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Thread: Addressing myths approaching Lowry's return

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default Addressing myths approaching Lowry's return

    Lowry does not help develop ED/TR/DD

    Bullsh!t. Do people not remember the start of this season? Casey was acting as if you didn't have 3 or more years in the league, you were given nothing. ED played limited minutes. TR played limited to virtually no minutes. DD had good games alongside Lowry (remember the top back court in the league thread?).

    Terrence Ross' development of late comes from 2 areas:
    1) he is getting more minutes,
    2) he is getting more comfortable in the NBA and is starting to hit shots he initially was missing.

    Before Lowry went out for the second time, you can see Ross' minutes becoming more consistent - the first 10 games of the year were brutal. Also, he has been taking a number of the same shots as before but now he is making them and as much as I hate to admit Matt Devlin is correct, he is much more confident on the floor. That does a lot to change perception but to say it is all because of Jose takes credit away from the number one reason for Ross' improvement: himself.

    Ed Davis' development of late comes from 2 areas:
    1) he is getting more minutes,
    2) he is starting and not backing up the Raptors 'main guy'.

    Up until Bargnani went out, Davis' minutes were similar to that of a yo-yo. Since he has been out he has been impressive at times but he has been very underwhelming at times as well. Overall, he has been average at best for a starting NBA PF. Check his gamelog since December 12th for any doubts.

    Some of DeRozan's best games have been with Lowry in the lineup. His performance with and without Lowry is a non-factor. The biggest issue with DeRozan's performances are based on who guards him. His worst games of the year have been against OKC (Sefolosha), SAS (Leonard), BKN (Johnson/Wallace), and Detroit (Singler) - all big and/or above average defensive wings.


    The Raptors are a good team with Jose leading the team.

    Bullsh!t. Let us not forget the much hyped difficult schedule to start the year. Since the tide has turned, Lowry has been out. The Raps have played 4 of their last 6 at home against very sub-par competition minus SA who blew them out. The 2 playoff teams the Raps have played in Lowry's absence have been losses (Spurs & Nets).


    Lowry's absence is why the team is winning.

    Bullsh!t. The schedule, as already discussed, is a big reason but there is most likely an even larger one - a 7ft, 250lb reason. Lowry most definitely took a number of ill-advised shots and played some unnecessary hero-ball but lets not forget the black hole of black holes, the ball stopper of ball stoppers, the deep 2 master has also been out. That is no coincidence in my opinion.


    Lowry is not suited to Casey-ball

    Bullsh!t. This season started off with Casey coaching to his weaknesses. Defense was not a priority because the winning culture and defensive mentality was set last year - double bullsh!t. It has only been since KL (and AB) have been out has the team gone back to the basics of preaching defense. I would like to see him play healthy with this renewed focus to the defensive end by the coaching staff.


    The team is the same now as it was before Lowry went out.

    This is a different team than any Lowry has played with this season. A recommitted defensive approach, a tightened rotation, Bargnani missing, and youth getting opportunities to play.


    Lowry will not accept coming off the bench.

    Says who? I have yet to see any quote or even rumour of his unhappiness. A big reason why he struggled when he came back from first injury was he came back too soon and played too much. Coming off the bench while he gets use to playing with the team and gets himself in shape is not a sacrifice or punishment to Lowry - it just makes sense. Also, Lowry is playing behind a guy with a large expiring contract and I would be shocked if he didn't understand the business and importance of February 21st.



    I, for one, am very excited for Lowry's return. I just came across this article from Ryan Wolstat at the Sun. It hints on many of the same ideas of this thread. Some notable quotes:

    Bottom line is, Lowry will adapt to what the team is doing, not the team adapting to him.

    “There’s no personality massaging,” Casey said with regard to Lowry’s return. “This is a team. We’ve got to do it as a team. We’ve shown whether it’s Kyle or DeMar (DeRozan), Andrea (Bargnani), whoever it is, Jose (Calderon), whatever we’re doing, we’re doing for the team.

    “When I get on a guy or make a substitution, it’s all about the team,” Casey said. “There’s no one guy, myself included, who is bigger than the team. That’s the only way. We don’t have the super-duper star, I’ve said that from Day 1, so if we don’t do it as a team, we’re not going to get anything done.”

    Casey said that was the lesson learned from the Raptors’ rough start.

    “I thought we tried to do a little bit too much individually and once we honed in and started moving the ball, making the extra pass, setting screens, helping each other on the defensive end and the offensive end, we became a better team.”

