Also, keep in mind this stretch of games has been missing Bargnani yet they have been in the games (ATL, CHI, IND) depite averaging like 15-20 turnovers per game.
Given how poorly they have played as a team at times and individually, things are still optimistic.
The great thing about defense is it gives you a chance to win. In the past if the Raptors weren't clicking on offense, they had no chance to win. That appears to be changing. The offense is now struggling but I think that will change in times. Casey's sets have resulted in good scoring opportunities, guys just haven't been making the shots (DeMar and Butler get the majority of the blame here as well as Leandro for a stretch).
It doesn't look like the added weight has helped much either. He doesn't look to establish deep post position often, and he still gets pushed around easily on the glass.
I know there's still plenty of time for Davis to get up to speed, but I haven't been impressed with what I've seen with him this year, especially when compared to last year.
I don't comment on the articles anymore, its just a bunch of idiots trying to rile you up by talking a lot of smack, heck I barely read the forum, anyways what im trying to say is just relax, maybe take up a new hobby, play some actual basketball, join boxing etc..................watch the games and read articles just don't get into it with idiots its not worth it, next season is going to look a lot brighter anyways.............
I may have the least expectations out of this season than anyone here, so I'm not the least bit disappointed. I did not expect us to win our 4th game until February, so there's that.
Everyone except for Bargnani and Jose are playing exactly the way I expected. I see DeRozan as a below average starting caliber SG in the NBA and most likely at best a 6-7th man on a good team -- like a Shannon Brown type. I think Jerryd Bayless is a young Mike James, but I guess we'll have to wait for him to be healthy before he can prove it. Amir is displaying the kind of hustle that I expected while continuing to prove he has no future with the team other than a player coming off the bench who's making $6M per year. Ed Davis is about on par or maybe slightly behind schedule with where I think he should be, and that's probably more to due with Bargnani's great play.
Onto the positive, Bargnani before getting hurt was playing well above my expectation. I expected him to falter in a similar fashion to what we're seeing with DeRozan -- unable to bend to Casey's will. Instead he's been playing great. Consistently attacking the basket, putting in the level of effort required, etc. Similarly did not expect Jose to come out the way he has -- I'm going to try to enjoy it for as long as it lasts. His defense has been vastly improved by simply being healthy; he's not as exploitable as he's been over the past couple years.
All in all we're about 3-4 years from being a consistent playoff team.
I love how Jose is playing right now but lets not kid ourselves he has a lot of miles on his body with a decade of year round play with PRO and NATIONAL team. So I would not count him as a piece moving forward. He still can't defend at the point of attack.
DeRozens problems are between his ears. I think he will get it eventually. He has a jumper now and is learning when to shoot and when to drive - he ain't vince carter so while he is maturing it is not as fast as people would like and his cieling is not lilkely as high.
Amir is legit - Bargs actually appears to be one now too. That gives you 2.5 pieces. You need 8-10 to be a real team in the NBA. The rest are question marks or scrubs.
"I may be wrong ... but I doubt it"
'I realize watching this team lose 7 of their last 8 games is excruciatingly frustrating, but this team is playing EXACTLY how we expected them to prior to the start of the season. We shouldn't let the early season "success" trick us into thinking we're better than we are. Everything is unfolding according to plan.
Management warned us that this will be a bad year in terms of wins. When Magloire, Butler, Forbes, Gray and Carter are considered "key" acquisitions, that tells you all you need to know about how bad this team is...and it's by design.
Bare with the ugly basketball for now, let the coaches figure out which players are worth keeping (using a full 66 games), and watch Colangelo transform this team into something we can [finally] be proud of this summer. During his last attempt, Colangelo turned a 27-win team into a 47-win team. Only this time he's armed with two top-10 draft picks, and potentially more cap space (depending on the fate of Calderon). Things will turned around....it's all but guaranteed. And no, this opinion isn't a result of drinking kool-aid.'
Last edited by yertu damkule; Tue Jan 17th, 2012 at 11:47 AM.
TRUE LOVE - Sometimes you know it the instant you see it across the bar.
What I am saying is that we should give up on expecting him to be a game changer. Nothing wrong with being a role player. Just look at Amir. He know's his role and is flourishing. He's not trying to take over games and put the team on his back because he know's he can't. He excels at what he's good at.
I don't think the disappointment stems from losing, rather from the realization that this team is light years away from being any good.
I believe the future is bright. Excluding the Bosh trade (which essentially helped land Bayless, JJ and cap space), we had a bad record in what many considered a poor draft year. However we may have picked the best player in that draft who plays a position that is difficult to acquire. This year is considered to have a very good draft and we are on the road to picking a potentially great player to play along JV. These two players could essentially turn the team around.
