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Thread: Can Raptors compete for #1 seed in east this upcoming season?

  1. #41
    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    The East is definitely wide open, and probably will remain so unless the Heat can retain the big3 and fill out the roster, and the Bulls do not get a Melo type addition to their roster.

    I expect the conference to be much more competitive than it was last season. Looking at the teams, I do not think there is a single one that will be clearly tanking this season. I think every team will be trying to win as many games as possible. That clearly wasn't the case last season with Philly, Milwaukee, Boston, and Orlando fielding obviously less than competitive clubs. And then there were the horror stories out of Cleveland, Detroit, and NY. I think it will be much more difficult to get wins in the East this upcoming season. The only team in the conference that may be worthy of a tanking label IMO, is the Knicks, and that would be without Melo. If he stays, they will try to win of course. So I'm expecting a much more competitive conference, and even matching our win total from last season should be considered a success, but it's unlikely to reward us with a 3rd seed.

    There is lots of offseason left so it's hard to predict of course.

    Indy and MIA should still be very good teams. Unless LBJ and Bosh depart, I expect the Heat to remain competitive as long as one of them are there with Wade. The Bulls are a wildcard, as there are a lot of if's surrounding there roster. If DRose returns to form, if they can grab a Gasol or Melo, if they trade or anmesty Boozer, if McDermott can contribute right out the gate, and what's up with Mirotic? The Bulls could be the team to beat in the East next season, or they may struggle to make the playoffs if things don't go their way this offseason. The last few offseasons have been this way for that team.

    I think the Hornets will also be better next season, and if they add a decent FA they will be even tougher. WASH is also another up and coming team, and with the Wall/Beal combo continuing to improve the should remain very competitive. The Knicks are unlikely to be great next season, with or without Melo, but if he returns you have to expect them to try and make the playoffs. The Nets are hard to guage, they will be a different team next year, but I expect them to be in the playoffs. If healthy, they could be better than last year. Boston and Philly could very well be bottom feeders next year. Philly, I imagine will not be a great team, but I expect them to start trying to get their young guys to win and develop a system. It may not be as easy to beat them next year. Boston could very well hang out at the bottom again next season, they can afford another subpar year for asset accumulation if they chose, but a couple of moves this offseason could out them back in the playoff hunt. But regardless of how their roster shapes up, I expect them to compete, they have lots of assets so bottoming out next season 'on purpose' may not be a priority. Winning games may be more of a priority, and we all know how winning changes asset evaluation. Bradley @ 8mil per is mind boggling however.

    The Hawks should be better next season, as long as they are healthy. And they have money to spend so they could be much tougher next year. Orlando are primed to start winning again. They have a young roster, so my expectations are low, but I think they are done with tanking for now and will attempt to develop their core and win some games. MIL are gonna try and turn things around quickly and they have some great young pieces to make that happen. They just have to be taught to play together in a system. I expect Kidd will employ a system similar to what brought him success in BKN. MIL should be better next year.

    Who's left: the horror shows in DET and CLE. Hard to believe those teams will be as bad next season. Van Gundy will get the Pistons playing better regardless of the roster. And CLE has got some talent there, if they can get it together and alleviate the chemistry issues, they should be headed up the standings.

    Obviously, it's certainly too early to tell, and I'm not sure how accurate my brief assessments are, but when you look at all the teams it seems like all of them, minus a couple of exceptions perhaps (i.e. NYK without Melo; Boston if a slow offseason), are clearly trying to move ahead. No one seems primed to take that step back next season in order take two steps forward later. That part of the process is done for most of those teams. So, unless we see some more unexpected horror shows next season, the conference should be much more competitive, and getting wins that much more difficult.

    Competing for the top seed isn't gonna happen IMO. Back to back division titles are certainly a possibility. I think the team actually improves as a unit next season and I can see guys like DD, Ross, and JV making individual improvements as well, however, I hesitate to suggest that this will result in more wins or a better seed.