    And for his part Lowry sounds like a guy ready to tow the company line.

    “Honestly, I just have to prepare myself to play, that’s all I can really do,” he said. “In all honesty, just prepare to play. I can’t really go on, I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, how I’ll react (to being back on the court) so I just have to prepare to play and if I do play, how I can help the team.”
    I call bullsh!t on the bold.


    Aiding in a quick return is the fact that Lowry is coming back from a partially torn right triceps. While Lowry wasn’t able to play, he was able to keep his fitness level to a better degree than had it been a lower-body injury (that’s for you starving hockey fans).

    “I’ve done a lot of conditioning work, a lot of just trying to stay prepared and some movements that are similar to the games but without the ball,” he said.

    “No issue whatsoever,” Casey confidently predicted. “We’ve explained it to him, whether he plays second unit, starts, it’s as a team. We talked about it, we talked about it as an organization and not only for Kyle but for everybody. That’s the only way we can have organization and not have chaos, we have to do it as a team.

    “We have to have discipline, everybody has to know their role and go from there.”

    Working in Casey’s favour in that regard is the success the team has enjoyed in Lowry’s absence, a level of success Lowry is well aware of.

    “Guys are playing well, the team’s coming together, they’ve been moving the ball, we won some great games,” Lowry said. “(Wednesday) night we had one bad stretch and it gave one of the best teams in the league the chance to go up but we’ve been playing well, everyone’s been playing together.”

    He certainly sounds like a guy ready to join the party rather than crash it.
    I have to agree with Wolstat's last sentence.


    Craiger made a nice point in another thread:

    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    I also think its a good test for Lowry and how he reacts. If he reacts poorly (like he did in Houston) the team may need to get ready to ship him out. If he takes it well, then he has all rights to earn it back.
    The reality is Lowry does have the ability to to find and create for others while bringing many other skills to the table which the Raptors sorely lack. He is by far the most dynamic player on the roster and he'll be starting soon enough, in my opinion, being much more selective when it comes to hero-ball. But make no mistake, the Raps still need someone to step up and create something from time to time and Lowry is that guy.
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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    +1

    Preach it brother!!

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    ...He is by far the most dynamic player on the roster and he'll be starting soon enough, in my opinion, being much more selective when it comes to hero-ball. But make no mistake, the Raps still need someone to step up and create something from time to time and Lowry is that guy.
    This is true. I am looking forward to his return. Now that Casey has re-instituted defence as a primary mindset, and Ross has settled down, and Fields is back without that ugly ball claw grip, I believe Lowry will provide almost unlimited drive and kick opportunities for his team mates. Not to mention actually finishing at the rim and drawing fouls.

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    +2, really glad somebody pointed this out.
    Whoever told you skies the limit is looking dumb because I'm 22 and i'm moonwalking on the sun.

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    Style of play has changed although the sets remain the same. Perhaps most different of all will be the expectations from his coach and teammates. No longer will individual play be tolerated above team play.
    No problems with anything said Matt, as long as the above is the teams MO from here on out, Lowry certainly can't hurt us. I worry about his resigning though, call me jaded or a skeptic but he doesn't seem like the type of guy to stay in TO. No evidence, just a hunch.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote SitnonDfence wrote: View Post
    I worry about his resigning though, call me jaded or a skeptic but he doesn't seem like the type of guy to stay in TO. No evidence, just a hunch.
    I think Lowry will re-sign if he "feels the love" from the franchise. This is a guy who bounced around as a back-up the last few years, and is really looking to establish himself with a team to call his own. I think if management treats him well*, he will stay.

    *That is not to say coddle him. He is a competitor and a hard-worker, he doesn't want the Bargnani treatment. He wants a fair shake and an honest approach.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star WJF's Avatar
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    While you can say Davis and Ross are better because of consistent minutes, you can't underestimate the value of receiving the ball in the right place at the right time....something the current starter does extremely well.

    Just saying.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star wallz's Avatar
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    Quote WJF wrote: View Post
    While you can say Davis and Ross are better because of consistent minutes, you can't underestimate the value of receiving the ball in the right place at the right time....something the current starter does extremely well.

    Just saying.

    A lot of Ross's minutes are with JL3

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    Raptors Republic All-Star JimiCliff's Avatar
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    Something that you didn't address, because it isn't a myth, is that the ball has been moving much better since Lowry and AB went down. Now we get to see how much of that was Lowry's fault.

