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  • MixxAOR wrote: View Post
    http://www.espn.com/espnradio/play?id=25997057

    Zach Lowe ranked Top 4 in the East

    1) Bucks
    2) Philly
    3) Raps
    4) Boston

    His reasoning is that the whole vibe of the team is weird. Team is scared of Kawhi leaving and it takes toll on players' psyche. (weird take but ok) Lowry issues:Is it back or else, something is going on. And they don't have another gear to go to for the playoffs.
    Bullshit. Lowe sometimes is insightful but at the end of the day he's ESPN so the bias is huge. Will always overrate Philly, they're desperate to have a Philly/Celtics rivalry at the East at the top again, and will hype their way until it happens.
    ==Glad to have doubted the doubters==

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    • golden wrote: View Post
      The playoff mental midget stigma continues to dog this team. Even the fairest of fair-minded basketball purists, Zach Lowe, is predicting another collapse for reasons even he can't explain. And yet, if it does happen, everyone will say... yep, same old Raptors.
      justifiably so...even with new players, the team as whole still does need to prove themselves...especially since Kyle is still an integral part of the offence

      Comment


      • inthepaint wrote: View Post
        Bullshit. Lowe sometimes is insightful but at the end of the day he's ESPN so the bias is huge. Will always overrate Philly, they're desperate to have a Philly/Celtics rivalry at the East at the top again, and will hype their way until it happens.
        ya i dont get it...vibe is worse with philly and the celtics since theyve had chemistry issues all year....but i think espn and other american analysts think they'll sudden come alive in the post season, especially the celtics like they did last year without kyrie

        Comment


        • inthepaint wrote: View Post
          Bullshit. Lowe sometimes is insightful but at the end of the day he's ESPN so the bias is huge. Will always overrate Philly, they're desperate to have a Philly/Celtics rivalry at the East at the top again, and will hype their way until it happens.
          His wife is from Toronto or whatever and he actually watches Raptors games. He's not wrong that the team was much less dominant in Dec/Jan than they were in Nov. There is an odd Lowry/Kawhi dynamic. Philly and the Bucks have loaded up. But the other stuff - I don't know why you'd think this team doesn't have a gear for the playoffs. We see their gear show up when it needs to. The team has Kawhi. Hopeful for Gasol.

          Philly looks great on paper but they still aren't reeling in wins like the Raps and Bucks. Bucks are rolling but have everything to prove in the playoffs. Raps, people believe in Kawhi but wonder about Lowry.

          I expect the Raps to continue to pick up steam post ASG. The cred will come back. Mind you this team always seemed to prefer underdog status, maybe that's finally different with Kawhi here.
          "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

          Comment


          • KeonClark wrote: View Post
            yes, the battle of 4th and 5th is for Eastern supremacy. Never changes #ESPNculture
            Yeah it's gross. I mean, I'm not even talking 'bout the Raptors here, but like, aside from Zach Lowe they completely ignore the Bucks too. They're playing .750 ball right now with the best record in the league, and yet ESPN continues to be desperate to anoint 76ers/C***tics. It's ridiculous (and not the good kind of ridiculous).
            ==Glad to have doubted the doubters==

            Comment


            • The second last story on the front page for "Morning Coffee" makes an interesting point. There is a high variance in 3 point shooting. We have seen it with the Raptors, where they can go 5 of 27 for three, or they can make 14 of 27.

              Actual examples from the story reference the Celtics 7/39 in game 7 against the Cavaliers and the Rockets 7/44 against the GSW in game 7. What can teams do when they are shooting so poorly? This leads to a couple of questions. What if a team switched to 2 point shots? What if they focused on the midrange shots and also put the emphasis on getting to the rim? If you hit 50% from midrange or at the rim, you score almost 40 on 39 attempts instead of 21.

              I know it's not that simple, but I started wondering "how well do the Raptors do from midrange in?"
              Ibaka's greatest success is midrange. Kawhi lives in the midrange. Pascal scored 12 points on threes the other night, but he scored 32 points on something other than 3pt shots. Marc not only has a high % shot from midrange, he is also one of the best players at hitting cutting teammates. And Lin is famous for getting layups and bunnies. His 3pt shooting is league average at best.

              Are the Raptors uniquely constructed to succeed if they have to move away from the 3pt shot during a drought? Will Nurse point them to the rim and the midrange if they seem to hit one? I don't have the skill or knowledge to compare team stats of the Raptors to their competitors, but I thought it an interesting question.

              Comment


              • Puffer wrote: View Post
                The second last story on the front page for "Morning Coffee" makes an interesting point. There is a high variance in 3 point shooting. We have seen it with the Raptors, where they can go 5 of 27 for three, or they can make 14 of 27.

