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Old 12-30-2020, 06:55 AM   #61
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One of the bigger issues right now is they have been out-rebounded pretty well in all three games. Not gonna win many games at this level losing the rebound advantage by ~10 a game, unless you are shooting lights out.
Wasn't this utterly predictable with the loss of both Gasol and Ibaka? Plus, those two were strong defenders, especially Ibaka. They seem to have lost their defensive game and they don't have enough offensive talent to make up for it now. Taking out two fairly effective bigs (even though Gasol is on a steep decline) is going to hurt your rebounding and rim defense, which ripples out to all other aspects of your defensive game. When that was your bread and butter last year, it's going to be a challenge to win as many games when it has been significantly altered.

This is a team that may struggle to even make the playoffs this year. I suspect it will be a transition to a new team led by FVV and Siakam, but questions remain if there's enough talent in those two to build a strong team around. They're great 3rd or 4th options, but I don't see them as go-to guys, at least not yet.
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:55 PM   #62
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Ibaka was the worst defender on last years team. He’s a long ways away from the player he used to be. Then again so is Gasol but he still was Toronto’s best defender last year. Boucher has more holes in his game than either though. I think at the end of it Toronto will fall in that 4-6 range for the playoffs. They’re definitely a weaker team than last year unless Siakam and others take a step up.
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:49 PM   #63
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A game the Raps should be dominating, but some weak possessions with lacklustre passing and outside shooting. Powell and Lowry are taking it in every now and then, but the rest have to be much more aggressive. The Knicks aren’t a team to fear.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:17 PM   #64
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Len is nailing it from 3. wow.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:26 PM   #65
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Eight minutes and change to go in the game. It's nail biting time.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:31 PM   #66
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Bold and correct move to bench Siakam tonight. Good to see Raptors management prioritize team over individual and send a message to the young guys. Team has looked better tonight and Siakam will come back hungry.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:40 PM   #67
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I think we got this one.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:50 PM   #68
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They played very well in that second half. This type of play wonít work against better teams. I hope they get some confidence from this to play smarter.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:02 PM   #69
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The Knicks starters went 0-23 from 3, that’s pretty impressive.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:13 PM   #70
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RJ Barret is looking kind of like what I expected him to look like. A really really bad shooter. I think he is like 18 % from 3. That is so bad for an NBA player.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:39 PM   #71
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What was the hype on RJ to begin with? The guy doesn't shoot all that well, and he doesn't even look interested. I guess NY will do that to you, but there's no emotion or enthusiasm with his play. It's too early to write him off but there had to be something scouts seen in him a year ago.
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:24 PM   #72
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What was the hype on RJ to begin with? The guy doesn't shoot all that well, and he doesn't even look interested. I guess NY will do that to you, but there's no emotion or enthusiasm with his play. It's too early to write him off but there had to be something scouts seen in him a year ago.
He was kinda an all-round talent: decent size / rebounding / passing / defense, while not being elite at any one skill, but he had a reputation as an intense competitor who would continue to improve. So the potentially most worrying thing is that he doesn't look to have the same competitive instinct right now.

Shot-selection was always his weakest trait, and that's something that has really come out in New York, playing without any rigid system. I think Thibs will be a good coach for him, but it'll take time to get him to play a better team game.
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:16 PM   #73
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Harden scratched tonight. They are claiming sprained ankle but he looked fine in warmups and there had been no mention of an injury until 30 minutes before game time.

Rockets looked fine without him. Christian Wood - I had no idea.
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Old 01-02-2021, 09:07 PM   #74
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While I obviously have no idea about if theyíre telling the truth or not, what Iíve read is certain players who were signed recently canít be traded until something like, February where they can then be dealt. My guess is heís dealt to a team then as options open for teams to add other eligible players to deals. Waiting a month or whatever isnít a big deal especially for a deal so important to a franchise.