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  3. #42
    Raptors Republic Starter Demographic Shift's Avatar
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    Report: Bosh wants maximum contract
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/report-...9579--nba.html

    Miami was the betting choice to win the east 1st seed but as of right now with none of the 3 amigos signed to anything and Bosh looking to get "his" and Lebron already saying he needs to be the highest paid player in the league for once in his life that seeding may change in the next 72 to 96 hours. Miami seems to be really wobbling right now. Carmelo doesn't seem to be in the picture and most of the impact free agents that played postions the heat wanted to upgrade (C / PG ) are signed.

    Without Bosh and any appreciable FA signed up or in the wings the Heat even with Lebron would not be the prohibative favourtie but still in the Top Tier of teams.

    If you group teams into three categories - Chance to win it (or 1 through 3) Pushing the Envelope really hard and could surprise - the "smart dark horse picks" (4-6) Mid Tier in the mix for a playoff spot or coming up just short (7 through 11) and Dogs with Fleas (12 to 15) this is how I could see it coming together as it stands today with no real commitment to the Heat by Bosh or LBJ.

    Chance to win it
    Heat - Still there IF they get LBJ
    Bulls - Rose comes back to his MVP form
    Indy - Addition by subtraction. The ear blow takes his circus act elsewhere.

    Pushing the Envelope
    Raps - Same core with organic improvements expected and added bench scoring addition in Lou Williams
    Wizards - Same core that went to round 2 of the playoffs and core improving
    Brooklyn - Brook Lopez returns

    Mid Tier - In the mix for the playoffs
    Charlotte - made playoffs and have cap room to add a legit scorer in FA. If they do they move up a tier.
    Atlanta - cleared a whack of cap space for their targeted FA that improves the 8th seeded team. Still stays in this tier sign or not.
    Cleveland - added Wiggins but he won't be a world beater out of the gate. Lost Deng . New coach. Still pretty combustible squad and you have the clubhouse accerlerant in Dion Waiters who doesn't get along with a 90M dollar man.
    Detroit - Do they resign Monroe ? Jodies Meeks fits SVG style but does he help the roster as a whole
    Knicks - Odds on favourite to have Carmelo and added the assist machine in Caldy. Still have Barney and JR Smith and Amare. Carmelo good but not a miracle worker. Knicks tank professionaly and open up cap space and use thier lone draft pick in the next 100 years in 2015 as the season to improve.
    Dogs with Fleas
    Philly - Nickname Sam Hinkie the tanker. He fields last years team with more 2nd round picks to fill it out. Fugly
    Orlando - Lots of assets. Look like they are in the same place at the 3 / 4 slots. Raw Rookie PG. Loooong Season ahead with no one to get the ball to the 3/4 group and Olidipo still learning.
    Milwaukee - Getting better just not this year.
    Boston - Likely the time to trade Rondo. Selling the future in Boston one more year.
    Last edited by Demographic Shift; Sun Jul 6th, 2014 at 12:04 PM.

  4. #43
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    Hahaha, now Bosh wants Max !!! Who is going to pay that guy a max money after standing around and watching LJ play for few years He is dreaming.

  5. #44
    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Getting the #1 seed seems fantastical but if a lot of things break right it may be possible. I look at the Bulls from the 2010/2011 season (62-20 record). They had a super star in Rose but were his stats really that far off from what Lowry could do?

    Rose averaged 25ppg, 7.7apg, 4.1rpg, 1spg but 3.4 tpg.

    Lowry last year averaged 17.9ppg, 7.4apg, 4.7rpg, 1.5spg, and 2.5tpg.

    Didn't score as well.. but everything else was about the same and didn't turn it over as much. Bulls also had Noah, Deng and Boozer. We have JV, DD and Ross. We'll need JV and Ross to really elevate their games but it's not really that implausible that they won't.

    Bulls had Thibs and we have Casey but if things break right (Lebron goes out west, or stays with Miami but don't fill out their bench; Rose/Lopez doesn't return healthy, Indiana continues their dysfunction, Washington/Atlanta stay the same) Toronto could be battling for 1/2 seed throughout the year.

    I wouldn't bet on it, but there is always a chance.

