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Thread: Stuck in the middle !!!

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    Default Stuck in the middle !!!

    So we are almost half way into the season and this team is 20-20 which means in a normal season, we would be some where around 8-9 position in the East and exactly in the MIDDLE ...

    MU came to town with ONE message: We do not want to be STUCK in the MIDDLE.

    And this is exactly where we are stuck now ... So the question is :

    IS MU done his assessment and evaluation ? What is his next move ?

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Balls of Steel's Avatar
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    Here we go!

    “The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.” - Martin Luther King

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    The entire NBA is weird this season, with seemingly half the league "stuck in the middle".

    There are 9 elite teams:
    - Indiana
    - Miami
    - San Antonio
    - LA Clippers
    - Houston
    - Portland
    - Oklahoma City
    - Golden State
    - Dallas

    There are 4 dreadfully bad teams (or tanking):
    - Milwaukee
    - Orlando
    - Philadelphia
    - Boston (Rondo is a wildcard that could bump them out of this group)

    The other 17 teams are pretty much all competitive and can win against each other on any given night. After games played January 20th, 9 teams have between 17-20 wins, with Toronto being one of 5 teams with 20 wins. That's the epitome of being "stuck in the middle"!

    Inter-conference games will likely be split, as the teams beat up on each other. The middling WC teams tend to beat the middling EC teams more, likely giving the middling non-playoff EC teams the advantage in the lottery standings, come the end of the season.

    It will be quite interesting to see how the trade market develops leading up to the trade deadline, to see if some GMs of middling teams that have never been mentioned as being among the tankers, decide to pull the trigger on future-looking deals.
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Tue Jan 21st, 2014 at 11:50 AM.

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    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    Ujiri's not done at all. This is crazy. He wasn't done when the team was streaking along winning 7 out of 10 games, and he's not done now that they've lost a couple. The process of building a contender out of a young team with 0 all-stars is going to take multiple seasons. Multiple.

    Hold onto your shorts already.

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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    Ujiri's not done at all. This is crazy. He wasn't done when the team was streaking along winning 7 out of 10 games, and he's not done now that they've lost a couple. The process of building a contender out of a young team with 0 all-stars is going to take multiple seasons. Multiple.

    Hold onto your shorts already.
    Seriously, this.

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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    The entire NBA is weird this season, with seemingly half the league "stuck in the middle".
    by far the weirdest season i have seen. so many stars out with injuries...eastern conference other then miami and indiana is horrible. it's literally come down to someone's gotta win the game. even tanking which is usually so easy, is difficult. other than the bucks and orlando in the east, anyone came make it. even orlando could, seeing as there only 7 games outta 8th could make it. its so crazy, the way the jazz started the season 3-14 i think or something ridiculous and now there 14-28. if they were in the east, they would been in the hunt for 8th down 4 games.

    masai is definitely going to make some moves at the deadline. i can't see this team being the way it is at seasons end. especially now considering that the team has come back down to earth. lowry was already out the door until dolan nixed the deal. trust in masai....he's the man for the job.
    Last edited by DonCorleone; Tue Jan 21st, 2014 at 12:52 AM.

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    I want the Raptors to go as far as possible in the Playoffs this year, but with the roster right now MU needs to make a few moves for us to have any chance of contending come the post-season. We foul A TON, but struggle to get to the FT lines ourselves. Lowry, Demar and Hansbrough are the only guys we have that truly attack on offence. (TRoss is my fav Rap but he settles for the jumpshot instead of driving to the hoop at times, and fouls too much too be a true D lockdown SG-SF.) MU might need to bring in a talent at the 3-4 position to give us a chance to get past the first round, and maybe win a game against Miami/Indiana.

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    Quote Cheezy wrote: View Post
    MU might need to bring in a talent at the 3-4 position to give us a chance to get past the first round, and maybe win a game against Miami/Indiana.
    I honestly wanted the raptors to pick up deng to hold down the 3 spot. he would've been legit on offence and defense. t ross definitely needs to be driving to the rim more. and i dunno if the raptors need more practice time working on there free throws but they've been throwing up bricks for a minute now. they lost the miami game cuz they couldn't hit a free throw to save their lifes collectively.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar TRex's Avatar
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    Right now, this team is destined to end up in no man's land if they keep this group together.

