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

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  • stooley
    replied
    S.R. wrote: View Post
    Valid points on both sides, I think.

    The Raps success has been impressive (check). Their winning % since the trade is on par with the Clippers (for the year - 34-17). They've won tough games and played very well against the top teams.

    All that said, the success is very recent and in many ways untested. You need some playoff experience. We'll all look completely differently at this season if:
    a) The Raps fold in the first round like Bosh vs. the Nets and crap out of the playoffs.
    b) The Raps make the 2nd round and play a great 6+ game series against the Pacers (conceivable) or the Heat (much less likely).

    Either scenario could easily happen. This team has impressed me and I think this roster is underrated, but I also recognize we're not nearly as stable as a roster built on LBJ/Durant/Chris Paul, etc.

    Lowry's future and the playoffs are like a two part fulcrum for this entire season, for me. That'll determine where Ujiri's at in his team building quest. They may still be years away, or they may be an awful lot closer than any of us expected at the start of the season.
    The bolded was worded very well, I think. I'm not sure if you meant it this way, but I like the use of the word stable.

    I think having a superstar offers both stability in team building, as well as stability from night to night in the form of a consistent producer.

    I think the superstar really makes team-building a lot easier, since lesser role players can be subbed in and out who can fulfill similar roles.

    I think that a team like the mid-decade pistons are built on a much shakier foundation than ones centered around a single superstar. So many elements have to line up perfectly both as an on court product, and under CBA rules. There are more pieces with significant roles to manage.

    But I do think it's possible for a team like ours to have success, and may be easier than trying to land a superstar in the first place.
    Last edited by stooley; Wed Feb 5, 2014, 06:37 PM.

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  • S.R.
    replied
    Axel wrote: View Post
    How good are we? 4 games over .500 while playing in the worst division (8-2 record against the Atlantic). 3rd in a conference where pre-season play-off favs like Chicago (Rose), Atlanta (Horford), Nets (Lopez+) and Knicks (Chandler) all have had significant injuries.

    I expected us to be around .500 and even predicted a 20-21 record by Jan 22 (http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forum...out&highlight=). With how the Nets, Knicks have turned out, our division is weaker than expected (although the Nets have turned things around); shouldn't we be better than .500?
    JawsGT wrote: View Post
    We are .666 since the Gay trade, .333 before, so, really, this isn't a .500 team at all. And we achieved that through a hard schedule. Realistically, given strength of schedule, we should be able to complete the remaining games at .666 and that would be very impressive. We'll see how we finish, but I'm expecting this team to finish with 45+ wins. 50 would be amazing!
    Valid points on both sides, I think.

    The Raps success has been impressive (check). Their winning % since the trade is on par with the Clippers (for the year - 34-17). They've won tough games and played very well against the top teams.

    All that said, the success is very recent and in many ways untested. You need some playoff experience. We'll all look completely differently at this season if:
    a) The Raps fold in the first round like Bosh vs. the Nets and crap out of the playoffs.
    b) The Raps make the 2nd round and play a great 6+ game series against the Pacers (conceivable) or the Heat (much less likely).

    Either scenario could easily happen. This team has impressed me and I think this roster is underrated, but I also recognize we're not nearly as stable as a roster built on LBJ/Durant/Chris Paul, etc.

    Lowry's future and the playoffs are like a two part fulcrum for this entire season, for me. That'll determine where Ujiri's at in his team building quest. They may still be years away, or they may be an awful lot closer than any of us expected at the start of the season.

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  • JawsGT
    replied
    Axel wrote: View Post
    How good are we? 4 games over .500 while playing in the worst division (8-2 record against the Atlantic). 3rd in a conference where pre-season play-off favs like Chicago (Rose), Atlanta (Horford), Nets (Lopez+) and Knicks (Chandler) all have had significant injuries.

    I expected us to be around .500 and even predicted a 20-21 record by Jan 22 (http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forum...out&highlight=). With how the Nets, Knicks have turned out, our division is weaker than expected (although the Nets have turned things around); shouldn't we be better than .500?
    We are .666 since the Gay trade, .333 before, so, really, this isn't a .500 team at all. And we achieved that through a hard schedule. Realistically, given strength of schedule, we should be able to complete the remaining games at .666 and that would be very impressive. We'll see how we finish, but I'm expecting this team to finish with 45+ wins. 50 would be amazing!

