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  • Who Takes Another Jump?

    Maybe the question isn't "Who" but "How Many?"

    We've seen pictures of Marc Gasol and Lowry looking slimmed down and chiseled. We've heard from different players like Davis, Fred, and Serge about how EVERYONE looks to be in great shape, obviously not having wasted the past four months. And we have also heard that different players have been watching the video of last season's games, looking to identify areas for personal improvements. We have also heard that Nurse and the assistant coaches have been scrutinizing game tape with a view towards tweaking various sets and plays. In other words, there seems to have been little slack time for anyone on the team.

    In addition, we know from past seasons that the team is stocked with guys who have made a habit of making significant improvements in the offseason. Kyle, Fred, Pascal, Norm, Boucher, OG, and Serge jump to mind. I don't think anyone believes winning a championship will cause any one of those guys to sit back and put their feet up.

    We also know that there is a strong cultural expectation in the organization of putting in work to ensure personal improvement. I can only expect that that culture has impacted Terrance Davis, Thomas, Boucher, Hernandez, Brisset, Rondae, and the rest.

    How many players can we expect to make a measurable improvement? How much do those individual improvements contribute to ream improvements? Who shows the most improvement.

    I think Gasol, rested and trimmed down, could be in the top four by virtue of better conditioning and fewer injuries through the bubble battles. I can see him playing more minutes at a higher pace and also a slight uptick in 3 pt shooting because he will have his legs under him.

    I think Siakim improves again because I'd be a fool to think he doesn't after watching his progression over the last three seasons. I think his midrange game takes a step up and his assist numbers go up. It would be hard for him to watch much game tape without seeing missed opportunities for earlier passes out of traffic.

    I think TD will have identified his rookie mistakes with four months of time to rewatch his gameplay. Not making those mistakes or significantly cutting them down will force Nick to play him more, cut down on his poor shot selections and turnovers and leave him with improved scoring and assist numbers. I expect him to get to the rim under better control.

    I am tempted to say Norm may be in the top four in improvement, just by virtue of continuing his strong play from earlier in the season, but getting through without injury. That may be more of a hope than an actual expectation.

    Continued career-best level numbers from Serge and Fred, and incremental improvements from the rest, or at least continued strong play up to the level of the early part of the season, are my expectations.

    TD is my choice for biggest jump. But a quicker, better conditioned Gasol operating as a passing big, with improved teammates might surprise us all.




  • #2
    Marc trimmed down a lot which can be great. We need him to shoot and be that stretch big though. So I really hope we see some prime Gasol. If we do that would be fantastic.

    But I will go with Serge. I've only seen a few articles/videos.. but he seemed to be mentally focused through out the break and I think he's ready to take a huge leap.

    I'm also excited to see what Kyle can do. He looks really fit and I bet he's hungry. A fit, hungry Kyle is a scary thought.

    Terrence also looks like he's ready.. but he'll be farther down the depth chart than the other guys. Just hope he replaces Patrick's minutes (but I'm sure that's just wishful thinking at this point).

    Fred looked like he gained weight in the one picture I saw.. so a bit worried about him. I heard Pascal had some trouble finding a rim because he's in a condo. So I think he played on his cousin's rim. He just can't run or play like he used to. So I'm not sure if he'll make a leap. His summer routines is to play at Rico's gym with the other guys. That didn't happen.

    Have no clue on the others. But Norm has had a fantastic season. Hope he continues to deliver into the playoffs. He was a great microwave type scorer off the bench that we haven't had since Lou. And it felt like his inconsistency issues were finally solved. Hopefully the break doesn't throw a wrench into that.

    Outside of anyone making a leap.. just happy to see everyone healthy. Didn't hear about a single Raptor getting covid which is great news.

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    • #3
      One of the shooting guards. (Norm/TD/Thomas)

      Taking the season as a whole, if everyone continued to play like they did, Norm stands to have already been made a big leap from last year, which is nice to see. He's now shooting 50/40/83 on higher volume, doing 20.5 points per 36min, with improved defence, rebounds and steals from last year. From an eye test his decision making and consistency also look way better than last year, and he almost single handily turned around a couple of games for us this year, and finished the first part of the season as eastern conference player of the week I think the internal competion with the rised of TDII had a nice collateral effect on Norm's game and mindset.

      TD now has the 3rd highest PIPM among rookies, only behind Zion and Brandon Clarke from Memphis. Matter of fact, all the rookies in the top 50 PIPM are in non-playoff teams, except TD and the Memphis rookies (Ja Morant & Brandon Clarke). In my view, TD should be a top 5 ROTY finalist, along with Zion, Ja Morant, Kendrick Nunn and Clarke (all of whom are on crappy teams except Nunn)

      Thomas has been a top 5 most accurate 3pt shooters in the league (over 2 attempts per game) the whole year. He's now at 46.7% from 3, and that's with guys hounding him like dogs, but his release is so quick and stable it doesn't matter. He's a player that forces a change on the opposing defensive scheme, because you now need a dedicated guy glued to him, which opens the paint for teammates. Nurse used him like that vs the Bucks this year already. Bucks were so focused on defending the paint, Thomas came in starting bombing from outside, so they had to come out of their hole, opening up for Siakam to do damage inside.

