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How good are we? six 30 point scorers in the last 7 games good

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  • #16
    BallaBalla wrote: View Post
    Not a lot of people realize this, but the hawks have had one of the easiest schedules in the league. I think that we've weathered the storm and they're still due for a mini slump when the schedule gets tougher. That's all well need to separate ourselves.

    Also I just need to say that you don't fluke your way to scoring 51 in a game. A lot of guys can score 25+ based on hot shooting, but you need to have a lot of offensive talent to score 50+ in a game. Rare? Definitely. But not a fluke.
    I'm not saying that Ross doesn't have the ability to put up big numbers in the future, but it's more than rare. Again, this is the first time in NBA history that a player averaging less than 10ppg scored 50+. I think it was a pretty safe bet that he'd score 30 points+ at some point in his NBA career, but 51 is a fluke, for pretty much anyone. It will probably the most points Ross scores in a single game for the rest of his career.

    Click this link to see all 30 players to have scored 50+ points in a single game. The vast majority of them have only done so once. LINK

    Just as an example Paul Pierce's single game record for points is 50, which he did exactly once.

    Vince Carter's single game record for scoring is 51, which was also the only time he scored 50+ points.


    There's a lot of great players and great scorers who aren't on the list at all...
    Howard
    Harden
    Paul
    Monta
    Garnett
    Duncan


    Basically if you're name isn't Kobe (23 times!!!) or James (9 times) it's a fluke. Durant and Melo who have been in the running for scoring title only have 4 and 3 respectively, for there careers.
    "They're going to have to rename the whole conference after us: Toronto Raptors 2014-2015 Northern Conference Champions" ~ ezzbee Dec. 2014

    "I guess I got a little carried away there" ~ ezzbee Apr. 2015

    "We only have one rule on this team. What is that rule? E.L.E. That's right's, E.L.E, and what does E.L.E. stand for? EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. Right there up on the wall, because this isn't just a basketball team, this is a lifestyle. ~ Jackie Moon

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    • #17
      The biggest elephant in the room are all the injuries in the East. If Rose didn't go down Chicago would most likely be better than Toronto. If Rondo played all year I'm sure they would have been better than Toronto (although that's arguable, but it would be another Atlantic division rival that could hurt their 4th seed). Horford/Atlanta was already mentioned. Lopez was a big injury to Brooklyn. Toronto has been relatively healthy and that could explain why they are so good this year.

      I really hope this isn't going to end up like 2006 where we took one step forward and one step back the following year, and an even farther step back the year after that.

      We have some young kids that are still developing (mainly Ross/JV) so there is an opportunity to keep this ball rolling.. but without Lowry it is going to be very difficult. Need to keep him and hope he continues to play like he did this year, hope they draft really well with a pretty bad selection in the draft or go guns a blazing in free agency in 2015 and land a stud without giving up any assets.

      Comment


      • #18
        ezz_bee wrote: View Post
        I'm not saying that Ross doesn't have the ability to put up big numbers in the future, but it's more than rare. Again, this is the first time in NBA history that a player averaging less than 10ppg scored 50+. I think it was a pretty safe bet that he'd score 30 points+ at some point in his NBA career, but 51 is a fluke, for pretty much anyone. It will probably the most points Ross scores in a single game for the rest of his career.

        Click this link to see all 30 players to have scored 50+ points in a single game. The vast majority of them have only done so once. LINK

        Just as an example Paul Pierce's single game record for points is 50, which he did exactly once.

        Vince Carter's single game record for scoring is 51, which was also the only time he scored 50+ points.


        There's a lot of great players and great scorers who aren't on the list at all...
        Howard
        Harden
        Paul
        Monta
        Garnett
        Duncan


        Basically if you're name isn't Kobe (23 times!!!) or James (9 times) it's a fluke. Durant and Melo who have been in the running for scoring title only have 4 and 3 respectively, for there careers.
        I remember that streak of like 3 or 4 games where Kobe scored 50+ in each one. Incredible.
        "Bruno?
        Heh, if he is in the D-league still in a few years I will be surprised.
        He's terrible."

        -Superjudge, 7/23

        Hope you're wrong.

        Comment


        • #19
          planetmars wrote: View Post
          The biggest elephant in the room are all the injuries in the East. If Rose didn't go down Chicago would most likely be better than Toronto. If Rondo played all year I'm sure they would have been better than Toronto (although that's arguable, but it would be another Atlantic division rival that could hurt their 4th seed). Horford/Atlanta was already mentioned. Lopez was a big injury to Brooklyn. Toronto has been relatively healthy and that could explain why they are so good this year.

