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Game #31: Philadelphia 76ers 86 - Toronto Raptors 102

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  • inthepaint wrote: View Post
    What I find fascinating is Where Philly is today, is where many people on this board wanted the raps to be, as early as this past summer: A calculated tanking, a "Process" full of "mystique" and "potential". And I make a distinction between tanking and rebuild here, what was asked was a thorough tanking, an immediate full dismantling of a team that had achieved the most success in franchise history over the prior 2 years, and had, in the East, the most playoff wins of any team other than the defending NBA/Conference champions. Not a natural rebuild of an aging team was asked, but a crude tank of a growing, organized franchise with a stable front office.

    The beef was with the ISO offence. "They can't change the offence, is who DD,Lowry and Casey are, so why bother, let's tank". And yet here we are. I know there's a long way to go on the season and things can always revert back, but we're already over 30 games in, and the team offence looks dramatically different from last year, and the change seems more and more organic rather than superficial.

    You see, for me to believe in this "Process" (fancy term for losing on purpose to gamble on high draft picks), I accept nothing but a championship from Philly in the next 4 years. Looking at this past two games, I ponder who's closer to one over that time, us or them.
    Good post and I was with you until the last paragraph.
    The goal of a tank is to get relevant and good again. Championships are crap shoots even with excellent teams (see both Heat, Cavs and GSW recent history) and they were a lot better than a team just coming out of a tank job.

    If Embiid was healthy and Philly was a consistent top 4 team for a few years, that's a successful tank job from where they came. The Leafs are another example of a semi-tank but they were extremely lucky in landing on Matthews.

    Comment


    • This was a fun game. Thought the starters played pretty well, whistle was a little funny, still held their own. Was really fun watching the bench (and DD) run away with it. Good times.
      twitter.com/dhackett1565

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      • We currently have the championship belt! Got it off Charlotte. Let's keep it rolling.

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        • Extensions and the NBA salary cap will force our hand at some point, but for this year at least, we are getting terrific value paying $20M for 48 mins/night of JV/Poeltl.

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          • inthepaint wrote: View Post
            What I find fascinating is Where Philly is today, is where many people on this board wanted the raps to be, as early as this past summer: A calculated tanking, a "Process" full of "mystique" and "potential". And I make a distinction between tanking and rebuild here, what was asked was a thorough tanking, an immediate full dismantling of a team that had achieved the most success in franchise history over the prior 2 years, and had, in the East, the most playoff wins of any team other than the defending NBA/Conference champions. Not a natural rebuild of an aging team was asked, but a crude tank of a growing, organized franchise with a stable front office.

            The beef was with the ISO offence. "They can't change the offence, is who DD,Lowry and Casey are, so why bother, let's tank". And yet here we are. I know there's a long way to go on the season and things can always revert back, but we're already over 30 games in, and the team offence looks dramatically different from last year, and the change seems more and more organic rather than superficial.

            You see, for me to believe in this "Process" (fancy term for losing on purpose to gamble on high draft picks), I accept nothing but a championship from Philly in the next 4 years. Looking at this past two games, I ponder who's closer to one over that time, us or them.
            You're conflating a couple arguments here.

            The biggest argument for a tank was not about the iso offence, it was and is about our ceiling: that we don't have enough talent to compete for a championship, and with our cap situation and limited assets, there are few ways of getting talent to put us over the top without a full dismantling.

            The beef with the iso offense had more to do with the "Fire Casey" argument. I would say it was a core complaint about Casey, along with not playing youth and poor endgame playcalling/execution. These issues have mostly been resolved (at least for now), which is why the Fire Casey thread has been dead all season.

            Every regular season we get these premature comparisons claiming that we are doing great and have nothing to worry about, and every post season barring one we have gotten a dose of reality.

            Changing the offense may have answered our coaching question for the time being, but it has not answered our talent question. If you want to compare championship odds between us and the Sixers over the next four years, I would take Philly for sure, and over the next seven it's them by a landslide.

            Markelle Fultz is about to return, Ben Simmons will likely win rookie of the year and get better, they could have two lottery picks this year, and they have an immense amount of capspace this summer as the 5th-lowest payroll next year. That's not even counting Embiid. We're capped out with the second highest payroll for 2019-20, with no draft picks this year, and probably late firsts the year after.

            I'm going to enjoy watching fun basketball for the next few years but I think championship aspirations for this squad as constructed are extremely limited. Our wildcard is OG, but that's a lot of hope to place on one kid.

