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Thread: Does this team have an identity?

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    Default Does this team have an identity?

    New to raptors Republic, first post here.
    I remember at the beginning of the season, either MU or Casey (I'm sure someone knows the exact quote) said that in order to be a strong competitor, it is necessary for a team to have an identity. Do these post-rudy gay raptors have an identity that you are seeing game in and game out? If so, what is their identity and why?
    From the games I remember clearly (Charlotte, both bulls games, okc and indiana) they're gritty, they're playing all out effort from beginning to the end of the game. The passing can be beautiful, playing like one brain on offense (except for the random vasquez three points attempt). They're never giving up on defense. This is a team that is playing tough, and playing with passion. Whether this lasts for more than a month remains to be seen, but I'm loving it.

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    Please don't turn this into a tanking thread, or about trading for player X.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar enlightenment's Avatar
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    We are gritty, full of heart, attack like a team, and defend with tenacity.

    We don't necessarily have one specific thing that we excel in, but we are going to beat you to the offensive boards, fight for every loose ball, and aggravate you with our D.
    The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!

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    Seem to be a collection of Blue Collar type players. Both DeRozan and Ross are capable of making highlight reel dunks, but DeRozan is playing at the level he is because he has worked hard every summer he has been in the league to improve his game. Ross seems to have woken up the the necessity of working hard on defense. JV, Lowry, Amir all go at the games with high motors. Lowry is probably the closest to an All Star the Raps have, but there have been a few games lately where all five starter have been in double figures.

    Blue collar workers, no ego players and having each others backs...that's what I am seeing.

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    This is a team that can say they're anti-gay and get away with it


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    Raptors Republic Starter RPT23's Avatar
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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    This is a team that can say they're anti-gay and get away with it


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

    Post of the year candidate!

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    Raptors Republic All-Star ezz_bee's Avatar
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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    This is a team that can say they're anti-gay and get away with it


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Loving it!
    "We only have one rule on this team. What is that rule? E.L.E. That's right's, E.L.E, and what does E.L.E. stand for? EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. Right there up on the wall, because this isn't just a basketball team, this is a lifestyle. ~ Jackie Moon

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    Raptors Republic Starter Pele's Avatar
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    Quote Laksh wrote: View Post
    New to raptors Republic, first post here.
    I remember at the beginning of the season, either MU or Casey (I'm sure someone knows the exact quote) said that in order to be a strong competitor, it is necessary for a team to have an identity. Do these post-rudy gay raptors have an identity that you are seeing game in and game out? If so, what is their identity and why?
    From the games I remember clearly (Charlotte, both bulls games, okc and indiana) they're gritty, they're playing all out effort from beginning to the end of the game. The passing can be beautiful, playing like one brain on offense (except for the random vasquez three points attempt). They're never giving up on defense. This is a team that is playing tough, and playing with passion. Whether this lasts for more than a month remains to be seen, but I'm loving it.
    This is a great question, and excellent thread discussion. We all like to talk about player's numbers ("...so and so is a 20/10 machine...") which is important, but I like what DC says when he talks about basketball being a team sport, and that a team requires an identity. Right now we don't have a superstar, but we're kicking the ass out teams both at home and in their own buildings. We're stepping up to the big games and playing hardball.

    Indiana has an identity.
    Miami has an identity
    San Antonio has an identity
    Even teams like the Knicks and Nets have an identity, just a highly dysfunctional one.
    Every team has a unique character, a personality, which is the result, or by-product of the mixture of players on the team.

    You're description of the Raptors identity since the Gay trade is accurate. For years the Raps had an identify of being soft doormats. Of course, with Bargs on the team, that's what you get. Just ask the Knicks. (btw, Andrea's not the only problem in New York...still, hard not to say "I told you so") Now, we as fans are loving what we're seeing.

    Have the Raptors turned a corner? I think we need to look at two things.