Derozan was picked 9th and Davis 13th. To be disappointed in these picks is being a bit harsh I think. I believe both picks were solid.. Derozan you could argue could have been skipped for someone like Jennings, Lawson or Teague, but at the time Derozan looked like a great pick (and I believe he still has it in him to be a great player). Davis at 13th was a no brainer. I'd have no problem resigning Derozan to a cheaper contract. Maybe somewhere around $5-$6M a year. That can be a very affordable contract to someone who turns into an all-star caliber player. Derozan by the way is still only 22 years old and has a lot of room to grow.
The ultimate goal in my opinion for this year is to change the culture from a very bad defensive team (ie, a joke to the rest of the league) to something a little more respectable. And by hiring Casey I think that has happened. The only personal changes was to help facilitate that culture change and they are all short 1 year deals.
Next year we build on the culture change with JV + the rook(s), and some other talent that we can acquire with trades or through free agency.
We are still going to probably suck next year, but its going to be a different kind of suckage. I can see us being more like Minnesota is this year. Not quite a playoff team but on the verge of becoming one.
the problem with Demar is he already thinks he's All-Star status.....hes had everything handed to him thus far.. he needs a Kobe like mentality, some skills at creating his own shot & he has to be more consistant with his shooting.. in this his third year in the league & third year starting i would have thought hed be further along by now... he's too RAW...everyday he looks more like a joey graham than anyone else... he may have that light turn on & start tearing it up... but i doubt it... he wont be here past his current deal im sure of it
DeMar will definitely step it up. Once he starts understanding the system and gets more comfortable he'll play better and hopefully average above 20PPG. You never know what the future holds
But this topic was started based on the first 14 games, where the kids haven't looked very good at all. I know there's plenty of time left for them to step up, but if they continue to falter, then them team doesn't look quite as good moving forward as it did 2 months ago.
I personally am ok with the losses, but I wanted to see signs that demar and Ed were soild starters with a chance of a all star between them. JJ shows signs v as a, decent SF backup, Aj has shown his value, barbosa is playing well and despite.what many think i do believe he would get us a soild late first round pick.
Personally, I think DD and ED are better than they are showing and within a few weeks this will be like a bad dream (or I hope!).
The Raptors could also be in discussions with teams this summer regarding very talented and highly paid players. Toronto will have cap space to take back unequal salary, young talent (again, I think DD and ED are better than playing and in a few weeks will have shown it), a rotational player or two on reasonable salary, and future draft picks.
*warning: speaking out of my ass is forthcoming*
Look at a guy like Rudy Gay, for example. He, Gasol, and Randolph are on max contracts yet it appears they are unable to co-exist. Randolph goes down and now MEM is starting to put some wins together (as well as some close loses against top teams - forget the blowout Chicago game). So lets assume Memphis front office can't justify luxury tax for a team with 1 too many alpha dog (Randolph/Gay) and questionable to even make the playoffs. I think Gay would be the easier player to move. Imagine Rudy Gay as the Raptors starting SF (btw, he started slow but he is playing amazing the last 5 games). I think the Raptors are a .500 team and in the playoffs (but that is just my opinion). Yes, Gay is overpaid but that might only make the cost of trading for him a little more reasonable.
Demar just doens't have that killer instinct.
Looking at the game on the offensive end, he just isn't aggressive. He doesn't cut & find ways to the basket, he's a stagnant player out there, just begging for the ball to come to him. Barbosa has been more successful recently because, well....He's been aggressive.
Demar can be a very good player in this league. Star? No, an all-star? Possibly. He can be a gym rat all he wants, but the time that shows is when he develops that mental toughness, and becomes that type of player that continues to attack attack attack, whether you get the foul or not. He's been looking for calls after drives, and he's just gotta play through contact.
You pretty much said what i would have, though in a more amusing way. The only thing I would add is that the other thing that makes this such an unusual season and should be considered when addressing the progress, is that these young players were completely on there own for the whole very extended off season. A normal off season would likely have had DD,ED,Bayless,JJ playing summer league (not odd charity showboating crap) and the coaching staff would have been able to guide them and work with them on skill development, etc. None of that was possible, so what we're seeing out of the young guys so far is trying to accomplish what would have been done through the summer, and a proper training camp and preseason. And trying to accomplish that while dealing with an incredibly cramped schedule with precious little practice time.
Nilanka, you made a great post about patience over in the blogs. Stay the course buddy, just as we hope management and coaching staff does the same and doesn't panic.
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