            Comment


            • G__Deane wrote: View Post
              Good post and I was with you until the last paragraph.
              The goal of a tank is to get relevant and good again. Championships are crap shoots even with excellent teams (see both Heat, Cavs and GSW recent history) and they were a lot better than a team just coming out of a tank job.

              If Embiid was healthy and Philly was a consistent top 4 team for a few years, that's a successful tank job from where they came. The Leafs are another example of a semi-tank but they were extremely lucky in landing on Matthews.
              Thank you, and I agree with you. My criticism is not so much of the concept of tanking, but the timing people ask for it. For teams already near the bottom of the barrel, yeah, tanking can be a way to get "relevant and good" again. The problem is we were (and still are of course), a top 4-5 team, "relevant and good" already, for at least the last two seasons, for the first time in franchise history. We were/are just a tier below ring contention (behind Cavs/GSW). But some people, incredibly, don't appreciate that. Don't have patience for that, even though we've only been here for a couple of years.

              So they're answer is "tank it". People wanted to tank a team on the edge of contention already, in a wild illusion that it will get us a championship in 7 yrs or something. So, according to their logic, yeah Philly should get a championship in the next 4 yrs or so. Sadly I can almost guarantee you that even if we make it to ECF again this year, the topic of immediate tanking will come up again. Heck it evens come up after random regular season losses, it's unreal.

              What Philly is trying to do is get to the level of the Raptors. That's as far as tanking will take you. Beyond that is championship, which is, as you well put it, a crapshoot. Except that in my opinion, the best way to nail that crapshot, is to keep rolling it. Keep knocking on the door, threatening, growing, having playoff success, getting beat by the "ring" itself several times, smelling it..than one year you grab it by the horns. Tanking won't do that for you. Tanking might get you a seat at the table, but we're already there, firmly planted on said table.

              Comment


              • Scraptor wrote: View Post
                You're conflating a couple arguments here.

                The biggest argument for a tank was not about the iso offence, it was and is about our ceiling: that we don't have enough talent to compete for a championship, and with our cap situation and limited assets, there are few ways of getting talent to put us over the top without a full dismantling.

                The beef with the iso offense had more to do with the "Fire Casey" argument. I would say it was a core complaint about Casey, along with not playing youth and poor endgame playcalling/execution. These issues have mostly been resolved (at least for now), which is why the Fire Casey thread has been dead all season.

                Every regular season we get these premature comparisons claiming that we are doing great and have nothing to worry about, and every post season barring one we have gotten a dose of reality.

                Changing the offense may have answered our coaching question for the time being, but it has not answered our talent question. If you want to compare championship odds between us and the Sixers over the next four years, I would take Philly for sure, and over the next seven it's them by a landslide.

                Markelle Fultz is about to return, Ben Simmons will likely win rookie of the year and get better, they could have two lottery picks this year, and they have an immense amount of capspace this summer as the 5th-lowest payroll next year. That's not even counting Embiid. We're capped out with the second highest payroll for 2019-20, with no draft picks this year, and probably late firsts the year after.

                I'm going to enjoy watching fun basketball for the next few years but I think championship aspirations for this squad as constructed are extremely limited. Our wildcard is OG, but that's a lot of hope to place on one kid.
                1) First, I need to say I shouldn't generalize and put all the blow-it-crowd on the same boat. Not my intention, as people had different reasons to want that. However, the ISO offence, who Demar was as a player etc.. were all very much included in the argument for tanking. Not by everyone, of course, but definitely there, on the lines of "we can't change the offence if we don't change the main players/coach, hence we can't change the team ceiling, hence we should tank".

                2) My claim is not that we have nothing to worry about. In fact, quite the contrary, we got plenty to worry about and plenty of screws to tighten if we want to take the next step. Not wanting to blow up a top 5 team that's actually on the rise does not equal "not worrying about it". And yes, It's only been 30 games, it's early, and when it gets tougher, they may very much revert to the old ways. I choose to be optimistic though and imagine what they could reach if they sustain the new style, but I get it when people want to set the bar low to avoid disappointment.

                3) What Philly did was not wrong. They did it at the right time in the life-cycle of their team. They're gonna be good. Maybe Fultz will be as good as Lowry or better. Maybe Embiid will stay healthy. Maybe Simmons will leapfrog Demar, maybe get better every summer in every fundamental of the game like demar, maybe stay loyal to Philly like demar did for the raps, with a goal of scoring 25,000 points for phily like Demar wants to do for the raps and what Dirk and Kobe did for their teams. So many exciting maybes. Maybe their next pick is a Lebron James. Maybe it's an Anthony Bennett.

