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  • #16
    SkywalkerAC wrote: View Post

    If you don’t think we’re still a top-8 team after winning the championship, I don’t know what to tell you. I wouldn’t put money on us repeating, but I wouldn’t put money on the Clips either.
    I think we can definitely still be a top-8 team, but I definitely don’t think we’ll have a similar chance to win the title as all of that group
    The name's Bond, James Bond.

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    • #17
      The league is pretty wide open with no odds on favourite team. Some teams have been given incredibly good odds by Vegas Sports Books trying to land the sucker bet.

      First it was the Lakers .. now its the Clips.....

      But for the first time in a long time there are no pencilled in favourites to win it all. Its either been Golden State or one of Lebrons two teams the Heat and the Cavs that have been to the finals for what seems like a decade. The Raps ended the Warriors dynasty and then had theirs ended by Leonard changning teams and not mouting a title defense. Its odd but the odd is nomal for the NBA.

      So who has a chance at this year....

      Out West I think there are 4 teams.Utah. Denver.Clips and the Lakers. Dark horses are in Portland and the Warriors. I think Houston and OKC are pooched this year. Houston hung DAntonio out to dry on an extenstion and Paul and Harden isn't working the way it once did. OKC is looking for a way to move on from Westbrook if they can.

      In the East its the Bucks and Philly shaping up as the two best teams. Indy might surprise us in the East. Boston is a dark horse. They let go all the old guard this season. Horford Irving and Morris all have new addresses and Rozier who did a lot of talking is also gone. The only guy left is Hayward. So now its Brown and Tatum and Smart and Walker First blush say no they don't have enough. Its the polar opposite to last year where world domination was a foregone conclusion.

      Think six teams have a legit shot if things go their way....
      Philly Utah Milwaukee Clips Denver Lakers


      Far cry from the Warriors in the West and who ever Lebron is playing for in the East.

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      • #18
        S.R. wrote: View Post
        I wonder what the constant bouncing around will do for average/casual fans. Is the team building drama enough of a draw? Will people follow players rather than the local team? The dynamic is a little weird for fans imho, these guys on your team you root for and your kids think they love all of a sudden publicly want to leave your city and play somewhere else with a buddy mid-contract? Don't you think that'll turn off casual or potential fans? Hardcore fans will always be here but I really wonder about the impact on the fanbases in small and mid size markets over the long term.
        Yeah I'd say the casual fan that's just engaged enough to follow a bit from year to year gets a bit "confused". My wife was grumpy after the Derozan trade no matter how much explaining I did, and then after I told about Leonard leaving she goes "what?! I was just starting to like the guy!" lol. My kids still ask about JV from time to time, granted they're still very little.

        Parity-wise I think this year turned out alright, though it feels we were pretty close to having a superteam in LA . The good thing about having 2 teams there is at least the talent can split a bit, but even so I feel that with enough time, there will be one (or even both of them) being a juggernaught. There's just too many talented players just wanting to go there all the time, contracts be damned. Luckily this current Lakers front office is pretty inept, so it balances things out a bit.
        ==Glad to have doubted the doubters==

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        • #19
          Demographic Shift wrote: View Post
          The league is pretty wide open with no odds on favourite team. Some teams have been given incredibly good odds by Vegas Sports Books trying to land the sucker bet.

          First it was the Lakers .. now its the Clips.....

          But for the first time in a long time there are no pencilled in favourites to win it all. Its either been Golden State or one of Lebrons two teams the Heat and the Cavs that have been to the finals for what seems like a decade. The Raps ended the Warriors dynasty and then had theirs ended by Leonard changning teams and not mouting a title defense. Its odd but the odd is nomal for the NBA.

          So who has a chance at this year....

          Out West I think there are 4 teams.Utah. Denver.Clips and the Lakers. Dark horses are in Portland and the Warriors. I think Houston and OKC are pooched this year. Houston hung DAntonio out to dry on an extenstion and Paul and Harden isn't working the way it once did. OKC is looking for a way to move on from Westbrook if they can.

          In the East its the Bucks and Philly shaping up as the two best teams. Indy might surprise us in the East. Boston is a dark horse. They let go all the old guard this season. Horford Irving and Morris all have new addresses and Rozier who did a lot of talking is also gone. The only guy left is Hayward. So now its Brown and Tatum and Smart and Walker First blush say no they don't have enough. Its the polar opposite to last year where world domination was a foregone conclusion.

