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Old 01-10-2017, 07:58 PM   #221
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They still have pretty good heart at least. Great final six minute rally with DeMar and JV carrying them to the win.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:04 AM   #222
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Harden and the Rockets playing some amazing ball this year.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:09 PM   #223
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Ross is becoming too predictable and easy to defend.

He gets a call he disagrees with, or makes a boneheaded turnover, next time down the floor he'll force something up as soon as he gets the ball. You'll be able to draw him into an off balance deep 2 and essentially his turnover becomes 2.

It's a coaching issue to pull some tape, show it to him, and tell him to pass the ball. Or show him the bench when he is about to do it again.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:06 PM   #224
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Ross is becoming too predictable and easy to defend.

He gets a call he disagrees with, or makes a boneheaded turnover, next time down the floor he'll force something up as soon as he gets the ball. You'll be able to draw him into an off balance deep 2 and essentially his turnover becomes 2.

It's a coaching issue to pull some tape, show it to him, and tell him to pass the ball. Or show him the bench when he is about to do it again.

He does one thing well and that's shoot the 3, which he has done really well this year. He should never dribble any more than 2 dribbles IMO. Due to his inconsistent play I'm sure most people would rather see Norm Powell get the back up minutes. Ross simply has a lot of brain farts from time to time, really good player though and it's unfortunate he can't put it together.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:32 PM   #225
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My complaint is that they aren't necessarily doing a lot to develop Ross's decision-making. I used to think they were: they used to run this set play for him that involved getting a pin-down from JV to pop open for the 3; then they added a wrinkle to it of him curling back into the key after getting the pass; his man had to chase him hard around the pick because of the threat of the 3. If JV's man left him to cover Ross, Ross would dump off to JV who had already put the smaller defender on his back. It was a beautifully simple play (kinda like a read-option in football) that was perfect for where Ross was in his development, and he showed he could make the right read most of the times, when presented with a simple "if-then" type decision.

Now, he gets no set plays run for him anymore beyond ones that end with him taking a 3 or being an off-ball distraction to open up lanes for another player. And he's adequate in that regard, but I do feel like they've dropped the ball on developing him into anything more. And it's not like the play doesn't fit the offense anymore; they're still one of the most screen-heavy teams in the league with many good screeners. Doesn't matter that he's on the court with JV less; get Bebe to set the same screen.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:16 PM   #226
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With Ross it's always been about, is the juice worth the squeeze? I don't think spending a considerable amount of training time with him brings significant returns. His selling point is dunking and recently the threes. He's an alright defender but he doesn't have the head or the skills for the game. Even if he develops a certain awareness, he still needs to learn to dribble. Then he'll still be undersized. If I were the organization, I wouldn't spend my development dollars on him as there's limited upside. Can't be swayed by the big dunks. For his position and reasonable upside, spending development time for Val is much better.
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:38 PM   #227
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Minnesota is now 8-8 in their last 16, including their last two wins over Oklahoma and Houston. Also lost to Philly a few games ago so they're not there yet, but serious reasons to be optimistic for them.
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:29 PM   #228
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Raptors back to beating the crap teams. I like Casey's comment and to paraphrase / If they want to just go through the motions and win 50 something games good for them / but if they want to do something special they have to play on both ends of the court.

Yeah there is more scoring this year but going through the motions describes them in a lot of games. Snooze till the fourth and then start actually playing defense and attacking on offense. That works against the Nets etc. but it's a fail against the good teams.

On a positive note Sullinger and Wright are both close to a return. As in weeks instead of months / Early February? Sullinger's big butt is just what they need at the moment / he is a rebounding machine.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:35 PM   #229
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Quote:
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With Ross it's always been about, is the juice worth the squeeze? I don't think spending a considerable amount of training time with him brings significant returns. His selling point is dunking and recently the threes. He's an alright defender but he doesn't have the head or the skills for the game. Even if he develops a certain awareness, he still needs to learn to dribble. Then he'll still be undersized. If I were the organization, I wouldn't spend my development dollars on him as there's limited upside. Can't be swayed by the big dunks. For his position and reasonable upside, spending development time for Val is much better.
I feel that Ross has to be one key piece Masai is dangling in all trade talks, and I agree that its time to sell on him. If the Raptors want to have a hope in the playoffs outside of a LeBron/Irving injury, they need a better 4, and Ross will be needed to make a trade, both in terms of $$$ and return - maybe someone sees him as a guy who is one step away?
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:19 PM   #230
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At this point the only PF the Raps should be looking to acquire is Ibaka. Just getting some slight upgrade is not worth trading anyone from the existing team. But that's where other teams have better things to offer than the Raptors do for a PF. The Nuggets and Kings always seem to be other linked teams for PFs, and they both have younger, cheaper and better assets to trade than the Raps. Ross is a nice piece to include because his contract is decent (and becomes even more valuable if he starts somewhere else), but the Raps don't have much else of true value to offer.