    1. Dwayne Casey was brought in to change the identity of this team. His sole responsibility has been to change this team into a tough,"in your face", defensive squad. However, DC inherited some players who could never fit into that mold. (Bargs...of course. Jose....love him, but no one hesitates to take it to the rack when Jose's guarding) Even Gay, who played decent defence, ....yet somehow I always felt he was more of a pretty-boy then a tough street-fighting bastard. He didn't seem to bring what was needed. He seemed to discourage the rest somewhat from taking pride in their defensive toughness. (I don't want to be too hard on Rudy, he was just a bad fit, more of a fit for the old Raps)

    Now DC has the type of players he needs; tough but with some actual skill and a willingness to play within the team. (unlike, let's say, A. Anderson)

    2. Kyle Lowry has become the Wendel Clark of the Raptors. A bonafide captain who's own personality permeates to the rest of the team. Previously, Andrea kind of blocked Kyle's personality, as Andrea was, after all, our first round superstar. (sad, but there's some truth to that). Afterward, there was Rudy who competed with Kyle insofar as putting their personality stamp on the team. Now it's KYLE, with a supporting crew who back him up, who buy in to his scrappy style, who look to him for leadership. I think this is why Salmons is working. He's telling the young guys "...look to Kyle...man's a baller...he speaks truth without words.."

    Obviously, time will tell if the Raps have turned the corner, or if this is just a flash-in-the-pan. If they have turned the corner, it would be a shame to trade Lowry and dump Casey. If this is the new identity, then I think Masai is smart enough to look for elite talent who, not only improves this squad statistically, but who clearly buy into to Casey's team-first, defence-first attitude, and who are willing to get behind Kyle as team leader. Personally, I think Masai is wisely waiting to see what happens before he decides on a direction, that is, build on this core or re-build from scratch.

    For me, I hope this is it. I hope that what we have here is the beginning of a new identity for Toronto. This is the style I love to watch.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Pele's Avatar
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    Another point worth making.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Brian Colangelo always seemed to have a hard-on for a "Pheonix" style, fast-paced offensive team. Then he brought in Casey to give us a defence first identity. After some growth in the lock-out year, it seemed like the Raps reverted more to an offensive identity, or at least try to be both rather than focussing on one.

    It was like..holy identity crisis.

    Then Masai was brought in. I love MU's approach....let the coaches coach, let the players play, see what you have, mix it up, see what you have, if it's clearly not going to go anywhere...break it down and rebuild again.

    The result of MU is that Casey has been given carte-blanche to coach his style. It wasn't working with Gay and Bargs on the team, so he traded them for players that fit better into Casey's style. Particularly in the Sacramento trade, he brought in savvy, hungry players who are willing to do what it takes to be winners. Now, after mixing it up, it's wait and see...

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    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    Quote Pele wrote: View Post
    This is a great question, and excellent thread discussion. We all like to talk about player's numbers ("...so and so is a 20/10 machine...") which is important, but I like what DC says when he talks about basketball being a team sport, and that a team requires an identity. Right now we don't have a superstar, but we're kicking the ass out teams both at home and in their own buildings. We're stepping up to the big games and playing hardball.

    Indiana has an identity.
    Miami has an identity
    San Antonio has an identity
    Even teams like the Knicks and Nets have an identity, just a highly dysfunctional one.
    Every team has a unique character, a personality, which is the result, or by-product of the mixture of players on the team.

    You're description of the Raptors identity since the Gay trade is accurate. For years the Raps had an identify of being soft doormats. Of course, with Bargs on the team, that's what you get. Just ask the Knicks. (btw, Andrea's not the only problem in New York...still, hard not to say "I told you so") Now, we as fans are loving what we're seeing.

    Have the Raptors turned a corner? I think we need to look at two things.

    1. Dwayne Casey was brought in to change the identity of this team. His sole responsibility has been to change this team into a tough,"in your face", defensive squad. However, DC inherited some players who could never fit into that mold. (Bargs...of course. Jose....love him, but no one hesitates to take it to the rack when Jose's guarding) Even Gay, who played decent defence, ....yet somehow I always felt he was more of a pretty-boy then a tough street-fighting bastard. He didn't seem to bring what was needed. He seemed to discourage the rest somewhat from taking pride in their defensive toughness. (I don't want to be too hard on Rudy, he was just a bad fit, more of a fit for the old Raps)

    Now DC has the type of players he needs; tough but with some actual skill and a willingness to play within the team. (unlike, let's say, A. Anderson)

    2. Kyle Lowry has become the Wendel Clark of the Raptors. A bonafide captain who's own personality permeates to the rest of the team. Previously, Andrea kind of blocked Kyle's personality, as Andrea was, after all, our first round superstar. (sad, but there's some truth to that). Afterward, there was Rudy who competed with Kyle insofar as putting their personality stamp on the team. Now it's KYLE, with a supporting crew who back him up, who buy in to his scrappy style, who look to him for leadership. I think this is why Salmons is working. He's telling the young guys "...look to Kyle...man's a baller...he speaks truth without words.."