          Think six teams have a legit shot if things go their way....
          Philly Utah Milwaukee Clips Denver Lakers


          Far cry from the Warriors in the West and who ever Lebron is playing for in the East.
          The problem for us is it's no longer just an obvious great team or two to beat in a Cinderella type season. They're not likely to beat any of them now as each of those teams has the best player(s) in a series.

          You somehow beat one great dynamic duo and you have to face aniother. You somehow beat that great pairng and there's another waiting and another.

          I suppose it's parity but really another form of increased disparity. Having Kawhi was just a way to enter that group.

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          • #20
            inthepaint wrote: View Post
            True on Vince Carter. He was one of the early ones. The difference with him is that if remember correctly (and maybe I don't) he didn't ask for a specific team to go to, nor did he openly plotted with another player to team up. That part seems more frequent these days, but maybe it's always been like that behind the scenes, and now it's just more noticeable because of social media. Pairing stars has always been indeed the model for success, but it's been traditionally driven by front offices. Now the players openly plan it, often ignoring league tampering rules and actual contracts.
            No he didn't. He leaked his trade demands during the dog days of summer and then opted to tank games until the team traded him away for pennies on the dollar. This new generation is a little more professional about it, good point.

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            • #21
              G__Deane wrote: View Post

              The problem for us is it's no longer just an obvious great team or two to beat in a Cinderella type season. They're not likely to beat any of them now as each of those teams has the best player(s) in a series.

              You somehow beat one great dynamic duo and you have to face aniother. You somehow beat that great pairng and there's another waiting and another.

              I suppose it's parity but really another form of increased disparity. Having Kawhi was just a way to enter that group.
              I don’t think at this point the Raps are in the conversation to repeat.

              Pascal would have to make a Kawhi like improvement on his get your own shot whenever you need it game. Possible but not highly likely. This year though Pascal will be even better and he will be the focal point of the offence. Kyle and MARC are no slouches. They are big time players. It’s just that they are 33 and 34 this year. Still really good but not DPOY good and 1st all star selection good. Freddy is as good a 6th man as any in the league and OG carries the heavy burden of potential. It’s a solid team. But it’s not enough for a title. They could get to the ECF or they could disassemble the band in February for the right price and retool. Time will tell.

              To me talk of a superteam this year is more more marketing than substance. Top heavy teams with little to no support are still vulnerable to off years or an injury. In Lakeland I just don’t see Davis playing but 70 games. Lebron is going into his 16 th year. Shit happens and there isn’t enough depth reserves to compensate. The Clips have two monsters in Leonard and George. I think the Kawhi health issues are controllable..George however is fresh off two shoulder procedures this spring and 3 years from that leg injury. They have a better supporting cast. But you still gotta play 82 to get a good seed in the Uber competitive West and I don’t see George and Leonard available for more than 68 to 72 games.After them its Harrell, Williams, Beverly and 2nd year phenom Shamet. Then another 6 guys named Moe. Depth matters but it’s the price paid for the Uber stars.

              The league has some level of parity to it.....And it’s a copycat league.
              Through very good depth, one tremendous player and a tough physical defence the Raps gotter done last year.
              I think Denver , Utah, Milwaukee and Philly are in that mould and position right now. They aren’t superteams.Maybe Philly is.
              Two up and comers in Sacto and New Orleans are built the same way. So is Indy a dark horse in the East. Lots of depth behind a budding star in Williamson and Fox and Olidipo.

              If one of them win it...and both Sacto and the Pellys make the post season or Indy makes the ECF watch for a change in how teams are built.

              Current super teams are Clips, L.A. Lakers, Houston and a one year away Nets.

              My small bet bet is a superteam doesn’t win it this year. The following year Houston won’t have Harden + Paul and the Lakers will have Lebron in his 17th year and some questions on Davis. The Nets will have Durant +Irving but some questions on what Durant looks like coming off of one tough injury and a year away from the game at 32. No prediction on the Clips.









              Last edited by Demographic Shift; Mon Jul 8th, 2019, 10:28 AM.

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              • #22
                Demographic Shift wrote: View Post

                I don’t think at this point the Raps are in the conversation to repeat.