There was a slight window to get Milsap, but obviously that's gone now. And since trading Korver, the Hawks won 5 of 6 and are actually closing in on the Raps and the #2 seed. Basically get your voodoo dolls out and start hoping for Kyrie and LeBron injuries, or that Sullinger plays the best 3-4 months of his career. Doesn't seem likely the Raps will improve this team much if at all by the deadline.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:09 PM   #231
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At this point the only PF the Raps should be looking to acquire is Ibaka. Just getting some slight upgrade is not worth trading anyone from the existing team. But that's where other teams have better things to offer than the Raptors do for a PF. The Nuggets and Kings always seem to be other linked teams for PFs, and they both have younger, cheaper and better assets to trade than the Raps. Ross is a nice piece to include because his contract is decent (and becomes even more valuable if he starts somewhere else), but the Raps don't have much else of true value to offer.
Ross + ??? gets Ibaka though?
??? has to be at least a 1st round pick, but does Toronto have to add more, such as a cost-controlled asset like Siakam, add money now in Patterson/Sullinger to take money for 2 years like CJ Watson?

And that is for a rental, who if they re-sign both Ibaka and Lowry, launches this team way into the luxury tax (though I am not 100% on whether they get Ibaka's Bird rights)

it would make a very good roster, but does it beat Cleveland?

Lowry, DeRozan, Carroll, Ibaka, Valanciunas, with Joseph, Patterson and Powell the first 3 off the bench and Sullinger as a wildcard

After considering it all, I would say if Powell covers Ross, then a deal moving Ross + Siakam OR next years 1st would be solid, but likely not enough for Orlando to take it seriously, but adding both means that if Ibaka doesn't return, then the hole at PF is filled either by signing Patterson to a deal that they may regret, or whoever comes in on a veteran min. deal, if they can even attract someone like that to a team that has to go through Cleveland.

If there is a deal there, hard to say if they would even be willing to pull it off
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Old 01-17-2017, 02:13 PM   #232
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Ross + ??? gets Ibaka though?
??? has to be at least a 1st round pick, but does Toronto have to add more, such as a cost-controlled asset like Siakam, add money now in Patterson/Sullinger to take money for 2 years like CJ Watson?

And that is for a rental, who if they re-sign both Ibaka and Lowry, launches this team way into the luxury tax (though I am not 100% on whether they get Ibaka's Bird rights)

it would make a very good roster, but does it beat Cleveland?

Lowry, DeRozan, Carroll, Ibaka, Valanciunas, with Joseph, Patterson and Powell the first 3 off the bench and Sullinger as a wildcard

After considering it all, I would say if Powell covers Ross, then a deal moving Ross + Siakam OR next years 1st would be solid, but likely not enough for Orlando to take it seriously, but adding both means that if Ibaka doesn't return, then the hole at PF is filled either by signing Patterson to a deal that they may regret, or whoever comes in on a veteran min. deal, if they can even attract someone like that to a team that has to go through Cleveland.

If there is a deal there, hard to say if they would even be willing to pull it off
Here's why I think Ross+Siakam or Ross+Poeltl is a doable framework: to get Ibaka, they traded away a good young 3-and-D wing, and a promising PF rookie in Oladipo and Sabontis. (Ilyasova was basically a salary-matching throw-in who never really fit in Orlando, either.) A package with Ross and either rookie allows them to essentially hit a reset on the Ibaka trade. (And no, Ross isn't as good as Oladipo but he's literally half the price and is well-suited to Vogel's style, except that Vogel's a big sucker for wingspan.)

