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An intervention - because you need it.

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  • An intervention - because you need it.

    The overall vibe about the Raptors of late has been pretty horrible to say the least. Expectations ballooned too fast and became hard to maintain for a young team without one of its better players for the meat of the season. I think it's really unfortunate to see/hear the negativity and hope this slump ends soon.

    This tweet is probably the most true thing anyone has said about the slump thus far. That's why everyone needs to settle down and stop panicking, because you're only making the situation worse. You. Yes, you, my panicking friend! I'll explain to you why in a second, but first...

    Listen, you can point fingers all you want. You can blame Casey for bad decisions, Lowry for not playing anywhere near the level he played at a few weeks ago, DeRozan's absence affecting the team, Ross playing like crap, Patterson going cold, Vasquez being Vasquez, JV's lack of touches, the defense, the offense, turnovers... the list has grown, and frankly ALL of them are true to some extent, contributing to a slumping team.

    That being said, Toronto has the same exact team as they had earlier on in the season, and that team looked pretty legit to everyone, including most fans and basketball experts. Many people were certainly still concerned regarding several aspects of the team during their success, but let the good times roll. Now that the Raps are struggling for a few weeks, it becomes easier to focus on those concerns, but things get messy when you start pointing fingers.

    With the same players intact today, you could probably gain the best insight on why so many players are underperforming by looking at the recent struggles from a macro perspective. One reason could be that teams are generally figuring out how to play the Raptors. Another could be the decision making patterns of Casey/staff on the fly and strategically throughout the game. Another could be the collective confidence, awareness and decision making by the players. Again, all these reasons have validity and contribute to the cause.

    Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to control the other teams' scouting and how hard they play defense. There is something you can do to change coaching patterns and player confidence though, so maybe that's the first place the Raptors should look. No, I'm not advocating they fire Casey or trade players. Can they do that? Of course! Those moves would certainly make an impact, but is it really worth tinkering with something that was once well-oiled, instead of replenishing the oil that once made it so?

    I'm suggesting two things.

    1) To my panicky friends: as I said at the start, you are making this situation worse. Don't be fooled for a second that the media and general fan chatter about the team has no effect on the players. They may not read everything, but they know the general consensus and part of their job is hearing about themselves over, and over, and over. All that negativity can get to you, and it can perpetually get worse if the source of the negativity doesn't go away. Do you want a good team or not? Great, you do, good answer. So let them do their job - including the front office if necessary - and you do your job by being a supporting fan. Understand why everyone was praising Masai and the Raptors for an extended period of time this season, and realize that we have the same group with us now.

    2) To the Raptors: They need to settle down and go back to what made them good. Stop overanalyzing. Has the team considered looking at tape of when they played successfully, especially from the first half of the season? When they watch tape it's possible that they are mostly analyzing bad plays and hypothetically discussing how they fix them. While I can appreciate how that may help in many situations, one suggestion in this particular scenario would be to scrap that habit and strictly start reviewing what actually worked. The players know they're not playing well and the fastest way to get rid of bad habits is to stay positive. Having been in the moment, the players can probably vividly recall a decent amount of their thought processes and actions throughout watching successful film clips. Replicating your own long-term success is easier that way rather than watching recent crap ball and thinking about doing the opposite. This applies to the coaches too. What decisions were successful and why? What made you decide to things that way? Aside from that, everyone just needs to simply know that they've had success and are capable of doing it again.

    I know these points are so much easier said than done, and I don't realistically expect this slump to go away just like that. At the end of the day the Raptors are still with their flaws in many individual and collective areas. There are so many parts that deserve attention and fixing up, and every game is different than the last which requires a constant adaptation. But it is hard to deny that the perpetuating collective confidence is what made this team and fan base "click" since the big trade last year. If everyone actually truly understood this, maybe it wouldn't be so hard for the Raptors to get back on track. The team's success was built on positivity, confidence and camaraderie, and that is (avoiding the temptation to say was) their identity. To go back to the tweet: "When your success is based on an ethereal chemistry that can't be described or quantified, it's sudden disappearance is difficult to remedy." That indescribable, unquantifiable, ethereal chemistry surfaced pretty suddenly with this group last year. It can surface again just as quickly with the right mindset, right now.

    7 losses in 9, 42 games left. I still see the sky up there. Breathe.
    Last edited by p3t3ypablo; Mon Jan 19th, 2015, 01:37 AM.

  • #2
    Only one thing matters: We The Champs.

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    • #3
      MixxAOR wrote: View Post
      I... I dunno Doc, but it's just every time they turn the ball over or I see dribble penetration I can't help but type out a profanity-laced tweet! And I get angry and just start blaming everyone! Once I almost got angry at Tom Sterner!
      OG is our king

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      • #4
        I think the team as a whole lack basketball IQ.


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          consmap wrote: View Post
          I... I dunno Doc, but it's just every time they turn the ball over or I see dribble penetration I can't help but type out a profanity-laced tweet! And I get angry and just start blaming everyone! Once I almost got angry at Tom Sterner!
          hmmm how could you...... clearly something is wrong with you. go check yourself.

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          • #6
            MixxAOR wrote: View Post
            Every time I see Dwane Casey on my Television screen, I feel like hurting a kitten
            "Both teams played hard my man" - Sheed

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            • #7
              MixxAOR wrote: View Post
              I mean, I just don't get it, Doc. You've got 4 teammates, so why don't you use them? Am I the crazy one here?

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              • #8
                MixxAOR wrote: View Post
                I've never liked passing.
                "Stop eating your sushi."
                "I do actually have a pair of Uggs."
                "I've had three cups of green tea tonight. I'm wired. I'm absolutely wired."
                - Jack Armstrong

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                • #9
                  MixxAOR wrote: View Post
                  You see, it was only last week when I was keeping track of Games Back...
                  The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!

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                  • #10
                    MixxAOR wrote: View Post
                    Look, I'll tell you the same thing I told the cops and the judge. I'm not a stalker. I honestly thought Tom was talking to me and me alone. It's those eyes, they just draw you in and mesmerize you...

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