  6. #45
    Raptors Republic Superstar iblastoff's Avatar
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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    Getting the #1 seed seems fantastical but if a lot of things break right it may be possible. I look at the Bulls from the 2010/2011 season (62-20 record). They had a super star in Rose but were his stats really that far off from what Lowry could do?

    Rose averaged 25ppg, 7.7apg, 4.1rpg, 1spg but 3.4 tpg.

    Lowry last year averaged 17.9ppg, 7.4apg, 4.7rpg, 1.5spg, and 2.5tpg.

    Didn't score as well.. but everything else was about the same and didn't turn it over as much. Bulls also had Noah, Deng and Boozer. We have JV, DD and Ross. We'll need JV and Ross to really elevate their games but it's not really that implausible that they won't.

    Bulls had Thibs and we have Casey but if things break right (Lebron goes out west, or stays with Miami but don't fill out their bench; Rose/Lopez doesn't return healthy, Indiana continues their dysfunction, Washington/Atlanta stay the same) Toronto could be battling for 1/2 seed throughout the year.

    I wouldn't bet on it, but there is always a chance.
    7-8 points is a huge difference when you consider the average score differential in nba games is around 8-10.

  7. #46
    Raptors Republic All-Star Primer's Avatar
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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    7-8 points is a huge difference when you consider the average score differential in nba games is around 8-10.
    But Lowry scored far far more efficiently (not to mention he did is last year, not 3 years ago).

    Lowry TS% .567 eFG% .511

    Rose (11-12) TS% .532 eFG% .473

    We're talking 13.7 FGA vs 18 FGA. If Lowry just shot the ball more, he would score more, just like Rose.

  8. #47
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    Quote Primer wrote: View Post
    But Lowry scored far far more efficiently (not to mention he did is last year, not 3 years ago).

    Lowry TS% .567 eFG% .511

    Rose (11-12) TS% .532 eFG% .473

    We're talking 13.7 FGA vs 18 FGA. If Lowry just shot the ball more, he would score more, just like Rose.
    Bulls would have taken anybody over Rose last three years. 60M down the drain, more if you include Boozer.

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    Being first in the east is like winning a participation trophy. It doesn't really matter.

  10. #49
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    Quote BasketballJesus wrote: View Post
    Being first in the east is like winning a participation trophy. It doesn't really matter.
    Its something treadmill teams don't do, win the conference. Indy had a set back but everyone thought they were title contenders up until they imploded.

  11. #50
    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    7-8 points is a huge difference when you consider the average score differential in nba games is around 8-10.
    Yeah from that perspective their stats aren't close (but Rose did win MVP of the league that year). My point behind all this is that the Bulls won the conference with over 60 wins that year. The Raptors have a similar team.. star player in their PG, and a team of guys that love to hustle. If the Raptors can improve on the defensive end (which could happen with continuity and growth from JV/Ross) and if they get some good luck (star players go west, good teams losing good players, etc) than they could be competing for the 1/2 seed.

    Also it took Indiana 56 wins to lead the east... that's just 8 more wins from last year. The team did start 6-12 last season and we no longer have John Salmons eating 21+ minutes a game.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar iblastoff's Avatar
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    Quote Primer wrote: View Post
    But Lowry scored far far more efficiently (not to mention he did is last year, not 3 years ago).

    Lowry TS% .567 eFG% .511

    Rose (11-12) TS% .532 eFG% .473

    We're talking 13.7 FGA vs 18 FGA. If Lowry just shot the ball more, he would score more, just like Rose.
    efficiency goes down with usage rate. same argument with derozan and his acceptable 'low' efficiency due to his high USG. and i'm willing to bet rose in scoring-starved chicago had a WAY higher usage rate than lowry does in toronto.

  13. #52
    Raptors Republic Superstar iblastoff's Avatar
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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    Yeah from that perspective their stats aren't close (but Rose did win MVP of the league that year). My point behind all this is that the Bulls won the conference with over 60 wins that year. The Raptors have a similar team.. star player in their PG, and a team of guys that love to hustle. If the Raptors can improve on the defensive end (which could happen with continuity and growth from JV/Ross) and if they get some good luck (star players go west, good teams losing good players, etc) than they could be competing for the 1/2 seed.

