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Thread: 2018/19 Raptors Power Rankings Thread

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    Raptors Republic Veteran planetmars's Avatar
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    Default 2018/19 Raptors Power Rankings Thread

    First week Power Rankings are in.

    October 16-21:


    ESPN (2):
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...-moving-week-1

    In the league's first big statement game of the season, the Raptors showed off their depth and versatility in a spirited win over Boston. Though he hasn't shot the ball well for the 3-0 Raps, Kawhi Leonard fits like a glove in Toronto, both as a brawny wing and as a small-ball 4. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry was one of the league's five best players during the season's opening week, pacing the Raps with red-hot shooting. -- Arnovitz

    NBA.com (1):
    http://www.nba.com/powerrankings

    Kawhi Leonard isn't off to the most efficient start, but had 31 points and a couple of big shots in the Raptors' win over the Celtics, and Kyle Lowry is here to remind us that this team has more than one star. Lowry is 12-for-21 from 3-point range and made a bunch of big plays down the stretch last week, both against Boston and again in Washington on Saturday, with Leonard sitting out the second game of the back-to-back. Bench minutes haven't been great so far, but part-time starter Serge Ibaka gave the Raptors some important second chances (eight of his 11 offensive boards have come in the fourth quarter) in both weekend games.

    CBS Sports (2):
    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/powerrankings/

    Too early to have the Raptors' leap-frogging the Rockets and Celtics for the best non-Warriors team in the NBA? Yeah! Probably! Probably way too early! But Kawhi Leonard looks absolutely awesome (31 points in the Raptors Friday win againstthe Celtics), and Kyle Lowry (28 points and 12 assists) helped the Raptors get a nice road win at Washington with Leonard resting on the second night of a back-to-back. This defense has a chance at becoming elite.

    SI (1):
    https://www.si.com/nba/2018/10/22/nb...s-opening-week

    I was prepared to leave Toronto at No. 2 after pulling out the thriller against the Celtics. Then, without Kawhi, the Raptors went on the road and earned another victory on the second night of a back-to-back that they had every reason to lose. Kyle Lowry might be down a best friend, but the championship experience provided by Leonard and Danny Green will mean more than pregame handshakes come May. And through one week in October, it seems it is already paying off.

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    Super Moderator Mack North's Avatar
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    They like us. They really, really like us!

    Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Zainab's Avatar
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    Wow! I've never seen so much love!!!


    DAMNNNNNN

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    Raptors Republic Rookie meductic's Avatar
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    Nice! Nice rankings and real nice effort on putting the compilation together!

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Raptor Jesus's Avatar
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    By far my favourite thread each year.

    I realized it's been a whole bunch of years given my join date.

    These last few have really helped the bell curve.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Gave the thread a new name Mars, hope you don't mind!

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    I think the ESPN blurb gets it exactly right: Leonard has looked a tad rusty on offence, but the fit on this team is amazing.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer MixxAOR's Avatar
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    Quote Joey wrote: View Post
    Gave the thread a new name Mars, hope you don't mind!
    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
    First Team All Nonsense

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    Someone pinch me...on second thoughts if this is a dream, i don't want to wake up! Masai is a freaking genius!

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    October 22-28:


    ESPN (2) [-]:
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...surprise-teams

    Only one undefeated team will remain in the association after the Raptors face off against the Bucks in Milwaukee on Monday night. Only three NBA starters have posted a higher true-shooting percentage than Kyle Lowry (72.7 percent), while the Spurs' imports of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green have been a paragon of two-way efficiency -- both shooting 45 percent or better from 3-point land and stabilizing the wings defensively. -- Arnovitz

    NBA.com (1) [-]:
    https://www.nba.com/powerrankings/2018-19-week-3

    The guy who came with Kawhi Leonard (who had 35 points on 15-for-23 shooting against Minnesota on Wednesday) from San Antonio has been pretty good, too. The 18 3-pointers than Danny Green has made this season are more than he made in any six-game stretch last season, and with the starting group so dominant --the Raptors have outscored their opponents by 27 points per 100 possessions in 90 minutes with Kyle Lowry, Green, Leonard and Pascal Siakam on the floor together -- it hasn't mattered that they have yet to have both Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet off the bench. But after playing five of their first six games at home, the Raptors will play nine of their next 13 on the road. That stretch includes four back-to-backs, with Leonard having rested the second game of their first one.

    CBS Sports (2) [-]:
    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/powerrankings/

    What made the Raptors so great last regular season was their bench unit. The Raptors' bench led all bench units in net rating, and Dwane Casey used his bench more than any NBA coach but one. But thanks to some injury concerns, the Raptors rank 20th in the NBA in bench minutes, and their bench actually is posting a negative net rating. That doesn't seem to matter much, though, because Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry have been magnificent.

    SI (1) [-]:
    https://www.si.com/nba/2018/10/29/nb...e-lebron-james

    The Raptors continue to look the best of any team in the league. Playing basically every game at home helps make that way easier, but itís not like they are in charge of constructing their schedule. Mondayís game in Milwaukee should be a great one and an even better test of where this team is. Plus, Kawhi vs. Giannis. What could possibly keep you from watching that matchup?

