Toronto Raptors Thread

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Props Slaps
 10 years ago '04        #561
nicbroto 
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thats it i mean we have a pretty fu*king dope looking team. im mainly concerned about defense and rebounds. either we need cats who can bang on the boards or some of our bigs need to step their sh*t up in the paint. i hope garbo is back and 100% next season...
 10 years ago '04        #562
uzijj 1 heat pts
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Im positive that bargs will be a better rebounder this season. He showed signs last year. I see him averaging at least 8 rebounds a game this year.
 10 years ago '05        #563
jay964 12 heat pts12
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just picture this

ford dumping it down low to bosh
double team comes
he can kick out to
a) kapono
b) bargs
c) parker

and if there is no double he just skools the fool guarding him
 10 years ago '04        #564
nicbroto 
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yeah i have no doubt that we can annhilate c*nts on offense but what about boards? we got dominated last year every game on the glass. how the hell do we let kidd average a trip dub against us in the playoffs. i remember that one game where bosh only had 1 board. yeah you right though uzijj, bargs did start showing signs of improvement on the boards. he is going to be a fu*ken problem next season. i still remember that nasty stepback 3 he had on piaget against the grizzlies, and that turnaround fade after grabbing the loose ball against houston. he got o moves for days. now he just gotta work on his post game a little more. he had a few nice inside moves throughout last season. i just hope he doesnt become as pu**y as dirk is in the paint...


Last edited by nicbroto; 07-25-2007 at 02:42 AM..
 07-25-2007, 12:48 PM         #565
Polo_Smurf 
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Yo man...Magloire a Net. How he going to the only Canadian teams rivals? Think he'll get bood?
 10 years ago '04        #566
uzijj 1 heat pts
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 Polo_Smurf said:
Yo man...Magloire a Net. How he going to the only Canadian teams rivals? Think he'll get bood?
Magloire is a.ss. He should get booed. He doesn't take pride in playing for his nation. He had one decent year his whole career. He is a slug and will be a non-factor IMO.
 10 years ago '06        #567
SHootar 48 heat pts48
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i too worry bout our rebs and dee. BUT...bargs like uzij said is DEF gonna be a better rebounder this year. i saw a pic of bargs somewhere couple weeks back and this man has been hittin the weight room haard. he's gettin kinda meaty..so hopefully he's puttin on some lean muscle so he can bang underneath with the centres this year.

Bosh just got 12 brds at the USA scrimmage which is the best competition u can possibly ask for. so hopefully thats a sign that he's also been focusing on that part of his game. but really he avg over 10 last year which was a great improvement. but i do think playing against these guys will make him better. i'd rather him doing that then say playing vids or chillin back in texas.

bargs will also be playing for italy and will def be interesting to see him as a star on that team and see how he carries it.

and i like the baston signing...his specialties are defense and shotblocking...brds...so i think he could end up gettin some time here and there behind hump.

but our depth is crazy this year and i'm damn excited...our backups and most positions are gonna be solid. esp now that garbo went from being our starter to a bench guy...real interested in how our 2nd unit plays

Calderon
Delfino??
Garbo
Hump?/Baston (think he could break out into a primary backup role)
Nesterovic
 10 years ago '06        #568
SHootar 48 heat pts48
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 07-27-2007, 12:17 PM         #569
Polo_Smurf 
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Dude got bigger. Got high expectations for him this season
 10 years ago '04        #570
nicbroto 
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haha yeah shootar i saw that sh*t. bosh took chandler to school haha. bosh played pretty well that game i thought...
 10 years ago '98        #571
ronnie|A 10 heat pts10
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^ now that is a nice avy

Ok, who else is worried? Theres 2 3-headed monsters in the East... better yet, in our division

good bye ATL crown. :(
 10 years ago '05        #572
Jai-O 
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 ronnie said:
^ now that is a nice avy

Ok, who else is worried? Theres 2 3-headed monsters in the East... better yet, in our division

good bye ATL crown. :(
Me too. Both the Knicks and Celtics seem to have made significant improvements, while the Raps add parts to the team.