    Also it took Indiana 56 wins to lead the east... that's just 8 more wins from last year. The team did start 6-12 last season and we no longer have John Salmons eating 21+ minutes a game.
    lowry was an all-star snub, but he still wasn't an all-star. and i disagree that our team loves to hustle. sure there have been a few plays of amir scrambling for the ball at the end of games and whatnot, and ball movement was definitely better in certain stretches of last season, but there is still way too much standing around on the court.

    secondly, the one common theme in this thread is people seem to think that winning largely depends on other teams losing good players to trade/injury. i guess i can agree with that. if all the other eastern stars break their limbs or get traded away to the west, then sure i guess we have yet another undeserving/overachieving shot at a high seed.

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    I think it all depends what happens with Miami and Chicago. If Miami breaks up (and that seems likely now), and Carmelo goes to LA rather than Chicago, there is a real possibility. That's just me being optimistic though.

    50 wins seems really realistic though. If everyone plays the way they did last year and they add a big wing off the bench, 50 wins and a top 4 seed is likely.

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    Quote JordanSmith wrote: View Post
    I think it all depends what happens with Miami and Chicago. If Miami breaks up (and that seems likely now), and Carmelo goes to LA rather than Chicago, there is a real possibility. That's just me being optimistic though.

    50 wins seems really realistic though. If everyone plays the way they did last year and they add a big wing off the bench, 50 wins and a top 4 seed is likely.
    I don't know how much wins we get but I am very confident we win our division, and as long as we do that we will get a top four seed for sure.

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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    efficiency goes down with usage rate. same argument with derozan and his acceptable 'low' efficiency due to his high USG. and i'm willing to bet rose in scoring-starved chicago had a WAY higher usage rate than lowry does in toronto.
    Rose did have a higher usage (30.5 vs 22.9). But Lowry's efficiency has room to scale down with increased usage and still be equivalent to Rose. Just saying, the gap is not that big between them, and probably safer to assume Lowry is superior at this point since he didn't just miss the last 2 seasons with injury.

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    first is a bit much to say first in the conference
    too early to tell what happens with Miami ... if LeBron stays its theirs to lose
    beyond that I can see the raptors getting top 4 and winning division again

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    Its still Indy's to lose. Miami is in serious trouble even if LeBron re-signs. Chicago and Toronto played to a draw but losing Boozer and Rose's knees, Mirotic and many factors can help or hurt them a lot. Horford is returning to a team that finished 8th and the rest didn't improve or decline much.

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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    lball movement was definitely better in certain stretches of last season, but there is still way too much standing around on the court.
    I agree that better and more complex motion on offence, without a letup on defence, is the key to challenging for the top seed. Last training camp was spent almost entirely on defence, which only paid off once Rudy Gay left the team. The offence seemed to be overly simple, almost an afterthought--Gay and DeRozan took the majority of shots--and there was little time during the season to integrate the new players with more dynamic setups. So a lot depends on what the coaches can implement during training camp in October.

    If LeBron James went to the Western Conference, then the race would be wide open.
    Last edited by caccia; Mon Jul 7th, 2014 at 12:57 AM.

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    Quote raptors999 wrote: View Post
    Its still Indy's to lose. Miami is in serious trouble even if LeBron re-signs. Chicago and Toronto played to a draw but losing Boozer and Rose's knees, Mirotic and many factors can help or hurt them a lot. Horford is returning to a team that finished 8th and the rest didn't improve or decline much.
    Now that Miami is an afterthought I think Raptors are in a great position to challenge for #1 seed. Chicago, Cleveland Indiana Washington and Atlanta could all be viable candidates with Chicago and Toronto probably front runners pending a Kevin Love trade to Cleveland.

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    You guys realize the Cavs were first in the east the last time they had Lebron?

    Other than Lebron they had a core of Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison and Big Z.

    Now with a better Lebron, better point guard and better role players you expect them not to win the east? Especially with a weaker east???

    Unless another team makes a big splash (a la melo to Chicago), no one will battle Cleveland for the number 1 seed. Inexperience or not.

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