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

    5 7.25%
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Thread: Is Toronto a better team than it was at the end of last season?

  1. #61
    Raptors Republic All-Star JimiCliff's Avatar
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    Quote phez wrote: View Post
    i never understood why people think every god damn player on our team needs to score 30ppg, otherwise trade them.

    we have augustine to the pass ball. hansborough to grab rebounds. novak to drop threes. fields to be the 4th man and does a little bit of everything. what the hell else do you expect a bench to do.
    FWIW, I like Hansbrough, I like Novak, and I like Fields. Augustin, though, is terrible. If you watched any Pacers games last year, you know that.

    My point was just that if it was Masai's intention to guarantee a playoff berth next year, he would have found a better backup point than Buycks/Augustin. Given that he didn't do this, and given that the rest of the roster upgrades have been minimal, I think he's preparing the roster to be blown up - if and when a halfway decent offer for Gay comes along.

  2. #62
    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    Rant- How can anyone argue that our bench isnt improved is beyond me. Just because Hans and DJ came from the Pacers, who didn't have a great bench last year is, is NOT evidence to support this. The Pacers were an Eastern Conference contender last year, that almost beat the best team in the league despite such a 'weak' bench. The bench was considered weak when it was compared to the Pacers starting lineup, or compared to the benches of other Eastern Conference contenders. The Raps were/are NOT an Eastern Conference contender, and if we compare the Raps bench last year to the Pacers bench last year. I think we all know whho has the advantage. So, if we remove some of our bad players and guys that didn't contribute at all and add two guys that played on a contender last year and actually logged some minutes, then I'm sorry that is automatically an upgrade. Plus, that's not even considering the addition of Novak, who hit alot of three's last year.

    As for Ujiri's moves, I'll just echo what others have pointed out. This team wasn't that great last year, everyone knows that. Why the hell would Ujiri go out and spend ANY money at all trying to find great bench players? It's absurd. We aren't the Pacers. A great bench isn't the difference between winning and losing the Eastern Conference Finals. His moves were made to maintain flexibility going forward so that, after a thorough evaluation of the roster during the 1st half of the season, he can decide who stays and who goes and what needs to be done over the next couple of seasons to elevate this team to a conference contender. Short-term, low value contracts was the right way to go with a patient approach. Making the playoffs isn't necessarily a goal this season. It would have been for BC, and he would have continued to dig the hole if he was still the GM. But he is not, and Ujiri is using this season to determine what he wants to do with this roster.

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  4. #63
    Raptors Republic Starter Fully's Avatar
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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    Rant- How can anyone argue that our bench isnt improved is beyond me. Just because Hans and DJ came from the Pacers, who didn't have a great bench last year is, is NOT evidence to support this. The Pacers were an Eastern Conference contender last year, that almost beat the best team in the league despite such a 'weak' bench. The bench was considered weak when it was compared to the Pacers starting lineup, or compared to the benches of other Eastern Conference contenders. The Raps were/are NOT an Eastern Conference contender, and if we compare the Raps bench last year to the Pacers bench last year. I think we all know whho has the advantage. So, if we remove some of our bad players and guys that didn't contribute at all and add two guys that played on a contender last year and actually logged some minutes, then I'm sorry that is automatically an upgrade. Plus, that's not even considering the addition of Novak, who hit alot of three's last year.

    As for Ujiri's moves, I'll just echo what others have pointed out. This team wasn't that great last year, everyone knows that. Why the hell would Ujiri go out and spend ANY money at all trying to find great bench players? It's absurd. We aren't the Pacers. A great bench isn't the difference between winning and losing the Eastern Conference Finals. His moves were made to maintain flexibility going forward so that, after a thorough evaluation of the roster during the 1st half of the season, he can decide who stays and who goes and what needs to be done over the next couple of seasons to elevate this team to a conference contender. Short-term, low value contracts was the right way to go with a patient approach. Making the playoffs isn't necessarily a goal this season. It would have been for BC, and he would have continued to dig the hole if he was still the GM. But he is not, and Ujiri is using this season to determine what he wants to do with this roster.
    Augustin was horrible in the Miami series (and all year really, if we're being honest) and Hansbrough could barely get on the floor against the Heat. The Pacers success last year was despite their second unit, not because of it.
    The Raptors bench doesn't "automatically" get better because they've grabbed a couple players off of a good team. That's crazy. Where do you draw the line if that's the case? Gerald Green? Jeff Pendergraph? Or is it just a foregone conclusion that if you played on a contender last year, you'll automatically improve the next team you go to?
    Last edited by Fully; Fri Aug 30th, 2013 at 01:09 PM.

