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Is Toronto a better team than it was at the end of last season?

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  • #76
    p00ka wrote: View Post
    The quoted statement from from SI is a bit odd to begin with. The writer discounts "evolution" as if it's totally insignificant in discussing a team's improvement. That's just silly, and I can't be bothered to get into the multitude of reasons why it applies to the Raptors. It applies to other teams as well, but the question isn't how much they improved compared to other teams.

    Getting to the basic question of "Are they a better team than at the end of last season?", I think there's little question that they should be, but we won't really know until they actually play the games. Reasons for believing they'll be better, in no particular order:

    - considering the distraction, as well as interference in play, that AB had become, surely the front court should be a lot better. Surely JV's 2nd year, Acy's 2nd year, and Hansbrough & Novak provides an upgrade at what this team needs from the PF position, over AB and infirmed Kleiza.
    - PG.... Augustin and Buycks (whatever he provides) is better than the uselessness of Lucas and Telfair
    - SG.... whatever gauge one uses to predict how much improvement there will be, it's only fair to expect that both DD and Ross will be better.
    - SF... both Gay and Fields are better equipped to contribute, as results from corrective surgery to problems.

    Then there's the coaching. Publicly at least, Casey has been given the key to implement his defense first philosophies, which worked wonders on a much inferior team 2 years ago. They've hired an offensive guru, who also has plenty of experience as a head coach, so understands fitting his schemes into the overall defense first philosophy.

    Continuity. Often overlooked, but when was the last time the Raptors went into a season with the same starting line-up they finished the previous year with? Hell, there really should be no question that they should be better.
    Pooka, this is a compliment but i cant phrase it any other way. you remind me of eminem, when you open your mouth you come out as a douche but what you say exudes intelligence, reason and reality. hahahaha. #nohomo.

    i've always said stability and chemistry is always looked past. past GMs never gave this team a chance to gel and blend together. i think this team can actually surprise some people given they are healthy, with a full training camp and practices.

    significantly better, of course on paper. we wont know until the season starts, how good, or bad they can be. but IMO, we should be optimistic.

    lowry is healthy, contract year, no fear of losing starting position. i think its always harder to maintain your position rather than to strive for another.
    demar constantly improves year after year and so does Amir.
    JV should feel much comfortable being a member of the team, and ready to contribute
    Gay should finally feel that he has "his" team and seems like he's ready to be the leader.

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    • #77
      tkfu wrote: View Post
      I think so, yeah. The thing that made Sheed so good, though, was that he could give you elite defense and shot blocking as well as 3pt range. I can only think of two other bigs in the history of the league that could do that: Sabonis and LeBron. You could maaaaaybe throw KG in there, just because he's definitely capable of hitting threes, but his best season of 3pt makes still only had 37, and most of his career he's been sub-30%.
      +1. Sheed is highly under-appreciated, probably because of his bad boy antics throughout his career. Funny, nobody thinks of Sheed as a 'stretch 4' because he can do what a big man should - guard the post & score in the post proficiently. Bargnani is basically a tall SF with a height advantage and quickness disadvantage at SF, who can also be guarded by SFs.

      In terms of Toronto being better than last season - I think so. Just having a clear pecking order between starters and bench is a huge chemistry plus. Colangelo teams always seemed to have some starter/bench controversies with interchangeable players of similar skills. It puts the coach in awkward situations and produces ever changing rotations that must be frustrating to the players.
      Last edited by golden; Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:45 PM.

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      • #78
        My favourite Sheed moment was getting ejected without saying a single word

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        • #79
          TheGloveinRapsUniform wrote: View Post
          Pooka, this is a compliment but i cant phrase it any other way. you remind me of eminem, when you open your mouth you come out as a douche but what you say exudes intelligence, reason and reality. hahahaha. #nohomo.

          i've always said stability and chemistry is always looked past. past GMs never gave this team a chance to gel and blend together. i think this team can actually surprise some people given they are healthy, with a full training camp and practices.

          significantly better, of course on paper. we wont know until the season starts, how good, or bad they can be. but IMO, we should be optimistic.

          lowry is healthy, contract year, no fear of losing starting position. i think its always harder to maintain your position rather than to strive for another.
          demar constantly improves year after year and so does Amir.
          JV should feel much comfortable being a member of the team, and ready to contribute
          Gay should finally feel that he has "his" team and seems like he's ready to be the leader.
          LOL LOL, not many things leave me speechless (still haven't learned to shut up often enough), but all I can say is thank you???

          signed, The ol' Douche Grump

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          • #80
            Nilanka wrote: View Post
            My favourite Sheed moment was getting ejected without saying a single word

            lol, he wasn't always good for his team, and I'm all about TEAM mentality/play, but I couldn't help loving the guy.

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            • #81
              Based on the first two games, is Toronto a better team than last year?

              I say, overall, no with one small noticeable improvement off the bench: Hansbrough.

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              • #82
                On paper, yes. On the floor so far, the Raptors have shown pinches of growth and improvement - otherwise, looks like the inconsistent defense, and stagnant & inefficient offense we saw last year.

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                • #83
                  p00ka wrote: View Post
                  lol, he wasn't always good for his team, and i'm all about team mentality/play, but i couldn't help loving the guy.
                  ball dont lie! Ball dont lie!

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                  • #84
                    Matt52 wrote: View Post
                    In reading the link from Axel's post on SI.com Point Forward OffSeason Grades: Toronto Raptors, this statement was found within:

                    So what do you think? Is Toronto a better team than it was at the end of last season?
                    They're a better team so I voted yes, but the quote says "recognizably better". And from the outside looking in the Raptors look pretty much identical to last year. Basically anything written in the summer (or even one day before the season starts) has little accuracy. It's like what happens when you drive a new car off the lot, the value instantly drops off a cliff.
                    Two beer away from being two beers away.

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                    • #85
                      The thing I'm looking for to measure improvement is clutch play. Most will remember that last season we were measurably one of the least clutch teams in the entire league. Through three games this year, we've had two major runs in the last half of the fourth quarter in games against Milwaukee (12-3 run from 5:10 left to 0:25 left) and Boston (11-2 run from 7:40 to 2:30). Even against Atlanta, there was a 9-3 run over 4.5 minutes to make the game close down the stretch. I don't believe the team last year had three late fourth quarter runs in a row. That may prove to be a statistical fluke, or it may set up the the fact that this team, unlike the last few years of Raptors teams, actually has the ability to close out games.

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                      • #86
                        octothorp wrote: View Post
                        The thing I'm looking for to measure improvement is clutch play. Most will remember that last season we were measurably one of the least clutch teams in the entire league. Through three games this year, we've had two major runs in the last half of the fourth quarter in games against Milwaukee (12-3 run from 5:10 left to 0:25 left) and Boston (11-2 run from 7:40 to 2:30). Even against Atlanta, there was a 9-3 run over 4.5 minutes to make the game close down the stretch. I don't believe the team last year had three late fourth quarter runs in a row. That may prove to be a statistical fluke, or it may set up the the fact that this team, unlike the last few years of Raptors teams, actually has the ability to close out games.
                        Good observation. With the way we play D we should be in a lot of games to prove your theory right or wrong.
                        @Chr1st1anL

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                        • #87
                          And there's the rub. Was last years winning streak team just winning because the opponents were tanking? They wold have to win this year against teams who still want to win. So far.... so good? You could say Boston is not trying to win but several of the tankers have still pulled out victories so far. The jury is still out.

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                          • #88
                            Way too early too make comparison.
                            Mamba Mentality

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                            • #89
                              No Bargnani YA better team

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