          I really hope this isn't going to end up like 2006 where we took one step forward and one step back the following year, and an even farther step back the year after that.

          We have some young kids that are still developing (mainly Ross/JV) so there is an opportunity to keep this ball rolling.. but without Lowry it is going to be very difficult. Need to keep him and hope he continues to play like he did this year, hope they draft really well with a pretty bad selection in the draft or go guns a blazing in free agency in 2015 and land a stud without giving up any assets.
          Bahahahahaha!

          I'm with you the Bulls, but you're on your own with Boston. The Celtics were trying to tank with Rondo and probably would have traded him if he were healthy and they had a good offer. Brooklyn's roster had the potential to be top 4, but also had big question marks right from the start re: age, health, rookie coach, and integrating so many former ball-dominant alpha dogs into any semblance of a team. They were a gamble from the get-go.

          Toronto's health has helped, but they weathered DD's injury alright. We'll see how they do without Lowry.

          Don't undersell the Raps (I don't like the "a couple other teams should have been better" argument - EVERY season a couple teams underperform - it's a reality, not a fluke - some of these teams eventually trend downward and are disassembled - this argument often assumes every other team is trending upward and likely to pass the Raps given good health or a fresh crack at a new season - simply not true - many teams will not trend upwards and will eventually need to be rebuilt). Toronto has won hard games - tough road games and several solid wins against the top teams in the league. As today's main page write up notes, it's not just that the Raps are winning, it's how they're winning.

          The Chris Bosh teams won enough games in a weak division/conference, but they were always front-running jump shooters. They didn't win tough games consistently. They didn't play the top 4 teams in the league tough on a regular basis. They didn't win in Denver. They didn't have a top 10 defense.

          This Raps team has, I believe, the 3rd best record in the league since the Gay trade. They just tied a franchise record for wins this past month (18 years!), during which the beat the "streaking" Nets (with the EC coach of the month) twice.

          Of course Lowry is the lynch pin for immediate success, and whether he stays or goes will lay out the road map for the future, but Ross, PP, DD, and Jonas have all shown us solid play and development where there were question marks to start the year. This roster has legitimate talent, I'm really starting to think that we as fans are underselling the talent we're watching develop on our own team - ironic that half the time we complain about the lack of recognition from national media, while at the same time writing up comments about how "several other teams should be better than us."
          "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

          Comment


          • #20
            planetmars wrote: View Post
            The biggest elephant in the room are all the injuries in the East. If Rose didn't go down Chicago would most likely be better than Toronto. If Rondo played all year I'm sure they would have been better than Toronto (although that's arguable, but it would be another Atlantic division rival that could hurt their 4th seed). Horford/Atlanta was already mentioned. Lopez was a big injury to Brooklyn. Toronto has been relatively healthy and that could explain why they are so good this year.

            I really hope this isn't going to end up like 2006 where we took one step forward and one step back the following year, and an even farther step back the year after that.

            We have some young kids that are still developing (mainly Ross/JV) so there is an opportunity to keep this ball rolling.. but without Lowry it is going to be very difficult. Need to keep him and hope he continues to play like he did this year, hope they draft really well with a pretty bad selection in the draft or go guns a blazing in free agency in 2015 and land a stud without giving up any assets.
            Milwaukee is another team that has been decimated by injuries. If you look at their roster, they'd be a solid, deep team when fully healthy. They definitely would have been in the thick of the EC playoff race, had injuries not derailed their season.

            Also, don't forget NY. When Chandler and their PGs are healthy, they're a tough team.

            Chicago, Atlanta, Brooklyn, NY, Washington and Milwaukee would be tough competitors, with Boston, Charlotte and Detroit in the mix as well. That's 6 good teams and 3 decent teams, all competing with Toronto for just 6 playoff spots.

            Cleveland is a clusterf*ck that has hugely disappointed. Philly and Orlando are sticking to methodical rebuilds.


            This is precisely why some people are at least somewhat skeptical about the sustainability of the Raptors' success, if Lowry and Patterson/Hansborough are re-signed, since the team would essentially be capped-out. Aside from adding a mid-late 1st round pick and possibly a MLE signing, organic growth would be the only way for this team to improve (barring a trade, of course).

