View Poll Results: Is Toronto a better team than it was at the end of last season?

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  • Yes

    51 73.91%
  • Same

    12 17.39%
  • No

    1 1.45%
  • I'm not sure

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Thread: Is Toronto a better team than it was at the end of last season?

  1. #1
    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default Is Toronto a better team than it was at the end of last season?

    In reading the link from Axel's post on SI.com Point Forward OffSeason Grades: Toronto Raptors, this statement was found within:

    Toronto isnít a recognizably better team than it was at the end of last season. A full year of Gay and more playing time for Valanciunas should help swing the Raptors into the playoff picture, but even that isnít an offseason development so much as a natural evolution.

    So what do you think? Is Toronto a better team than it was at the end of last season?
    "You donít know the Bruno Caboclo......"
    Bruno Caboclo

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  3. #2
    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    I think they're better, but not significantly better (excluding improvements that come from individual players, and team chemistry).

    - Not having to find 30 mandatory minutes per game for Bargnani will improve defense, and help coaching staff seem more credible when preaching importance of hard work.
    - No more point guard controversy
    - Legit 3 point threat (Novak)
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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  5. #3
    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    Yes, I believe this team is much better than it was last year. I think the departure of both BC and Bargs should directly result in more wins. I felt last year that Bargs was a drain on the rest of the team, and that when he was on the floor, the other guys on the court lost a little of their edge, as if they were thinking 'shit, now we got to cover for this guy and give him the ball for long jumpers on offense'. A little disheartening for a player trying to compete I would think, plus who knows what kind of effect his presence and the controversary surrounding it may have had on the locker room in general.

    I also think our bench has improved and we also have numerous players in a contract year type situation. Gay, Lowry, Augustin, Johnson, Daye, Acy and Buycks all have something to prove and play for this season. Hopefully, the approach isn't selfish, and if all the guys can play good team ball, within (hopefully) improved offensive and defensive systems, then I think the Raps are much improved over last years team. That being said, I also think this team is better just on paper, but it will be up to the players and coaching staff to prove it.

  6. #4
    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    I voted yes, but it's marginal at best. Internal growth (JV and Ross especially) and a few minor moves (Novak, Hansborough) are really it though. A few things could go right to make the jump (improvements in shooting from everyone, health, Buycks, etc) but really we are basically the same team we were down the stretch.

  7. #5
    Raptors Republic Superstar Rapstor4Life's Avatar
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    Losing the Cancerous tumor in Bargnani alone made us a better team. Having 2 PFs that are willing defenders in the paint in Amir and Psycho T beside JV will do wonders for the team. The bench notably should be better with JL3 no longer here to run his offense of "Let me take whatever shot I want for 20 minutes" alongside Anderson doing basically the same thing its on Ross an Buycks (Im assuming he wins the back up spot somewhere into the season) to be a huge difference between Ws and Ls this season.

  8. #6
    Super Moderator thead's Avatar
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    when you take 30 minutes away from Bargnani and give them to JV, Amir and Hansbrough. You are already drastically improved without even considering the other moves.

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    The quoted statement from from SI is a bit odd to begin with. The writer discounts "evolution" as if it's totally insignificant in discussing a team's improvement. That's just silly, and I can't be bothered to get into the multitude of reasons why it applies to the Raptors. It applies to other teams as well, but the question isn't how much they improved compared to other teams.

    Getting to the basic question of "Are they a better team than at the end of last season?", I think there's little question that they should be, but we won't really know until they actually play the games. Reasons for believing they'll be better, in no particular order:

    - considering the distraction, as well as interference in play, that AB had become, surely the front court should be a lot better. Surely JV's 2nd year, Acy's 2nd year, and Hansbrough & Novak provides an upgrade at what this team needs from the PF position, over AB and infirmed Kleiza.
    - PG.... Augustin and Buycks (whatever he provides) is better than the uselessness of Lucas and Telfair
    - SG.... whatever gauge one uses to predict how much improvement there will be, it's only fair to expect that both DD and Ross will be better.
    - SF... both Gay and Fields are better equipped to contribute, as results from corrective surgery to problems.

    Then there's the coaching. Publicly at least, Casey has been given the key to implement his defense first philosophies, which worked wonders on a much inferior team 2 years ago. They've hired an offensive guru, who also has plenty of experience as a head coach, so understands fitting his schemes into the overall defense first philosophy.

    Continuity. Often overlooked, but when was the last time the Raptors went into a season with the same starting line-up they finished the previous year with? Hell, there really should be no question that they should be better.