                Actual examples from the story reference the Celtics 7/39 in game 7 against the Cavaliers and the Rockets 7/44 against the GSW in game 7. What can teams do when they are shooting so poorly? This leads to a couple of questions. What if a team switched to 2 point shots? What if they focused on the midrange shots and also put the emphasis on getting to the rim? If you hit 50% from midrange or at the rim, you score almost 40 on 39 attempts instead of 21.

                I know it's not that simple, but I started wondering "how well do the Raptors do from midrange in?"
                Ibaka's greatest success is midrange. Kawhi lives in the midrange. Pascal scored 12 points on threes the other night, but he scored 32 points on something other than 3pt shots. Marc not only has a high % shot from midrange, he is also one of the best players at hitting cutting teammates. And Lin is famous for getting layups and bunnies. His 3pt shooting is league average at best.

                Are the Raptors uniquely constructed to succeed if they have to move away from the 3pt shot during a drought? Will Nurse point them to the rim and the midrange if they seem to hit one? I don't have the skill or knowledge to compare team stats of the Raptors to their competitors, but I thought it an interesting question.
                The thing with going 5 for 27 is you didn't know you'd be 5 for 27 until the final buzzer. Teams and individual players start slow then heat up all the time (or vice versa). Remember that Pistons game last season where Fred was shooting like crap (1 for 9) but hit a 20 foot jumper for the winner in OT? Basketball players always think the next one's going in - and they have to. Mentally they can't just give up "Welp, they're not going in tonight. Change of game plan." Analytics side, the math is in your favour over large sample sizes so you stick with it. But smaller sample sizes it may not work out - including in playoff game 7's.

                That's actually my biggest fear with this team, more than the quality of opponents or whatever else. I could see these guys being cold enough from 3 to lose a series.
                "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

                Comment


                • MixxAOR wrote: View Post
                  http://www.espn.com/espnradio/play?id=25997057

                  Zach Lowe ranked Top 4 in the East

                  1) Bucks
                  2) Philly
                  3) Raps
                  4) Boston

                  His reasoning is that the whole vibe of the team is weird. Team is scared of Kawhi leaving and it takes toll on players' psyche. (weird take but ok) Lowry issues:Is it back or else, something is going on. And they don't have another gear to go to for the playoffs.
                  I think Masai has done a great job thus far of reshaping this roster. It's pretty much a brand new team going into the playoffs with Kawhi, DG, Gasol and Lin, so if ESPN thinks that the Raptors will mentally collapse because that is what they've always done then let them. Lowry is the only one left the previous core of this group and he can go either way when the lights are bright. The big thing is that he doesn't have to score as much as he's had to in the past especially with Siakam's emergence. One of the big keys to playoff success will be how other teams guard Siakam and if they can stop him from impacting the game.

                  Comment


                  • LJ2 wrote: View Post
                    I think Masai has done a great job thus far of reshaping this roster. It's pretty much a brand new team going into the playoffs with Kawhi, DG, Gasol and Lin, so if ESPN thinks that the Raptors will mentally collapse because that is what they've always done then let them. Lowry is the only one left the previous core of this group and he can go either way when the lights are bright. The big thing is that he doesn't have to score as much as he's had to in the past especially with Siakam's emergence. One of the big keys to playoff success will be how other teams guard Siakam and if they can stop him from impacting the game.
                    But see, even us hardcore Raptor fans aren't confident in what Lowry we're going to get, so why is everybody getting upset when the US media is also leery and is handicapping the outcome accordingly? Lowry is still the leader/heart/engine of this team and especially being the starting PG, if he's rattled, that lack of confidence feeling can permeate through the whole team quickly.

                    Comment


                    • S.R. wrote: View Post
                      His wife is from Toronto or whatever and he actually watches Raptors games. He's not wrong that the team was much less dominant in Dec/Jan than they were in Nov. There is an odd Lowry/Kawhi dynamic. Philly and the Bucks have loaded up. But the other stuff - I don't know why you'd think this team doesn't have a gear for the playoffs. We see their gear show up when it needs to. The team has Kawhi. Hopeful for Gasol.

                      Philly looks great on paper but they still aren't reeling in wins like the Raps and Bucks. Bucks are rolling but have everything to prove in the playoffs. Raps, people believe in Kawhi but wonder about Lowry.

                      I expect the Raps to continue to pick up steam post ASG. The cred will come back. Mind you this team always seemed to prefer underdog status, maybe that's finally different with Kawhi here.
                      Yeah I like Zach Lowe but this one seems off (as it relates to Philly). Unlike the Boston hype (which I can buy into sometimes because they have really good players and a good coach), the Philly hype sounds empty. I feels like they're constantly artificially trying to make them this juggernaut, and they're just not.

