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Thread: The Integrity Conundrum

  1. #1
    Raptors Republic Starter Shrub's Avatar
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    Default The Integrity Conundrum

    Had a thought while I was watching the game today:

    How can Masai make a move to tank while the team is playing so well?

    It's possible he's very frustrated by the success the team has had post-Gay, because it makes it so hard (objectively, from a non-analytic standpoint) to justify blowing it up.

    Think about it:
    A lot of teams are tanking this year.
    As relatively avid fans of basketball, we know this (though it was never publicly announced).
    But almost all of them were tanking out of the gate.
    They made their moves in the offeseason.

    If the Raps were to blow it up, right now, while winning and looking good, it would probably be the most blatant case of tanking ever attempted.
    Has a team ever done it?
    How many casual fans would understand it?
    Will the MLSE allow it?

    Folks around here are very interested in basketball.
    Most of you know the ins and outs of the game, and the business behind the game.
    Most don't.
    I didn't, for many years - all I cared about was how good the players on the team were.
    That me, that passionate but uninformed fan, would not have been happy about the Raptors shipping out Amir and Lowry and DeRozan for draft picks; would not have been happy about going from exciting and interesting basketball to...what the Knicks are doing.
    It's a tough pill to swallow, even if you are told that it's the right path to future success (and how many fans would believe this, without doing all the research that we do?)

    It's a real tricky position for the MLSE to be in.
    Maintaining integrity while doing what's right for the future.
    Tricky.

    This may, realistically, be what Masai has to wrestle with more than anything:
    Not the business of basketball, but the concessions to business.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar iblastoff's Avatar
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    to be completely honest, the casual fan just knows #tankingforwiggins even if the casual fan has never even seen wiggins play in any way at all. my gauge of the 'casual raptors fan' are the ones on the raptors facebook page.

    this recent surge of wins of course makes it a bit more complicated as to which of the tanking argument to side on. but for the casual fan, it just depends on how the raptors are currently playing. one loss and casual fans will automatically be back on #tankingforwiggins.

    i mean its only been 7 games and hardcore fans here are already 100% sure they're not tanking. take that for whats it worth.

    on an unrelated note, wow vasquez is fucking horrible.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Mack North's Avatar
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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    to be completely honest, the casual fan just knows #tankingforwiggins even if the casual fan has never even seen wiggins play in any way at all. my gauge of the 'casual raptors fan' are the ones on the raptors facebook page.

    this recent surge of wins of course makes it a bit more complicated as to which of the tanking argument to side on. but for the casual fan, it just depends on how the raptors are currently playing. one loss and casual fans will automatically be back on #tankingforwiggins.

    i mean its only been 7 games and hardcore fans here are already 100% sure they're not tanking. take that for whats it worth.

    on an unrelated note, wow vasquez is fucking horrible.
    Was this post before those three 3's in the 4th?
    Keep Calm & Chive On

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    Raptors Republic Superstar iblastoff's Avatar
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    Quote Mack North wrote: View Post
    Was this post before those three 3's in the 4th?
    it was. but vasquez still stinks. streaky scorer. and this game he had a total of 1 fucking assist!!!! for a pg thats pathetic.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Rapstor4Life's Avatar
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    being a good PG is also more a chemistry thing hes a good player hes literally been a rap like what 3 weeks now? let him know more about who he plays with besides their names.

    Lowry wasnt so hot last year now look at him racking up assists... Chemistry!

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    Raptors Republic Superstar iblastoff's Avatar
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    Quote Rapstor4Life wrote: View Post
    being a good PG is also more a chemistry thing hes a good player hes literally been a rap like what 3 weeks now? let him know more about who he plays with besides their names.

    Lowry wasnt so hot last year now look at him racking up assists... Chemistry!
    theres only a real rotation of about 8-9 players. lowry has as much to learn of the 3 new SAC players as vasquez does of the OG crew on the raps. lowrys recent burst is obviously due to a playstyle change. same way derozan has all of a sudden been padding his assist numbers despite being on this team for half a decade. not chemistry...play style change.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Pele's Avatar
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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    it was. but vasquez still stinks. streaky scorer. and this game he had a total of 1 fucking assist!!!! for a pg thats pathetic.
    3/8 FG, 3/6 at the 3, 1 assist, -9 with 4 turnovers....and this against the Knicks. Them is scrub numbers.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star BigCamB's Avatar
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    Vasquez seems to be trying to prove something. Always thought he was a pass first guy who would actually help players like JV with pick and rolls etc. Never recall him forcing so many terrible shots when he was with the Hornets. Maybe I just didn't see him play enough.