                All around, over the years, picks get traded & acquired, players get moved, players develop in different ways for better or worse, cap situations change, drafts go boom and bust. 5 years is a long time. But maybe when they become a top 5 team in the league (and they will), right there on the edge of contending, with a tight cap, but right there, losing only to the conference/NBA champions, their fanbase says: "screw it. you reached your ceiling. cap's tight. We got no Allen Iverson, so we can't win. Start 'the process' again, blow it up." I don't think they'd do that, but who knows, it happens, believe it or not lol

                I wish Philly wins a ring in the next 4 years actually. It'll prove "the Process" works, and when it's time for us to do it, it'll feel more palatable. But, tell you what, you take Philly. I'll take the Raps.
                Last edited by inthepaint; Sun Dec 24th, 2017, 04:26 PM.

                Comment


                • The playing the young guys argument has really seemed to come full circle. I remember arguing with at least one poster who felt Bruno and Bebe should be rotation players 3 years ago. Now I'm arguing Bebe shouldn't be nailed to the bench. As for Bruno...
                  If we knew half as much about coaching an NBA team as we think, we"d know twice as much as we do.

                  Comment


                  • inthepaint wrote: View Post
                    1) First, I need to say I shouldn't generalize and put all the blow-it-crowd on the same boat. Not my intention, as people had different reasons to want that. However, the ISO offence, who Demar was as a player etc.. were all very much included in the argument for tanking. Not by everyone, of course, but definitely there, on the lines of "we can't change the offence if we don't change the main players/coach, hence we can't change the team ceiling, hence we should tank".

                    2) My claim is not that we have nothing to worry about. In fact, quite the contrary, we got plenty to worry about and plenty of screws to tighten if we want to take the next step. Not wanting to blow up a top 5 team that's actually on the rise does not equal "not worrying about it". And yes, It's only been 30 games, it's early, and when it gets tougher, they may very much revert to the old ways. I choose to be optimistic though and imagine what they could reach if they sustain the new style, but I get it when people want to set the bar low to avoid disappointment.

                    3) What Philly did was not wrong. They did it at the right time in the life-cycle of their team. They're gonna be good. Maybe Fultz will be as good as Lowry or better. Maybe Embiid will stay healthy. Maybe Simmons will leapfrog Demar, maybe get better every summer in every fundamental of the game like demar, maybe stay loyal to Philly like demar did for the raps, with a goal of scoring 25,000 points for phily like Demar wants to do for the raps and what Dirk and Kobe did for their teams. So many exciting maybes. Maybe their next pick is a Lebron James. Maybe it's an Anthony Bennett.

                    All around, over the years, picks get traded & acquired, players get moved, players develop in different ways for better or worse, cap situations change, drafts go boom and bust. 5 years is a long time. But maybe when they become a top 5 team in the league (and they will), right there on the edge of contending, with a tight cap, but right there, losing only to the conference/NBA champions, their fanbase says: "screw it. you reached your ceiling. cap's tight. We got no Allen Iverson, so we can't win. Start 'the process' again, blow it up." I don't think they'd do that, but who knows, it happens, believe it or not lol

                    I wish Philly wins a ring in the next 4 years actually. It'll prove "the Process" works, and when it's time for us to do it, it'll feel more palatable. But, tell you what, you take Philly. I'll take the Raps.
                    The difference in opinion really stems from what defines a contending team. Anti-tankers tend to frame us as a top-5 team by pointing to regular season record, but with this core we've had the ninth-best playoff record in the NBA. When you look at it by tiers the league looks something like this imo:


                    Warriors



                    Cavs
                    Rockets
                    Spurs


                    Celtics
                    Raptors

                    Thunder/Wolves (maybe)/Bucks/Wizards

                    We have a greater chance of getting beat by the tier below us than beating the tier above us. Which is why the pro-tankers feel the way they do.

                    If we had a legitimate top-flight MVP candidate then the teardown argument would hold less weight. DeMar is playing like an MVP candidate right now but we haven't seen that over the course of a whole season or in a playoff run.

                    Philly has two potential MVP candidates in Embiid and Simmons, and possibly three with Fultz. You don't tear that down, because that's what you're looking for via tanking: true superstars.

                    Arbitrarily limiting the horizon to 4 years doesn't make sense either. Philly has player control over its three core pieces for six to nine years. Team building is best done looking out over the course of a 5 to 10 year time frame imo. By the end of our core's current tenure we will have spent seven years. It's hard to see what our strategy was over that time frame other than shuffling around supporting players and trying to develop something of a farm system.