Raptors would get Bird rights on Ibaka. Paying well into the tax to keep the group together for a few years is a solid investment. They can potentially keep Lowry and Ibaka and Patterson this offseason and would still be well under what Cleveland is paying this year. The repeater rate tax makes it doable for teams to jump way over the luxury tax for a few years at a time without serious consequences. For Cleveland, their repeater rate kicks in next year. The Raptors have essentially a three year window right now when the best payroll strategy is going to be to get the best talent regardless of cost (as long as you keep a strategy for shedding it later).

And it still might not be enough to beat Cleveland, but it's their best shot. I said before that a lineup like Millsap/Patterson/Carroll/DeRozan/Lowry is the one that does the best job of neutralizing Cleveland's most deadly lineups, and swapping in Ibaka is similarly good. And I do like Ibaka better as a long-term piece more than Millsap.

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Old 01-17-2017, 08:01 PM   #233
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Happy to see Fred Van Vleet get some legitimate minutes tonight!
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:27 PM   #234
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Happy to see Fred Van Vleet get some legitimate minutes tonight!
Yep he and Joseph allowed for Lowry to take the night off which is a good thing. They have finally realized that they need to tone down the minutes for Lowry and DD.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:51 AM   #235
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So it's kinda funny to look back at the 2014 draft. You had Wiggins vs. Parker as the debate on who would go #1. Now if you did a redraft, it'd probably be between Embiid and Nikola Jokic. People really need to start paying attention to Jokic, he's ridiculously talented and is putting up some really sick stat lines, and is 13th in the league in PER (fun fact: Only the Raptors and Thunder have two players in the top 15). I'm sure some people got a look during the Olympics, but it seems everyone is spending the time showering Embiid with love (and he deserves it), when Jokic is putting up really good numbers himself.

Oh and Jokic was draft #41 overall. You could have a starting lineup including Kawhi, Giannis, Jimmy Butler and Jokic, without having used a lottery pick. That team might be the best in the NBA right there, certainly a defensive terror team. Draft seems to be getting deeper every year.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:45 AM   #236
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Watching that game last night, and thinking of the next couple years, made me pretty sad. Sixers will be dominating this division possibly as soon as next year, but for sure by the 2018-19 season, so long as Embiid stays healthy. Just think they still have Ben Simmons to add, plus they will have at least one and likely two lottery picks this year, plus whatever they get for trading Okafor as well. And then there's the Celtics, who are on track to get the #1 overall pick this year, plus another likely top 5 pick next year, thanks to the worst trade of all-time. Insert Mr. Wu's favorite curse word here.

Now hopefully when it's the Raptors time to undertake "The Process", they end up with a once in a lifetime talent like Embiid. As long as he stays healthy and continues to develop at basketball (reminder he's only been playing 6 years total now) his potential is unlimited.
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:54 PM   #237
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It is idiotic, ridiculous, terrible, awful, dreadful, and absolutely laughable Westbrook is not starting in the ASG. Has to be the biggest NBA snub in history. Thomas not making it as a starter either is a joke.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:15 PM   #238
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So it's kinda funny to look back at the 2014 draft. You had Wiggins vs. Parker as the debate on who would go #1. Now if you did a redraft, it'd probably be between Embiid and Nikola Jokic. People really need to start paying attention to Jokic, he's ridiculously talented and is putting up some really sick stat lines, and is 13th in the league in PER (fun fact: Only the Raptors and Thunder have two players in the top 15). I'm sure some people got a look during the Olympics, but it seems everyone is spending the time showering Embiid with love (and he deserves it), when Jokic is putting up really good numbers himself.

Oh and Jokic was draft #41 overall. You could have a starting lineup including Kawhi, Giannis, Jimmy Butler and Jokic, without having used a lottery pick. That team might be the best in the NBA right there, certainly a defensive terror team. Draft seems to be getting deeper every year.
Embiid a major part of the embarrassment that was a loss to the Sixers for the Raptors. Raptors don't look good even in their wins of late.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:35 PM   #239
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Westbrook not starting is what happens when the Warriors get the old Lakers bandwagoners. And they tried as best they could to get Zaza in over Kawhi and AD. But other than Thomas and Westbrook they basically got it right for starters.
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:23 PM   #240
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Raptors heading in the wrong direction theses days. Playing steadily worse. Defense has Been hopeless all year / they aren't listening to Casey anymore. Offense is so predicable and getting shut down.

They look exactly like the team they were two years ago / a first round exit waiting to happen.

They have gone from needing a trade to compete with the Cavs to needing one just to get to the Cavs.
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