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Thread: MU says "wait and see" approach, how does the schedule play out?

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Default MU says "wait and see" approach, how does the schedule play out?

    People keep talking about how the team needs to get off to a good start or MU will look to blow it up. MU even said that he is taking a "wait and see" approach to this team in the Season Event Kick-off the other night. Many people are optimistic about the season and that this group could put it all together, but looking at the schedule, they have a pretty tough start to the season. What is good enough for MU to hold it all together? How long will he be patient? Where would you draw the line?

    The Raps first 20 games includes Miami (twice), Indiana, Houston, Memphis, Chicago, Brooklyn, Golden State and San Antonio. That's 9 losses in the first 20 games almost guaranteed.

    With 2 sets of back-to-back games, the Raps face Miami-@Charlotte, and then @Indiana-home vs Utah, the Raps could lose winnable games (@ Charlotte and home vs Utah) if they are fatigued from their games the night before against Top Tier teams. If the Raps were to somehow keep it close into the 4th Q against Miami or the Pacers, we might waste a lot of energy that could cost us in the 2nd, more winnable, game. Raps went 7-7 in back-to-backs last season (including the Bargs game-winning missed foul call vs Charlotte). So assuming we'd win one and lose one is fairly reasonable.

    We have 2 Sunday afternoon games vs West Coast teams, Portland and Denver, that are usually winnable games since it is much harder for a west coast team to play at 1pm EST. Portland should be a winnable game, but Denver will be a tough challenge.

    Boston, Philly, and Phoenix represent the "easiest" games on the schedule, and perhaps the Lakers could be added their too depending on their health.

    Raps First-Half Season Schedule

    Wed - Boston W
    Fri @ Atl L
    Sat @ Mil W - a close matchup, giving the Raps the win since the Bucks have had such a large turnover from last season
    Tue - Mia L
    Wed @ Charlotte L - 50/50 in back to backs, predicting we drop this one but win at home vs Utah
    Fri @Indiana L
    Sat - Utah W
    Mon @ Hou L
    Wed @ Mem L
    Fr - Chi L
    Sun - Port 1pm W
    Wed @ Philly W
    Fri- Was W - if the Raps want to make the playoffs, they need to win games like this one
    Tue - Brooklyn L
    Fri - Miami L
    Sun - Den 1pm L - Could go their way with the time difference and Denver's changes, but Denver still has a lot of talent on their team
    Tue @GS L
    Fri @ Pho W
    Sun @ LAL W
    Tue SA L
    ----20 games---- 10-10 at best, 6-14 maybe, guessing 8-12 here though.
    Fri Philly W
    Sat @ Chi L
    Wed Char W
    Fri @ Dallas W
    Sun @ OKC L
    Mon @ SA L
    Fri @ NYK L
    Sat NYK W
    Tue @ Chi L
    Wed Indy L
    ----30 games---- 4-6 stretch, so that's 12-18 so far
    Fri @ Was W
    Sun @ Mia L
    Tues @ Indy L
    Wed Det W
    *
    Sat Brook L
    Mon Mil W
    Wed @ Bos W
    Fri Min W
    Sun LAL W
    Mon @ Char W
    ----40 games---- Let's go full optimistic here, a 10 game stretch of 7-3 then...
    Wed Dal - W

    Jan 22nd is our half way point in the season, based on my estimates, we are likely 20-21 at the mid-way point in the season. With the trade deadline on Feb 20th, this would be 4 weeks prior to the deadline, with 14 games to go. Those 14 games are likely more of the same (.500 ball) as they play the Clippers twice, the Nets, New Orleans, Chicago to go with the 76ers, Magic and Kings.

    *A date on the calendar: Jan 10th - all contracts are guaranteed for the remainder of the season

    So what does MU do? Wait until the trade deadline? That might be too late if he wants to land a high pick. If he holds on too long and trades too late, we would be stuck in the same no mans land. I'm very curious to see how this will play out.

    No matter what happens, this will be an important year for this franchise, and could be the lynch-pin for the next decade.

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    The Raptors are notorious for winning games against better teams and then losing against worst.

    Putting a concrete number on their performance is iffy.

    As Ujiri said, the team must see growth. the numbers are irrelevant.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote drunkmunky wrote: View Post
    The Raptors are notorious for winning games against better teams and then losing against worst.

    Putting a concrete number on their performance is iffy.