      If you're missing basketball, here are some good memories (and btw, these guys, all shooting north of 39% from 3, are not even starters for us yet...):












      Last edited by inthepaint; Sun Jul 5th, 2020, 01:05 PM.
      2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

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      • #4
        Norm is the key. If the way he was playing before his last injury is what he continues to do, then he’s a top-tier 6th man and a huge piece of the team
        The name's Bond, James Bond.

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        • #5
          Hoping for a gasol rejuvenation. He's been impactful in all the ways you typically expect but I really think we'd benefit a lot from him getting his offense back.

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          • #6
            OG. If he has been working on his handle, he has the most obvious room for a leap in his game, considering his existing strengths.

            Terry could impress just by means of more minutes, if he gets them.

            Norm and Serge are the scary ones who I think are more likely to regress than take a leap. Hoping just that they can maintain their earlier production.

            I expect more of the same from Pascal, Lowry, Marc, Fred.
            twitter.com/dhackett1565

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            • #7
              Skinny Marc Gasol is an amazing look, hopefully he still bully balls the embiids of the world


              we're getting "october Lowry" playing the part of "playoff lowry"..that is an amazing development as well. October Lowry is a top 10 player..
              It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

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              • #8
                DanH wrote: View Post
                OG. If he has been working on his handle, he has the most obvious room for a leap in his game, considering his existing strengths.

                Terry could impress just by means of more minutes, if he gets them.

                Norm and Serge are the scary ones who I think are more likely to regress than take a leap. Hoping just that they can maintain their earlier production.

                I expect more of the same from Pascal, Lowry, Marc, Fred.
                Don't know why, but OG completely slipped form my memory. Yeah, he is due to take a leap. OG and TD would be my preferred options for a jump. I expect the other guys to maintain, with no drop off. And maybe Gasol and Kyle coming in cut and lean helps them improve a bit. Would be awesome.

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                • #9
                  Not exactly a jump per say but if norm plays at even 80% the level he was the few weeks prior to shut down that would be huuuge. That norn might be the best 6th in the entire playoffs
                  To be the champs you got to beat the champs

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                  • #10
                    DanH wrote: View Post
                    OG. If he has been working on his handle, he has the most obvious room for a leap in his game, considering his existing strengths.

                    Terry could impress just by means of more minutes, if he gets them.

                    Norm and Serge are the scary ones who I think are more likely to regress than take a leap. Hoping just that they can maintain their earlier production.

                    I expect more of the same from Pascal, Lowry, Marc, Fred.
                    Agreed, OG is the only likely candidate in a position to progress. None of the bench guys should get minutes and OG still has so much to improve on that marginal improvements to his handle and footwork could significantly improve production.

                    Pascal still has another level to get to also imo - he could get there considering his opportunities and healing any nagging injuries.

                    I kind of doubt that the team has the time to add in much, I imagine they are more focused on getting back to form as a unit. Plus who knows how much ball these guys got to play, even though its a long layoff the practice conditions were much different than a normal offseason.

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                    • #11
                      bertarapsfan wrote: View Post
                      Not exactly a jump per say but if norm plays at even 80% the level he was the few weeks prior to shut down that would be huuuge. That norn might be the best 6th in the entire playoffs
                      yeah i vote playoff norm too.

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                      • #12
                        DogeLover1234 wrote: View Post

                        Agreed, OG is the only likely candidate in a position to progress. None of the bench guys should get minutes and OG still has so much to improve on that marginal improvements to his handle and footwork could significantly improve production.

                        Pascal still has another level to get to also imo - he could get there considering his opportunities and healing any nagging injuries.

                        I kind of doubt that the team has the time to add in much, I imagine they are more focused on getting back to form as a unit. Plus who knows how much ball these guys got to play, even though its a long layoff the practice conditions were much different than a normal offseason.
                        OG also an excellentl choice. with regards to the bold, nick's been in the lab. this team knows each other very well and i don't think it'll take long to re-acquaint themselves. they'll have some wrinkles.

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                        • #13
                          Here's a nugget from Blake's latest story in "The Athletic."

                          "No back-end rotation option the Raptors have can put nearly as much pressure on the rim as Davis, and since the lack of event-creation in the half-court is the Raptors’ single biggest weakness, he seems like the most natural eighth man in a playoff series."
                          wouldn't be surprised to see a little more of this after Nurse and company's examination of game tape over the last 4 months.

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                          • #14
                            Y'all sleeping on the 3-time undisputed & undefeated champ?






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                            • #15
                              golden wrote: View Post
                              Y'all sleeping on the 3-time undisputed & undefeated champ?
                              Flagged.
                              twitter.com/dhackett1565

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