                    Anyways it's too early for these philosophical debates, because the answers to the questions arrive in the playoffs. Everything always seems hunky dory when we're winning regular season games.
                    Last edited by Scraptor; Sun Dec 24th, 2017, 04:52 PM.

                    Comment




                    • these highlights are pure jokes
                      All man. All amazing.

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                      • Scraptor wrote: View Post
                        The difference in opinion really stems from what defines a contending team. Anti-tankers tend to frame us as a top-5 team by pointing to regular season record, but with this core we've had the ninth-best playoff record in the NBA. When you look at it by tiers the league looks something like this imo:


                        Warriors



                        Cavs
                        Rockets
                        Spurs


                        Celtics
                        Raptors

                        Thunder/Wolves (maybe)/Bucks/Wizards

                        We have a greater chance of getting beat by the tier below us than beating the tier above us. Which is why the pro-tankers feel the way they do.

                        If we had a legitimate top-flight MVP candidate then the teardown argument would hold less weight. DeMar is playing like an MVP candidate right now but we haven't seen that over the course of a whole season or in a playoff run.

                        Philly has two potential MVP candidates in Embiid and Simmons, and possibly three with Fultz. You don't tear that down, because that's what you're looking for via tanking: true superstars.

                        Arbitrarily limiting the horizon to 4 years doesn't make sense either. Philly has player control over its three core pieces for six to nine years. Team building is best done looking out over the course of a 5 to 10 year time frame imo. By the end of our core's current tenure we will have spent seven years. It's hard to see what our strategy was over that time frame other than shuffling around supporting players and trying to develop something of a farm system.

                        Anyways it's too early for these philosophical debates, because the answers to the questions arrive in the playoffs. Everything always seems hunky dory when we're winning regular season games.
                        I will leave this here, giving the proper credit to DS that posted in the front page

                        "Our chances of winning the championship have gone up to 17.9% (again behind GSW with 49.9% and Houston 21.7%). That's significant, as the next best team in the East, Boston, has a 4.7% chance, and Cleveland with 1.9%. Obviously, it's all math, and the games have to be played, but it's weird that no one is talking about the Raptors, like they don't exist in the realm of contenders"

                        There are huge caveats with this of course, and I actually don't think we're this hot, but at minimum, is less arbitrary than these "tiers" you came up with above.

                        Simmons & Fultz have a lot going for them. But like Demar, we haven't seen them play like an MVP for a whole season or a playoff run. They haven't even made the playoffs yet. Fultz is still learning how to shoot free throws. Sure they're brimming with "potential", and If and When they prove it on the court and get a ring, yeah they're "true superstars". Until then it's just hype. I'll take Demar now, thank you.

                        And yes, much like the artificial ceiling people put on this team, my 4-yr timeline for philly is also arbitrary, so sure I'll give Philly 7 years. Heck, Ill give them 10. If in 2026 they win a title, we can go back and say: "see, what they started doing in 2015, finally paid off! They had it all mapped out 10 years in advance!". Doesn't sound like the most surefire way to win, but sure I'll go with it. I'll go with it because they started doing at the right time, not when they were at the top of the conference for 2 years in a row (playoff included).

                        And sure, I agree it's too early for these debates. Raps can very easily go on a huge nose-dive and be out on the first round for all I know. For what is worth, I'm actually not anti-tank per se, I think it can work, my objection is with the proposed timing of it, that's all. An hey, I feel the tankers too. Watching a bunch of young guys develop on a clean slate with no pressure to win right away is a lot of fun, sure less stressful! Truth is we got a good team with bright future, regardless of how we get there

                        Plus is Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas everyone!

                        Comment


                        • OKC had young Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka, and they didn't win a title. No single path guarantees a championship. I'm loving how the Raptors are playing right now, and even if this core doesn't win a title I will still remember them fondly. Be happy that we're not Orlando, or Sacramento.
                          The name's Bond, James Bond.

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                          • 007 wrote: View Post
                            OKC had young Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka, and they didn't win a title. No single path guarantees a championship. I'm loving how the Raptors are playing right now, and even if this core doesn't win a title I will still remember them fondly. Be happy that we're not Orlando, or Sacramento.
                            It's amazing that so many fans can't remember truly terrible Raptor teams such that they can't celebrate 50+ win seasons simply because they get eliminated in the playoffs that most teams to die to be in, in the first place

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