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Thread: BasketballInsiders.com: 2014-15 Raptors preview

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default BasketballInsiders.com: 2014-15 Raptors preview

    There is a lot in the article, very in depth.

    They give best case 57-35 (obvious editor missed the math) and worst case 45-37.


    The Burning Question

    Will the young Raptors develop enough internally to take the next step forward in the East?

    The Raptors aren’t going to catch anyone by surprise next season. They have officially arrived and will not have the luxury of being overlooked by anyone anymore. They learned how to win last year; this season is going to be all about maintaining their improvement and getting even better as the spotlight on them grows brighter. Pressure is a con they haven’t had to deal with in several seasons, but it will be firmly on their shoulders this season.

    – Yannis Koutroupis
    http://www.basketballinsiders.com/20...eason-preview/
    "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 Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    I don't get the "aren't going to catch anyone by surprise" stuff.

    I mean, we were a breakout team last year, and that definitely helped early in the team's strong play. But by January, we were in good standing, playing well, and continued to do so for the rest of the year...no real slumps, strong on the road and at home, able to beat good teams. Think people were taking us pretty damn seriously and preparing hard for us by that point.

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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    I don't get the "aren't going to catch anyone by surprise" stuff....
    Just another overused sport cliche promulgated by a lazy writer who thinks no NBA teams noticed that the Raptors had a winning season until they made it to the playoffs.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar iblastoff's Avatar
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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    I don't get the "aren't going to catch anyone by surprise" stuff.

    I mean, we were a breakout team last year, and that definitely helped early in the team's strong play. But by January, we were in good standing, playing well, and continued to do so for the rest of the year...no real slumps, strong on the road and at home, able to beat good teams. Think people were taking us pretty damn seriously and preparing hard for us by that point.
    i definitely thought there was a slump after some really good weeks. our defense dropped off in the latter half of the season for sure. its either competition actually paying attention to us or other factors but i know we were dropping in defensive rankings as time progressed for whatever reason.

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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    I don't get the "aren't going to catch anyone by surprise" stuff.

    I mean, we were a breakout team last year, and that definitely helped early in the team's strong play. But by January, we were in good standing, playing well, and continued to do so for the rest of the year...no real slumps, strong on the road and at home, able to beat good teams. Think people were taking us pretty damn seriously and preparing hard for us by that point.
    I would have to say that we were a surprise on till half way through January.


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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    i definitely thought there was a slump after some really good weeks. our defense dropped off in the latter half of the season for sure. its either competition actually paying attention to us or other factors but i know we were dropping in defensive rankings as time progressed for whatever reason.
    I am hoping that our increased depth will help that. Guys won't have to play as many minutes as they did last season so they can hopefully be more fresh to end the season. But you are right we did fall off a good bit defensively to end the season. That's why I was always so worried about or series with Brooklyn. We didn't go into the playoffs playing our best ball. And for a young team like ours that's always important.

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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    i definitely thought there was a slump after some really good weeks. our defense dropped off in the latter half of the season for sure. its either competition actually paying attention to us or other factors but i know we were dropping in defensive rankings as time progressed for whatever reason.
    Yeah, I can't say for sure why defensive slippage happened, but I'm going to give fatigue as probably the biggest factor. We had some depth, but also issues. Salmons game dropped off a cliff at some point (in february I think it was), Lowry and DeMar were clearly fatigued at times in those later months, Amir and Pat both spent some time injured too and we struggled if either one missed time....though I think the biggest issues were on the perimeter where between fatigue and a lack of depth there were just too many lapses compared to the earlier (successful) months.

    I don't think it had that much to do with teams prepping for us better.

    And still there was really no slump. Our D had issues at times in terms of playing up to the quality set earlier in the season, but here are some things of note overall:

    -No losing month after the trade. DEC 8-6, JAN 11-6, FEB 10-6, MAR 10-6, APR 6-2.
    -After the trade, no losing streak longer than 2 games, and only 4 of those. Out of the 64 games (42-22) after the trade, they only lost back-to-back games 4 times. That's pretty crazy.
    -A quick look over their schedule, and I think post-trade, there's no 10-game stretch where the Raps were worse than .500. None.

    That's some quality resiliency for a team that had no real experience with "winning basketball".

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    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    I would have to say that we were a surprise on till half way through January.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah, probably somewhere in January. Definitely think that means the "surprise" factor is long gone, and should be no part of assessing the upcoming season for the Raps.

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    Eh, I think we were still surprising people. Definitely writers, and if not scouts then probably players.

    Yeah we were good for like one month by mid-january, but that doesn't really change 4-5 years of suck and 5-6 years of mediocre before that.