            Comment


            • #21
              CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
              Milwaukee is another team that has been decimated by injuries. If you look at their roster, they'd be a solid, deep team when fully healthy. They definitely would have been in the thick of the EC playoff race, had injuries not derailed their season.

              Also, don't forget NY. When Chandler and their PGs are healthy, they're a tough team.

              Chicago, Atlanta, Brooklyn, NY, Washington and Milwaukee would be tough competitors, with Boston, Charlotte and Detroit in the mix as well. That's 6 good teams and 3 decent teams, all competing with Toronto for just 6 playoff spots.

              Cleveland is a clusterf*ck that has hugely disappointed. Philly and Orlando are sticking to methodical rebuilds.


              This is precisely why some people are at least somewhat skeptical about the sustainability of the Raptors' success, if Lowry and Patterson/Hansborough are re-signed, since the team would essentially be capped-out. Aside from adding a mid-late 1st round pick and possibly a MLE signing, organic growth would be the only way for this team to improve (barring a trade, of course).
              Chicago could be good, but they also just traded away Deng, and I don't think Rose will ever return to his all-NBA status.
              Atlanta is scary, they've been solid without Horford and we're almost tied, but we also started the season off with a different team and went 6-12.
              Brooklyn isn't getting any better next year.
              NYK likely aren't getting much better next year (except for health, but they're still a team filled with holes).
              Washington has potential, but their management has proven to be sub-par. They have Wall and Beal, which is nice, but their frontcourt is ugly and they're overpaying on a lot of contracts. I don't think they're in as good a situation as Toronto, unless Wall goes all-NBA on us.
              Milwaukee has been easily the worst team in the league, injuries or not, they won't be knocking on the door for a couple years, when Po and their 2014 draft pick mature.

              Boston will continue to tank, they happened to play great ball to start the season, but Rondo hasn't helped much since he came back and the team is just too weak. Rondo has yet to prove he can be a superstar when he's not surrounded by HOFers.
              Charlotte is in a similar position to us, but with less talent and one of the worst management teams in the league.
              Detroit is paying 14 mill to the worst shooter in the league for the next few years.

              Among these teams, the ones that have legitimate shots to overtake the raptors next year are Atlanta, Chicago and Washington. NY has an outside shot as well.
              Of those four teams, there's not one that I would trade positions with right now. They have too many question marks.

              On your final paragraph, the Raptors are capped out this summer, but Fields and Hayes come off the books next year and Novak becomes an expiring and an attractive trade chip.
              Last edited by stooley; Tue Feb 4, 2014, 11:52 AM.
              "Bruno?
              Heh, if he is in the D-league still in a few years I will be surprised.
              He's terrible."

              -Superjudge, 7/23

              Hope you're wrong.

              Comment


              • #22
                stooley wrote: View Post
                Chicago could be good, but they also just traded away Deng, and I don't think Rose will ever return to his all-NBA status.
                Atlanta is scary, they've been solid without Horford and we're almost tied, but we also started the season off with a different team and went 6-12.
                Brooklyn isn't getting any better next year.
                NYK likely aren't getting much better next year (except for health, but they're still a team filled with holes).
                Washington has potential, but their management has proven to be sub-par. They have Wall and Beal, which is nice, but their frontcourt is ugly and they're overpaying on a lot of contracts. I don't think they're in as good a situation as Toronto, unless Wall goes all-NBA on us.
                Milwaukee has been easily the worst team in the league, injuries or not, they won't be knocking on the door for a couple years, when Po and their 2014 draft pick mature.

                Boston will continue to tank, they happened to play great ball to start the season, but Rondo hasn't helped much since he came back and the team is just too weak. Rondo has yet to prove he can be a superstar when he's not surrounded by HOFers.
                Charlotte is in a similar position to us, but with less talent and one of the worst management teams in the league.
                Detroit is paying 14 mill to the worst shooter in the league for the next few years.

                Among these teams, the ones that have legitimate shots to overtake the raptors next year are Atlanta, Chicago and Washington. NY has an outside shot as well.
                Of those four teams, there's not one that I would trade positions with right now. They have too many question marks.

                On your final paragraph, the Raptors are capped out this summer, but Fields and Hayes come off the books next year and Novak becomes an expiring and an attractive trade chip.
                Yeah, but the goal is to compete with the likes of the Heat, Pacers, Thunder and Spurs; not be better than the Bobcats, Bucks and Pistons. Don't see how this team improves to that level without any cap space or major deals.
                Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Axel wrote: View Post
                  Yeah, but the goal is to compete with the likes of the Heat, Pacers, Thunder and Spurs; not be better than the Bobcats, Bucks and Pistons. Don't see how this team improves to that level without any cap space or major deals.
                  Of course, but this is a whole separate debate.

