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Thread: SI: Raps "due for most constructive season without making playoffs"

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    Default SI: Raps "due for most constructive season without making playoffs"

    http://nba.si.com/2013/09/11/nba-lot...thony-davis/2/

    Determining which also-ran will have the most constructive year probably starts with an analysis of who has the most work to do (and the desire to do that work). In a number of rebuilding situations (Orlando, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Utah), this yearís heavy lifting was done during the offseason. In each of those situations, long-terms salaries have been moved out, prospects and picks have been acquired and the decks have been cleared for young players. Any constructive progress for those teams will be taking place on the court. A few other weaker sisters (Charlotte and Sacramento) tried to improve this summer without making much headway; theyíre more or less stuck with the results of those decisions until the draft.

    Eliminating those six teams from the conversation leaves a whole bunch of teams that should be in contention for the postseason unless something goes badly wrong (Minnesota, Dallas, Portland, Detroit, Washington and Cleveland) and two others that are tougher to peg, New Orleans and Toronto. A lot would have to go right for the Pelicans to emerge as a true playoff contender after finishing 18 games behind the No. 8 seed in the West last season, but they made so many major additions this summer that it would be sensible to let the new group marinate together before pivoting again. By process of elimination, that leaves the Raptors, my choice here.

    New Raptors GM Masai Ujiri should be able to see opportunities for potential progress at virtually every turn. On the court, Valanciunas will have the chance to emerge as a threat capable of scoring reliably and dictating an offense from the post, while DeMar DeRozan ó last yearís big investment ó has improved during his four seasons and is still just 24. At the very least, this should be a year of progress from those two, and perhaps 2012 lottery pick Terrence Ross and intriguing summer pickup Dwight Buycks, too. Itís also more than reasonable to expect bounce-back years from guards Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields.

    The real construction work, though, should result from Ujiriís own hand. The 2013 Executive of the Year began that process immediately after arriving from Denver, dealing Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks in a trade that was both necessary and tone-setting. Even after the move, though, the Raptorsí payroll isnít that far removed from the luxury-tax line. Given that the vast majority of a 34-win team is back, Torontoís talent-to-cost ratio stands as among the leagueís worst. The personnel cycling we saw from Ujiri in Denver feels inevitable in Toronto, too, and it will take some time. Ujiri just isnít one to waste any opportunity.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Well enough written piece, but this argument really drives me bananas:

    Quote SI.com wrote:
    Given that the vast majority of a 34-win team is back, Toronto’s talent-to-cost ratio stands as among the league’s worst.
    This is NOT a 34-win team. The vast majority of a nearly .500 team are back.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    I agree that "34-win" team isn't the most accurate descriptor for the Raptors. But ".500" doesn't seem to be much more accurate either.

    The only thing we can all agree on is "lottery team".....for now.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    I agree that "34-win" team isn't the most accurate descriptor for the Raptors. But ".500" doesn't seem to be much more accurate either.

    The only thing we can all agree on is "lottery team".....for now.
    To be fair, I did say 'nearly .500'. Lol
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Mundy's Avatar
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    It's tough to argue with anything written here.... but my biggest concern is what's not written.
    Like, we get it. Advanced stats are a thing. They tell us other things. They tell us that Rudy Gay has been inefficient. But does that mean that he shouldn't even be mentioned in an article speaking to how our season is going to play out?

    Honestly I can see the flaws in Rudy's game, but I also have a feeling that he's going to have a monster year and all the people that have ragged on him since his last season in Memphis are going to have a slice of humble pie to jam in their face.
    "This just in........ THE RAPTORS ARE AMAZING!"

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Perhaps I'm being too simplistic, but Rudy's game really comes down to discipline (i.e. shot selection). If he can resist the urge to force contested long jumpers, his efficiency will improve significantly. To a lesser extent, this applies to DeRozan too.

    I really hope Casey highlights this during training camp. Don't waste offensive possessions by making things easy on the defense.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    To be fair, I did say 'nearly .500'. Lol
    On a similar note, the article did say "vast majority of a 34 wins team".

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Superjudge's Avatar
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    how many wins did they have last year?

    Thats what they are until they post better.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar isaacthompson's Avatar
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    This is NOT a 34-win team. The vast majority of a nearly .500 team are back.
    I think the author means "34-win team" as what our record was last year. Besides, putting the floor at 34 wins for this season is a good strategy as a writer, because he can't assume we will improve/downgrade.
    Twitter - @thekid_it

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote BobLoblaw wrote: View Post
    On a similar note, the article did say "vast majority of a 34 wins team".
    No but thats not the point. This Roster did not post 34 wins last year. Two seperate rosters combined to post 34 wins.
    One of those Rosters performed much better than the other.

    Extrapolating the record that the 2nd roster put up, which is what we are moving forward with, I think its unfair, and doesn't make much sense, to say this is a 34 win team.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star ebrian's Avatar
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    If you really want to get into it, the reality is that the current roster did not post any wins last year because it didn't exist last year.
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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote ebrian wrote: View Post
    If you really want to get into it, the reality is that the current roster did not post any wins last year because it didn't exist last year.
    Yes, but the current CORE of the roster did.
    And we've really only improved that core, by replacing Laziness and Ineffiecency (Bargs) with Endless Effort (Psycho T) and real shooting ability (Novak); Old Back Up Legs (Telfair) and a Shot Happy PG (Lucas) with a Young, Hungry, Energetic Back up (Buycks). Oh, and replaced JV the BOY, with JV the MAN.