  5. #64
    Raptors Republic All-Star Axel's Avatar
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    Quote Fully wrote: View Post
    Augustin was horrible in the Miami series and Hansbrough could barely get on the floor against them. The Pacers success last year was despite their second unit, not because of it.
    The Raptors bench doesn't "automatically" get better because they've grabbed a couple players off of a good team. That's crazy. Where do you draw the line if that's the case? Gerald Green? Jeff Pendergraph?
    T-Mac was on the Spurs last year, therefore we should have signed him to improve our bench. It's like reverse-osmosis or something.
    Whatever you do, do it the best you can

  6. #65
    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    I'm glad to have Hansbrough and I think he'll contribute, but I also think he's a bit overrated because of his college career and his hyperactivity, which can make it look like he's contributing more than he is. Fans also love anyone with a high motor and good work ethic, but I don't think his strengths outweigh his weaknesses by much and his net impact is negligible. That's partly why, in spite of being desperate for bench help, the Pacers actually reduced his minutes last year.

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  8. #66
    Raptors Republic Starter Hassan's Avatar
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    I think raps are better and could finish anywhere from 6th to 8 in the east
    ya dun noe

  9. #67
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    Quote psrs1 wrote: View Post
    M
    AB not taking long 3s and not rebounding is addition by subtraction. Re Gay, JV , DD, Lowry and Amir developing good chemistry and flow time will tell.
    -You pretty much summed it up-esp first part about Bargs. What do you think his "AB not taking long 3s and not rebounding", does for team chemistry with everybody knowing that coach will still play him 20-30 mins per game?
    I'd say total disaster.
    -Natural evolution/growth of our key players (Gay, JV , DD, Lowry, Ross and Amir)-none of which have hit prime (OK, say only 1 or 2 show improvement) can only help.
    -WRT to bench -Lets be reasonable. The only player that OCCASIONALLY resembled an NBA player was Anderson. The rest was as useless as tits on a bull.
    While I do not expect a candidate for a 6th man of year from the new group, can they possibly contribute less????
    -All in all -I feel some improvement is in order. Team should make playoffs (5-8 seed). I would not be shocked if we finish 9 or 10 as some teams MAY have improved more (Detroit, Cavs, Atlanta, Wizz). Lets not forget, fair number of teams have made key changes - can chemistry become an issue?

  10. #68
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    Quote JimiCliff wrote: View Post
    FWIW, I like Hansbrough, I like Novak, and I like Fields. Augustin, though, is terrible. If you watched any Pacers games last year, you know that.

    My point was just that if it was Masai's intention to guarantee a playoff berth next year, he would have found a better backup point than Buycks/Augustin. Given that he didn't do this, and given that the rest of the roster upgrades have been minimal, I think he's preparing the roster to be blown up - if and when a halfway decent offer for Gay comes along.
    If this team is clearly not in top 8 by mid Feb, That is exactly what we will see (Detroit offer for Gay will make a lot of sense).

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    Quote Mapko wrote: View Post
    If this team is clearly not in top 8 by mid Feb, That is exactly what we will see (Detroit offer for Gay will make a lot of sense).
    Really confused as to how Detroit's offer will ever make sense. It's quite obviously a low-ball offer. If Bargnani can be dealt for a future 1st round pick, then we should be able to get more than that for Rudy Gay, especially seeing as he's very likely to opt out and be a free agent next off-season (whereas Bargnani has 2 guaranteed years left).