                      I was just looking at their year here. First, it was "well, Simmons and Embiid with the development of Saric and Covington will be unstoppable". So they go one game above .500 in October. Then in November they get Jimmy Butler and everyone is like "ok, stop the press, the rest of the east is screwed now, Philly is unstoppable". They have a good November, but go one game above .500 in December again. Bounce back in January a bit with an easy schedule to start the year, then go back to .500 in February.

                      If this was the Raptors or Bucks the headline would be "team struggles to secure home court in the first-round with a non-shooting point guard". Instead, they're somehow the "beast of the of the East", and the team to beat.

                      They're a good team on paper that needs to prove it on the court (just like the Raptors/Bucks). Except that while the Raptors/Bucks play over .700 ball the whole year, it's like "well, they still have to prove it in the playoffs", whereas Philly gets anointed all the time, even though they haven't proved diddly-squat either since their tanking, and have been sputtering along all year. Not saying they can't turn it around like everyone else, but until then, it's just a silly, empty hype.
                      ==Glad to have doubted the doubters==

                      Comment


                      • The 76ers have beat one good team since the Harris deal: the Nuggets. It was Denver's 4th road game in 7 nights. They then spanked a terrible Lakers teams, lost to an Irving-less Celtics team in turmoil and then beat the Knicks.

                        In any case, we'll find out about them fairly quickly. Portland, OKC and GSW are all on deck in short order after the break.

                        Comment


                        • WIth only 23 games to go for Les Raptors to close out the season it just seems like yesterday Summer League was ending and the assembled crew at RR was debating potential rotations, selecting whipping boys for the year and who to cut and who to trade for .

                          And here we are staring at the playoffs in the Easts amazing race as the NBA carnival stops for a week to celebrate itself at the ASG. The Raptors challenge cards so far in the regular season has been over coming the injury bug and coping with load management.

                          So whats most likely to happen between Feb 22nd and Saturday tip for the first round of the playoffs ?

                          The Raps and Bucks are going to finish 1 -2.. in which order might depend on what the Raps want to do. Unlike Dwane Casey who wanted to win every game regardless of what it meant for matchups or draft position Nick Nurse isn't as hidebound. The Raps have a pretty accomodating schedule to the end of the year. Lots of games against Chicago/Atlanta/Knicks/Charlotte/Orlando /Pelicans types... They have two against OKC.. one with the return of Demar and SAS ... 1 with Boston and Portland and a hyped but not substansive Rockets. All but one of those games is at home.

                          The Bucks have a 5 game west coast roadie in their remaining games.. .and they play upper echelon teams 8 times. 5 are on the road. They get Utah/Philly x2/Chowders/SAS/Houston/Clips/OKC and as an added bonus the suddenly tough Sacto on the road.

                          If the Raps want to finish 1st overall its "gettable" if they play well to April and the Bucks hit a flat spot on one of the two western road trips they have left.

                          As for the marketing machine that is ESPN whose beasts of the East are the 4th and 5th place Hinkies and CHowders....math says if the Raps even go a semi wimpy for them 16 and 7 against a weak schedule they will finish with 59 wins. If that happens then both of the Hinkies and Chowders have to go 23 and 2 to catch them in their remaining games. Tall orders. Its even harder to catch the Bucks who sport 7 games up on them in the loss column with 25 to go.

                          I agree with INTHEPAINT that Philly is more sizzle than substance. Yet again Al Horford exposed Embiid as a guy who gets frustrated easlily when he is guarded tough and Ben SImmons point guard extrodinaire turned it over 9 times ... Its Micheal Carter Williams like for Simmons. Against the Raps Leonard closes him down pretty routinely. Gasol will give Embiid as much trouble as Horford. Philly is far far from being bulletproof.

                          Unanswered questions are....

                          Does Indy collapse to finish 5th ? They kinda sorta tried to replace Olidipo with Mathews but he isn't Victor. Still thats one tough squad in Bankers Fieldhouse. Think though with a gruelling roadtrip and schedule the Pacers land in 5.

                          Where to the Hinkies finish.. 3 or 4 or even 5. Fresh from a hot take of world domination by the Hinkies post Harris trade by the ESPN crews they get beat at home by the Chowders ...who beat them by once again by defending Embiid hard and watching Ben Simmons turn it over 6 times and they did it without Irving to boot. Hinkies have a great starting 5 but a really thin bench that causes them problems when the going will get tougher..... See them landing in the 4 hole.

