt on this one. Landry is an outstanding bench player, who is severely under utilized on this team because Casey has a hard on for Alan Anderson.
His shooting will improve over the off season, which is good because we lack consistent shooters.
i know lowry n gay r boys...but if we wanna win...lowry's gotta go or move to backup...cuz he is no starter in this league...if u want me to be optimistic...go after jennings asap!
I ignored the hype coming into this season and looked at the roster. Realistically, I expected us to win 30-33 games. We've got about 5 winnable games remaining and we'll probably lose one of them and win one we shouldn't have. All in all we did as well as expected.
We started much horribly than expected, and then we made up for it after we traded for Gay. Low expectations is key.
Btw, great write-up.
Last edited by ebrian; Tue Mar 19th, 2013 at 08:35 AM.
Best thread I've read in a long time. I particularly like the comment about the Heat's first year. I think it is comparable to the Raps. (easy big fella...the teams aren't comparable, the situations are)
The Heat, in their first year, were a combination of players who were used to being used a certain way in their previous situations who were suddenly being asked to play differently. It changed the individuals games, it changed the team dynamics and the personality mix needed sorting out. they sorted everything out over the course of that year. the following year was pretty good :-) and we see the season they are having now. I think Lowry and Guy and JV and Ross and Telfair will be more effectively integrated into the team next season. The only significant change I expect to see is Bargs gone, or on the bench.
As for personnel and positions, I am fine with AJ starting. He is 10 and 8 in under 30 minutes a night, with 70% FT. That is good enough to start in this league. I believe he and JV will work together quite well. JV has shown a very nice shot from 12 feet out. I am looking forward to what else Demar adds to his game, to how Ross develops over the summer and to how Fields shot looks coming back in.
The only other thing I want to see is what happens to Bargs. If he can be traded, then I am interested in what the Raps receive.
I am in the optimistic boat...again.
Even the optimists were predicting roughly 36 wins for the season, with Bargnani playing at the same level he displayed in those 13 games last year. And now we subtract this player's good projection and we're maybe a playoff team?
Great post BD. I like the optimism, it's been so easy over recent (many, actually) seasons to just beat up on this team, but I too see the light. I believe the starting 5 can be a competitive lineup on a consistent basis. I'm done questioning Amir as a starter. Hasnt he had 21 and 18 boards in his last two games? When was the last time the Raps had a rebounder like that? Antonio Davis - maybe? Plus he adds some offensive production with great efficiency, and will no doubt improve in the post as he continues in this role. And I like what I'm seeing from JV, who could potentially be a go to offensive guy in the post. I'm willing to bet that he will develop a really effective post game, and if so, Amir will be a perfect compliment because he doesnt need or demand the ball in the low block. Demar continues to improve, I just hope he improves his outside shooting in the offseason, as long as that does not deter him from attacking. He gets to the line alot, and is the only raptor to do so consistently. I'll support Gay as long as his efficiency improves. We know he can knock down the tough shot, but he just takes too many of those. The Raps need to improve their offensive team game in order to get better shot selection. I dont see why Alan Anderson can't be that 3pt shooter everyone is so desperate for? Didnt he rattle off 15 straight a couple of weeks ago, only to be ignored when RG and DD came back on the floor.
And that brings me to the PG position. Like most, I'm uncertain Lowry is the right PG for this team. I want to believe he can be, but the way he is playing lately can only make one wonder. He just doesn;t seem that interested at the moment. Hopefully an off season and a fresh start this fall in training camp can turn that around.
Other than that, I'd get rid of Bargnani in any way possible, it's time to part ways, as I find it hard to believe he can have a positive impact on this team in any role next season. His presence alone, will be negative in my opinion. I like the possible Landry acquisition, as he can sub for Amir and still give you hard work, rebounding, and a low post presence when JV is on the bench as well. And of course, Ross, who will hopefully continue to get better and be a potent guy off the bench unitl he is ready to displace Demar in a few years time. Here's to looking forward to next year.