                Pascal would have to make a Kawhi like improvement on his get your own shot whenever you need it game. Possible but not highly likely. This year though Pascal will be even better and he will be the focal point of the offence. Kyle and MARC are no slouches. They are big time players. It’s just that they are 33 and 34 this year. Still really good but not DPOY good and 1st all star selection good. Freddy is as good a 6th man as any in the league and OG carries the heavy burden of potential. It’s a solid team. But it’s not enough for a title. They could get to the ECF or they could disassemble the band in February for the right price and retool. Time will tell.

                To me talk of a superteam this year is more more marketing than substance. Top heavy teams with little to no support are still vulnerable to off years or an injury. In Lakeland I just don’t see Davis playing but 70 games. Lebron is going into his 16 th year. Shit happens and there isn’t enough depth reserves to compensate. The Clips have two monsters in Leonard and George. I think the Kawhi health issues are controllable..George however is fresh off two shoulder procedures this spring and 3 years from that leg injury. They have a better supporting cast. But you still gotta play 82 to get a good seed in the Uber competitive West and I don’t see George and Leonard available for more than 68 to 72 games.After them its Harrell, Williams, Beverly and 2nd year phenom Shamet. Then another 6 guys named Moe. Depth matters but it’s the price paid for the Uber stars.

                The league has some level of parity to it.....And it’s a copycat league.
                Through very good depth, one tremendous player and a tough physical defence the Raps gotter done last year.
                I think Denver , Utah, Milwaukee and Philly are in that mould and position right now. They aren’t superteams.Maybe Philly is.
                Two up and comers in Sacto and New Orleans are built the same way. So is Indy a dark horse in the East. Lots of depth behind a budding star in Williamson and Fox and Olidipo.

                If one of them win it...and both Sacto and the Pellys make the post season or Indy makes the ECF watch for a change in how teams are built.

                Current super teams are Clips, L.A. Lakers, Houston and a one year away Nets.

                My small bet bet is a superteam doesn’t win it this year. The following year Houston won’t have Harden + Paul and the Lakers will have Lebron in his 17th year and some questions on Davis. The Nets will have Durant +Irving but some questions on what Durant looks like coming off of one tough injury and a year away from the game at 32. No prediction on the Clips.

                Houston is not a super-team because CP3 is not longer elite, and is certified toxic as a teammate. You missed the Dubs, who could be a super-team when Klay gets back before the playoffs and have the ability to flip D'Angelo Russell for another top player.

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                • #23
                  Super teams were just ones that had three (3) or more elite players together or orchestrated on one team.
                  Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen
                  lebron, Wade and Bosh
                  Curry, Klay, Green and Durant. Then Boogie.

                  For years, lebron was always a clear favourite to come out of the East and GS was the favourite to rep the West.

                  What we have now is a bunch of dynamic duo great teams, not super teams and next year, Brooklyn may be added to that. No clear favourites whatsoever. It's better for the league but still sucks because of how some of them have been orchestrated.

                  But we wouldn't have cared if Kawhi had stayed because we'd be one of the many teams in the mix (not clear favourites).

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                  • #24
                    The NBA has always had dynamic duo teams.. I started watching in the late 80's.. but Bird had McHale. Magic had Kareem. Isaiah had Dumars. Jordan had Pippen. Kobe couldn't win until he had Shaq. Or if not him Pau in his prime. Wade had Shaq as well.

                    It's rare to see a team win with just one star (ie, top 20 player). The 2004 Pistons, 2011 Mavs, and 2019 Raptors are the exception I guess.

                    The NBA will never ever have parity. It can't work in a league where one guy can impact a team so much. The issue is when a team has 3 or 4 impact guys. It's why KD joining GSW watered things down. And with his injury and now movement to Brooklyn it opens things up in the league.

                    It stings for the Raptors since we don't have a guy anymore. Maybe we can pull off a 2004 Pistons. Or the Jazz can (and I'm rooting for them out West). But it's highly improbable.

                    I think the league likes it the way it is. And I doubt there will be anything they can do in the next CBA to prevent player collusion or prevent guys from asking to be traded. Players have power now.. and it can't be taken away. They would never agree on a franchise tag, or whatever. Only thing that might help is to eliminate the max contract.. but owners/GM's need that or else they will be screwed. Imagine signing a guy like DeMar to a $45 or 50M contract?