    As Ujiri said, the team must see growth. the numbers are irrelevant.
    The numbers are very important if you are counting on the lottery to bounce your way. How much growth does one expect from veteran players in a losing environment? Other than JV, we have no real reason to expect that any of the core players will improve drastically in any way. Lowry, DD, Gay and Amir are all good players, but none of them are suddenly likely to become anything more than they are.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    Lowry, DD, Gay and Amir are all good players, but none of them are suddenly likely to become anything more than they are.
    But if each were to just become what we've all seen them be for short stints - but more consistently, then thats a huge step up for the whole team. Its not a matter of getting these guys to play out of their minds.. just have to get them to play at a high level, consistently. I think if MU sees that, and the wins are translating, then he'll keep em together.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    But if each were to just become what we've all seen them be for short stints - but more consistently, then thats a huge step up for the whole team. Its not a matter of getting these guys to play out of their minds.. just have to get them to play at a high level, consistently. I think if MU sees that, and the wins are translating, then he'll keep em together.
    And if they are at .500, as I believe I once saw you predict in another thread, what does MU do and when?


    Edit note: Joey predicted 14-14 by Christmas.
    Last edited by Axel; Mon Oct 21st, 2013 at 01:28 PM.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    "People keep talking about how the team needs to get off to a good start or MU will look to blow it up"

    I think despite what people are saying we need to keep in mind MU has never said tanking was an option he supported. His track record as well as that of TL's would indicate they are much more likely to build on the fly as opposed to tearing it all down and tanking.

    Here is a link to a list of trades MU was associated with:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...jirima99x.html

    The common thing was outside of Melo trade which was going to happen one way or another, MU was very patient and opportunistic with all of his moves. Trading a 2016 second round pick to Dallas for Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer? Dare I say that was a better trade than the Bargnani one. Imo, he isn't going to be rushed into doing anything even if it means passing up on the draft.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    "People keep talking about how the team needs to get off to a good start or MU will look to blow it up"

    I think despite what people are saying we need to keep in mind MU has never said tanking was an option he supported. His track record as well as that of TL's would indicate they are much more likely to build on the fly as opposed to tearing it all down and tanking.

    Here is a link to a list of trades MU was associated with:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...jirima99x.html

    The common thing was outside of Melo trade which was going to happen one way or another, MU was very patient and opportunistic with all of his moves. Trading a 2016 second round pick to Dallas for Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer? Dare I say that was a better trade than the Bargnani one. Imo, he isn't going to be rushed into doing anything even if it means passing up on the draft.
    MU's comments at the event the other night do seem to me that a full rebuild is very much an option.

    Can we afford to wait though? Lowry's deal is up, and Gay could opt out as well. I'm not sure that we can wait to the deadline to determine if we are all-in or not.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    I think trades are a very real option, but just maybe not tanking for a high draft pick. Like I said, he seems more likely to build on the fly and remain competetive (if that is what we are now) than to tank. Still think he will wait until the right time to make any trades though. Personally I feel like if we could get Rudy for the right price I would rather keep him than trade him.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    I don't think Ujiri will wait so long to decide what he wants to do. I feel like apart from watching guys mesh, he also wants to wait for Dec 15 to pass to have the most options for dealing. He may wait until late January or early February....but I think only if he really feels he has to given the trade market.

    The way I see it is he'd probably prefer to make sure he gets the assets he wants to get back in a trade, and be patient for that, rather than make a blow it up trade earlier just to tank, since there's really no guarantee that trading Gay earlier improves our draft position. I mean, he could trade Gay when we're 10-20, and we could still end up with 25 to 30 wins because who knows, maybe the rest of the team meshes well as the season goes on and finishes decently strong. Or he could trade Gay when we're 20-25 (just to make it obvious that leaning toward more losses would be preferred), and we could still end up with 25 to 30 wins all the same because the team struggles post trade and never gets into a rhythm where they bounce back.

    So in the end, what dictates it absolutely has to be what assets are being offered for Gay (or whoever really) and whether Ujiri finds the kind of deal he wants, and not a timeline for tanking.
    Last edited by white men can't jump; Mon Oct 21st, 2013 at 02:58 PM.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    And if they are at .500, as I believe I once saw you predict in another thread, what does MU do and when?


    Edit note: Joey predicted 14-14 by Christmas.
    Well we've both specified different time lines for reaching .500.
    I said, based on admitedly optimistic projections, I'd expect this team to be at 14-14 by Christmas; you're saying 12-18 by Christmas, but 20-21 by Jan 22nd.

