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Thread: Tough First 15 games!

  1. #21
    Raptors Republic All-Star Sig's Avatar
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    Quote Puffer wrote: View Post
    We are finally coming down to the home stretch (of the off-season) and it couldn't come soon enough for me. It's gotten to where I am hungry for training camp reports and pre-season games. Only another 2-3 weeks to go.
    Hah, same here brotha. They've been rerunning some of the greatest games of the season on NBATVC for the past couple of weeks and it's been able to fulfill my Raptor needs. I recommend the same.

    Pretty hyped to see Gay play.

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  3. #22
    Raptors Republic All-Star Superjudge's Avatar
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    Ok first, teams like starting on the road. Its always blown up, but really, the only thing on the road that is really bad is the crowd. Second, if you can look at the schedule and not see that easily two thirds of the teams in the NBA are better than Toronto, than I kinda don't see the big news that the schedule is tough. The "toughness" in the schedule has zero to do with home or away, back to back, or potentially easy or hard games. The "toughness" comes from the fact that Toronto is a terrible team, had been pretty much from the start, and is always playing teams better while they start, yet again, with a pretty much new team, or, new coach, or, new GM, or, new ownership....etc.

    So yeah. No sympathy, no surprises. Set um up and see how they fall!

  4. #23
    Raptors Republic Starter Fully's Avatar
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    If you consider a 15 game stretch where we play Atlanta, Milwaukee, Boston, Utah, Portland, Washington and Charlotte as a tough one.... We're probably in for a long year.

  5. #24
    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Quote Fully wrote: View Post
    If you consider a 15 game stretch where we play Atlanta, Milwaukee, Boston, Utah, Portland, Washington and Charlotte as a tough one.... We're probably in for a long year.
    It is baffling considering they have the 6th highest payroll in the NBA.

    But with the way last year started and the lack of any recent success, people are throttling back expectations. It's a good thing for fans' collective sanity.

  6. #25
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    Nice avatar!


  7. #26
    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    I'm torn. Just the thought of another mid-season coaching change and mid-season roster turnover gives me a headache. Anything can happen to any team over a 15 game stretch - it's such a small sample size. I think Ujiri has to wait longer than that.

    Also, the whole schedule is "tough" when you're a lottery team. Even best-case scenario, about 2/3 of this league is better than the Raptors. Bleh.

  8. #27
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    agreed.

  9. #28
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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    I'm torn. Just the thought of another mid-season coaching change and mid-season roster turnover gives me a headache. Anything can happen to any team over a 15 game stretch - it's such a small sample size. I think Ujiri has to wait longer than that.
    15 games isn't really a "small sample size." Hell, 16 games is one-fifth of the season; at twenty percent of the season gone, you have a good idea of the team's overall ability. 5-10 games would be a smallish sample size, but at 15-17 games, you know what team you have.

    (And those 16th and 17th games are away at Houston and Memphis, so yeah, they don't help much.)

  10. #29
    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    It is baffling considering they have the 6th highest payroll in the NBA.

    But with the way last year started and the lack of any recent success, people are throttling back expectations. It's a good thing for fans' collective sanity.
    That is worthy of a facepalm if there ever was one.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

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    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

  11. #30
    Raptors Republic Starter Fully's Avatar
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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    I'm torn. Just the thought of another mid-season coaching change and mid-season roster turnover gives me a headache. Anything can happen to any team over a 15 game stretch - it's such a small sample size. I think Ujiri has to wait longer than that.

    Also, the whole schedule is "tough" when you're a lottery team. Even best-case scenario, about 2/3 of this league is better than the Raptors. Bleh.
    If your best case scenario for the Raptors is that 2/3 of the league is still better than them then I'm not sure why a roster turnover has you upset. I get that the constant upheaval of the team is tiresome, but I don't think continuity should be celebrated if it's still a bad team.

  12. #31
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    Quote Fully wrote: View Post
    ...but I don't think continuity should be celebrated if it's still a bad team.
    Well...tough to argue with this.

  13. #32
    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    Quote magoon wrote: View Post
    15 games isn't really a "small sample size." Hell, 16 games is one-fifth of the season; at twenty percent of the season gone, you have a good idea of the team's overall ability. 5-10 games would be a smallish sample size, but at 15-17 games, you know what team you have.

    (And those 16th and 17th games are away at Houston and Memphis, so yeah, they don't help much.)
    Are you serious? Do you want to talk about Dec. 4-Jan. 14, when Miami went 12-9, or Jan. 16-Apr. 17, when they went 42-4.

    Extreme case with last year's Heat (HEAT!), I know, but re: sample size - they played 0.571 ball for a month and a half. 15 games is absolutely a small sample size.

  14. #33
    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Fully wrote: View Post
    If your best case scenario for the Raptors is that 2/3 of the league is still better than them then I'm not sure why a roster turnover has you upset. I get that the constant upheaval of the team is tiresome, but I don't think continuity should be celebrated if it's still a bad team.
    Totally agree - not satisfied with shooting for the 8th seed, but also tired of canning coaches and swapping out key players year after year, essentially giving up on the season halfway through. Just venting!