                    There are more small market teams, but at the end of the day it's about the bottom line. And when both LA teams have stars.. and one of the NY teams does.. the league will be healthy.

                    However if we see a Jazz/Bucks finals in 2020 it will be a disaster for the league yet fascinating for most hard core fans I bet. The problem is the hard core fans don't help the bottom line.. only band wagoners do. And most of those live in NY/LA unfortunately.


                    So personally yeah I would like to see a little bit of parity and to spread the wealth. But that's pie in the sky thinking. Personally I think the system is fine the way it is. NBA just needs more stars. And hopefully we'll see an influx of talent going forward.

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                    • #25
                      planetmars wrote: View Post
                      The NBA has always had dynamic duo teams.. I started watching in the late 80's.. but Bird had McHale. Magic had Kareem. Isaiah had Dumars. Jordan had Pippen. Kobe couldn't win until he had Shaq. Or if not him Pau in his prime. Wade had Shaq as well.

                      It's rare to see a team win with just one star (ie, top 20 player). The 2004 Pistons, 2011 Mavs, and 2019 Raptors are the exception I guess.

                      The NBA will never ever have parity. It can't work in a league where one guy can impact a team so much. The issue is when a team has 3 or 4 impact guys. It's why KD joining GSW watered things down. And with his injury and now movement to Brooklyn it opens things up in the league.

                      It stings for the Raptors since we don't have a guy anymore. Maybe we can pull off a 2004 Pistons. Or the Jazz can (and I'm rooting for them out West). But it's highly improbable.

                      I think the league likes it the way it is. And I doubt there will be anything they can do in the next CBA to prevent player collusion or prevent guys from asking to be traded. Players have power now.. and it can't be taken away. They would never agree on a franchise tag, or whatever. Only thing that might help is to eliminate the max contract.. but owners/GM's need that or else they will be screwed. Imagine signing a guy like DeMar to a $45 or 50M contract?

                      There are more small market teams, but at the end of the day it's about the bottom line. And when both LA teams have stars.. and one of the NY teams does.. the league will be healthy.

                      However if we see a Jazz/Bucks finals in 2020 it will be a disaster for the league yet fascinating for most hard core fans I bet. The problem is the hard core fans don't help the bottom line.. only band wagoners do. And most of those live in NY/LA unfortunately.


                      So personally yeah I would like to see a little bit of parity and to spread the wealth. But that's pie in the sky thinking. Personally I think the system is fine the way it is. NBA just needs more stars. And hopefully we'll see an influx of talent going forward.
                      Lowry/Siakam are both arguably top 20 players this past season (depending on the metric you want to use). I'd say this past year's Raps fits the two star criteria.

                      With Lowry's decline coming soon, we're definitely relying on Pascal to continue improving and on Masai to eventually find him another top player to partner with.

                      As for the no-max scenario, it's not owners/GMs that need it (especially with the shorter contract terms now) - it's the non-max players.
                      twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                      • #26
                        I don't think fans have problems with teams having multiple stars. The problem fans have is that most of them cheer for teams outside of California and NY state but a lot of these stars have it in their head that they must play in the California and NY markets and they're willing to strong arm franchises or leave them empty handed to get it. This leads to teams being in perpetual rebuilding outside of the Cali and NY markets. Rightfully the fans, who's interest and money pay for these huge contracts, are unhappy with the way this works... And its mostly a basketball thing. This doesn't really happen in football for example.

                        Teams in Cali and NY have an unfair advantage even though they fail to utilize it most times. It still hurts the game. Most teams aren't willing to make a Hail Mary pass like Masai did in order to win a chip because its incredibly risky, as in they're likely shit canned if it fails and verbally crucified by the MSM who also unfairly slants everything to Cali and NY.
                        Last edited by Apollo; Mon Jul 8th, 2019, 11:55 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Apollo wrote: View Post
                          I don't think fans have problems with teams having multiple stars. The problem fans have is that most of them cheer for teams outside of California and NY state but a lot of these stars have it in their head that they must play in the California and NY markets and they're willing to strong arm franchises or leave them empty handed to get it. This leads to teams being in perpetual rebuilding outside of the Cali and NY markets. Rightfully the fans, who's interest and money pay for these huge contracts, are unhappy with the way this works... And its mostly a basketball thing. This doesn't really happen in football for example.