    But yeh, back to the orginal topic, will be interesting to see what Masai does to this team. The raptors are back to being very fun to watch again, and the players (especially the starting unit) are very likeable. At least I'll enjoy watching them for however long it is until he makes a move, which I probably haven't since Calderon was traded.
    Last edited by BigCamB; Sun Dec 29th, 2013 at 03:12 AM.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    to be completely honest, the casual fan just knows #tankingforwiggins even if the casual fan has never even seen wiggins play in any way at all. my gauge of the 'casual raptors fan' are the ones on the raptors facebook page.

    this recent surge of wins of course makes it a bit more complicated as to which of the tanking argument to side on. but for the casual fan, it just depends on how the raptors are currently playing. one loss and casual fans will automatically be back on #tankingforwiggins.

    i mean its only been 7 games and hardcore fans here are already 100% sure they're not tanking. take that for whats it worth.

    on an unrelated note, wow vasquez is fucking horrible.
    Was at a wedding last night.

    Not a lot of hardcore Raptor/basketball fans - I think the label 'casual fan' is appropriate.

    General consensus (and believe it or not, I bit my tongue and left my own opinions out) was Raptors are a joke; can't win when they are suppose to, can't lose when it is for the best long term interests of franchise. A lot of Wiggins talk, again casual fans. Only thing I said was there are a lot of good players at the top besides Wiggins.

    Anyways..........
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote BigCamB wrote: View Post
    Vasquez seems to be trying to prove something. Always thought he was a pass first guy who would actually help players like JV with pick and rolls etc. Never recall him forcing so many terrible shots when he was with the Hornets. Maybe I just didn't see him play enough.

    But yeh, back to the orginal topic, will be interesting to see what Masai does to this team. The raptors are back to being very fun to watch again, and the players (especially the starting unit) are very likeable. At least I'll enjoy watching them for however long it is until he makes a move, which I probably haven't since Calderon was traded.
    Casey probably gave him a card with his role on it:

    THREE POINT SHOOTER,
    SECOND UNIT FIRST SCORING OPTION,
    FIND YOUR INNER ALLEN IVERSON
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar lilmamba_'s Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Casey probably gave him a card with his role on it:

    THREE POINT SHOOTER,
    SECOND UNIT FIRST SCORING OPTION,
    FIND YOUR INNER ALLEN IVERSON
    xD
    What they got to say now? Nothing they can say now. Mobbin' on the low. Winnin' on the low
    The city embraced me, made me feel at home. The only difference [between Compton and Toronto] for me is the cold. -DeMar
    No Where Near the South Side #WeTheNorth

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Jclaw's Avatar
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    I agree it would be tough to break up a winning team. But are they a great team? They are only four wins away from the third lowest total. They beat the Thunder, who just played a statement game against the spurs the night before. Maybe an asterisk. They beat the Mavs. Legitimate. They lost to the spurs (acceptable) and then won back to back games against a team that is currently a farce. I think Masai sees that. If it's just sizzle, he'll sell it. The only problem is that our next 12 games are mostly against the Eastern Division which either means you play teams you're not supposed to beat (miami, indy) or all the teams you are (chi, boston, detroit, wash, nets, bucks). Some of the last group are playing better but even if we go on a run through this schedule, I'm not sure how much more we'll know about how good this team is. With a healthy dose of cynicism, you could say that it is no prize to win the Atlantic division this year.

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    Quote Jclaw wrote: View Post
    I agree it would be tough to break up a winning team. But are they a great team? They are only four wins away from the third lowest total. They beat the Thunder, who just played a statement game against the spurs the night before. Maybe an asterisk. They beat the Mavs. Legitimate. They lost to the spurs (acceptable) and then won back to back games against a team that is currently a farce. I think Masai sees that. If it's just sizzle, he'll sell it. The only problem is that our next 12 games are mostly against the Eastern Division which either means you play teams you're not supposed to beat (miami, indy) or all the teams you are (chi, boston, detroit, wash, nets, bucks). Some of the last group are playing better but even if we go on a run through this schedule, I'm not sure how much more we'll know about how good this team is. With a healthy dose of cynicism, you could say that it is no prize to win the Atlantic division this year.
    See my next five games thread. If we walk out of that above .500 it's just that more difficult to tank. Three games against Miami and Indiana with two on the road.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    I honestly don't think he thought we'd be even worse. A lot even here knew we'd be better off.