  11. #8
    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote p00ka wrote: View Post
    Continuity. Often overlooked, but when was the last time the Raptors went into a season with the same starting line-up they finished the previous year with?
    Yup, this is key. The Colangelo era brought so many annual changes that we've lost sight of just how important this factor is.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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  13. #9
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    I voted "same" because while everybody is glad Bargnani is gone, the question is comparing this team to the team at the end of last season, and Bargs wasn't getting any minutes at that point. Fundamentally it's the same team. The bench is different but it's not really identifiably better per se - Psycho T, Austin Daye, Steve Novak and DJ Augustin are not realistically an upgrade over JL3, Alan Anderson, Sebastain Telfair and Mickael Pietrus, if we're being honest. When we're all looking forward to see how Dwight Buycks performs that's a sign that you don't have a lot of hope in your bench.

    Which means, when you get down to cases, that we're basically in the same sort of position as Portland last season - not a lot of bench depth, a lot of quality starters but no superstar, etc. The only reason anybody's talking playoffs at all is because we're an Eastern conference team.

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  15. #10
    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    The Raptors going into next season are probably better than they were at the end of last year.. although I don't think you can include Bargnani as someone who was on the roster at the end of last season. He technically was but he played his last game 20 games before the end of the season.

    So if you remove Bargnani/Kleiza and look at the rosters its fairly similar.

    Outside of organic growth (and I can only really apply that to JV, Acy and Ross), I see only slight positives of the new roster. AA is gone, but replaced with Hansborough and Novak. That's an upgrade in talent but neither are studs. Pietrus is gone and replaced with Daye. That's insignificant. PG is probably worse. Yes JL3/Telfair sucked but both are veterans. They are more proven than Buycks and DJ was bad on a good team.. so what does that say about him on a mediocre/bad team?

    JV is the main reason why the team will be better than the team at the end of last year. I don't believe anything Casey says anymore. I'm glad he wants to go back to the way they played defense in the first season.. but they also had Jose who was good at slowing down the pace. Can Lowry handle that kind of pace? I'm not so sure that's his game and therefore it can actually be a detriment overall.

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  17. #11
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    If the team doesn't have injuries this year, it's already a vast improvement upon next.

    The starting lineup has gotten lean, mean, strong, and faster.

    They have a stronger backcourt than they did last year, but no body knows by how much.

    Overall they are a little bit better in terms of players, but the big development will be in coaching and play style.

  18. #12
    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    STARTERS

    End of Last Season: Valanciunas, Johnson, Gay, DeRozan, Lowry

    Start of This Season: Valanciunas, Johnson, Gay, DeRozan, Lowry

    Answer: Same (aside from organic growth and improved team chemistry)


    BENCH

    End of Last Season: Gray, Acy, Fields, Anderson, Ross, Lucas, Telfair (Bargnani, Kleiza & Pietrus were in suits)

    Start of This Season: Gray, Hansborough, Acy, Novak, Daye, Fields, Ross, Augustin, Buycks (Richardson will never play)

    C: Gray VS Gray --> Same
    PF: Hansborough & Novak/Daye & Acy VS Acy --> Better
    SF: Novak/Daye & Fields VS Anderson & Fields --> Same (Better if Fields shows improvement, which is organic growth)
    SG: Ross VS Ross --> Same
    PG: Augustin & Buycks VS Lucas & Telfair --> Same (Better if Augustin returns to form and Buycks proves he's an NBA backup)

    Answer: A little bit better and definitely deeper, with potential to be much better


    OVERALL - a little better on paper, even before considering internal growth (ie: individual improvement, team chemistry from training camp together, recovery from surgery/rehab - Gay, Fields, return to defense-first priority)

    * none of this factors in the team's financial situation or draft pick situation, which are both significantly improved from last season
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Thu Aug 29th, 2013 at 11:34 AM.

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  20. #13
    Raptors Republic All-Star Fully's Avatar
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    Things like chemistry and internal growth are barely measurable at the best of times, let alone during the offseason when you can't even watch the team play together, so I don't blame the SI writer for not falling all over himself giving the Raptors props for these two things.

    Beyond that, we've really just swapped out the back end of the bench and got rid of a headache in Bargnani. Those aren't moves that scream drastic improvement. Augustin and Hansbrough are both coming off their worst seasons as pros, Daye was dangerously close to being out of the league before we signed him, and Buycks is an undrafted 24 year old rookie and is probably the third string point to open the season.

    A common fan would look at this year's roster, compare it to the one that ended last year, and probably see little to no difference in overall talent. So yes, describing the team as not recognizably better is accurate.