    If either, or both, plays out, I expect MU to stand firm and ride this team out.
    Or at the most make minor adjustments for a short lived Playoff run.
    Last edited by Joey; Mon Oct 21st, 2013 at 02:57 PM.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    It's pretty hard to read the tea leaves on this one. I have no idea how you look at a 20, 30 or 40 game sample size and determine the next 5 years of the organization. Don't you already have that plan in mind? When Ujiri was hired all the talk was about how he and Leiweke were on the same page: was that page taking Colangelo's roster, adding Tyler Hansbrough, and crossing their fingers? Seems highly unlikely to me.

    So, I have trouble taking Ujiri completely at face value when he says it's wait and see mode, in part because I don't really see the end game with that approach. As has been said repeatedly (even by the optimists), the top end for this group is low playoff seed and the team is basically capped out for all intents and purposes. So, even if this roster is above average (or even good), there doesn't seem to be a viable way to get it to really, really good or elite or great.

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    Raptors Republic Starter jimmie's Avatar
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    I have no idea how you look at a 20, 30 or 40 game sample size and determine the next 5 years of the organization. Don't you already have that plan in mind?
    The "wait-and-see"/"patience" mantra from management, is I think, 2 things:

    1. Not telling your fanbase OR your players that you think your current roster has a '1st-round exit' ceiling so that fans continue to come to games, and players continue to try hard; and

    2. Providing time for certain players to hopefully max out their trade value and for potential trade partners to sort out their needs.

    I think Ujiri definitely already has a solid idea of who he thinks works and who doesn't in the long-term plan, and is just trying to ensure maximum ROI. This approach is far more "patience" than a true "wait and see what these guys can do together", IMO...
    Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    Well we've both specified different time lines for reaching .500.
    I said, based on admitedly optimistic projections, I'd expect this team to be at 14-14 by Christmas; you're saying 12-18 by Christmas, but 20-21 by Jan 22nd.

    If either, or both, plays out, I expect MU to stand firm and ride this team out.
    Or at the most make minor adjustments for a short lived Playoff run.
    I honestly surprised that .500 is good enough in your opinion. MU has to take a stand fairly soon, because Lowry's deal is expiring (either re-up, or trade him), Gay can opt-out, and the 2014 draft is deep enough that we wouldn't need to tumble to a top 5 pick to get a really good player.

    To me .500 ball is just another season on the treadmill, with maybe a first round sweep to the Heat in the process.

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    Quote jimmie wrote: View Post
    The "wait-and-see"/"patience" mantra from management, is I think, 2 things:

    1. Not telling your fanbase OR your players that you think your current roster has a '1st-round exit' ceiling so that fans continue to come to games, and players continue to try hard; and

    2. Providing time for certain players to hopefully max out their trade value and for potential trade partners to sort out their needs.

    I think Ujiri definitely already has a solid idea of who he thinks works and who doesn't in the long-term plan, and is just trying to ensure maximum ROI. This approach is far more "patience" than a true "wait and see what these guys can do together", IMO...
    Agree with what you are saying. MU wouldn't be a very good GM if he doesn't already have a fairly clear vision of what he wants to do.

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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    Agree with what you are saying. MU wouldn't be a very good GM if he doesn't already have a fairly clear vision of what he wants to do.
    He wouldn't be very good if he shared it with everybody either.

    This is the point that really soured me with BC. He shared each and every detail of his plan only to do something much different a short time after. If you are going to sell something to the fanbase, make sure you see it through unless a spectacular opportunity presents itself instead.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote jimmie wrote: View Post
    The "wait-and-see"/"patience" mantra from management, is I think, 2 things:

    1. Not telling your fanbase OR your players that you think your current roster has a '1st-round exit' ceiling so that fans continue to come to games, and players continue to try hard; and

    2. Providing time for certain players to hopefully max out their trade value and for potential trade partners to sort out their needs.

    I think Ujiri definitely already has a solid idea of who he thinks works and who doesn't in the long-term plan, and is just trying to ensure maximum ROI. This approach is far more "patience" than a true "wait and see what these guys can do together", IMO...
    I get the 2nd half of that statement (ie. a team may need to see where they are at vs the league, injuries, are players fitting/developing as expected etc).

    But I have a hard time with the first half. Is playing X more games in a season really going to impact Gay or Derozans or Lowry's or whoever's value? I think these guys have enough history that teams would be rather confident in knowing what they are getting whether thats today, a month from now or at the trade deadline.

    I think your right that he could be (I don't necessarily think he is, but I'll explain that below) waiting for a better scenario to arise, but I don't think playing time is really going to do much to raise the value of players on this team. (not saying its impossible, just unlikely)

    It's pretty hard to read the tea leaves on this one. I have no idea how you look at a 20, 30 or 40 game sample size and determine the next 5 years of the organization. Don't you already have that plan in mind? When Ujiri was hired all the talk was about how he and Leiweke were on the same page: was that page taking Colangelo's roster, adding Tyler Hansbrough, and crossing their fingers? Seems highly unlikely to me.