    This is the guy that traded Melo and watched his team blossom into one of the better teams in the west after all.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    I think most of us are looking at this the wrong way. We assume Masai was going to do one of two things based on how the season progressed early. If we sucked, blow it up, and if not make a playoff push. The team is on the fence and doesn't seem to want show MU which way to go. We did suck and MU traded Rudy. Now we don't suck but we are still in a position to go one way or the other.

    However, I did believe before the season and continue to believe that MU doesn't care either way. He is not going to make short sighted, trigger happy type moves regardless of which way way they point the franchise. This season isn't about the team or the fans, it's about MU improving HIS position to make this team better going forward. If the right trade presents itself, he will make it, but he will not make a move to simply support a tank...he wants something in return for every move he makes, which is probably why Lowry is still here.

    Think about it, he traded Bargs and got picks and a very tradeable Steve Novak. Asset collection. He traded Rudy, who clearly needed to go either way, and got back much needed financial flexibility. The players he received in that deal aren't game breakers, but 3 of the 4 are expiring and COULD be resigned to very cap friendly deals that won't hinder his ability to improve the team going forward. Plus the players he has signed are not inhibitory either, they are short term lower value contracts. DJ's contract, for example, had value in it because it was small enough to justify waiving him after picking up another PG. If he stays, no big deal as it doesn't break the bank even if he doesn't play.

    Gaining flexibility and acquiring players/assets that improve HIS POSITION to make this team better over the next few years is what this season is all about. IMO.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    I don't think MU likes to be obvious with his motives. His catch phrase of 'I don't want to be stuck in no man's land' has struck a cord for a lot of the tank/anti-tank debate because what does that phrase really mean?

    To a tanker it means blowing it up.. but to an anti-tanker it probably means getting flexibility and assets to help strengthen the core to get to the next level (aka Indiana type build).

    The crux is that Lowry apparently was a go to NY but Dolan nixed it. So why would MU want to trade their best PG for a really late first round pick if he didn't want to tank? At this point they have rattled off a few wins but I don't think MU looks at the last 4-5 games and has suddenly changed course.

    The fact is that Lowry may not come back. If they extend him he'd have to go for a 3 year contract instead of 4 with his salary arguably being higher. So would it be wise to see an asset walk away? If he waits until the deadline then they may rattle enough wins that those losses that start piling up could get them in no man's land (ie, just out of the playoffs with a weak lottery pick).

    So if he trades Lowry sooner than later I don't think it creates a conundrum. Because he's into asset management. And getting an asset for a player that might not come back is a wise move tank or no-tank.

    If the team some how plays well without Lowry well what can you do? MU at that point I'm sure will keep the core in tact (better to keep then to trade for pennies on the dollar) and if they make the playoffs will work with whatever he has in the draft. But personally I would be surprised if Lowry is still with Toronto by the deadline.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    I don't think MU likes to be obvious with his motives. His catch phrase of 'I don't want to be stuck in no man's land' has struck a cord for a lot of the tank/anti-tank debate because what does that phrase really mean?

    To a tanker it means blowing it up.. but to an anti-tanker it probably means getting flexibility and assets to help strengthen the core to get to the next level (aka Indiana type build).

    The crux is that Lowry apparently was a go to NY but Dolan nixed it. So why would MU want to trade their best PG for a really late first round pick if he didn't want to tank? At this point they have rattled off a few wins but I don't think MU looks at the last 4-5 games and has suddenly changed course.

    The fact is that Lowry may not come back. If they extend him he'd have to go for a 3 year contract instead of 4 with his salary arguably being higher. So would it be wise to see an asset walk away? If he waits until the deadline then they may rattle enough wins that those losses that start piling up could get them in no man's land (ie, just out of the playoffs with a weak lottery pick).

    So if he trades Lowry sooner than later I don't think it creates a conundrum. Because he's into asset management. And getting an asset for a player that might not come back is a wise move tank or no-tank.