But I'm glad I'll get to see more Garnett vs. Bosh, espically up close :D.
 10 years ago '05        #573
jay964 12 heat pts12
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i aint really worried

boston is 3 man team, granted those 3 are big time allstars, but still 3 guys..
what happens if any of the 3 get injured? they fu*ked. or if they all 3 can't co-exist they fu*ked...

the knicks.. well they are the knicks and will still find someway to stay outta the playoffs

nets.. they resigned vince.. they aint winning sh*t
 10 years ago '06        #574
SHootar 48 heat pts48
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raps will be fine guys. our team has definetly gotten better too. and lets not forget our team was a bunch of rookies and unfamiliar faces last year...cant wait to see the chemisty with bosh and tj, and bargs now gettin starting minutes etc. our team will def be better too and our base is so solid for the future.
 07-31-2007, 02:48 AM         #575
Polo_Smurf 
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Worried? Nawww...we got Atlantic again.

Boston, needs time to build their new guys in and I highly doubt for some reason those three can work as one. Iono...they are unselfish players but still.

NY, please...while you know who is still the coach lol...we got this.

Nets....we'll see what happens to ol' Jamal when he comes to T.
 10 years ago '04        #576
uzijj 1 heat pts
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Celtics are going for the quick fix. The raptors actually have a team that can do well now and in the future. The Celts have a 2-3 year window to win a championship. We will still take the atlantic. The chemistry is just to great. The team is to deep.
 10 years ago '05        #577
slanger55 2 heat pts OP
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damn i wanted to see KG go to the suns so we cud have a RAPs/SUNs final but ah well ill enjoy seeing kg goin up against bosh this year
 10 years ago '06        #578
sportyankz 
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 slanger55 said:
damn i wanted to see KG go to the suns so we cud have a RAPs/SUNs final but ah well ill enjoy seeing kg goin up against bosh this year
i wanted him in lakers *tsk* lol
 10 years ago '05        #579
jay964 12 heat pts12
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for my raptor heads, here is the raptors team forecast for next season. its that espn insider article

it pissed me off but figured some of you want to read it

2006-07 Recap
Well that was a nice surprise. Toronto's 2006-07 campaign looked very shaky at the outset, but a key strategic decision and a pair of breakout seasons helped the Raps unexpectedly rise to the top of the Atlantic Division.

When the season started, that outcome scarcely seemed possible. Toronto had a seemingly shaky third-year coach, Sam Mitchell, working on a lame-duck contract for a new general manager, which is pretty much the coaching kiss of death. The team had won only 33 games the season before, and it had spent its offseason raiding the European leagues for low-budget signings rather than making any major moves for proven NBA talent.

Toronto's hopes seemed further doomed when the Raptors attempted to open the season with a fast-breaking, quick-shooting offense molded after that of the Phoenix Suns. Raptors team president Bryan Colangelo had been hired away from Phoenix just months earlier, and his hope was that an offseason trade for waterbug point guard T.J. Ford would allow Toronto to play a similar style.

Turns out that it takes more than just a willingness to shoot quickly to mimic Phoenix's offensive success. The Raptors spent the first two weeks of the season slamming contested shots into the front of the rim with 19 showing on the shot clock, with guards Ford and Fred Jones being the most egregious offenders. Toronto's up-tempo offense was only successful at one thing -- keeping the ball out of the hands of All-Star power forward Chris Bosh.

That's when Colangelo and Mitchell took a very important and underrated step -- they admitted a mistake and changed course. Think of how many execs would be too stubborn and insist the Raptors could win that way if they'd just give it time. But this system was a dud and everyone knew it.

Instead they slowed the tempo down and became more of a pick-and-roll team, allowing Ford and Bosh to work together at the top of the key and using the imports -- Anthony Parker (an American who had played overseas for several years), Jorge Garbajosa and first overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani -- to space the floor and limit help options.

This new approach had middling results at first, but as the team grew more familiar with each other it began to gain steam. Toronto began the year 2-8 and at one point was 7-14, but went 34-16 after Jan. 1 and roared to a division title. A big reason was the shockingly good play of the point guards. A season earlier Ford had posted a PER of 13.16 in Milwaukee, while backup Jose Calderon was rocky (11.44) for Toronto. Yet both players exploded in 2006-07. Ford's PER jumped to 18.30, while Calderon had the biggest jump in the entire league in raising his mark to 19.19. Together, the radical improvement by those two players was the biggest reason the Raptors lurched forward in the standings.

But it wasn't the only reason. Toronto was also a vastly improved defensive team. Parker took over as a defensive stopper on the wings and was surprisingly effective in the role, giving the Raps a lockdown wing defender they'd been missing in previous seasons. Garbajosa also proved extremely capable, even when he was asked to defend small forwards -- something that happened often in the second half of the season once the team soured on veteran Morris Peterson. And center Rasho Nesterovic provided solid post defense for a team whose lack of muscle had been a glaring problem in previous seasons.