    I'm actually still not 100% confident that we're going to pick up where we left off. I hope we do, but it wouldn't surprise me all that much if we finished .500

    I really hope we keep moving forwards though, and I think it is more likely that we do progress.
    "Bruno?
    Heh, if he is in the D-league still in a few years I will be surprised.
    He's terrible."

    -Superjudge, 7/23

    Hope you're wrong.

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    We haven't finished surprising people, in my opinion. We still have TRoss and Val as relative unknowns that could break out.

    Last season was the surprise of Lowry and Derozan becoming all-star tandem. This year, we have more weapons to unveil.
    The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!

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    Quote enlightenment wrote: View Post
    We haven't finished surprising people, in my opinion. We still have TRoss and Val as relative unknowns that could break out.

    Last season was the surprise of Lowry and Derozan becoming all-star tandem. This year, we have more weapons to unveil.
    Well the context of "surprise" had more to do with teams not expecting a fight from our team, rather than elements of our team being surprising.

    I agree with what you're saying, but considering our season last year, teams already started to take us seriously back then, and I don't think they'll stop all of a sudden.

    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    Eh, I think we were still surprising people. Definitely writers, and if not scouts then probably players.

    Yeah we were good for like one month by mid-january, but that doesn't really change 4-5 years of suck and 5-6 years of mediocre before that.

    I'm actually still not 100% confident that we're going to pick up where we left off. I hope we do, but it wouldn't surprise me all that much if we finished .500

    I really hope we keep moving forwards though, and I think it is more likely that we do progress.
    And yeah, going with what I was saying, I doubt teams sleep on us from the get-go this year. That's what the "surprise" factor is I think. If we come out and start well, it won't be because teams are sleeping on us. Other years won't factor into how people (except maybe often bad sports writers) view us.
    Last edited by white men can't jump; Mon Sep 22nd, 2014 at 06:30 PM.

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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    Yeah, I can't say for sure why defensive slippage happened, but I'm going to give fatigue as probably the biggest factor. We had some depth, but also issues. Salmons game dropped off a cliff at some point (in february I think it was), Lowry and DeMar were clearly fatigued at times in those later months, Amir and Pat both spent some time injured too and we struggled if either one missed time....though I think the biggest issues were on the perimeter where between fatigue and a lack of depth there were just too many lapses compared to the earlier (successful) months.

    I don't think it had that much to do with teams prepping for us better.

    And still there was really no slump. Our D had issues at times in terms of playing up to the quality set earlier in the season, but here are some things of note overall:

    -No losing month after the trade. DEC 8-6, JAN 11-6, FEB 10-6, MAR 10-6, APR 6-2.
    -After the trade, no losing streak longer than 2 games, and only 4 of those. Out of the 64 games (42-22) after the trade, they only lost back-to-back games 4 times. That's pretty crazy.
    -A quick look over their schedule, and I think post-trade, there's no 10-game stretch where the Raps were worse than .500. None.

    That's some quality resiliency for a team that had no real experience with "winning basketball".

    I agree with this.

    And I would like to also point out that the Raptors have addressed some of their immediate needs via free agency this offseason, specifically in bringing in defensive SFs and improving the team's depth at the 5 spot.

    Franchise wise, the Raptors were able to retain Kyle Lowry as well as Vasquez and Patterson. They also retained Dwayne Casey. What does this mean? Continunity, which I feel is present for the first time in the organization. Realistically, the only direction for this team is upwards.
    “You can sink and drown, or you can float, and we out here like Michael Phelps."
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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    i definitely thought there was a slump after some really good weeks. our defense dropped off in the latter half of the season for sure. its either competition actually paying attention to us or other factors but i know we were dropping in defensive rankings as time progressed for whatever reason.
    You bring up some pretty good points here. Makes me think if that's was the case for the drop off.


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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    I don't get the "aren't going to catch anyone by surprise" stuff.
    I don't buy the "we caught the other team by surprise" koolaid. I pass it every time I go to the grocery store

    It literally makes no sense. How does a multi billion dollar organization be caught by surprise by another multi billion dollar organization. The players and coaches and scouts are professionals who do their job and look into every game. No team wakes up on game day saying oh shit, it's just the raptors. Let's cancel preactice and all team sessions and meet at the game. Every team is scouted. They prepare for every game. If a team catches you by surprise, it kinda means you just suck at your job. No way should that saying be out there. And the raptors were this good 18 games into the season, how do you surprise someone for 64 fucking games. Like c'mon. We didn't catch anyone by surprise, that's just an excuse they use because they lost. Smh
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    Quote Yabadabayolo wrote: View Post
    I don't buy the "we caught the other team by surprise" koolaid. I pass it every time I go to the grocery store