                          Teams in Cali and NY have an unfair advantage even though they fail to utilize it most times. It still hurts the game. Most teams aren't willing to make a Hail Mary pass like Masai did in order to win a chip because its incredibly risky, as in they're likely shit canned if it fails and verbally crucified by the MSM who also unfairly slants everything to Cali and NY.
                          I mean, to be fair, the LA (and Sac) and NY teams have been perpetually rebuilding for the last decade (or longer for the Knicks.. Lol). LA for sure have an advantage weather-wise, and NYC has the allure of being NYC, but both lose out on advantages to a place like Miami or Dallas, where you have the weather, but also far better tax situations. And I mean, even Wayne Gretzky requested a trade to LA back in the 80s. Yankees and Dodgers have for the most part always been the draw of the MLB for the last however long. Real Madrid and Barcelona are constantly going through the biggest stars. It happens outside of Basketball. There's just no denying that some cities are more attractive than others. And unless the NBA plans to legislate something, it will continue to be a problem. But within all of that, Masai still figured out how to win us a Championship. He'll do it again.

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                          • #28
                            What's different about the current player pairings vs past pairings is almost all of the current dynamic duos were created by the players themselves, not by team management. That's totally different.

                            When figuring out how to pair up with a buddy (or two), players are almost exclusively either:
                            - Going to join the guy in the winning situation, or
                            - Going to a NY/LA/Miami type destination together

                            Nobody is figuring out how pair up and get themselves to Indianapolis, Atlanta, Oklahoma, etc.
                            "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

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                            • #29
                              Joey wrote: View Post

                              I mean, to be fair, the LA (and Sac) and NY teams have been perpetually rebuilding for the last decade (or longer for the Knicks.. Lol).
                              I understand that but that's due to poor management and not location. OKC and Tor are good examples of well run clubs that struggle due to this "must be in a big market" mindset from the top stars and a CBA that doesn't do enough to deter it. The counter argument to this of course is that the stars should be able to choose. Why though? When they enter the league they become part of the business, they're entertainers. The big contracts should come with more conditions to protect the product which pays the salaries. Fans of OKC, Toronto, Dallas, Atlanta, etc are just as important as those fans in Cali or NY state. Pure capitalism holds no prejudices, only people do that to the detriment of businesses. Policies and rules can mostly remedy prejudices in the name of putting forth the best product possible.

                              Joey wrote: View Post
                              And I mean, even Wayne Gretzky requested a trade to LA back in the 80s.
                              No he most certainly did not. He wanted one last big payday from the Oilers and to ride off into the sunset on his own terms.

                              Joey wrote: View Post
                              Yankees and Dodgers have for the most part always been the draw of the MLB for the last however long. Real Madrid and Barcelona are constantly going through the biggest stars. It happens outside of Basketball. There's just no denying that some cities are more attractive than others. And unless the NBA plans to legislate something, it will continue to be a problem. But within all of that, Masai still figured out how to win us a Championship. He'll do it again.
                              I'm giving you an example of a league that doesn't have the problem, a league that only features 16 regular season games and single elimination playoff rounds. My example is a league that despite that is more successful than the NBA. Listing leagues which also drop the ball doesn't excuse the NBA from dropping the ball.
                              Last edited by Apollo; Mon Jul 8th, 2019, 12:41 PM.

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                              • #30
                                S.R. wrote: View Post
                                What's different about the current player pairings vs past pairings is almost all of the current dynamic duos were created by the players themselves, not by team management. That's totally different.

                                When figuring out how to pair up with a buddy (or two), players are almost exclusively either:
                                - Going to join the guy in the winning situation, or
                                - Going to a NY/LA/Miami type destination together

                                Nobody is figuring out how pair up and get themselves to Indianapolis, Atlanta, Oklahoma, etc.
                                Indeed. Those teams need almost a damn near miracle to win a title in this era. Elite management is arguably more rare than elite basketball talent. We're lucky as Raptors fans to have a team which found it but we suffered through a piss poor product for a very long time before it happened. There's only one Masai and there is only a small handful of people in the league on his level. Its why the Wiz wanted to shower him in riches and power. His worth is beyond a high earners executive salary in the NBA.

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