                  As has been gone over repeatedly, no one path can guarantee success. There are a few options for us right now: to tank, to hold this core and make a push, or to sacrifice future assets to add a piece or two to what we already have.
                  Each of these strategies has a certain timeline and certain odds of success.

                  I believe that our current core has the potential to develop into a team that can beat the Pacers and Heat.
                  JV, Ross, DD and Lowry have very high ceilings.
                  It is an outside shot that they do become this good, but we already have these players. Their development sits solely on their shoulders and our coaches'.

                  So the question becomes, what are the odds that any series of moves can improve the ceiling of this team?
                  Then, does that incremental gain in potential justify giving up on the development of the players that we currently have?

                  Worst case, with this team: we find out these guys don't have it in them, we swing and miss on a few FA signings and we're forced to break everything down again. If this happens, we'll hopefully have some decent assets to facilitate our rebuild, and we'll have been set back several years.
                  BUT at least we'll have given these guys a shot.

                  There comes a time when you have to see if what you have can become what we all want. This core has too much potential to give up on.

                  Edit: The bold is a major premise to my argument and is subject to debate and opinion. What we should do really hinges on experts' (RR posters) opinion on that topic, and whether or not it's worth further evaluating how far these guys will likely come.
                  Last edited by stooley; Tue Feb 4, 2014, 12:15 PM.
                  "Bruno?
                  Heh, if he is in the D-league still in a few years I will be surprised.
                  He's terrible."

                  -Superjudge, 7/23

                  Hope you're wrong.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    stooley wrote: View Post
                    Of course, but this is a whole separate debate.

                    As has been gone over repeatedly, no one path can guarantee success. There are a few options for us right now: to tank, to hold this core and make a push, or to sacrifice future assets to add a piece or two to what we already have.
                    Each of these strategies has a certain timeline and certain odds of success.

                    I believe that our current core has the potential to develop into a team that can beat the Pacers and Heat.
                    JV, Ross, DD and Lowry have very high ceilings.
                    It is an outside shot that they do become this good, but we already have these players. Their development sits solely on their shoulders and our coaches'.

                    So the question becomes, what are the odds that any series of moves can improve the ceiling of this team?
                    Then, does that incremental gain in potential justify giving up on the development of the players that we currently have?

                    Worst case, with this team: we find out these guys don't have it in them, we swing and miss on a few FA signings and we're forced to break everything down again. If this happens, we'll hopefully have some decent assets to facilitate our rebuild, and we'll have been set back several years.
                    BUT at least we'll have given these guys a shot.

                    There comes a time when you have to see if what you have can become what we all want. This core has too much potential to give up on.

                    Edit: The bold is a major premise to my argument and is subject to debate and opinion. What we should do really hinges on experts' (RR posters) opinion on that topic, and whether or not it's worth further evaluating how far these guys will likely come.
                    I think it's all the same debate, how good is this team. We need to stop measuring ourselves against lottery teams if we ever want to be contenders.

                    I don't see Lowry being better than he is right now and whether he can sustain his level of play is highly susceptible (8th year in the league with injury history).

                    JV and Ross should improve, how much is another debate.

                    DD has long been debated, but he has impressed. How much more will he improve? Who knows, but I wouldn't expect another jump like this year.
                    Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                    If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Axel wrote: View Post
                      I think it's all the same debate, how good is this team. We need to stop measuring ourselves against lottery teams if we ever want to be contenders.

                      I don't see Lowry being better than he is right now and whether he can sustain his level of play is highly susceptible (8th year in the league with injury history).

                      JV and Ross should improve, how much is another debate.

                      DD has long been debated, but he has impressed. How much more will he improve? Who knows, but I wouldn't expect another jump like this year.
                      If Lowry continues playing like he is, then this team has a shot. I think there is just as much indication that he will keep this up as there is for the other side. He's thriving under more responsibility, has a coach that he respects (at least for now), is just entering his prime, has logged way fewer minutes than the majority of players his age, and does not have any chronic injury problems.
                      - when I'm drafting fantasy baseball players, a major red flag is chronic injuries. If a player constantly has hamstring troubles, then he's definitely a risk. If a player has a medley of different, seemingly random injuries, I assume this could be the result of bad luck and am willing to overbid on his perceived value.