On a side note, the Raps have a tough division to deal with. The Knicks and Nets are pretty good teams (although the Knicks are very over-rated) and should improve next season. Regardless of what happens to Bynum in the offseason, I expect Philly to improve as well. That leaves the Celts, and its hard to know what will happen with them. Unless they go into rebuilding mode in the offseason, I expect they will be competitive next season, probably alot like they are now if Garnett doesnt retire. Either way, this will probably be the toughest division in basketball next year, and making the playoffs will be no easy task.
Although I also think Philly won't be that much better. They've got some pretty flawed roster construction going. They need to get Holiday some help. I find them very hard to predict because of that. An athletic roster with Holiday running the show is always dangerous, but it's hard to see them doing more than fight for the bottom (possibly with Toronto) of the playoffs without adding another big piece...and I'd have a hard time believing that's Bynum.
Not to be a debbie downer in this thread, but at what point do we realize or accept that 'optimism' has no impact on the results? It only offers a temporary distraction from reality
And I don't mean to tell people they shouldn't or can't be optimistic. But historic patterns in the NBA - needing a superstar, maxing out finances without a completed roster limits opportunities, efficiency is king - shows us there is little or limited reasons to be with this team
I remember reading (and being involved in) numerous threads this past offseason where it came down to "only optimistism makes sense". This team was 'playoff calibre' because of how good Andrea was, how Lowry was an all-star, Fields was an acceptable risk, the team had the best PG duo in the NBA, Demar was ever improving, Casey was a coaching genius, JV was a franchise player in the making, Ross was the Spurs style unexpected steal of the draft, and Toronto had alot of financial flexibility and assets to trade. Or some combination of the above
Yet we watched the season playout, and every single one of those ideas became questionable at best if not outright reversed.
here is why I am not optimistic about this team.
- this team is not complete and its final trade peice (Andrea) is a worthless, atleast within the realm of what Colangelo/MLSE want and need.
- there is a lack of evidence that MLSE will spend deep into the cap, yet absolutely need to overcome the financial strangle hold Colangelo has put this team under. This doesn't mean they won't do it, just there is no reason to believe they will
- the team still lacks a superstar and doesn't have the complete diversity and skill of the rare well rounded Detroit-ish teams
- Colangelo still runs this team, and he has a consistent desire to prove his decision making process, rather than doing whats in the best interest of the team
- just being a playoff team isn't enough for me. Especially after spending years in the NBA gutter. When you are this bad for this long you SHOULD have the assets and resources to be something more than having an 'average' ceiling. Its like getting yourself deep into debt, accepting you are stuck, declaring bankruptcy, and then taking out a pay day loan that same day and being excited about the $200 dollars you now have in your wallet.
What would make me optimistic is:
- Colangelo be released
- seeing Andrea Bargnani actually being traded for something (anything) of use. Even him being amnestied I'd at the very least see as this organization putting 'team' over $s or ego.
- Jonas or Ross blowing up
- a significant difference in Demar or should that not take place, seeing Demar play less minutes if not outright traded.
- blowing it all up and starting over (yet again)
- some ridiculous lopsided trade
My problem lies in not being able to realistically imagine any of the above taking place. They are low chance probabilities, pipe dreams or numerous years away from happening.
I see a low seed playoff team for the next few years, first round losses, and then reverting back to needing to make the "tough choice" of mediocrity or blowing it up in 2 or 3 seasons while listening to Matt Devlin blame the refs and Colangelo give vague excuses for what went wrong.
The one issue I have with your rationale is that you seem to want the team to make a near impossible leap from perennial lottery team to championship contender overnight. I would agree that "just being a playoff team isn't enough for me", when thinking long-term, but I view progression as more of a multi-year journey.
With the current roster and minimal room for flexibility (without trading DeRozan, since the rest of the tradeable assets are garbage), I would be quite happy with the Raptors becoming a playoff team next season. The core of the roster is quite young and more salary will come off the books after both next season and the season after, so additional assets can be added to the core group - as they develop individually and together as a team, the weaknesses, holes and lack of fit will become more obvious, allowing the GM (BC or otherwise) to address them. It's unfair to expect any team to do more than that, more quickly than that, without lucking into a true superstar player.
Another reason for optimism is that aside from the Heat, I don't think any team in the East is setup to be dominant for several years going forward. I see lots of opportunity for the Raptors to be near the top of the conference over the next few years, though the rest may all be fighting just to reach the conference finals and face the Heat (as long as their big-3 stay together).