    Obviously, time will tell if the Raps have turned the corner, or if this is just a flash-in-the-pan. If they have turned the corner, it would be a shame to trade Lowry and dump Casey. If this is the new identity, then I think Masai is smart enough to look for elite talent who, not only improves this squad statistically, but who clearly buy into to Casey's team-first, defence-first attitude, and who are willing to get behind Kyle as team leader. Personally, I think Masai is wisely waiting to see what happens before he decides on a direction, that is, build on this core or re-build from scratch.

    For me, I hope this is it. I hope that what we have here is the beginning of a new identity for Toronto. This is the style I love to watch.
    Great post, like the points you have made. But it makes you wonder what elite talent/superstar would fit with this team as is? Forget the how of acquiring such a player for the sake of discussion. What elite player would you grab to add to this roster that would actually improve the team without sacrificing it's identity?

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    That's what I'm struggling to figure out too. It's also a case of, who would I be okay with taking out of the starting line up? I think it'd have to either Demar or Ross. I think Deng would fit the character of the team, but he's not really elite, and I might just rather let Ross develop into a more athletic version of Deng.

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    Great post, like the points you have made. But it makes you wonder what elite talent/superstar would fit with this team as is? Forget the how of acquiring such a player for the sake of discussion. What elite player would you grab to add to this roster that would actually improve the team without sacrificing it's identity?
    Lebron, Paul George, those guys (especially lebron) are tireless defenders who make life hell for opponents on both ends. Now realistically, we couldn't really add any of those guys and the "pseudo-superstars" we would be able to add would most likely be glorified chuckers, or players who our young guys could develop into.

    Look at the Denver squad ujiri built. It didnt have a superstar, nor did he seek to add one. He drafted really well and built a fighting group of guys. And they competed in an western conference that is stacked with talent and competitive teams


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    I think you need to look at the comments of opposing coaches and players to get an idea about the identity of the team.

    mostly what I read..... Play hard, very disruptive on defence, get out on the shooters and take them out of their comfort zone (ugly games) And a team that is very unselfish and move the ball well.


    so there it is.

    Tough D, move the ball well offensively.

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    Great post, like the points you have made. But it makes you wonder what elite talent/superstar would fit with this team as is? Forget the how of acquiring such a player for the sake of discussion. What elite player would you grab to add to this roster that would actually improve the team without sacrificing it's identity?
    Kevin Durant. He's the consummate team player. I developed a man-crush on him years ago when he went to play touch football because some guy threw out an invite on twitter.

    Durant was made for this team. (how to get him? In Masai we trust)

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    Starting line up

    Durant, Demar, Lowry, JV, Amir.

    Bench

    Ross, Patterson, Salmons, Hansborough, Vazquez....

    That's a 10 man rotation that goes all the way. I got to not get too excited thinking about this.....need...to....take...ridlin.

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    Quote Pele wrote: View Post
    Starting line up

    Durant, Demar, Lowry, JV, Amir.

    Bench

    Ross, Patterson, Salmons, Hansborough, Vazquez....

    That's a 10 man rotation that goes all the way. I got to not get too excited thinking about this.....need...to....take...ridlin.
    You need to switch Ross and DeRozan, substitute a guy like Aminu for Salmons, and then you have it knocked.
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    The identity is team that plays as a team. It's what Masai constructed in Denver and what he's putting together here.

    We're just a star away from being a true contender.
    @jerboat

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    You need to switch Ross and DeRozan, substitute a guy like Aminu for Salmons, and then you have it knocked.
    I agree. Having Ross space the floor for Durant and have DD come in off the bench to provide some scoring with the bench unit would be best

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    which team in the NBA, besides Utah, would not become a contender after *adding* kevin durant?

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    We are Anti-Gay without any bigotry

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