                      Demar hasn't really taken a drastic leap this year. He's improved his court awareness and his defense. Since he came into the league as such a project, I do believe he'll continue developing past when most players stop. He's just now reaching the reps that some guys touch as seniors in college. I can easily see improved handles and slightly better defense next year, which would make a world of difference for him.

                      JV - we all know he's got potential.

                      Ross will likely become an ideal complementary piece, but he's shown flashes of being able to create for himself.

                      I'm willing to bet that Lowry continues his play and that one of our three other guys either takes the step to the next level, or several of them learn to complement each other well enough that we don't need the coveted superstar.

                      Also, Lowry is actually top 5 in the league in WARP right now, he can almost qualify as our superstar lite. While he's no LBJ, I like the rest of our pieces a LOT more than what the heat have.
                      Last edited by stooley; Tue Feb 4, 2014, 12:33 PM.
                      "Bruno?
                      Heh, if he is in the D-league still in a few years I will be surprised.
                      He's terrible."

                      -Superjudge, 7/23

                      Hope you're wrong.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        stooley wrote: View Post
                        If Lowry continues playing like he is, then this team has a shot. I think there is just as much indication that he will keep this up as there is for the other side. He's thriving under more responsibility, has a coach that he respects (at least for now), is just entering his prime, has logged way fewer minutes than the majority of players his age, and does not have any chronic injury problems.
                        The bold is where you completely lose me. History has shown that Lowry is often out of shape for training camp. History has shown that his combination of size/style/circumstance has led to various injuries that have forced him out of 82 games over his career (not even counting his first season of 10 games). That is 1/6th of his career missed. History also shows that contract year's often bring out the best in a player. What indication is there that Lowry will keep it up? Seems to be to just be hope at this point. I hope he does but I have him as a huge red flag moving forward.
                        Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                        If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I've always thought the path to any raptors success was going to be closer to the early 2000s Pistons. Our team needs to be greater than the sum of its parts...and right now it is
                          For still frame photograph of me reading the DeRozan thread please refer to my avatar

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                          • #28
                            Axel wrote: View Post
                            The bold is where you completely lose me. History has shown that Lowry is often out of shape for training camp. History has shown that his combination of size/style/circumstance has led to various injuries that have forced him out of 82 games over his career (not even counting his first season of 10 games). That is 1/6th of his career missed. History also shows that contract year's often bring out the best in a player. What indication is there that Lowry will keep it up? Seems to be to just be hope at this point. I hope he does but I have him as a huge red flag moving forward.
                            There's definitely reasonable concern that he regresses back to the Lowry of old.

                            BUT, I've heard a lot of his attitude issues were caused by a lack of playing time, that seemed to be what got him in trouble anyways. That problem's been resolved in Toronto.

                            I can't figure out how to see an easy recap of his injury history. Do you know specifically what they were? Like I said before, I think there's a difference between recurring injuries and random ones caused by recklessness.

                            Attitude and injuries are the two main concerns, and I see reason to believe that his better play may just be a result of those two situations being resolved.
                            "Bruno?
                            Heh, if he is in the D-league still in a few years I will be surprised.
                            He's terrible."

                            -Superjudge, 7/23

                            Hope you're wrong.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              stooley wrote: View Post
                              There's definitely reasonable concern that he regresses back to the Lowry of old.

                              BUT, I've heard a lot of his attitude issues were caused by a lack of playing time, that seemed to be what got him in trouble anyways. That problem's been resolved in Toronto.

                              I can't figure out how to see an easy recap of his injury history. Do you know specifically what they were? Like I said before, I think there's a difference between recurring injuries and random ones caused by recklessness.

                              Attitude and injuries are the two main concerns, and I see reason to believe that his better play may just be a result of those two situations being resolved.
                              Amazingly, TSN is quite good at recapping injury history. It's probably the only NBA coverage they do well.

                              In his career, Kyle's injury list reads (from oldest to most recent)
                              Broken left wrist
                              Sprained right ankle
                              Sprained left knee
                              Sprained left ankle
                              Back spasms
                              Sore back
                              sore left knee
                              Bruised right foot
                              Sinus infection
                              Hernia
                              Sprained right ankle
                              Triceps injury
                              Back spasms
                              sore knee (now)

                              As for his minutes, KL was the starter in Houston averaging 34 and 32 MPG in 2 seasons and fought with Rick Adelman and Kevin McHale to the point where they traded him to us. Those were his best seasons in terms of minutes and probably his biggest coaching issue was with McHale.
                              Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                              If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                S.R. wrote: View Post
                                Bahahahahaha!

