There is a lot here to respond to.
I'm also not saying we are not rebuilding anymore which is the premis of this thread. I am saying that we have added all of the youth we should at one time and it's time to start seeing if there is something there.
The Raptors are a jump shooting team, and I agree that it is due to having no one who can penetrate or consistently make their own shot. The thing is, why is a team that can't penetrate the 11th most efficient team in terms of offense and first over the last 20? I've read people saying that when teams lock down on us we can't get a shot off, and I think that's bull shit. We get away from our game plan, and we have guys jack up stupid shots, and that has nothing to do with the other team. I say it again, this is not a talent problem, it is a problem of guys losing focus down the stretch and playing hero ball in a system that is designed for team play. It's Alan Anderson taking 5 rediculous shots in overtime instead of moving the ball around until something opens up. The problem with us when we play good teams is that they don't lose focus, regardless if they are a superstar team or not, they execute their game plan with consistency. The Pacers don't have a superstar, Paul George, while an all-star, is not that much better than Derozan and is hardly a super elite guy, but they get it done by executing their offense late in games. They are disciplined and well coached, but they are not a star driven team.Here is a news flash: 11 games with a fourth quarter lead and ending up losing (not to mention the games up by 20 and lost) is in fact a sign of a lack of talent. Great talent can find a way to overcome poor execution. Essentially your argument is if the Raptors don't turn over the ball down the stretch, run every set perfectly, and stop the other team from scoring, they will win. Well, yeah, no shit. But the problem is the really good teams (and most often the ones with the stars) lock it down on defense when it matters most and have a player who can create something from nothing. In case you have not noticed, the NBA is a stars league. The stars are promoted and shine when the game matters most. The Raptors have no one who can step up when a play breaks down or the defense becomes suffocating. Teams plan for DD and he disappears - and the Raptors broadcasters act as if this is a good thing! The defense collapses on the lanes and the Raps are forced to take jump shot after jump shot, why? Because no one - outside of Lowry - can create their own shot. The Raptors are 1-17 versus teams over .500 - that speaks volumes!
I'm not excusing anything. This team has enough talent to compete with any team in the league, they have shown that numerous times. They lose games because they aren't disciplined, which is a correctible coaching issue. I think they have a ceiling in the playoffs, and even still have a very small chance of getting in this year if they get hot again.Your post is everything that has gone on in Toronto for 7 years and I have been guilty of in the past as well: one big excuse after another. At some point promises and potential have to become something more than hot air.... and heaven knows there is no shortage of hot air rising from the ACC. Yes there is progress but there is hardly
The bottom line is the Raptors record is what they are. The "11 games leading in the 4th" argument is no different than the start of the year when the refrain was "It is only 11 games in to the season guys!" Their performance in extremely important games against Philly and Milwaukee - after starting the year 4-19 - are indicative of what they are: a lottery team (*with no pick!*) and a first round ceiling at best.
Everything isn't gumdrops and jellybeans, but now is the time for getting good veterens to build around what we have. More picks and prospects will not make this team into a contender: finally getting something through a trade or free agency will. Lowry was a start and a step in the right direction. Now it's time to see what we can make out of this core. Maybe we'll fail and have to start again, but that isn't so different than what your suggesting we do now.I hate to tell you but this kind of silly reactionism is not the cause for the lack of playoff appearances, it is the belief that everything is gumdrops and jelly beans in Raptorland and the team is on the path to success at worst and greatness at best.