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  • stooley
    replied
    Axel wrote: View Post
    How good are we? 4 games over .500 while playing in the worst division (8-2 record against the Atlantic). 3rd in a conference where pre-season play-off favs like Chicago (Rose), Atlanta (Horford), Nets (Lopez+) and Knicks (Chandler) all have had significant injuries.

    I expected us to be around .500 and even predicted a 20-21 record by Jan 22 (http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forum...out&highlight=). With how the Nets, Knicks have turned out, our division is weaker than expected (although the Nets have turned things around); shouldn't we be better than .500?
    With our team as is, with the Sacramento guys and without Gay, we are 20-10. Now that is still in our division, but we HAVE had a very hard schedule. I think this team is better than its record indicates.

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  • Axel
    replied
    BallaBalla wrote: View Post
    Just to play devils advocate with this point, could you really see them being anywhere close to this good this year? Personally I thought we were TERRIBLE going in. I also never thought in a million years that derozan would ever be an all star.

    The point is that if we keep improving and keep the team together..we really have no basis to think that we need to make a move any more than we think we don't.

    Of course it's more likely that we won't improve, because that's just harder to do, but this team is proving us all wrong and there is a chance we become good enough by growing together as a team
    How good are we? 4 games over .500 while playing in the worst division (8-2 record against the Atlantic). 3rd in a conference where pre-season play-off favs like Chicago (Rose), Atlanta (Horford), Nets (Lopez+) and Knicks (Chandler) all have had significant injuries.

    I expected us to be around .500 and even predicted a 20-21 record by Jan 22 (http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forum...out&highlight=). With how the Nets, Knicks have turned out, our division is weaker than expected (although the Nets have turned things around); shouldn't we be better than .500?

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  • BallaBalla
    replied
    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.
    Just to play devils advocate with this point, could you really see them being anywhere close to this good this year? Personally I thought we were TERRIBLE going in. I also never thought in a million years that derozan would ever be an all star.

    The point is that if we keep improving and keep the team together..we really have no basis to think that we need to make a move any more than we think we don't.

    Of course it's more likely that we won't improve, because that's just harder to do, but this team is proving us all wrong and there is a chance we become good enough by growing together as a team

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  • stooley
    replied
    Axel wrote: View Post
    Sprained "lower body part" is the usual suspect. But when a guy consistently misses games every year for "bumps and bruises", you have to be a bit concerned. For whatever reason, Lowry hasn't been able to stay healthy in his career. This season marks one of his healthiest and whether it is good luck, better shape or voodoo, we don't know. Some people say, oh 10 games here isn't a big deal but if we lose Lowry for 10 games right now, we are likely to go 1-9 or 0-10 in that stretch. 10 games can mean the difference between home court and 7th, 9th or 14th.
    Chris Paul's missed 102 games in one year of play more than Lowry. But he's still a great player to have. Now, I'm not comparing Lowry's talent to Paul, because Lowry will be on a much more affordable contract. Just saying that a player can be great despite missing a couple games here and there.

    2014/01/03 Separated right shoulder, sidelined indefinitely.
    2013/12/01 Missed 1 game (strained right hamstring).
    2013/11/29 Strained right hamstring, day-to-day.
    2013/02/08 Missed 9 games (bruised right knee).
    2013/01/22 Bruised right knee, sidelined indefinitely.
    2013/01/19 Missed 3 games (bruised right knee).
    2013/01/14 Bruised right knee, day-to-day.
    2012/04/29 Missed the last game of the regular season (groin).
    2012/04/25 Groin, day-to-day.
    2012/01/25 Missed 5 games (hamstring).
    2012/01/16 Hamstring, day-to-day.
    2011/12/14 Acquired from the New Orleans Hornets.
    2011/03/12 Missed 2 games (concussion).
    2011/03/07 Concussion, day-to-day.
    2010/04/14 Missed the last 4 regular season games (finger injury).
    2010/04/07 Finger injury, late August.
    2010/03/22 Missed 25 games (left knee injury).
    2010/01/30 Left knee injury, day-to-day.
    2009/12/04 Missed 8 games (sprained left ankle).
    2009/11/14 Sprained left ankle, mid-July.
    2009/02/11 Missed 4 games (groin).
    2009/02/04 Groin, day-to-day.
    2007/11/21 Missed 2 games (sprained right ankle).
    2007/11/17 Sprained right ankle, inactive list.
    2007/04/07 Missed 1 game (foot injury).
    2007/04/06 Foot injury, day-to-day.
    2007/01/31 Missed 17 games (sprained right ankle).
    2006/12/27 Sprained right ankle, sidelined indefinitely.
    2006/02/15 Missed 3 games (ribs injury).
    2006/02/10 Ribs injury, day-to-day.
    2006/01/10 Missed 1 game (thumb injury).
    2006/01/07 Thumb injury, day-to-day.
    2005/07/06 Signed by the New Orleans Hornets to a three-year contract.