    If we only win 34 games (or less), I will certainly be eating a TON of crow; but I just don't see it happening.
    Last edited by Joey; Thu Sep 12th, 2013 at 11:20 AM.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Ambidextrious's Avatar
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    dwayne casey better get his shit together this season. imo he cost us way too many games last season.. if this team gets off to a shaky start expect the pitchfork carrying mob of angry fans to come for his neck.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Rapstor4Life's Avatar
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    Quote Ambidextrious wrote: View Post
    dwayne casey better get his shit together this season. imo he cost us way too many games last season.. if this team gets off to a shaky start expect the pitchfork carrying mob of angry fans to come for his neck.
    Bargnani come Hell Or High Water cost us so many games last season.....

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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    Well enough written piece, but this argument really drives me bananas:



    This is NOT a 34-win team. The vast majority of a nearly .500 team are back.
    It'd be much more irresponsible for the writer to extrapolate a .500 record for the Raptors next season based on an 18-18 stretch to end this past year, especially when a bunch of those victories came in the schedule's final days when the Raps were playing lottery teams or playoff squads that were resting key players.

    People are quick to forget that prior to the aforementioned stretch where the Raptors won 6 of 7 to close the year... they were 5-15 in the previous 20 games before that. They got marginally better after the trade but they weren't world beaters... They saw a big surge immediately after Gay got here (the honeymoon phase), had a misleading winning streak to end the year, and sandwiched between those two stretches was the same bad Raptors team.

    Does no one remember when the team had a brief bit of hope that they could fight back into the playoff picture and then lost to the Wizards, Cavs and Bucks within a week?

    Plus there's just so much wrong with taking a small sample size and trying to stretch it out over a full year. The Raptors went 12-11 over a 23 game stretch last year with Ed Davis and Calderon playing key roles prior to the Gay trade... Was that roster a 46 win team over a full season? Good god no.
    Last edited by Fully; Thu Sep 12th, 2013 at 01:21 PM.

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    Quote Rapstor4Life wrote: View Post
    Bargnani come Hell Or High Water cost us so many games last season.....
    He only played 35 games last season....

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    I will take a constructive season. When was the last time the Raps had one of those?

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Quote blackjitsu wrote: View Post
    I will take a constructive season. When was the last time the Raps had one of those?
    It depends if you're still drinking the BC cool aid or not.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Mundy's Avatar
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    Quote Fully wrote: View Post
    It'd be much more irresponsible for the writer to extrapolate a .500 record for the Raptors next season based on an 18-18 stretch to end this past year, especially when a bunch of those victories came in the schedule's final days when the Raps were playing lottery teams or playoff squads that were resting key players.

    People are quick to forget that prior to the aforementioned stretch where the Raptors won 6 of 7 to close the year... they were 5-15 in the previous 20 games before that. They got marginally better after the trade but they weren't world beaters... They saw a big surge immediately after Gay got here (the honeymoon phase), had a misleading winning streak to end the year, and sandwiched between those two stretches was the same bad Raptors team.

    Does no one remember when the team had a brief bit of hope that they could fight back into the playoff picture and then lost to the Wizards, Cavs and Bucks within a week?

    Plus there's just so much wrong with taking a small sample size and trying to stretch it out over a full year. The Raptors went 12-11 over a 23 game stretch last year with Ed Davis and Calderon playing key roles prior to the Gay trade... Was that roster a 46 win team over a full season? Good god no.
    I agree with everything you're saying..... I just want to throw in my 2 cents that we ALWAYS lose to the Bucks, John Wall was playing HAM and everybody seems to think that the Cavs are better than us anyway. Obviously we wanted to win those games but it's not like we were considered to be far above those guys, and in fact we're slated to be worse them this year by most opinions. Even as I'm writing this I don't really know my point. I guess I just wanted to say that as heartbreaking as it was, those games aren't as easy to win as the schedules would suggest.
    "This just in........ THE RAPTORS ARE AMAZING!"

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Fully's Avatar
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    Quote Mundy wrote: View Post
    I agree with everything you're saying..... I just want to throw in my 2 cents that we ALWAYS lose to the Bucks, John Wall was playing HAM and everybody seems to think that the Cavs are better than us anyway. Obviously we wanted to win those games but it's not like we were considered to be far above those guys, and in fact we're slated to be worse them this year by most opinions. Even as I'm writing this I don't really know my point. I guess I just wanted to say that as heartbreaking as it was, those games aren't as easy to win as the schedules would suggest.
    I'm not saying that those games should have been easy wins for the Raptors. The fact that they weren't is kind of the whole point.

    For the record I think the team will flirt with 40 wins next year if they play the season out, but I'm convinced that the tear down is inevitable (which the SI writer seems to agree with, except he calls it "personnel cycling"). I just don't think Raptor fans should be insulted or outraged when people refer to them as a 34 win team. Beyond the fact that the team actually only won 34 games last year, without the late season winning streak their record after the Gay trade would be on the same pace.

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