                          Where do the Chowders finish... They seem to own the Hinkies as much as the Raps do.... They have a LOT of talent. Whats unknown is how is Kyrie Irvings health and mental state going to play out. Kyrie has had 3 knee procedures and is now resting up yet another strain on those bum knees .... and ....will Irving give up the ball late in the game to the up and coming players in Tatum and Brown ? Is Gordon Hayward going to find his game in time for the playoffs? Taking the Chowders to finish 3rd as they have the tiebreaker with the Hinkies I believe.


                          Brooklyn appears to be the tallest midget of the rest of the herd that is going to make the post season. Miami / Detroit / Charlotte and possibly Orlando make up the other dwarfs who have a chance to get into the dance.

                          Brooklyn should finish 6th.. and of the others.. none of these teams should scare anyone outside of our resident pessimist GLF. Who finishes 7 or 8 ? Anyones guess but don't think it matters. I will stick with Charlotte and Miami .. but you can flip a three sided coin on Detroit Miami or Orlando as only 3 games in the loss column separate 6th from 10th.

                          So best guess for now is..... with the 7 and 8 spots up for grabs.

                          1 Raps or Bucks vs 8 Heat or Charlotte
                          2. Raps or Bucks vs 7 Charlotte or Heat
                          3. Chowders vs 6. Brooklyn
                          4. Hinkies vs 5 Indy.

                          For those wondering... unlike the NFL or NHL...the NBA does not reseed after each round.
                          Last edited by Demographic Shift; Fri Feb 15th, 2019, 03:40 PM.

                          Comment


                          • golden wrote: View Post
                            The playoff mental midget stigma continues to dog this team. Even the fairest of fair-minded basketball purists, Zach Lowe, is predicting another collapse for reasons even he can't explain. And yet, if it does happen, everyone will say... yep, same old Raptors.
                            Same line was used to assess the Washington Capitals.. .till it wasn't.

                            The NBA is all about soap opera like storylines.... The Bucks and Raps don't have the melo drama surrounding them that Boston and Philly have.. whether is true or media manufactured.

                            Irving .. is he staying or going... is he a nice guy or is he a self centred prick in Boston.....are they having fun...
                            Embiid is his own self promotional force and Jimmy Butler can go rogue on you at any point in time....makes for a contrast for a team that is now all in instead of playing the team on the rise futures role.

                            in 3 months we will know....
                            Last edited by Demographic Shift; Fri Feb 15th, 2019, 01:54 PM.

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                            • inthepaint wrote: View Post
                              Yeah I like Zach Lowe but this one seems off (as it relates to Philly). Unlike the Boston hype (which I can buy into sometimes because they have really good players and a good coach), the Philly hype sounds empty. I feels like they're constantly artificially trying to make them this juggernaut, and they're just not.

                              I was just looking at their year here. First, it was "well, Simmons and Embiid with the development of Saric and Covington will be unstoppable". So they go one game above .500 in October. Then in November they get Jimmy Butler and everyone is like "ok, stop the press, the rest of the east is screwed now, Philly is unstoppable". They have a good November, but go one game above .500 in December again. Bounce back in January a bit with an easy schedule to start the year, then go back to .500 in February.

                              If this was the Raptors or Bucks the headline would be "team struggles to secure home court in the first-round with a non-shooting point guard". Instead, they're somehow the "beast of the of the East", and the team to beat.

                              They're a good team on paper that needs to prove it on the court (just like the Raptors/Bucks). Except that while the Raptors/Bucks play over .700 ball the whole year, it's like "well, they still have to prove it in the playoffs", whereas Philly gets anointed all the time, even though they haven't proved diddly-squat either since their tanking, and have been sputtering along all year. Not saying they can't turn it around like everyone else, but until then, it's just a silly, empty hype.
                              Yeah that 1 game they got in last years playoff has hardened them immensely...

                              Comment


                              • LJ2 wrote: View Post
                                I think Masai has done a great job thus far of reshaping this roster. It's pretty much a brand new team going into the playoffs with Kawhi, DG, Gasol and Lin, so if ESPN thinks that the Raptors will mentally collapse because that is what they've always done then let them. Lowry is the only one left the previous core of this group and he can go either way when the lights are bright. The big thing is that he doesn't have to score as much as he's had to in the past especially with Siakam's emergence. One of the big keys to playoff success will be how other teams guard Siakam and if they can stop him from impacting the game.
                                Well that's the thing. Masai has made it so that if Lowry does get rattled in the playoffs then the potential for his lost production doesn't impact the team as much as in the past. Lowry is getting pushed down on the ladder of options on offense. Last year he was second with a big gap between him and the third option. This year he's our 4th best option on offense behind
                                1. Kawhi
                                2. Gasol
                                3. Siakam

                                And the gap between Lowry and then next option on offense which is Serge isn't that big. He's not going to be called upon to score, but do all of the other stuff he can still do rattled or otherwise.

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