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote JimiCliff wrote: View Post
    Something that you didn't address, because it isn't a myth, is that the ball has been moving much better since Lowry and AB went down. Now we get to see how much of that was Lowry's fault.
    You sure? Because in Wolstat's article I actually put a statement from Lowry in bold that addresses that very issue.

    So it would appear both myself and, much more importantly, Lowry are aware of that fact.
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    Raptors Republic Starter mountio's Avatar
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    Im mostly in agreement here, with a couple of exceptions.
    1) KL is definitely better for the wing players .. he can beat his man off the dribble, thus forcing help and getting open shots for the wing men. Unfortunately, I havent seen evidence of his ability to do this and drive and dish to the big guys. I hope he figures this out .. but for now, I will say Jose is better for getting our 4/5 men (who are offensively challenged for the most part) in good positions to score. Especially AJ, but ED also to some extent.

    2) You didnt really mention this .. but KL needs to step up the D. This is one area where he SHOULD be light years ahead of JC .. but to be frank .. I havent seen it so far. Hopefully that changes with a more athletic / defensive minded team on the court

    3) You didnt really mention the offense ... but it does seem to have evolved (thank god!) from the brutal pic n pop that we ran the first 10 games with no movement whatsoever. The wing men are now starting by running of screens, we have more handoffs around the 3pt line and I think all of this should play into KL's game. Hopefully he allows this to happen .. it involves giving the ball up to get it back and less one on one play .. hopefully hes up for it.

    All in all - I expect improvements but I do think KL can take notes from how the team (or in some cases JC in particular) have been playing and fold it into his game. If he doesnt, this could end badly, as people are out for blood given the discrepency in record with / without him.

    Is he back tonight?

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    I'm having difficulty getting past where these "myths" come from, as the term is usually used to refer to commonly/widely held perceptions/stories. Some of these "myths" are stuff I've heard/seen from no more than a couple of people, while some seem to have been pulled out of hot air. I guess my point is why make a big deal about stuff only a couple of misguided yahoos have expressed? Sorry if you find this opinion offensive, but sheeeesh, this site takes "much ado about nothing" to a new level sometimes.

    Having grumped that, I eagerly look forward to Lowry's return and pray that he can discover court vision, as opposed to tunnel vision, and the ability to use TEAM ball to an advantage with his skills and drive.

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote mountio wrote: View Post
    Im mostly in agreement here, with a couple of exceptions.
    1) KL is definitely better for the wing players .. he can beat his man off the dribble, thus forcing help and getting open shots for the wing men. Unfortunately, I havent seen evidence of his ability to do this and drive and dish to the big guys. I hope he figures this out .. but for now, I will say Jose is better for getting our 4/5 men (who are offensively challenged for the most part) in good positions to score. Especially AJ, but ED also to some extent.

    2) You didnt really mention this .. but KL needs to step up the D. This is one area where he SHOULD be light years ahead of JC .. but to be frank .. I havent seen it so far. Hopefully that changes with a more athletic / defensive minded team on the court

    3) You didnt really mention the offense ... but it does seem to have evolved (thank god!) from the brutal pic n pop that we ran the first 10 games with no movement whatsoever. The wing men are now starting by running of screens, we have more handoffs around the 3pt line and I think all of this should play into KL's game. Hopefully he allows this to happen .. it involves giving the ball up to get it back and less one on one play .. hopefully hes up for it.

    All in all - I expect improvements but I do think KL can take notes from how the team (or in some cases JC in particular) have been playing and fold it into his game. If he doesnt, this could end badly, as people are out for blood given the discrepency in record with / without him.

    Is he back tonight?
    Probably not clear enough.

    I tried to tie this in to the focus of the team returning to last season form.

    Casey definitely deserves blame for the start of the season and credit for the turnaround. The change in the team is not just about Calderon starting.
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    Raptors Republic Starter The Coach's Avatar
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    Great post Matt. Always impressed with your ability to use reason when so many rely on emotions to argue their point. I do have a couple counters, more for arguments sake than anything else:

    Lowry does not help develop ED/TR/DD
    - It's not about whether or not Lowry helps develop our young guys, time and playing (as you point out) go a long way to do that (not to mention coaching and their own practice regiment)... however, you can't dismiss the fact that a great ball distributor (like a Nash) makes everybody on the floor better. ED, TR and DD will develop with whoever they play with based on other factors, but the point guard can surely speed that rate up. (side note - so does the confidence that comes with winning)
    - As well, Casey has been impressed with Calderon's mentorship of TRoss... which may have nothing to do with how many minutes they play together. Could it be that Calderon's attitude (said he has recently decided to make this his team) has improved since he has been starter? Could it be that Lowry's abrasive attitude and the "keys to the franchise" put Calderon in a place where he wasn't feeling comfortable leading?

