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Where Do The Raptors Rank In The East?

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  • slaw wrote: View Post
    I don't know DS, it's awful early to draw conclusions about much of anything..... Sixers are in the middle of their first early season test out West and are 1-2 and a Simmons injury in the bag. Celtics are off to one of their hot starts but we'll see what happens 40 games in. Bucks look fine. Raps are sloppy and razor thin with their depth but are winning. Heat got blown out in Denver and have Lakers and Suns to go, so we'll see more this week. Bulls are bad. Not sure about the Magic yet. Knicks are horrible. Pistons will be better once Griffin is 100%. Nets are scuffling for now. Lots of time left.
    I'm not convinced yet that we actually have "razor thin depth". Building a great bench seems to be weakness with Nurse, and was possibly Casey's biggest strength, culminating in the vaunted 2017-18 Bench Mob, which got scrapped last year. Lesser talented players who are told to "stay in their lane" seem to be suited better to Casey's approach where they don't have to make too many decisions on the fly. Obviously, it's hard to complain about what Nurse achieved in his first year, but it's something to keep an eye on.

    Some role players just seem to completely fall off the map on Nurse's bench, even if they've had limited success elsewhere. That was the opposite with Casey.... caveat being.... regular season success.

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    • golden wrote: View Post

      I'm not convinced yet that we actually have "razor thin depth". Building a great bench seems to be weakness with Nurse, and was possibly Casey's biggest strength, culminating in the vaunted 2017-18 Bench Mob, which got scrapped last year. Lesser talented players who are told to "stay in their lane" seem to be suited better to Casey's approach where they don't have to make too many decisions on the fly. Obviously, it's hard to complain about what Nurse achieved in his first year, but it's something to keep an eye on.

      Some role players just seem to completely fall off the map on Nurse's bench, even if they've had limited success elsewhere. That was the opposite with Casey.... caveat being.... regular season success.
      I'll disagree a bit here. I think it was during the in game comments that maybe Matt said the Raptors traded for Kawhi, Danny and Marc, but decimated their bench, giving up guys who were rotation players with several years of experience. Then, hanging around in free agency, waiting for Kawhi to announce his decision meant they missed on veteran free agents. I think it's no wonder they are thin, with a lack of real in game experience. Part of the problem is Masai is trying to maintain a clean sheet for the summer of 21. We might see some help for the team when it is possible to pick up some expiring guys off the waiver wire. That doesn't hurt the cap and could provide some minutes relief for Lowry and Fred down the stretch.

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      • Puffer wrote: View Post

        I'll disagree a bit here. I think it was during the in game comments that maybe Matt said the Raptors traded for Kawhi, Danny and Marc, but decimated their bench, giving up guys who were rotation players with several years of experience. Then, hanging around in free agency, waiting for Kawhi to announce his decision meant they missed on veteran free agents. I think it's no wonder they are thin, with a lack of real in game experience. Part of the problem is Masai is trying to maintain a clean sheet for the summer of 21. We might see some help for the team when it is possible to pick up some expiring guys off the waiver wire. That doesn't hurt the cap and could provide some minutes relief for Lowry and Fred down the stretch.
        Besides Matt knowing nothing... he's comparing our depth relative to our championship team. I'm looking back historically.

        Regardless of talent, Casey was always able to cobble together 10 (or more) guys to soak up minutes and get the team through the grind of a season (with 50'ish wins). Nurse is having a hard time even finding 6 or 7 guys he trusts or is willing to invest time to develop, 7 games into the season? Jeez... I can't believe I'm praising Casey here, so that should tell you something... lol.

        And recall that the vaunted 2018 bench mob was scrapped pretty early last season when we still had a significant surplus of talent coming off the bench: Delon, FVV, Norm, OG, CJ + Ibaka or JV. Again, not criticizing Nurse, but building a bench is something to keep an eye on.

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        • Meh , we could pretty easily cobble together 9-10 guys with this team. Nurse just hasn't yet. It will come. Good first steps last night, with all of Davis, Boucher and Thomas getting minutes. Just need to increase their load a bit (not a lot, just a bit).
          twitter.com/dhackett1565

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          • Demographic Shift wrote: View Post

            All good observations... but as to being early... Its a ~10% sample size. Enough of a base to make some reasonable predictions.