    If the team some how plays well without Lowry well what can you do? MU at that point I'm sure will keep the core in tact (better to keep then to trade for pennies on the dollar) and if they make the playoffs will work with whatever he has in the draft. But personally I would be surprised if Lowry is still with Toronto by the deadline.
    BOLD: I don't think moving Lowry to NYK was about tanking. Again, it was about collecting assets, and in that trade scenario I really think the key was Tim H Jr., not the pick. Due to Lowry's contract situation, moving him is definitely a possibility and probably a priority for MU. But he isn't gonna trade guys away just to rack up losses. He's got to get some value in return. It should be easy to trade some of these guys for pennies on the dollar, but MU doesn't want to hamstring the rebuild by simply trading assets to improve draft position. He wants assets back as well, because as the Rudy trade has shown, and like you mentioned, the team may somehow continue to play well after a trade that seemingly reduces the talent level. He isn't gonna put all his eggs in one basket.

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Was at a wedding last night.

    Not a lot of hardcore Raptor/basketball fans - I think the label 'casual fan' is appropriate.

    General consensus (and believe it or not, I bit my tongue and left my own opinions out) was Raptors are a joke; can't win when they are suppose to, can't lose when it is for the best long term interests of franchise. A lot of Wiggins talk, again casual fans. Only thing I said was there are a lot of good players at the top besides Wiggins.

    Anyways..........
    This has been the same talk for past 4 years under the BC era but he did enjoy the support of RR all those years and people actually bought into his BS. This is the same thing. People falling in love with a team that just beat struggling NY with one of the worst records in the league , without Felton and Carmelo What a achievement, it is a sign of greatness.

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    Raptors Republic Starter mountio's Avatar
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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    BOLD: I don't think moving Lowry to NYK was about tanking. Again, it was about collecting assets, and in that trade scenario I really think the key was Tim H Jr., not the pick. Due to Lowry's contract situation, moving him is definitely a possibility and probably a priority for MU. But he isn't gonna trade guys away just to rack up losses. He's got to get some value in return. It should be easy to trade some of these guys for pennies on the dollar, but MU doesn't want to hamstring the rebuild by simply trading assets to improve draft position. He wants assets back as well, because as the Rudy trade has shown, and like you mentioned, the team may somehow continue to play well after a trade that seemingly reduces the talent level. He isn't gonna put all his eggs in one basket.
    Im not sure why people are so allergic to admitting that certain moves are to tank. You use a bunch of flowery words, but to suggest that trading Lowry for THJr and a 2018 pick isnt to try to tank (which btw is basically defined as losing more now in order to improve your long term position) - is flat out wrong. This team would be undeniably worse without KL. Not even debateable.

    Im not sure why people feel more comfortable calling it "collecting assets" or whatever else ... but call it what you want, its tanking. Tanking doesnt mean being stupid and taking crap back for your assets - of course you should get as much value back as possible. It means making a conscious effort to sacrifice short term wins for long term hope.

    The Rudy trade was also meant to tank ... maybe not as obvious as KL as there may be a slight argument for addition by subtraction (it appears to be the case so far) - but how you can argue that KL to NYK for THJr doesnt make us worse is beyond me

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote mountio wrote: View Post
    Im not sure why people are so allergic to admitting that certain moves are to tank. You use a bunch of flowery words, but to suggest that trading Lowry for THJr and a 2018 pick isnt to try to tank (which btw is basically defined as losing more now in order to improve your long term position) - is flat out wrong. This team would be undeniably worse without KL. Not even debateable.

    Im not sure why people feel more comfortable calling it "collecting assets" or whatever else ... but call it what you want, its tanking. Tanking doesnt mean being stupid and taking crap back for your assets - of course you should get as much value back as possible. It means making a conscious effort to sacrifice short term wins for long term hope.

    The Rudy trade was also meant to tank ... maybe not as obvious as KL as there may be a slight argument for addition by subtraction (it appears to be the case so far) - but how you can argue that KL to NYK for THJr doesnt make us worse is beyond me
    An even better explanation, in my opinion:

    There is a lot of confusion about tanking. It does not mean that a coach tries to lose and that the players try to lose. It means that all personnel decisions are made with an eye to the future, and nothing is done to enhance the immediate prospects of the team. Good veterans who will not be around in two or three or four years have no role to play so they get traded or benched. A team plays young and inexperienced guys who will likely lose, even trying as hard as they can to win. But if the team does ever contend, these are the players who will be on that team. The coach will work hard to install his system and teach the players to play properly; he is not trying to allow bad habits to form. This was how the Celtics tanked in 2007, after Pierce went down with his injury. As one who watched nearly every Celtics game that year, I can state that it was an entertaining team.

    http://www1.realgm.com/article/23109...ssible-Mission
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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