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  13. #70
    Raptors Republic All-Star ebrian's Avatar
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    Financially, Ujiri has moved a bit and we have a little more flexibility than we had last year.

    I think we're a better team on paper, but the real way to measure the team is based on its results. I think we can be a tougher, grittier team if we played certain guys more, but that's a bit like saying we were a better rebounding team with Reggie Evans on the floor, or better offensive team with Bargnani on the floor. You can't just field a lineup of gritty players because you'll just lose and lose and lose.

    So in that sense, one can argue that our roster is better but will it produce better results? That part I'm unsure of so that's why I put "Same". My sense is that the final few weeks of last season is indicative of what the team would have been capable of if we replayed the 2012-2013 season. We'd have probably made the playoffs and won roughly half our games. But for the 2013-2014 season I don't see enough improvement that would necessarily result in a better record given the progress made by other teams in the East. I think we'll win somewhere between 35-38 games this season which is better than last year but not by a whole lot. Basically we're in the same position as last year, a team that wins less than half its games and isn't headed in any particular direction.
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  15. #71
    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Really confused as to how Detroit's offer will ever make sense. It's quite obviously a low-ball offer.
    Detroit's offer can make sense if a number of events happen, but the two most obvious would be:

    - the added losses of a Gay trade lead to a higher a draft pick.
    - one (or more) of the 2 expirings can be flipped for, or included with, something else

    Here is a plausible scenario:

    - Gay has a 'good' season
    - Raptors finish outside the lottery or at the back end of it
    - Gay decides to decline his option for a longer term contract that offers him more security. Toronto isn't included in the process, or if is, gets a small return facilitating it

    At that point, the additional losses leading to more ping pong balls > the additional wins, as both lead to the same or similar results otherwise.

    (Don't take that as me thinking Masai should have taken the trade. But I'd really like to know thats in his back pocket if needed)

    If Bargnani can be dealt for a future 1st round pick, then we should be able to get more than that for Rudy Gay, especially seeing as he's very likely to opt out and be a free agent next off-season (whereas Bargnani has 2 guaranteed years left).
    Bargnani has an ETO in his final year.

    Bargnani netting a future 1st round pick does make it seem reasonable to think Gay should to. But value can often be relative. Gay is a better player, but has a significantly different contract than Bargnani when we look at pure volume.

    -Bargnani's is smaller on a yearly basis and therefore would be easier to trade (lower cost = greater available demand)
    -both could end their current contracts after this year, but losing Gay, from a pure quality perspective, is more costly than losing Bargnani (greater risk = less available demand)
    - teams with 'future first rounders' already out there are unable to trade them (lower supply)

    I think the best way to describe Gay's contract is clumsy. He's a 'good' player, but hasn't shown to be worth his pay. His deal is large, and is in his control, not the teams. All this in an every changing (and arguably tightening) CBA environment

    I think the teams that would want to trade for Gay would be a 'win now' team that also had cap space/willingness to spend a ton. That right off the bat limits the customers available - then we'd have to consider what they have available to trade and how that all fits within the CBA


    The team SHOULD be able to get more for Rudy Gay, but that doesn't mean the market will bear it. If the Raptors do trade Gay and get less than they did for Bargnani, I don't think thats a statement about Gay himself, rather a statement about his contract.

  16. #72
    Raptors Republic All-Star Jclaw's Avatar
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    I know he's gone but this has to be the funniest quote ever

    Eventually, Felton believes Bargnani can be the Knicks' "new Rasheed Wallace."

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/stor...ling-pneumonia

  17. #73
    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Jclaw wrote: View Post
    I know he's gone but this has to be the funniest quote ever

    Eventually, Felton believes Bargnani can be the Knicks' "new Rasheed Wallace."

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/stor...ling-pneumonia
    I think he's referring to what Rasheed gave them last year (as a semi-retired 38 year old), as opposed to what Rasheed has historically been known for.