    The Raptors are a good team with Jose leading the team.

    Bullsh!t. Let us not forget the much hyped difficult schedule to start the year. Since the tide has turned, Lowry has been out. The Raps have played 4 of their last 6 at home against very sub-par competition minus SA who blew them out. The 2 playoff teams the Raps have played in Lowry's absence have been losses (Spurs & Nets).
    - I beleive the Raps are 7-7 with Calderon starting and 2-13 with Lowry starting. Are you saying that none of the 13 games that Lowry started were winnable games?
    - Other factors have played major roles in their 7 wins with Calderon at the helm (better coaching for one) but you can't dismiss the fact that the team HAS come together under Calderon (for whatever reason)

    Lowry's absence is why the team is winning.

    Bullsh!t. The schedule, as already discussed, is a big reason but there is most likely an even larger one - a 7ft, 250lb reason. Lowry most definitely took a number of ill-advised shots and played some unnecessary hero-ball but lets not forget the black hole of black holes, the ball stopper of ball stoppers, the deep 2 master has also been out. That is no coincidence in my opinion.
    - But it is just coincidence that Lowry has been out?
    - Again I totally disagree with the myth that "Lowry's absence is why the team is winning"... it is most definitely multi-factoral (as you mention later); however, 'Barg's absence is why the team is winning' is also not the whole story. Have the Raps never won with Bargs? (sidenote - #tradebargnani)

    The team is the same now as it was before Lowry went out.

    This is a different team than any Lowry has played with this season. A recommitted defensive approach, a tightened rotation, Bargnani missing, and youth getting opportunities to play.
    We will see soon enough how much these other factors play into the team's success, or if Lowry's approach is not a match with this group of guys.

    Lets hope Lowry adds to the teams improvement and we can start winning against some of the top teams as well... Go Raps!

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Balls of Steel's Avatar
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    Ah, voice of reason...
    “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 hateslosing's Avatar
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    Quote The Coach wrote: View Post
    - It's not about whether or not Lowry helps develop our young guys, time and playing (as you point out) go a long way to do that (not to mention coaching and their own practice regiment)... however, you can't dismiss the fact that a great ball distributor (like a Nash) makes everybody on the floor better. ED, TR and DD will develop with whoever they play with based on other factors, but the point guard can surely speed that rate up. (side note - so does the confidence that comes with winning)
    - As well, Casey has been impressed with Calderon's mentorship of TRoss... which may have nothing to do with how many minutes they play together. Could it be that Calderon's attitude (said he has recently decided to make this his team) has improved since he has been starter? Could it be that Lowry's abrasive attitude and the "keys to the franchise" put Calderon in a place where he wasn't feeling comfortable leading?
    I've never understood the argument that aa great point guard speeds up development. What it does is get your guys easy looks that a lessser point won't get you, which artificially inflates your player's value. It is certainly good to have a guy like that for winning games but I think it actually slows down development because everything get's spoonfed to your guys. I think a scoring point guard gives just as much oppurtunity.

    Calderon can be just as much of a mentor on the bench. Lowry's so called "attitude" has not made itself evident since he arrived here, he seems very competitive and hungry, but that is the sort of player you want your youth around.

    Lowry will be the starter by the end of the season, he is both a better player and a better fit for the team.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    I think what we've seen go on the last 7 or 8 games has little to do with Lowry, and alot to do with Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon.

    A while ago I posted the numbers showing an extremely high correlation between this teams defense over the years and Andrea Bargnani. What it showed was the more minutes Andrea played, the worse this teams defense was and it wasn't a minor difference. I personally think the last series of games has been evidence of that once again. This team is going to consistently be a bad defensive team as long as Andrea is on the floor, and it doesn't matter if its regular Bargnani, 13 game Bargnani, or 21 game Bargnani from this year. The drastic improvement in D we've seen has nothing to do with Lowry being out, but rather Andrea being out.

    Jose on the other hand has gone highly underrated by fans and this organization, and his elite ability to pass (and control) the ball has a great positive effect on the team. He's not flashy, but shows confidence in his teammates by giving them the ball, and helps them out by doing so at the right time and in the right place. While his defense is not winning awards, it has never been the reason for this teams bad D (see the paragraph above). So here again I don't think the 'team ball' this team has played on offense has anything to do with Lowry being out, but rather because Jose was in. Jose is just better at getting his teammates the ball, and this isn't because Lowry is bad at it or doesn't do it. Jose is just quietly spectacular at it.