            Raps are sorting out who is going to play the 8 or 9 and possibly 10th roles. Leaving for the roadie it looks like its Davis Boucher and Moore are the deep rotation players. They truly don't make much of a difference so far. Who knows if they have those spots coming back off the road.
            .
            So far Johnson and Hollis Jefferson appear to have done the equivalent of losing Nurses dog after he asked them to look after it. Not a sniff of court time.
            The road might give them a chance to supplant the current 8 ,9 and 10 slots.
            Generally, I'm waiting for a team to announce itself out East. Last year, Raps went 4-0 on that early season west trip blowing out teams and signaled they were for real with a 12-1 start that looked easy. The Bucks did it later when they had that ridiculous stretch from January to March where they couldn't lose a game.

            This year, neither Toronto nor Boston has been out West yet, Bucks are 1-1 on their current trip, Sixers are 1-2 and the under the radar Heat are 0-1. By the end of November all the Eastern powers will have been out West, plus we get a Sixers-Raps tilt. By then, some of the teams struggling early will have time to go on good stretches of wins and things will shake out a bit more. Still will be early.

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            • Casey's benches were good because he played Lowry + bench. And Lowry was great in that role. But big problem was that he played Lowry way too many minutes and Lowry would be broken by the end of the year. Same thing is happening with Nurse. Too be fair we don't have guards on the level of Cory, Lou Will, Vasquez or even Delon anymore. Norm is too inconsistent, Davis is a rookie and McCaw is terrible and injured.
              Only one thing matters: We The Champs.

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              • DanH wrote: View Post
                Meh , we could pretty easily cobble together 9-10 guys with this team. Nurse just hasn't yet. It will come. Good first steps last night, with all of Davis, Boucher and Thomas getting minutes. Just need to increase their load a bit (not a lot, just a bit).
                We said (hoped) the same thing about the bench last year. It never came. We ended up with a 6'ish man rotation to barely scrape by in the Sixers series.

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                • golden wrote: View Post

                  We said (hoped) the same thing about the bench last year. It never came. We ended up with a 6'ish man rotation to barely scrape by in the Sixers series.
                  OG was hurt in the playoffs, and we still ran 8 deep against Philly (Norm with 11 MPG across 6 games being the 8th).

                  But the playoffs is also where you shouldn't run any deeper than 8 anyway, that's misuse of talent at that point. Depth is for the 82 game grind. You are supposed to ride your best players in the playoffs.
                  twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                  • DanH wrote: View Post

                    OG was hurt in the playoffs, and we still ran 8 deep against Philly (Norm with 11 MPG across 6 games being the 8th).

                    But the playoffs is also where you shouldn't run any deeper than 8 anyway, that's misuse of talent at that point. Depth is for the 82 game grind. You are supposed to ride your best players in the playoffs.
                    I'm pretty sure we only played 6 guys (i.e. double digits or more) in that pivotal Game 4.

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                    • golden wrote: View Post

                      I'm pretty sure we only played 6 guys (i.e. double digits or more) in that pivotal Game 4.
                      That's true, though it is odd you would look at one game in an entire playoff run and determine that it is representative of a playoff rotation while ignoring every other playoff game. And that you consider, say, game 3 against Milwaukee to be less pivotal, when we went 8 deep with the lowest minutes played (by a factor of 2) being 14 from Serge who was undeniably in the rotation.

                      It's also irrelevant to regular season depth discussions, as noted. The deep benches Casey ran didn't exactly get a lot of run in the playoffs either, and certainly didn't succeed when they did.
                      twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                      • golden wrote: View Post

                        I'm not convinced yet that we actually have "razor thin depth". Building a great bench seems to be weakness with Nurse, and was possibly Casey's biggest strength, culminating in the vaunted 2017-18 Bench Mob, which got scrapped last year. Lesser talented players who are told to "stay in their lane" seem to be suited better to Casey's approach where they don't have to make too many decisions on the fly. Obviously, it's hard to complain about what Nurse achieved in his first year, but it's something to keep an eye on.

                        Some role players just seem to completely fall off the map on Nurse's bench, even if they've had limited success elsewhere. That was the opposite with Casey.... caveat being.... regular season success.
                        I do agree that Casey did seem to get more out of the low-end rotation/fringe rotation players than Nurse has thus far. Nurse (and his staff) has obviously had something to do with Siakam and Anunoby and FVV and Ibaka continuing to get more out of their games, so maybe that's a trade-off somehow? Not sure.

