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Who is the Raptors playoff X-factor?

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  • Who is the Raptors playoff X-factor?

    With a single game left in the season and homecourt locked up for the first round, who on the Raptors team do you see being the X-Factor for playoff success?

    Lol, I'm not really sure what an X-Factor* is, but I tend to think of it as a player that will exceed expectations (eg. regular season averages) and which that elevated gameplay is necessary for the team to succeed in the NBA's second season.

    I think Lowry is going to be a beast in the playoffs. I think he is going to elevate his game. I wouldn't be surprised if he averages like 23ppg, 6rbd, 10ass, 2stl, and gets mutliple triple doubles during the playoffs. I also wouldn't be surprised if Demar performs better relative to his regular season averages (I have faith in DD).

    Nonetheless, my pick is Jonas. I think his performance will have a huge impact on how far this team will go in the playoffs, moreso than his play during the regular season. It appears to me that Jonas has improved dramatically over the past month or more. He is seeing more time on the floor, is playing better defense, is rebounding better, setting better screens and getting more opportunity to be involved offensively. It's almost as if Casey needed to see Jonas perform better, and more consistently, with regards to the fundamentals (that cheat sheet stuff) before unleashing him on the offensive end. Maybe it's just me, but it seems Jonas is getting more responsibility offensively lately. I'm sure all NBA teams are aware of what this kid can do, but it's almost as if over the past month or so, that the Raps were like "oh yeah, and we have Jonas too, our secret weapon that we really didn't want you to know about earlier this season." Haha...if only. But I really think Jonas has an opportunity to show what he can do, and really catch our opponents off guard if he excels relative to the regular season. It would also take pressure off of Lowry and Derozan, and another go to guy on this team will make it that more dangerous.

    So, Jonas is my playoff X-factor, who's yours?

    * use what ever definition you like to justify your choice, I admit the definition I provided is not very good
    39
    Demar Derozan
    0.00%
    0
    Kyle Lowry
    7.69%
    3
    Terrance Ross
    38.46%
    15
    Amir Johnson
    7.69%
    3
    Jonas Valanciunas
    25.64%
    10
    Greivis Vasquez
    7.69%
    3
    Patrick Patterson
    12.82%
    5
    Tyler Hansborough
    0.00%
    0
    John Salmons
    0.00%
    0
    Other: Hayes, Fields, De Colo, Stone or Buycks
    0.00%
    0

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by JawsGT; Wed Apr 16, 2014, 01:40 PM.

  • #2
    I voted for Vasquez.

    I don't think a starter can be the 'X-Factor', since they're already the team's primary players.

    I see Vasquez as the key to the 2nd unit, who could also see crunch-time minutes alongside the starters. He's the '13-14 version of Calderon in '06-07, whose quarterbacking and scoring could be a significant difference maker for the second unit, giving the team a big advantage.

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    • #3
      I have to give it to KL.

      He's the leader, and keeping it simple, if he isn't leading them, they aren't following.

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      • #4
        Since nothing in the OP specifically state 'players', I'm going to say that Casey is our potential X-factor. He was brought in, in part because of the exceptional job Dallas had done making defensive adjustments over the course of a series. So he finally gets to show whether is really is a good playoff strategist. Can he outcoach Kidd or Wittman and make better adjustments than them? There's a good chance that his job depends at least somewhat on out-dueling his first-round opponent. Washington vs. Toronto would actually make a fascinating high-screen and pick-and-roll chess match.

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        • #5
          I'm going to go with Ross, and not because he's my fav player.

          I just think out of anyone, he could potentially disappear in the playoffs, especially if things go bad for him early on. Casey could have a short leash and not put up with his mistakes, and then he could lose confidence. If he comes out playing well from the get go then that will give him great confidence and benefit the team immensely.

          Vasquez is a solid choice too, we need his form to continue.

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          • #6
            octothorp wrote: View Post
            Since nothing in the OP specifically state 'players', I'm going to say that Casey is our potential X-factor. He was brought in, in part because of the exceptional job Dallas had done making defensive adjustments over the course of a series. So he finally gets to show whether is really is a good playoff strategist. Can he outcoach Kidd or Wittman and make better adjustments than them? There's a good chance that his job depends at least somewhat on out-dueling his first-round opponent. Washington vs. Toronto would actually make a fascinating high-screen and pick-and-roll chess match.
            My definition did say 'player', but I recognize the limitations of my definition and left it open for readers to decide for themselves, which you did. Casey is just as good a choice as any of course, and I wish I had included him (or the coaching staff in general) in the poll. You make good points.

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            • #7
              I can't help but think Ross.

              Teams are going to focus on JV pretty hard. He's our only real threat inside, and he's young. They will want to try and junk up his game, and it's probably going to work at times. If he's having a good game, it'll arguably be the biggest difference maker for that night, but it'll be hard for him to keep a contributing consistently I think.

              KL and DeMar will get lots of attention too (the most), as will Vasquez when he's in the game...simply because the ball will be in their hands a lot, and they will be responsible for making sure we're functioning as a team with at least some effectiveness.

              But Ross?

              I can see a lot of opportunities for him as the forgotten man as teams try to shut down other guys (Lowry, DD, Vasquez, JV). He can be open on the 3 pt line, and he has the tools to get some other things done too. Not to mention we'll need him to hone in on D big time. Ross playing well can make the biggest difference because if teams have to start altering what they do because he's playing well, it will help keep things open for the other guys and keep the team from trying to make crazy adjustments to make things work. His shooting will be critical, as he's still our best shooter, and also his D as he's our best defender. I just think that because in playoffs, teams really try to stop your main guys, his contributions are so key.