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  • drunkmunky
    replied
    Althought Lowry has been playing well, it's clear from his all star snub that coaches around the nba don't think that there is anything different about his time in Toronto.

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  • Axel
    replied
    stooley wrote: View Post
    Interesting. Those mostly seem like minor bumps and bruises.

    Would also like to know more about his issues in Memphis and Houston. I'll do some reading. If noone chimes in then I'll report back haha.

    To me, the injury history doesn't really bother me. I'm curious to figure out what went on with his attitude problems, and if that had something to do with him showing up to training camp out of shape.
    Sprained "lower body part" is the usual suspect. But when a guy consistently misses games every year for "bumps and bruises", you have to be a bit concerned. For whatever reason, Lowry hasn't been able to stay healthy in his career. This season marks one of his healthiest and whether it is good luck, better shape or voodoo, we don't know. Some people say, oh 10 games here isn't a big deal but if we lose Lowry for 10 games right now, we are likely to go 1-9 or 0-10 in that stretch. 10 games can mean the difference between home court and 7th, 9th or 14th.

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  • stooley
    replied
    Seems like his issues in Memphis were mostly about playing time. Lionel Hollins went with Mike Conley despite Lowry's numbers being better:

    http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2012...out-of-houston

    Lowry played well with the Grizzlies – well enough that a lot of people thought he should be the starting point guard over Mike Conley, who struggled in his first seasons before Lionel Hollins became the coach and Conley found his sea legs as an NBA player. Part of what gave Conley confidence was that Hollins assured him that the starting job was his – even in the face of intense criticism, given that Lowry was putting up great numbers.

    Lowry felt like he had earned the starting spot, but Hollins wouldn’t let him have it, and at the 2009 trade deadline, Lowry was dispatched to Houston along with Brian Cook of Orlando for a draft pick.

    A portion of Grizzlies fans, understandably, grumbled about the Lowry trade. The common complaint was that Lionel Hollins picked Conley as "his guy" and was going to play his guy come hell or high water, ignoring the fact that Lowry was a better player. Some Grizzlies fans would still probably rather have Lowry than Conley.
    It also sounds like his issues in Houston were similar. Apparently he had a season of borderline all-star play, then had to sit out some games because of his hernia, during which Goran Dragic performed excellently. The uncertainty surrounding his starting job led him to immaturely call out his coach:

    http://www.thedreamshake.com/2012/5/...loses-his-mind

    At the same time, I think anyone can spot Lowry's motivation. He's mad that he got Wally Pipped. He wants to be a starter and he thinks Kevin McHale didn't play him enough late in the season. That's fine. I'd be pissed too, so long as I could ignore the fact that Goran Dragic single-handedly brought Houston back from the dead. If I could ignore that McHale made the right decision — that he stuck to his most reliable guns in favor of using damaged goods clearly not ready to handle the same responsibility — then perhaps I could see Lowry's point.

    But that's just not possible. McHale made the right call by playing Dragic, and if Lowry thinks that one full season's worth of borderline All-Star-worthy play should guarantee him playing time no matter what, clearly, Lowry is out of his element.
    This wasn't supposed to happen with Lowry. It just wasn't. He's a likeable guy, a team-first player who plays hard every night. But take another look. Take away that team-first mentality. Take away the confidence you once had in him, and replace it with uncertainty. Suddenly, Kyle Lowry isn't worth it. That's all it takes, sometimes. Just one simple spoken sentence to the media:

    "If things aren't addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved."
    "I guess I have to be moved." To me, that sounds like an expectation, as if Lowry thinks that any above-average player who doesn't like his coach is suddenly deserving of a trade. As if it's in his contract, right? Section C, paragraph 2: "If the player does not get along with his coach, he has to be moved." Forget the whole process of trying to work it out. Forget the fact that Lowry is a player and not a general manager. Forget all of that. Let's just subscribe to the current NBA arrogance that is slowly killing the sport. It makes me sick.
    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/79...n-mchale-coach

    From a different link, this a Lowry quote:

    I think I’m still a foundation guy. You can build around me. If I’m not here, that’s welcomed. If I’m here, I guess that’s welcome, too.
    Hopefully now that he's proven he can play at that level. I think the team can give him what he wants, and am optimistic that he returns the favor.