The Raptors still weren't a great defensive team, ranking 12th in defensive efficiency. but that was hardly the point. A season earlier they'd ranked 29th out of the league's 30 teams, and that's only because Seattle was the worst defensive team in history. The mere fact that they were now halfway decent was a huge development, because it allowed their offense to win games for them. It was a truly middle of the pack performance, actually -- the Raptors ranked seventh in defensive rebound rate but were almost perfectly average in every other category.

Offensively, the Raptors kept up their recent history of beating opponents into submission with jump shots. With two big men who preferred to play away from the basket, Toronto lacked a traditional post presence. But because of this, they ran what was essentially a European offense -- keeping the middle wide open and letting the guards kick the ball out to shooters. This also opened driving lanes for Bosh, who frequently took opposing big men off the dribble.

The net result was that the Raptors beat the league average in both field-goal and 3-point percentage, and because so many of the shots were low-risk jumpers they had the league's third-lowest turnover ratio.

However, keeping everybody out of the middle also had a cost, and when a shot missed it was time to pay the piper. Toronto was the worst offensive rebounding team in basketball last season, collecting a mere 22.2 percent of its misses (see chart). Relative to the league average this was quite costly -- over the course of the season it cost them over two points a game, which is worth about five wins.

The net result was that Toronto had the league's fourth-best offense on "first shots," but only ranked eighth in the league in offensive efficiency. Still, eighth looks pretty good for what they had. Essentially Bosh was the only elite scorer, but they managed to space the floor and make it difficult to squeeze him.

At least until the playoffs, that is. With Bargnani just returning from an appendectomy and Garbajosa sidelined by a gruesome ankle injury, Toronto bowed out to New Jersey in six games in the first round. Nonetheless, Mitchell won the Coach of the Year award for his efforts, Colangelo took home the league's Executive of the Year award, and in the offseason the once lame-duck -- and seemingly dead duck -- Mitchell was rewarded with a shiny new three-year, $13 million contract.

Offseason Moves
While the Raptors' decision to keep Mitchell counts as the team's biggest offseason move, Toronto also dove into the free agent market in an effort to upgrade the small forward spot, which was the team's biggest hole last season.

Looking ahead, the Raptors are in a great situation as far as the cap goes, as they could be as much as $15 million under next summer. However, some of that might have to go toward keeping Calderon, who makes a paltry $3 million this year but has priced himself well beyond that number. Toronto already made the decision last year to pay Ford (4 years, $33 million in an extension), so one wonders if they'd be willing to commit so much money to one position.

What I'm getting at, in a roundabout way, is that the Raptors have a strong incentive to consider trading one of their point guards, and if the team struggles that time could come sooner rather than later. In the meantime, another move has taken center stage:

• Signed Jason Kapono, let Morris Peterson leave
This was the biggest salvo in a two-pronged effort to upgrade the small forward spot manned by Peterson and Joey Graham last season. The deal seemed excessive for what Kapono provides at four years, $24 million, especially if he can't keep up his 51.4 percent 3-point shooting from last season -- and really, who can?

To me, this deal was about philosophy. Toronto is committed to winning with offense, and doing so by spreading teams out and leaving the middle open. To do that requires great outside shooters, and Kapono qualifies. With him in the corner, it's that much harder for opponents to commit to helping out on Bosh and Ford (or Calderon) on the pick-and-roll. And if the Raps still end up with enough dough left over to go after an A-list free agent next summer, it's tough to be too harsh on them for overpaying to get their guy.

• Traded two second-round picks for Carlos Delfino
The Raptors? A foreign guy? You don't say? Toronto picked up the Argentine swingman cheap, and will have a year to see if he can find a jump shot before they have to decide whether to keep him. While he's a good fit style-wise for the Euraptors and provides a quality wing defender, he's not going to help in their mission to space the floor.

• Signed Maceo Baston
In their continuing quest to reassemble the 2005 Euroleague All-Star team, the Raps added Baston when the Pacers let him go. How Sarunas Jasikevicius slipped by them I'll never know. This was a good move, though, as Baston came cheap and has far more to offer than he showed in Indiana. He's a high-percentage finisher who is likely to pass Kris Humphries in the Raps' forward rotation.

• Drafted Giorgos Printezis
The Greek big man was the second-to-last pick in the draft. The Spurs selected him and then sent him to Toronto. We're still not certain the Raps didn't just make up a name and submit it to the podium just to freak out the scouts for the rest of the league.