    But ya, still pretty hilarious. If anyone had said that while he was on the Raps, they'd be laughed out of the league.
    "I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. We all have self-doubt. You don't deny it, but you also don't capitulate to it. You embrace it. You rise above it." -Kobe Bryant

  18. #74
    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Seems like a pretty loose comparison.

    Translation: "They're both tall dudes who shoot 3's"
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

  19. #75
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    Seems like a pretty loose comparison.

    Translation: "They're both tall dudes who shoot 3's"
    I think so, yeah. The thing that made Sheed so good, though, was that he could give you elite defense and shot blocking as well as 3pt range. I can only think of two other bigs in the history of the league that could do that: Sabonis and LeBron. You could maaaaaybe throw KG in there, just because he's definitely capable of hitting threes, but his best season of 3pt makes still only had 37, and most of his career he's been sub-30%.

  20. #76
    Raptors Republic Superstar TheGloveinRapsUniform'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.
    Pooka, this is a compliment but i cant phrase it any other way. you remind me of eminem, when you open your mouth you come out as a douche but what you say exudes intelligence, reason and reality. hahahaha. #nohomo.

    i've always said stability and chemistry is always looked past. past GMs never gave this team a chance to gel and blend together. i think this team can actually surprise some people given they are healthy, with a full training camp and practices.

    significantly better, of course on paper. we wont know until the season starts, how good, or bad they can be. but IMO, we should be optimistic.

    lowry is healthy, contract year, no fear of losing starting position. i think its always harder to maintain your position rather than to strive for another.
    demar constantly improves year after year and so does Amir.
    JV should feel much comfortable being a member of the team, and ready to contribute
    Gay should finally feel that he has "his" team and seems like he's ready to be the leader.

  21. #77
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    Quote tkfu wrote: View Post
    I think so, yeah. The thing that made Sheed so good, though, was that he could give you elite defense and shot blocking as well as 3pt range. I can only think of two other bigs in the history of the league that could do that: Sabonis and LeBron. You could maaaaaybe throw KG in there, just because he's definitely capable of hitting threes, but his best season of 3pt makes still only had 37, and most of his career he's been sub-30%.
    +1. Sheed is highly under-appreciated, probably because of his bad boy antics throughout his career. Funny, nobody thinks of Sheed as a 'stretch 4' because he can do what a big man should - guard the post & score in the post proficiently. Bargnani is basically a tall SF with a height advantage and quickness disadvantage at SF, who can also be guarded by SFs.

    In terms of Toronto being better than last season - I think so. Just having a clear pecking order between starters and bench is a huge chemistry plus. Colangelo teams always seemed to have some starter/bench controversies with interchangeable players of similar skills. It puts the coach in awkward situations and produces ever changing rotations that must be frustrating to the players.
    Last edited by golden; Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 05:45 PM.

  22. #78
    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    My favourite Sheed moment was getting ejected without saying a single word

    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote TheGloveinRapsUniform wrote: View Post
    Pooka, this is a compliment but i cant phrase it any other way. you remind me of eminem, when you open your mouth you come out as a douche but what you say exudes intelligence, reason and reality. hahahaha. #nohomo.

    i've always said stability and chemistry is always looked past. past GMs never gave this team a chance to gel and blend together. i think this team can actually surprise some people given they are healthy, with a full training camp and practices.

    significantly better, of course on paper. we wont know until the season starts, how good, or bad they can be. but IMO, we should be optimistic.

    lowry is healthy, contract year, no fear of losing starting position. i think its always harder to maintain your position rather than to strive for another.
    demar constantly improves year after year and so does Amir.
    JV should feel much comfortable being a member of the team, and ready to contribute
    Gay should finally feel that he has "his" team and seems like he's ready to be the leader.
    LOL LOL, not many things leave me speechless (still haven't learned to shut up often enough), but all I can say is thank you???

    signed, The ol' Douche Grump

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    My favourite Sheed moment was getting ejected without saying a single word

    lol, he wasn't always good for his team, and I'm all about TEAM mentality/play, but I couldn't help loving the guy.

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