- will Rose return to form and remain injury-free?
- his surrounding cast is getting older, how long before they need an overhaul?
- good young team that will be harder to keep together as each guy looks to get paid
- will West stick around?
- will they keep Granger or what will he return in trade?
- old, breaking down and not a threat at all without 'Melo
- having an owner willing to spend is great, but they aren't deep, are getting older and have zero flexibility
- luring Howard to team with JSmoove & Horford would be deadly, or they could blow it up even more
- without KG & PP, this team is average at best and will have to rebuild at some point soon
- borderline playoff team could get much worse if free agents leave for nothing
- what will become of Bynum, who just underwent surgery... will he ever wear a 76ers jersey?
- have some good young pieces, but likely as far or farther away from competing for playoffs than the Raptors, as of today
I think for me though, to your last point of why you're not optimistic, playoffs for me would be enough. Not that I'd hoist up some champagne if we made the playoffs and followed that up with a first round exit, but after all these years -- yea, I kinda think that $200 in my pocket doesn't sound too bad.
The NBA operates in cycles. Teams rise and fall. In a couple years, the Heat may not have the Big 3, or even a Big 2 anymore and will need to re-tool. Some other team will rise to the top that currently isn't there right now. That team, given what Colangelo has done -- will not be the Raptors.
My response was quoted.Rapstor4Life wrote:
Does anyone think that if Bargnani was injured all season we would be a playoff squad?
That is the thing about predictions and projections. They are hardly based on anything other than opinion or statistics that may not carry over from a previous season. The roster also has not remained a constant from the start of the season nor has the defensive prowess carried over from last season but the offensive numbers have certainly improved.
The reality is the Raptors this season without Bargnani (good Bargnani, bad Bargnani, indifferent Bargnani) have actually been decent. Bargnani in the lineup has seen the Raptors go 10-25 while without Bargnani they have been 16-16. The Bucks are currently 33-32.
So with a question of without Bargnani would the Raptors be a playoff squad comes the answer I gave: I don't know. But for whatever reasons - concrete, circumstantial, coincidental, whatever - the Raptors have been a .500 team without Bargnani.
So one area we agree is: Yeah, whatever.
I totally understand your point - I was strongly in favor of a full rebuild immediately in the wake of the Bosh trade (and I think they blew the chance to tank last year while their #1 pick - JV - was still overseas). I'm just playing devil's advocate a little bit because sometimes I get frustrated when people talk about collecting 1st round picks year after year, seemingly in the hopes of lucking into the next LBJ or KD, as the 'OKC model' of franchise rebuilding. Isn't that approach just another 'treadmill', but just one in the lottery instead of on the playoff bubble, still dependent on lottery luck and drafting luck, to land a superstar?
The Raptors did rebuild - they drafted pretty well for 4 straight years in the lottery - DeRozan, Davis, Valanciunas, Ross. They cashed in a redundant young player (Davis) and an expiring veteran contract (Calderon) for a very good, young SF (Gay). I know that the financial flexibiliy and rebuilding/building plan seems shot now, but I personally think that has as much to do with guys like Bargnani ($11M next season), DeRozan ($9.5M), Kleiza ($4.6M) and Fields ($6.2M), as it does with the Gay acquisition. If Bargnani's salary can be dumped, Kleiza is amnestied, DeRozan is flipped for the traditional star starting PF the majority seems to want and Fields can earn his paycheque, then suddenly I think the team would be in a very good place, both in terms of finances and young talent.
Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Tue Mar 19th, 2013 at 11:43 AM.
What I'd expect is, after all these years, the team being a very young, with a potential superstar or stars, about to get its first taste of the playoffs with players or some sort of assets (cap space or additional players etc) they could afford to give up to make the team better. A team that may be 'mediocre' now, but had alot of potential.
Instead this a team with no financial flexibility, whose available assets aren't desireable, whose 'core' players are for the most part known commodities (with poissbile exceptions) and who can't afford to give up the few valuable ones they have.
I want to see a team come out of the gutter with a glass ceiling, or atleast the resources to keep moving that ceiling higher. Instead this team is coming out of the gutter with a chunk of cement for a ceiling.
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