                                I'm with you the Bulls, but you're on your own with Boston. The Celtics were trying to tank with Rondo and probably would have traded him if he were healthy and they had a good offer. Brooklyn's roster had the potential to be top 4, but also had big question marks right from the start re: age, health, rookie coach, and integrating so many former ball-dominant alpha dogs into any semblance of a team. They were a gamble from the get-go.

                                Toronto's health has helped, but they weathered DD's injury alright. We'll see how they do without Lowry.

                                Don't undersell the Raps (I don't like the "a couple other teams should have been better" argument - EVERY season a couple teams underperform - it's a reality, not a fluke - some of these teams eventually trend downward and are disassembled - this argument often assumes every other team is trending upward and likely to pass the Raps given good health or a fresh crack at a new season - simply not true - many teams will not trend upwards and will eventually need to be rebuilt). Toronto has won hard games - tough road games and several solid wins against the top teams in the league. As today's main page write up notes, it's not just that the Raps are winning, it's how they're winning.

                                The Chris Bosh teams won enough games in a weak division/conference, but they were always front-running jump shooters. They didn't win tough games consistently. They didn't play the top 4 teams in the league tough on a regular basis. They didn't win in Denver. They didn't have a top 10 defense.

                                This Raps team has, I believe, the 3rd best record in the league since the Gay trade. They just tied a franchise record for wins this past month (18 years!), during which the beat the "streaking" Nets (with the EC coach of the month) twice.

                                Of course Lowry is the lynch pin for immediate success, and whether he stays or goes will lay out the road map for the future, but Ross, PP, DD, and Jonas have all shown us solid play and development where there were question marks to start the year. This roster has legitimate talent, I'm really starting to think that we as fans are underselling the talent we're watching develop on our own team - ironic that half the time we complain about the lack of recognition from national media, while at the same time writing up comments about how "several other teams should be better than us."
                                It is hard to look at the Raptors with a glass half full mindset. I have been burned many times following this team, and the last thing I would want is history to repeat itself. You make some valid points here, but for the sake of my own sanity I have to keep one eye open as I follow this team this season or for a few seasons for that matter.

                                They have been playing really well.. the Portland loss was probably the best loss I've seen in a long time. When they lose, they never get blown out.. they have grit, tenacity, team-play, hustle.. everything you could ask for and more. But I can't just believe that this will be sustained or would have been as good if other things happened.

                                Looking at the teams I mentioned:

                                Yes Boston could have still sucked, but an elite level PG could have netted wins earlier in the season, thus changing Boston's tank mantra. Look at Phoenix as an example? They surprised (and continue to surprise) everyone. Their bench boss is also a rookie coach. And that same club (Phoenix) had an elite-level PG two years ago that almost netted them a playoff opportunity in West.. why couldn't Rondo do that in an even easier conference out East? Plus they are in the Atlantic.. so if they netted a few wins early while Toronto maintained their losing ways (with Gay) who's to say that they wouldn't be leading the Atlantic pack right now, while Toronto was hovering around 7th/8th seed?

                                Chicago did trade Deng but only after Rose went down. If Rose was healthy and got his all-star level play back, why couldn't they become dominant like they once were?

                                Atlanta is on par with Toronto without their best player.

                                Brooklyn is old but they have many vets.. and vets know how to win. Lopez is a dominant center in the East, and him going down really hurts them. They may not be able to sustain their level of play with KG/PP on their roster, but they have an owner that loves to spend money and play in a city that attracts the top tier free agents in the league.

                                With regards to Toronto's injuries.. DD was injured for what two games? A Lowry for half a game (against one of the worst teams in the league)? That's not even close to what other teams are going through. If Lowry misses 15-20 games they are in serious trouble. Would the team be resilient without their floor leader if they loss that many? Hopefully we don't find ou,t but if we did I would wager that they would be in serious trouble.

                                This team has legitimate talent.. and potential.. but so do other teams. I try not to look at organic growth in a vacuum, because you need to apply that to other teams

                                I hope to become optimistic one day.. I really do think this team needs to at least make it to the 2nd round and have a great start to next year before I turn the corner. I just hate being burnt and so will remain skeptical until something good really happens (and looks to be sustained) before I do.

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