• Re-signed Darrick Martin
Because Sam Mitchell needs to feel young.

Biggest Strength: Shooting
Last season the Raptors were only an average 3-point shooting team, making 35.7 percent of their long bombs. They had some good shooters, of course -- Bosh, Garbajosa, Parker and Calderon can all hit from 20, and Ford was an improved marksman as well -- but Colangelo's goal is to build a superior shooting team. And this season they should qualify thanks to three personnel changes.

The first, of course, is adding Kapono. While he remains frustratingly reluctant to use his best weapon -- barely a third of his shots last season were 3-pointers -- there's no doubt about his ability to shoot from distance. If the Raptors can sit him down and explain that the 18-footer off the dribble shouldn't be his go-to move, he can be even more effective.
 10 years ago '05        #580
jay964 12 heat pts12
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continued

The second is a swap the team made at the trade deadline a season ago that sent Jones to Portland for Juan Dixon. I'm not sure why the Raptors signed Jones in the first place, but they made a nice direction shift once they realized their mistake and pawned him off on the Blazers in return for Dixon -- a man who has no position but can really stroke it from outside.

Finally, there's Bargnani. A sub last season who didn't start earning major minutes until the second half of the season, Bargnani's line drives from the top of the key are a deadly weapon. He's likely to break into the starting lineup this season, and as he gets more familiar with the pro 3-point line his stroke will make the Raps even more difficult to contain outside.

Biggest Weakness: Size
In this case it's width more than height that's the issue, and for the Raptors it's a familiar story. They seemingly lead the league in scrawny guys, and the result could be carnage in the low post and on the defensive glass.

Bosh, of course, has an unusually slender frame and can't be subjected to nightly poundings on the low block. But Bargnani is no better in this arena, so if the two start together or share the court for long stretches, it will be interesting to see how the Raptors deal with these shortcomings. Playing zone sounds like a decent answer until a shot goes up … but that will lead to even more second shot opportunities for opponents.

Last season the Raptors got a lot of help from Nesterovic and Garbajosa, but this season they can't expect as much. For one, Bargnani and Kapono have to take minutes from somebody, and these two are the likely victims. Second, Garbajosa's ankle isn't fully recovered from last season's injury and he reportedly needs another surgery.

The Raptors' problems go beyond the frontcourt. Kapono is 6-8 but a non-factor in the paint due to a lack of strength and hops. Dixon is a 160-pound weakling who can be steamrolled by bigger guards; in fact it was the potential for such matchups that kept him on the sidelines for most of the New Jersey series last season.

And at the point, Ford and Calderon are two of the most frail players at their position. Both are popular targets for point guards who like to post up, Ford because he's too short (an alleged 6-0 in the media guide, probably because he was wearing a stovepipe hat at the time) and Calderon because he's so skinny.

Outlook
Before we get started, let's try to look at what Toronto had last season. Yes, the Raptors won 47 games. They also got a career year (in terms of PER) from Ford.

And Calderon.

And Graham.

And Humphries.

And just missed getting one from Bosh.

And Garbajosa and Parker both beat their projected stats handily based on their European numbers. Nesterovic had his best season since 2003-04. The departed Peterson and Jones also had productive campaigns compared to their previous norms, while there were no offsetting disappointments. In fact every Raptor who took the floor last season put up a double-digit PER, even leftovers like Martin, P.J. Tucker, Luke Jackson, Uros Slokar and Pape Sow.

So there are two possible conclusions. One, that the Raptors' system and Mitchell's genius combined to make everyone better than they ever were before. Or two, that nearly everyone played over their head and is headed straight back to Earth.

Until or unless further evidence for the first possibility surfaces, I'll be going with No. 2. Every key Raptor except Bosh and Bargnani projects to have a lower PER than a season ago, with the two point guards owning the most suspicious performances. That includes Kapono, by the way, who had a career year in Miami that he might not be able to replicate.

Throw in the fact that Garbajosa is still working his way back into shape, that Bosh had foot problems over the summer, and that the Raptors had the scoring margin of a 44-win team, not a 47-win team, last season, and my prediction might not seem so optimistic. Bargnani will be better, and with the cap situation the future here is still extremely bright. But unless one or two of his teammates joins him in improving this season, the Raptors as a whole could be in for a setback.

Prediction: 39-43, tied for 2nd Atlantic, tied for 9th in Eastern Conference
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