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    I really love the love... but how can we possibly be ranked ahead of GSW?

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    Super Moderator Mack North's Avatar
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    Quote Mack North wrote: View Post
    I really love the love... but how can we possibly be ranked ahead of GSW?
    Last night was case in point.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran S.R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Mack North wrote: View Post
    Last night was case in point.
    GS essentially has 2 guys in the top 5 for ppg and the guy who dropped 52 last night isn't even one of them smdh
    John Hancock

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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    GS essentially has 2 guys in the top 5 for ppg and the guy who dropped 52 last night isn't even one of them smdh
    Boogie is normally a top scorer as well, wait til he's back. He was recently cleared to begin on-court activities, might see him by Christmas they say.

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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    GS essentially has 2 guys in the top 5 for ppg and the guy who dropped 52 last night isn't even one of them smdh
    This is where the unfair advantage comes in. GSW can basically rest their stars, in-game, and still win 60 games while keeping everybody fresh for the playoffs. Other teams limp into the playoffs all banged up. GSW can sit guys out for weeks. Curry missed an entire round last year, whereas other teams would have rushed him back, playing at 50-60%.

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    October 29 - November 4:


    ESPN (2) [-]:
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...s-ahead-week-4

    Kawhi Leonard has yet to play in back-to-back games this season, as the Raptors are determined to exercise caution with their prized offseason acquisition. Toronto is now 2-1 without Leonard, including a shellacking of the Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday night ahead of Monday's matchup at Utah. If the dominant Raptors are looking for some self-improvement, they can start on the defensive glass, where they're currently a bottom-five team. -- Arnovitz

    NBA.com (4) [-3]:
    http://www.nba.com/powerrankings/201...=powerrankings

    The Raptors lost the game between the league's last two unbeaten teams and then lost Kawhi Leonard to a foot injury. (Hopefully, team and player remain on the same page in regard to that.) But they handled the Sixers in their first meeting on Tuesday and are 2-0 on their four-game trip, having blasted the Lakers out of the gates (they led 41-10 with a little more than two minutes to go in the first quarter) on Sunday. Kyle Lowry leads the league in assists (11.6 per game) by a wide margin and he's had almost twice as many assists to Serge Ibaka (34) as he's to any other teammate (next is 18 to Pascal Siakam). Ibaka had a rough 2018 postseason, but appears much more comfortable as a full-time center (he's played less than a minute with Jonas Valanciunas), shooting 57 percent after a 15-for-17 performance in L.A. He has shot 78 percent in the restricted area, where 38 percent of his shots have come from. That latter rate isn't a career-high, but it's up from just 18 percent over the previous two seasons.

    CBS Sports (2) [-]:
    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/powerrankings/

    The Raptors have been extra cautious with Kawhi Leonard. He sat out Sunday night against the Lakers with a sore left foot, meaning he has sat for three of his first 10 games as a Raptor. It didn't matter; the Raptors blew out the Lakers on the Lakers' home court. The Raptors' starting unit has been absolutely dynamite all season long.


    SI (2) [-1]:
    https://www.si.com/nba/2018/11/05/nb...damian-lillard

    With or without Kawhi Leonard this team is good. With Kawhi they are the second-best team in the NBA right now. Without him, they can still go on the road and run the Lakers out of Staples Center through three quarters.

    We got cheated out of seeing Kawhi vs. Giannis on Monday, but watching the two-time Defensive Player of the Year turn Ben Simmons into a walking turnover machine was a decent substitute. The more and more Leonard gets to leave his imprint on this unit, the scarier Toronto gets on that end. As teammates learn how to better work off the guy who can create steals with his back turned, forcing turnovers and closing possessions will be even easier.

    On the other end of the court, Kyle Lowry has his hands on everything and is setting the tempo. His league-high 11.6 assists per game are about four more than his career-high, and with the way this offense is scoring and how effortless it is for them to jump into transition makes it seem possible he will finish with double-digit helpers.

    Nick Nurse will likely need to lighten up Danny Greenís minutes as the season goes on, but the time being, his floor spacing and experience are major bonuses.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran S.R.'s Avatar
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    Was about to take exception with NBA.com but that is a pretty good top 4. Still, I'd put the Raptors #2. I'd take this team (with Kawhi) over the Bucks or Nuggets.
    John Hancock

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post

    The Raptors were always better than the celtics. Last year, this year...to be the man, you gotta beat the man, you can't just pass us "on paper"
    It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran S.R.'s Avatar
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    We're Number One!

    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...s-ahead-week-5

    Is Masai Ujiri the mayor of Toronto yet?

    It was an undefeated week for the 12-1 Raptors, who haven't won a game by fewer than seven points since the first week of the season. One among many promising notes for Toronto: No matter which combination of forwards and big men head coach Nick Nurse assembles around Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, the Raps are decimating the competition. No other three-man unit in the league with more than 200 minutes has outperformed this Raps' winning trio. -- Arnovitz
    This one too:

    http://www.nba.com/powerrankings
    Last edited by S.R.; Mon Nov 12th, 2018 at 11:55 AM.
    John Hancock

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