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  22. #14
    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote p00ka wrote: View Post
    The quoted statement from from SI is a bit odd to begin with. The writer discounts "evolution" as if it's totally insignificant in discussing a team's improvement. That's just silly, and I can't be bothered to get into the multitude of reasons why it applies to the Raptors. It applies to other teams as well, but the question isn't how much they improved compared to other teams.

    Getting to the basic question of "Are they a better team than at the end of last season?", I think there's little question that they should be, but we won't really know until they actually play the games. Reasons for believing they'll be better, in no particular order:

    - considering the distraction, as well as interference in play, that AB had become, surely the front court should be a lot better. Surely JV's 2nd year, Acy's 2nd year, and Hansbrough & Novak provides an upgrade at what this team needs from the PF position, over AB and infirmed Kleiza.
    - PG.... Augustin and Buycks (whatever he provides) is better than the uselessness of Lucas and Telfair
    - SG.... whatever gauge one uses to predict how much improvement there will be, it's only fair to expect that both DD and Ross will be better.
    - SF... both Gay and Fields are better equipped to contribute, as results from corrective surgery to problems.

    Then there's the coaching. Publicly at least, Casey has been given the key to implement his defense first philosophies, which worked wonders on a much inferior team 2 years ago. They've hired an offensive guru, who also has plenty of experience as a head coach, so understands fitting his schemes into the overall defense first philosophy.

    Continuity. Often overlooked, but when was the last time the Raptors went into a season with the same starting line-up they finished the previous year with? Hell, there really should be no question that they should be better.
    I don't think the writer is discounting organic growth, but rather he is trying to grade the off-season for the team, which is really comprised of trades, draft, free agency, and coaching changes. Every team has organic growth (some more than others) and I don't think that is a factor in what he is trying to evaluate. He is basically admitting that the team will be better with Gay on board full time and JV's development, but since he is trying to evaluate how well they did in terms of off-season changes, the evolution doesn't really apply.

  23. #15
    Raptors Republic Rookie Mundy's Avatar
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    Not too much better, but with the potential to get legs as the season goes on. If we start the season as a .500 team we'll be in great position if we tighten up after the all-star break. Being on par with the end of last season isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    "This just in........ THE RAPTORS ARE AMAZING!"

  24. #16
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    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    I don't think the writer is discounting organic growth, but rather he is trying to grade the off-season for the team, which is really comprised of trades, draft, free agency, and coaching changes. Every team has organic growth (some more than others) and I don't think that is a factor in what he is trying to evaluate. He is basically admitting that the team will be better with Gay on board full time and JV's development, but since he is trying to evaluate how well they did in terms of off-season changes, the evolution doesn't really apply.
    I'm truly not trying to be a jackass, but there's another previously created thread about the off-season grading of this whole SI article. This thread asked a different fundamental question, targeting a specific portion of the article.

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  26. #17
    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote p00ka wrote: View Post
    I'm truly not trying to be a jackass, but there's another previously created thread about the off-season grading of this whole SI article. This thread asked a different fundamental question, targeting a specific portion of the article.
    Some people don't have to try

    I posted the other thread with the link to the article, as Matt links at the top of this thread. Matt bolds the statement "Toronto isn’t a recognizably better team than it was at the end of last season." which is the poll question. I think the rest of the quotation provided by Matt isn't really relevant to the topic question. The article and Matt's topic question aren't the same focus, hence 2 different threads. One is providing SI's off-season grading and one is asking how do we perceive this one aspects of what was said within a larger context.

  27. #18
    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    I said I'm not sure. If the question was "is Toronto better than they were last year before the Rudy Gay trade" then I would have said yes. With Rudy I know we can get a bucket down the stretch of a game when we need to, but now the question is can we get a stop when we need to? Did we address our issues with rebounding? Did we address our need for scoring in the post? Did we address our need for better ball movement? Outside of internal growth I don't think Phycho T and Augustin address those issues. A lot if not everything is riding on our improvement internally.

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  29. #19
    Raptors Republic Starter phez's Avatar
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    The author gave Celtics offseason an A.

    So that pretty much tells you all you need to know.

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  31. #20
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    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    Some people don't have to try

    I posted the other thread with the link to the article, as Matt links at the top of this thread. Matt bolds the statement "Toronto isn’t a recognizably better team than it was at the end of last season." which is the poll question. I think the rest of the quotation provided by Matt isn't really relevant to the topic question. The article and Matt's topic question aren't the same focus, hence 2 different threads. One is providing SI's off-season grading and one is asking how do we perceive this one aspects of what was said within a larger context.
    Exactly, on both points.

    So, help me out here. What was the relevance , in this thread, of that lesson you gave me about the whole SI article?

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