    If anything, he seems really driven to succeed on a personal level. He seems like he was fighting for respect which he knew he deserved. He went about it in an immature fashion and showed that at the time, he wasn't prepared to be a team player. He seems to have thrived in this new situation though, and certainly looks like he's playing within the team dynamic so far.
    Last edited by stooley; Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:28 PM.

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  • JimiCliff
    replied
    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.
    Not sure where you got this from.

    All I can say for sure is, his first preseason here, he was absolutely destroying his competition (on the way to leading Toronto to an undefeated record). And this year, he was playing at the same level during the preseason and the regular season (which lasted until the Gay trade, when things took off for almost everyone on the roster).

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  • stooley
    replied
    salmon wrote: View Post
    I'm curious though: what does this "history of out of shape for training camp" come from?

    It's already been pointed out where to find it, but with a little more detail:

    1st year- BROKEN WRIST 10 games in, missed 72
    2nd year- played full season
    3rd year- played 77, missed 5 games due to RIGHT ANKLE sprain
    4th year- played 68, missed 2 for sprained LEFT KNEE, 12 for sprained LEFT ANKLE
    5th year- played 75, missed 2 1st games of season with BACK SPASMS
    , came back (too soon?), and immediately sat another 2 games for SORE BACK
    , sat for last 3 games of season for SORE LEFT KNEE, when they had nothing to play for
    6th year- (no training camp, insane schedule strike season), played 47,
    , 6 games in, missed 2 games for BRUISED RIGHT FOOT
    , mid March, contracts bacterial sinus infection (no injury) and misses 15 games
    , returns for 9 games, missed last 2 games with HERNIA (or was that a McHale issue?????)
    7th year- played 68 for Rsaps, 4 games in, missed 6 for SPRAINED RIGHT ANKLE
    , returns for 12, missed 7 games for TRICEPS injury
    , 1 month after return, missed 1 game for back spasms

    44 games due to injury, spanning 6.5 seasons, doesn't warrant "injury prone" fears, imo.
    Interesting. Those mostly seem like minor bumps and bruises.

    Would also like to know more about his issues in Memphis and Houston. I'll do some reading. If noone chimes in then I'll report back haha.

    To me, the injury history doesn't really bother me. I'm curious to figure out what went on with his attitude problems, and if that had something to do with him showing up to training camp out of shape.

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  • salmon
    replied
    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.
    That rookie year he busted his wrist 10 games in. Nothing remotely connected to it has occurred since.

    Beyond that, it's not 82 other games missed, but 59:
    - 15 of those weren't due to injury, but a bacterial sinus infection. Something that can be contracted in a hotel room
    - over 6 seasons, that leaves 44 games missed, most in small increments from nothing more than sprains (part of NBA life)
    - only repeat injuries are: 1. right ankle sprain, 5 games & 6 games, 4 years apart. 2. Back spasms, 2 games & 1 game, 2 years apart.

    The "injury prone" tag that some have put on him seems to be a case of making a mountain out of a molehill.

    I'm curious though: what does this "history of out of shape for training camp" come from?

    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.
    It's already been pointed out where to find it, but with a little more detail:

    1st year- BROKEN WRIST 10 games in, missed 72
    2nd year- played full season
    3rd year- played 77, missed 5 games due to RIGHT ANKLE sprain
    4th year- played 68, missed 2 for sprained LEFT KNEE, 12 for sprained LEFT ANKLE
    5th year- played 75, missed 2 1st games of season with BACK SPASMS
    , came back (too soon?), and immediately sat another 2 games for SORE BACK
    , sat for last 3 games of season for SORE LEFT KNEE, when they had nothing to play for
    6th year- (no training camp, insane schedule strike season), played 47,
    , 6 games in, missed 2 games for BRUISED RIGHT FOOT
    , mid March, contracts bacterial sinus infection (no injury) and misses 15 games
    , returns for 9 games, missed last 2 games with HERNIA (or was that a McHale issue?????)
    7th year- played 68 for Rsaps, 4 games in, missed 6 for SPRAINED RIGHT ANKLE
    , returns for 12, missed 7 games for TRICEPS injury
    , 1 month after return, missed 1 game for back spasms

    44 games due to injury, spanning 6.5 seasons, doesn't warrant "injury prone" fears, imo.

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  • planetmars
    replied
    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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  • Axel
    replied
    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.

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