    It literally makes no sense. How does a multi billion dollar organization be caught by surprise by another multi billion dollar organization. The players and coaches and scouts are professionals who do their job and look into every game. No team wakes up on game day saying oh shit, it's just the raptors. Let's cancel preactice and all team sessions and meet at the game. Every team is scouted. They prepare for every game. If a team catches you by surprise, it kinda means you just suck at your job. No way should that saying be out there. And the raptors were this good 18 games into the season, how do you surprise someone for 64 fucking games. Like c'mon. We didn't catch anyone by surprise, that's just an excuse they use because they lost. Smh
    You do catch people by surprise sometimes, but it's not something that persists. I mean, there's no way we didn't catch some teams by surprise after the trade. Lots of people thought it was a tank trade, and couple that with how much our style of play improved (especially, you know, the ball being passed at least once on most offensive possessions), and for sure we caught some teams sleeping. Some maybe thinking it would be an easy win. Others hadn't seen our new look enough yet to be prepared in terms of strong scouting/preparation.

    But it is something that stops being valid fairly quickly (like a month or two tops), and since we're bringing back largely the same team, there shouldn't be anything like that to start the season.

    Best-case is kind of what @enlightenment referred to, and that's if Ross and JV both make strides and are featured more, making it so that the book on us to end last season has to be somewhat re-written then we might have a "surprise" bonus in some games. But again, this is something that lasts a limited period.

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    Quote Yabadabayolo wrote: View Post
    I don't buy the "we caught the other team by surprise" koolaid. I pass it every time I go to the grocery store

    It literally makes no sense. How does a multi billion dollar organization be caught by surprise by another multi billion dollar organization. The players and coaches and scouts are professionals who do their job and look into every game. No team wakes up on game day saying oh shit, it's just the raptors. Let's cancel preactice and all team sessions and meet at the game. Every team is scouted. They prepare for every game. If a team catches you by surprise, it kinda means you just suck at your job. No way should that saying be out there. And the raptors were this good 18 games into the season, how do you surprise someone for 64 fucking games. Like c'mon. We didn't catch anyone by surprise, that's just an excuse they use because they lost. Smh

    Good point. The Raptors also performed well versus West-coast teams (as compared to other East teams) and did not suffer any major losing streaks following the trade. The Raptors also defeated several playoff teams following the Rudy Gay trade.

    I think that the Raptors were only swept by the Spurs, Heat, and Bobcats last season. It wasn't as if the Raptors were only beating the tanking teams; they were scrapping it out night after night with tankers and contenders alike.

    By the end of January (at the latest) it should have been apparent to the league that the Raptors were legitimate.



    But I still agree with white men can't jump in regards to the fact that the Raptors' performance following the Gay trade and their record that followed (42-22) definitely came across a surprise to the league and to fans alike. As a fan myself, I was surprised initially as well. However, I do feel that the Raptors have made enough of a statement to receive credibility for their achievements last season. That being said, I expect them to surprise the league even more this coming season.
    “You can sink and drown, or you can float, and we out here like Michael Phelps."
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    Quote Yabadabayolo wrote: View Post
    I don't buy the "we caught the other team by surprise" koolaid. I pass it every time I go to the grocery store

    It literally makes no sense. How does a multi billion dollar organization be caught by surprise by another multi billion dollar organization. The players and coaches and scouts are professionals who do their job and look into every game. No team wakes up on game day saying oh shit, it's just the raptors. Let's cancel preactice and all team sessions and meet at the game. Every team is scouted. They prepare for every game. If a team catches you by surprise, it kinda means you just suck at your job. No way should that saying be out there. And the raptors were this good 18 games into the season, how do you surprise someone for 64 fucking games. Like c'mon. We didn't catch anyone by surprise, that's just an excuse they use because they lost. Smh
    They may not catch video room guys by surprise.

    But that message gets filtered multiple times, and each player has to be fully committed 100% to always internalizing every piece of information regardless of what they've thought or known prior to that, for no team to ever be caught off guard.

    And if you get caught off guard, that's one very, very small part of the job. It doesn't necessarily mean you're bad at your job if you still shoot threes better than the next guy.
    "Bruno?
    Heh, if he is in the D-league still in a few years I will be surprised.
    He's terrible."

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    Hope you're wrong.

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    Really, it should be "we caught the media by surprise"; they have a tendency to remain doggedly entrenched in their pre-season opinions of teams.

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    Quote enlightenment wrote: View Post
    We haven't finished surprising people, in my opinion. We still have TRoss and Val as relative unknowns that could break out.

    Last season was the surprise of Lowry and Derozan becoming all-star tandem. This year, we have more weapons to unveil.
    As long as KL shows up to camp in shape and DD continues to improve especially on the defensive end we will be in good shape. JVal looks most like to progress to the next stage consistently. TR needs to improve consistency--- try to avoid too many peaks and valleys.....though 51 is nice I would 15 EVERY night.

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