    You want to call yourself a playoff team. You gotta beat teams like LAL, Boston and Charlotte. They lost to Charlotte 3x already this season. And today, the Bobcats beat them without Kemba Walker. Charlotte's best player.

    I also don't buy all the stupid excuses like, they're tired. 7 games in 10 days. Blah blah blah. They didn't looked tired to me. They had a 19 pt lead against the Lakers yesterday in the 2nd period but they just gave it away in 2 mins. They had a 15 pt lead in the 3rd period. And they just gave it away in 2 mins.

    Today, they just kept settling for 3's and long 2's. Their D on Jefferson was pathetic specially in the 1st quarter. They just lost fair and square. No excuses.
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    Quote TRex wrote: View Post
    Right now, this team is destined to end up in no man's land if they keep this group together.

    You want to call yourself a playoff team. You gotta beat teams like LAL, Boston and Charlotte. They lost to Charlotte 3x already this season. And today, the Bobcats beat them without Kemba Walker. Charlotte's best player.

    I also don't buy all the stupid excuses like, they're tired. 7 games in 10 days. Blah blah blah. They didn't looked tired to me. They had a 19 pt lead against the Lakers yesterday in the 2nd period but they just gave it away in 2 mins. They had a 15 pt lead in the 3rd period. And they just gave it away in 2 mins.

    Today, they just kept settling for 3's and long 2's. Their D on Jefferson was pathetic specially in the 1st quarter. They just lost fair and square. No excuses.
    I see this comment as being at the bottom of the roller coaster ride. Then all of a sudden, the team wins the next 5 of 6. Parker, Embiid and presumably Wiggins decides to go back to their respective colleges and then we find ourselves at the top of the ride before the Feb. trade deadline once again. Patience my friend. Patience.
    “The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.” - Martin Luther King

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    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    We may be in the middle, but we're definitely not stuck. I don't see much point in trying to add to this roster this season, maybe a small piece or two. I doubt there is any elite talent available, at least not the type to make this team a contender this season. Either roll with the roster as is if we can get over these recent losses and start winning again, or start the dismantle at or near the deadline.

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    Quote Jamshid wrote: View Post
    So we are almost half way into the season and this team is 20-20 which means in a normal season, we would be some where around 8-9 position in the East and exactly in the MIDDLE ...

    MU came to town with ONE message: We do not want to be STUCK in the MIDDLE.

    And this is exactly where we are stuck now ... So the question is :

    IS MU done his assessment and evaluation ? What is his next move ?
    If I had to speculate about his next move, MU is trying to bring in a player(s) that can take this current team "over the top". It's not easy to do, and I'm sure MU has multiple contingency plans for how the season takes shape.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Papa Burgundy's Avatar
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    We were looking elite ... then we went 5-5 over the last 10 games ... know who else has? The HEAT. Don't panic
    Jonas sick, Amir banged up, Hansbrough out, we just haven't had the presence in the paint either fighting for offensive boards, or protecting the rim.
    To the point of the thread, yeh middling, maybe moves to come ... but if you were over the moon 5 games ago, chill.
    The only way to bag a classy lady is to give her two tickets to the gun show... and see if she likes the goods.

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    I think it's on Casey to keep our team focused on the task. We've seen this many times throughout the last 5-7 years where the team plays well in a stretch and then suddenly it starts to struggle and play with bad habits and such. One game all the jumpers are going in, and then 3 games straight they settle for them and lose.

    You can really only blame the coach when that sort of thing happens. I'm okay with this team being 0.500. Still better than I expected for the season. But I don't like seeing the streakiness and the bad habits (playing down to your opponent, settling for jumpers, etc).
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    I knew the game yesterday would bring about an overly negative thread about how this team is going no where.