                        As for the depth, I think it's fair to say we are razor-thin until we see 9-10 guys playing and contributing - and at least one of those being a fourth big beyond Gasol/Siakam/Ibaka. Maybe that's solely due to coaching decisions at the moment but whatever the reason, as it stands, this team goes 7 deep, which is at least a mild cause for concern.

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                        • Fred struggles to run a team when Lowry sits. So Nurse needs more Lowry on the court. Norm isn't good at all right now and so we have to dig deep in our bench for a 7th guy to show up.. but everyone is flawed. Matt tries but is pretty bad at defense. SJ sucks all around. Boucher plays a lot of selfish ball. TD fouled out in like 6-7 minutes (by the way is that a record?). McCaw is hurt (and even if he wasn't kind of sucks too). No idea what's happened to RHJ.

                          We don't really have a way to make the bench better either. It's not like Serge or Marc could get us something tangibly better.. plus we need them both since our C depth is pretty poor. Hernandez is not ready yet. Kyle is still to important for wins. Fred may get us something, but could just be shuffling deck chairs. He's only making $9M.

                          It is what it is.. next year we'll have a different team. $50M+ may be coming off the books, and Hernandez will be a year older. Masai/Bobby will rejig the line up to allow Nurse to have more options. For now we have to hope Norm wakes up from his coma to help the team out a bit, and that guys like Davis or Thomas become more dependable.

                          Would love to have some dependable veteran off the bench. But Masai doesn't do that either. His bench's will be young. Like the Denver model. Not a terribly bad idea for the long term... but in the short term it can be painful.


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                          • I still want to see RHJ play some real minutes before we start thinking about tinkering with the roster at all. He was a big part of that scrappy nets team last year and him and serge could be a very good defensive frontcourt who can both switch onto 4 and 5. Hope he gets some run on this road trip so we can see what were working with.
                            To be the champs you got to beat the champs

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                            • bertarapsfan wrote: View Post
                              I still want to see RHJ play some real minutes before we start thinking about tinkering with the roster at all. He was a big part of that scrappy nets team last year and him and serge could be a very good defensive frontcourt who can both switch onto 4 and 5. Hope he gets some run on this road trip so we can see what were working with.
                              There’s some thought that he is struggling to recover from his new groin injury. He’s had groin problems his whole career.

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                              • So 4 of the 5 teams that are coalescing at the top of the East take the court tonight. Raps / Bucks / Hinkies / Heat. Boston has the night off and are over at Bill Simmons place discussing last years 67 win season.

                                If you like basketball and have a decent cable package and are not to broken up over kicking Bell/ Rogers/ Shaw or Cogeco square in the gonads and streaming a few games on laptops or tablets tonight is a really good night to take in what will be some really really good games. They all start around the same time. We are approaching the10 game mark and teams are ready to flex what they have... especially against other teams who play at a high level as well.

                                The Raps are in New Orleans and should be expected to take the first one of a 5 game roadie. Jrue Holiday is always a royal pain in the ass not only for the Raps but for everyone else he suits up against. Same can be said for one Brandon Ingram as yet another .... It won't be without yelling at the screen but the Raps win this one to kick off the west coast swing.

                                The Bucks are in Utah. This isn't out of the realm to say its a finals preview. The Jazz play a half court game while the Bucks like to get out in transition. Whoever dictates pace should take this one. Watching a very mobile Gobert going up against Giannas as a rim protector should get more than a few minutes on my screen. Its game of the night 1A.a

                                The Hinkies are in Denver. Always a gift of the schedule maker to have the last game of a long road swing in Denver at altitude. Simmons is out. However the King of Cardio is well rested after his two game suspension and lines up against Jokic. This too will get more than a few minutes on the big screen but will also be streamed. Game of the night 1A.b

                                The surprise team of the East (to me anyway.. not to the guy I bet against) are the 6 and 2 Heat. They are lining up in LA against the the Lebrons West. The Lakers are 6 and 1.. but they have beat the Bulls, Hornets, Grizz and a young Mavericks team. The have beat Utah at home as well. Still this is the first time that the Lakers are going to be up against a fast pace no holds barred physical team. This will get a watch as well to see how the Lakers beyond Lebron and Davis react to getting really pushed around.

                                Going with the Raps, Bucks, Nuggets and in what will be called an upset but won't be... The Heat.

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