    So, I have trouble taking Ujiri completely at face value when he says it's wait and see mode, in part because I don't really see the end game with that approach. As has been said repeatedly (even by the optimists), the top end for this group is low playoff seed and the team is basically capped out for all intents and purposes. So, even if this roster is above average (or even good), there doesn't seem to be a viable way to get it to really, really good or elite or great.
    What really makes me question where this team is going or going to do this season comes in a few forms

    1) Is new ownership really going to make a difference? I understand that as telecommunications services content is important Bell/Rog. However, for all the gripping people did about OTPP, from a business perspective, their business model was damn effective in this market. "If its not broken don't fix it" applies to the business world to - given the cash flow created by MLSE, I'm not as confident as some that ownership is really down with any sort of potentially costly change

    2) Its not easy to make trades in the NBA, particularily making trades of equal footing (ie. a trade is usually win now for one and lose now hopefully win later for another). The CBA makes things difficult. Toronto's cap situation puts limitations on moves. There seems to be a real lack of valuable assets (that Toronto would comfortably part with anyways). Then ofcourse their is Masai usual references to wanting to trade for value and ofcourse 'Karma'.

    Even if Masai/TL want to go about making a significant change to this roster, there are no shortages of potential barriers to doing that, atleast in the short term.

    I completely agree with your final sentence, and maybe I'm just cynical here, but I really don't see this team, with this roster predominantly intact, playing out this season as an unrealistic possibility. I can say without question I very much hope I'm wrong here.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    He wouldn't be very good if he shared it with everybody either.

    This is the point that really soured me with BC. He shared each and every detail of his plan only to do something much different a short time after. If you are going to sell something to the fanbase, make sure you see it through unless a spectacular opportunity presents itself instead.
    Maybe. But I think most of the league has a good idea of what everyone else is doing. There is definetely times where teams hold things close to their chest, leak some disinformation or whatever. But these guys all talk, network with each other, and generally have their thumb on the pulse of the league. (Don't get me wrong I'm not claiming they are all necessarily good or equal at it - however just like most interconnected businesses, they tend to have a good idea what each other are up to).

    I mean even as fans I'm sure we can come to a comfortable idea of what 90% of the league is up to atleast broadly. The Raptors are just sitting in the 10% range right now - but if Masai has even been on the phone with any GM they'll have good idea of what he'd like to do. If he hasn't been on the phone thats probably a pretty good indication to.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    Maybe. But I think most of the league has a good idea of what everyone else is doing. There is definetely times where teams hold things close to their chest, leak some disinformation or whatever. But these guys all talk, network with each other, and generally have their thumb on the pulse of the league. (Don't get me wrong I'm not claiming they are all necessarily good or equal at it - however just like most interconnected businesses, they tend to have a good idea what each other are up to).

    I mean even as fans I'm sure we can come to a comfortable idea of what 90% of the league is up to atleast broadly. The Raptors are just sitting in the 10% range right now - but if Masai has even been on the phone with any GM they'll have good idea of what he'd like to do. If he hasn't been on the phone thats probably a pretty good indication to.
    I'm not sure I agree.

    There are teams that definitely keep cards close to vest. OKC, HOU, SAS, UTA, LAL, BOS, MIA all immediately come to mind.
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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    I'm not sure I agree.

    There are teams that definitely keep cards close to vest. OKC, HOU, SAS, UTA, LAL, BOS, MIA all immediately come to mind.
    Those teams are least likely talking to each other, if not as much to the rest of the league. When half the league is made up of former Spurs associates, there's a good chance that they talk to each other before they talk to an "outsider". Therefore Craiger's point would remain valid.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    Those teams are least likely talking to each other, if not as much to the rest of the league. When half the league is made up of former Spurs associates, there's a good chance that they talk to each other before they talk to an "outsider". Therefore Craiger's point would remain valid.
    The NBA is a fraternity but at the end of the day it is a cut throat business.

    I'd be surprised if teams are openly talking about what they want to do.

    Craiger originally said, "....but I think most of the league has a good idea of what everyone else is doing...."

    Might teams have an idea of what they are doing? Sure. Are they making assumptions? I think so. I'd be shocked if teams are sitting down with one another or texting back and forth saying, "This is what we're doing."

    Also of the teams i listed only OKC and UTA are disciples of SAS.
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