    Unfortunately, 20-20 is MUCH better than we all expected at this stage. Everyone needs to chill out and see how this team does from now until the end of the year. We have talent NOW that we need to assess, and we will still be helped out by the playoff experience and the idea that we could actually win a series.

    Things that I am concerned about which would leave us "stuck in the middle":

    1. What is up with Amir? is he injured? has anyone heard anything? Him and JV are the core of our defence, and without any depth at this position we are screwed if they don't play well.

    2. Derozan playing hero ball. In each one of our last shitty losses, Derozan has called his own number down the stretch....and he sucks at it. Time to recognize that Lowry is FAARR better and needs to be making the crunch time plays.

    If we improve on these things to the point where play is sustained, I don't see why we can't improve again next year

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Skip2MyLou's Avatar
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    Not good enough to overcome the loss of rotation players such as Hansbrough.
    Anyone know when he is due back?

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    Quote Papa Burgundy wrote: View Post
    We were looking elite ... then we went 5-5 over the last 10 games ... know who else has? The HEAT. Don't panic
    Jonas sick, Amir banged up, Hansbrough out, we just haven't had the presence in the paint either fighting for offensive boards, or protecting the rim.
    To the point of the thread, yeh middling, maybe moves to come ... but if you were over the moon 5 games ago, chill.
    Except the Heat have 3 consecutive finals appearances to convince their fans not to panic.

    The Raptors, on the other hand, have......a backup mascot.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote Balls of Steel wrote: View Post
    I see this comment as being at the bottom of the roller coaster ride. Then all of a sudden, the team wins the next 5 of 6. Parker, Embiid and presumably Wiggins decides to go back to their respective colleges and then we find ourselves at the top of the ride before the Feb. trade deadline once again. Patience my friend. Patience.
    Or maybe, they continue to skim around .500 for the rest of the season, many prospects come out in the 2014 NBA Draft and Raps end up getting 7-11 seed. What will they have achieved if they lose in the first round and have nothing to show for it with either Lowry moving on at the end of the season or paying him enough that you are capped out for the forseeable future.

    Even if this team wins 5 out of their next 6 (which I don't see happening based on their schedule) where or what does that make them? A slightly over .500 team? Is that the top of the roller coaster ride? If this was a good team would it even be a roller coaster ride or would you just see and expect good consistent play from a good consistent team?

    I'm praying Masai ends this experiment and stop putting the team in a position that he said he was not going to be in at the start of the season. This is the middle of the road.

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    Except the Heat have 3 consecutive finals appearances to convince their fans not to panic.

    The Raptors, on the other hand, have......a backup mascot.
    The other issue is that Toronto is currently competing for playoff spots against teams that have been dealing with significant injuries throughout the season, while Toronto has remained healthy (starters haven't missed a single game).

    Chicago - injured Rose, traded Deng
    Brooklyn - injured Williams, injured Lopez
    Atlanta - injured Horford
    NY - injured Chandler, injured MWP, injured Felton
    Washington - injured Beal
    Charlotte - injured Jefferson, injured Walker, injured MKG
    Milwaukee - injured Ilyasova, injured Sanders, injured Knight, injured Henson


    A healthy Toronto team needs the entire rotation playing at peak performance levels in order to compete for the playoffs, against teams that are riddled with injuries. There's legitimate reason to at least wonder whether their success (ie: #3-6 seed) this season is sustainable or not.

    I don't envy the position MU is in, but trust he will stick to his plan of continuous improvement for the future.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    Ujiri's not done at all. This is crazy. He wasn't done when the team was streaking along winning 7 out of 10 games, and he's not done now that they've lost a couple. The process of building a contender out of a young team with 0 all-stars is going to take multiple seasons. Multiple.

    Hold onto your shorts already.
    Seriously, it's becoming like RealGM around here.

    Simply fixing the mess Colangelo left is a 2-3 year project, at best. I have said that for years before BC was fired and I still believe that. I also still believe that the 2015-16 season is the target year this club is looking at.

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