              *EDIT: I can't help but think of how the 4th-5th options on the floor are often x-factors, like Danny Green for the Spurs last year. They could easily end up getting some more shots in the playoff setting because of opponents forcing the ball out of the main guys' hands, and if they make the most of their opportunities it makes it really hard to gameplan for opponents. And Ross has way better tools than Danny Green. To me, that's the core of being an "X-factor" -> the other team will not count on you being a big factor, and if you are, it totally screws how they planned to play you and they have to make way more adjustments on the fly than they hoped.

              Note: I think Amir is a big difference maker, but basically expect the same steadiness from him, hopefully, so he'd be giving more or less what he does in the regular season.
              Last edited by white men can't jump; Wed Apr 16, 2014, 02:23 PM.

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              • #8
                white men can't jump wrote: View Post
                I can't help but think Ross.

                Teams are going to focus on JV pretty hard. He's our only real threat inside, and he's young. They will want to try and junk up his game, and it's probably going to work at times. If he's having a good game, it'll arguably be the biggest difference maker for that night, but it'll be hard for him to keep a contributing consistently I think.

                KL and DeMar will get lots of attention too (the most), as will Vasquez when he's in the game...simply because the ball will be in their hands a lot, and they will be responsible for making sure we're functioning as a team with at least some effectiveness.

                But Ross?

                I can see a lot of opportunities for him as the forgotten man as teams try to shut down other guys (Lowry, DD, Vasquez, JV). He can be open on the 3 pt line, and he has the tools to get some other things done too. Not to mention we'll need him to hone in on D big time. Ross playing well can make the biggest difference because if teams have to start altering what they do because he's playing well, it will help keep things open for the other guys and keep the team from trying to make crazy adjustments to make things work. His shooting will be critical, as he's still our best shooter, and also his D as he's our best defender. I just think that because in playoffs, teams really try to stop your main guys, his contributions are so key.

                Note: I think Amir is a big difference maker, but basically expect the same steadiness from him, hopefully, so he'd be giving more or less what he does in the regular season.
                This is key. Even if it isn't Ross, as long as another guy outside of Lowry and Derozan start demanding more attention from the D, it is gonna be a difference maker in the series. What I like about the Raps, and one of the reasons I started the thread, is that type of contribution can come from a different player on any given night, making it extremely difficult for opponents to make the right adjustments. If Ross has a big game 1, and is shadowed in game 2, well even more opportunites for Lowry and Derozan to score with the better spacing. Further adjustments could mean Ross gets his chances again, or better opportunites for Patterson or Vasquez etc etc. We could have a different x-factor each game, with no player clearly deserving the title after a series.

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                • #9
                  white men can't jump wrote: View Post
                  I can't help but think of how the 4th-5th options on the floor are often x-factors, like Danny Green for the Spurs last year. They could easily end up getting some more shots in the playoff setting because of opponents forcing the ball out of the main guys' hands, and if they make the most of their opportunities it makes it really hard to gameplan for opponents. And Ross has way better tools than Danny Green. To me, that's the core of being an "X-factor" -> the other team will not count on you being a big factor, and if you are, it totally screws how they planned to play you and they have to make way more adjustments on the fly than they hoped.

                  .
                  Agreed with this, especially the bold part. That's why I wouldn't consider Lowry or DeRozan an Xfactor as they're meant to lead from the front.

                  Amir's ankles could also be a key X-factor

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                  • #10
                    Pat-Pat gets my vote. We saw clearly how much his presence was missed off the bench during his injury. He can provide capable-to-solid defense, while being able to open up the lane by stretching the floor. He knows his role and has come up with big plays at key moments throughout his time in Toronto...none bigger than his steel and winning shot against Brooklyn.
                    http://twitter.com/m_shantz

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                    • #11
                      Patterson. A guy who can score off the bench and play starters minutes, while causing some matchup problems (as a stretch 4) is instantly the x-factor for me.

                      Ross would have been my 2nd vote.
                      Heir, Prince of Cambridge

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

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                      • #12
                        Everyone's expecting fair ammount of input towards victory from Lowry, Demar and Jonas. I believe that Ross and his 3 point plays will be crucial, of course if he will bring back his hot hand as he has been missing some easy shots lately.
                        Official Pope of the Raptors sponsored by MLSE.

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                        • #13
                          I think Jonas is the main X-factor.

                          I'm not convinced that he'll play well, but I think he has the potential to play great and win a game on his own as well as to play terribly and completely screw our chance to win one game.

                          He's got no real backup, so if he's bad, we're in trouble.

                          On the other hand if he's good, he supplies the inside scoring that this team really needs to get over the hump.

                          I don't know what to expect from him, and for that reason, Jonas is my x factor.
                          "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.

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                          • #14
                            stooley wrote: View Post
                            I think Jonas is the main X-factor.

                            I'm not convinced that he'll play well, but I think he has the potential to play great and win a game on his own as well as to play terribly and completely screw our chance to win one game.

                            He's got no real backup, so if he's bad, we're in trouble.

                            On the other hand if he's good, he supplies the inside scoring that this team really needs to get over the hump.

                            I don't know what to expect from him, and for that reason, Jonas is my x factor.
                            The big reason I don't pick Jonas is because other teams will seriously plan against him. They know we have no real inside threat beyond him. So I just hope he can be steady with all the attention he'll get. And again, hope someone like Ross (or maybe 2Pat) will have some great games to force the team away from their initial plans.

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                            • #15
                              I voted Jonas. If he manages to make his presence felt it will do great things for the team.
                              You come at the King, you best not miss.

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