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Thread: True Grit: Why the Raptors can finish off games and what changes need to be made.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Red and White's Avatar
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    Default True Grit: Why the Raptors can finish off games and what changes need to be made.

    Blowing late leads has become a trait of this Toronto team. It started in Dallas where the Raps had a lead going into the fourth, but were over powered. The following game in Orlando, the Raptors were outscored by 17 points in the fourth quarter, yet only lost by 6. Once again, against New York, the Raptors lead was put in jeopardy after the Knicks outscored the Raps in the last two quarters. Sacramento, Indiana, and most recently, the Chicago Bulls have continued this trend of beating the Raptors in the final quarter. Watching that Chicago game, I turned it off after the third quarter, because I knew exactly how it was going to go.

    If we can stick to teams for 3 quarters, what is holding us back in the fourth? Could it be the D, which consistently (in close games) gives up the most points in the fourth quarter? Is it the lack of offensive coaching and decision making, as we have seen with Jamaal Magloire being the go to guy in the final seconds (eek)? How about the players selfish play late in game? Or, finally, is it the lack of grit and leadership that is necessary to win on the road, and late in games?

    The easy answer would be to say a lack of personel, and an easier answer would be a lack of experience with the players, but to me, these late game blunders are showing me some deeper rooting problems.

    This is a Toronto team that really had little change in its lineup over the off season. The same key players are there, so why does this team look like it can not mesh in the fourth?

    To me as of now, it does not seem to be that important of an issue, but it is important for young teams to show success, or else young players will not be motivated to play. A perfect example of this would be the Philly game.

    Also, after next year and the much anticipated draft pick/free agent/JV offseason, if this is a deeper rooted issue then we thought, then a rebound year could be riddled with disappointment.


    I pose three questions:

    1) Who is in most need of stepping it up in the fourth quarter for this team to be successful? Multiple players (starters and off the bench) have disappeared late in games.

    2) In the future (next season), will Casey be able to get this team to win late and on the road?

    3) Is this even a problem that people should be concerned about in a (yet another) rebuilding year?


    Personally, I think we need Mo Pete, but thats just me.

    Discuss and give your opinions.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    They're the middle of a rebuild. They can't close out games because Colangelo opted not to make significant acquisitions in the off-season and instead opted to play for the 2012 draft and free agency period. Most of the board was screaming bloody murder at the thought of Colangelo being a player in the 2011 free agency period but then was criticized by others for adding cheap, mediocre players to fill out the bench. What is it Raptors fans, do we want them to stay the course or do we want them to go make a few moves and become a playoff team sooner than that? Do we want a proper rebuild or do we want more of the same mediocrity we've seen over the past decade and most of their history in the 90's?

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Beagle's Avatar
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    This could turn out to be a good year for the Raps. It looks to me like several players on the team are playing with some tantalizing attitude. Would people really be that surprised if Derozan suddenly learned to balance his positives and become a ballsy go-to guy? Yeah, maybe I would be, but Bargs is already sort of that guy(!), and Calderone and Amir are playing with the sort of blue-collar efficiency that seldom gets recognized by all-star votes but you just know is a really good thing. Lack of depth and the worst-starter-in-the-league-that-need-not-be-named is what's stopping them from having a .500 record. And thank heavens for that! needless to say. Bargs is becoming a clutch go-to guy and playing good D. He's shown genuine excitement to get to the ball first.

    I think Toronto is totally poised for a couple of hotshot rookies to join the squad. I think they'll try to draft a "sure thing" this year, and if JV doesn't bomb out, or take as long to mature as Bargnani has, they'll soon be contenders - probably - if all goes according to plan...

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    Worry about closing out games next year. This year it is enough if they develop the ability to play good defense, help Ed and ?Demar come out of their funks and make a trade at the deadline for a young second unit point guard.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Miekenstien's Avatar
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    Quote Apollo wrote: View Post
    They're the middle of a rebuild. They can't close out games because Colangelo opted not to make significant acquisitions in the off-season and instead opted to play for the 2012 draft and free agency period. Most of the board was screaming bloody murder at the thought of Colangelo being a player in the 2011 free agency period but then was criticized by others for adding cheap, mediocre players to fill out the bench. What is it Raptors fans, do we want them to stay the course or do we want them to go make a few moves and become a playoff team sooner than that? Do we want a proper rebuild or do we want more of the same mediocrity we've seen over the past decade and most of their history in the 90's?

    i agree with this completely. fans here like to say "do this" then when its happening they realize that it isnt what they actually wanted the whole time and the song turns into "i meant this". then ownership in the past accommodates them with wholesale changes and it turns into "actually i wanted the first thing again"

    this time that is happening right now is my favourite time as a raptor fan since mcrady dropped a bounce pass off to vince.
    which has been followed by a sickening feeling of what could have been.

    let this team build and we dont need to go down that road again. i was a sens fan the first year they came into the nhl. i sat through 60 game loss seasons until they started to win. i can do it with the raptors too.

    for closing out games we need more talent. we need other teams worrying about option 2 and 3 before option 1 can nail it all the time.
    Last edited by Miekenstien; Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 02:35 AM.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    The inability to close out games is due to a combination of lack of talent, inexperience, and poor decision-making by both coaches and players....but it's exactly what's expected in a rebuilding year.

    So to answer the original question, no, the inability to close out games is not a concern in 2011-12. Once the roster is upgraded with talent (next year and beyond), the wins will take care of themselves.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Veteran NoPropsneeded's Avatar
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    number one rule to close out games.

    Don't play jamaal magloire in the fourth

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