  15. #34
    Raptors Republic Starter Dino4life's Avatar
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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    Totally agree - not satisfied with shooting for the 8th seed, but also tired of canning coaches and swapping out key players year after year, essentially giving up on the season halfway through. Just venting!
    Casey is not getting canned during the season, that's just ESPN throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks. as for swapping year after year, That was Colangelo, its unfair to expect Masai not to make moves because BC made too many. We have to let him assemble his core, before we expect consistency, he hasn't even had a season with the team yet.

  16. #35
    Raptors Republic Rookie LC009's Avatar
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    One thing I was thinking about, contrary to my original thoughts, is whether Ujiri would be MORE likely to make moves if we are doing well. Think about it: he's a wizard at getting good value in trades, but if the team is struggling, he's dealing from a position of weakness.

    However, if the team is doing well (e.g., 6-8th seed), that likely means at least two of Lowry, Gay, Derozan are playing quite well. That could make them highly coveted assets. Imagines if he can turn Gay into a young stud AND get a top-10 draft pick as well.

    He's job is to make this team better. If we're shockingly good (top-5 in the East), then sure, I say be patient no matter what. If we're only moderately good (again, 6-8th), I say he listens to offers and will negotiate to try to make the team better in the long run. His short-term leash is immense — everyone knows he inherited the personnel and cap limitations we have.

    So some fans might freak out if Ujiri starts making moves when we're actually doing well, but if we win those trades I am all for it. Especially if it means a REALLY bright future. I'd rather have the OKC type of situation (not comparing the model, mind you) where ALL our elite players are young and about the same age, than have some studs in their prime now and some (e.g., Big Val) nowhere near it.

    In other words, I'd be happy with consistency right now if: A) We're crazy good (top-5 in the East); or B) No deals that make us better are available. We wouldn't actually know if B was the case, of course, but if we're only doing okay and stay the course, so far I trust Ujiri enough to assume that no great deals were available.

    That's not to say that he wouldn't make deals if we struggle. But those deals would be less favourable, because our assets will seem/be less valuable. Which is why I say I'm retracting what I said before: this season isn't exactly a win-win no matter what. The team doing well is probably the ideal situation no matter what, given that we now have Ujiri at the helm.

    ____________________

    Fortunately, I'm expecting good things from the team this year. Lowry and Gay being in contract years means they'll play to their utmost potential; Demar is not the type to take his foot off the gas once he gets a contract, so he should improve slightly; and Valanciunas and Ross should both improve (especially JV).

    And before someone says Gay isn't in a contract year, keep in mind I'm talking about how he is likely to approach the season; I can't see him saying to himself, "I might be mediocre this year, so I'll probably opt in." He's more likely thinking, "I want to kill it this year to prove all the haters wrong, and get myself another juicy long-term contract." The goal is never mediocrity, so in the back of his mind he is likely approaching this as a contract year (with a nice fallback option, granted). That means he might not have another gear if he starts out struggling, but if he's playing well to start I expect that to continue for most of the season.

  17. #36
    Super Moderator thead's Avatar
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    It really is a catch 22

    to reiterate some of the post above me.

    Raptors play like shit - you are dealing from position of weakness

    Caveat: We dealt Bargnani from a position of weakness and landed 3 picks and a useful role player

    Raptors play well 7th - 9th - In the hunt for a playoff spot (this is actually the optimal point to blow it up)

    Raptors exceed expectations 4th - 6th - you start talking to a few peoples agents and seeing where this goes long term.
    Ironically though, you will never get more value for your assets than if we do this well.

  18. #37
    Raptors Republic Rookie LC009's Avatar
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    Quote thead wrote: View Post
    It really is a catch 22
    Exactly! The better you're doing, the less you want to shake things up by making a move, but the better the returns would be if you did. However, since we know we're not contenders (even if we keep pace with the actual contenders for a while this season), we should be willing to make moves that will make us even better in the long run.

    Breaking up OKC's "big four" was stupid (there's no way they would have lost money making yearly trips to the WCF, at least); breaking up this squad to make it better in the long run is VERY reasonable.

    And yes, you caveat is very true and appropriate to the discussion. I just hope it doesn't come down to Ujiri HAVING to fleece another GM (because our players' values are so low). Imagine what he could do from a position of strength?

  19. #38
    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote LC009 wrote: View Post
    Exactly! The better you're doing, the less you want to shake things up by making a move, but the better the returns would be if you did. However, since we know we're not contenders (even if we keep pace with the actual contenders for a while this season), we should be willing to make moves that will make us even better in the long run.
    I think its more complicated than that though.

    Lets assume the team is doing well to start the year, and that increases the players value (I don't think the two are as linked than we like to believe, but none the less not relevant to the point I want to make). Now the question isn't just 'do we really want to shake things up because of how well we are doing'? Its also should we shake this up given we have greatly decreased our odds at a great draft pick anyways?

    If this team's goal is to build through the draft whether this year or next, it makes little sense to wait The opportunity cost of hoping potential trade pieces increase in value, is ping pong balls.



    No team is given up a high lottery pick for anyone on this team (aside from perhaps Jonas, who I doubt too many want included in a deal anyways). At best, maybe the team could get a late lottery pick

  20. #39
    Raptors Republic Superstar Rapstor4Life's Avatar
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    first 15 Raps will be 9-6 Book it.

  21. #40
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