    When Lowry comes back there is little reason for me to believe what we've seen over the last series of games can't continue (depending ofcourse on what Casey does in terms of minutes and play time). What I want to see though is Lowry having to earn his starting role back by out playing Jose. I don't want to see Lowry just thrown backing into the starting line up after 2 or 3 games, even if he is playing well, as long as Jose and the team are both playing well. Jose deserves what he earned, yet at the same time Lowry should have all rights to earn it aswell. But both the reward and the accountability need to be handed out equally to both players. If this somehow creates a problem for one of the PGs or the other, it will be pretty obvious who to ship out. If Casey runs a 2 PG line up, have Jose play the 'point' and Lowry as the off guard.

    Almost forgot the most important part. Scour the league for a way to trade Bargnani. At this point it doesn't even matter what the return is aslong as its better than waiting until this offseason to amnesty him. Andrea being out has been the real boon for this team, it just happened to coincide with Lowry going down (which made people question Lowry rather than emphasizing the real problem).
    Last edited by Craiger; Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 11:08 AM.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote The Coach wrote: View Post
    you can't dismiss the fact that a great ball distributor (like a Nash) makes everybody on the floor better.
    Yes, Nash makes players better. But Jose is not Nash. When can we stop the comparisons? If Jose was even close to Nash at any point in his career, we wouldn't be where we are today.

    The record since Jose took over is a mixed bag of things. Largely, Bargnani being out has forced the team to play the style that won us over last year. That's not a 100% knock on Barg's, but his presence seemed to counter our ideal culture/style of play. The schedule was a lot easier. Imagine for a second, that Lowry wasn't hurt and was playing at or close to the rate he started the season at (before he got hurt). Is there any reason to believe that a healthy Lowry wouldn't have been able to perform at a level at or higher than Jose during this hot streak?

    My biggest issue with people pegging Lowry as the problem and Jose as the savior is that this is the same Jose we have had for 7+ years. He hasn't been enough to pull us out of less than mediocre in the past, so how is he the answer at this point in his career? It's the same as Bargnani last year. A hot-streak that causes people to lose their grip on reality.

    Trading Jose is a MUST for this team to improve long-term. You can't let assets walk for nothing and build something. Trade him soon while his value is high and we can end the Jose-Kool-Aid every couple of years.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    Yes, Nash makes players better. But Jose is not Nash. When can we stop the comparisons? If Jose was even close to Nash at any point in his career, we wouldn't be where we are today.

    The record since Jose took over is a mixed bag of things. Largely, Bargnani being out has forced the team to play the style that won us over last year. That's not a 100% knock on Barg's, but his presence seemed to counter our ideal culture/style of play. The schedule was a lot easier. Imagine for a second, that Lowry wasn't hurt and was playing at or close to the rate he started the season at (before he got hurt). Is there any reason to believe that a healthy Lowry wouldn't have been able to perform at a level at or higher than Jose during this hot streak?

    My biggest issue with people pegging Lowry as the problem and Jose as the savior is that this is the same Jose we have had for 7+ years. He hasn't been enough to pull us out of less than mediocre in the past, so how is he the answer at this point in his career? It's the same as Bargnani last year. A hot-streak that causes people to lose their grip on reality.

    Trading Jose is a MUST for this team to improve long-term. You can't let assets walk for nothing and build something. Trade him soon while his value is high and we can end the Jose-Kool-Aid every couple of years.
    Just like to point out that The Coach never said Jose was Nash, but rather a great ball distributor like Nash, which he is.

    Jose doesn't need to be as good as Nash at every other aspect of the game to be nearly as good as Nash at distributing the ball

    Nash career assist % - 41.85 4th in the history of the NBA
    Jose career assist % - 39.8 8th in the history of the NBA

    Trading Jose is not at all a MUST to improve this team long term. If he can be traded in a deal that helps the team long term and/or turns down a (reasonable) contract extension then it makes sense. But trading him just because his value is high isn't necessarily the best thing for the team. Even long term.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Rapstor4Life's Avatar
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    Lowry is really animated on the bench has anyone seen Bargnani? what is he doing is he even traveling with the team? you can hear Lowry shouting and in te huddle with the team love that guy hes ready to come back. Make no assumption the team is better with Jose he will be taking back the start soon probably after tonights game or the one after that he just needs to get his groove back.

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