Anyway, decent comeback by the Raps. Still some guys taking a step back early on but Iíll give the team the benefit to turn it around in the next few games.
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:25 PM   #75
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The difficult thing about Siakam fouling out two games in a row is that he's creating a clear template that the way to most easily beat him is to go at him on the offensive end, get him into foul trouble, get him frustrated. Guaranteed a lot of teams are going to see if they can do the same, and there's no real answer for it except for him just being better on D without fouling and not letting it get into his head.

The call that he fouled out on was definitely not a foul, but he took too many stupid fouls earlier in the game to put himself into danger there.
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:44 PM   #76
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Yup. Siakam and Anunoby have looked rough. Siakam I'm frankly not surprised about because he's tailor made at this point to be a great second option on any team. Something switched in his head last year, and I don't for a second think it had anything to do with the bubble. Whether it's anxiety or him just being comfortable with what he is, last year he was required to step up in Kawhi's departure and he fell so flat. Trajectories aren't linear, but there should be progress year over year. When he cowered in the playoffs, first thing that came to mind was something in his personal life changed, or he just wasn't cut out for it. Personally I think Lowry being the first option should have kept the pressure off Siakam last year, and it didn't work out, which shows me he can't handle the pressure. Pro sports require some swagger and resilience, and Siakam is quickly losing me as a fan of his ability. I love the person though.


As for OG, that one is truly one that I think has been hampered by injuries affecting his ability to develop. Last year was going to be his breakout year and now it's been about two years since he's been healthy. He's been given the opportunity so far this season, with starting minutes, but has been stuck as a defensive specialist. His threes aren't working at all, and rather than taking more conservative shots he just keeps going for the threes. I find that odd, as well as the coaching staff's ability to get him to take higher percentage shots until the rest sort itself out.


Anyway, it's late for this rant, but there are so many things that need to be addressed. I know with these guys they experienced the good times a couple years ago, so maybe they can take what they can from it and get their confidence back, but right now they really need second leader aside from Lowry to step up, and push them to play mean, because they're playing super tense.
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Old 01-03-2021, 01:25 AM   #77
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I don’t think the loss of leadership and calming influence of Ibaka and Gasol has been replaced.

Siakim was overpaid last year and I think FFV has been this year; both players who had each surprised because they had stepped up above the level of the very good complimentary players they are, thanks to the structure of having the above mentioned vets to mentor them off the court and shield them on and off the court.

Lowry is a do it by example guy, where those two guys they lost this year (and a guy like Danny Green) were more cerebral.

So those two highly paid guys taking charge and taking over like the coach and GM thought? Not in their mental make up, it appears. Siakim especially.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:40 AM   #78
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Ibaka and Gasol were important pieces for the Raptors. Surely it can't be a surprise to people that the Raptors are not as good without them? Those guys are tough to replace.

The Raps might be better than their 1-4 record suggests, but the days of being Eastern Conference contenders are over.
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Old 01-03-2021, 05:24 PM   #79
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Ibaka and Gasol were important pieces for the Raptors. Surely it can't be a surprise to people that the Raptors are not as good without them? Those guys are tough to replace.

The Raps might be better than their 1-4 record suggests, but the days of being Eastern Conference contenders are over.

See, I agree with Ibaka being a leader, but I didn't see much of Gasol's influence. He took some really dumb fouls in games it mattered most, wasn't athletically inclined at this point in his career, and basically had no business being a starter in the NBA. Maybe he was good behind the scenes, but this past year I found him to be more or less a liability. Ibaka was underutilized if anything, and totally found a way to rile up his team through aggressive play. I knew he'd be hard to replace but this degree of perimeter play has been a disappointment.


Len has at times been a pleasant surprise but lacks the skill. Baynes has some of the physical tools to be a damn good player, but when he has the ball he's slow AF, and that tells me he's just not athletic enough. Go down the entire roster and there are so many glaring needs from specifically the starters. So something has to give and that give is only through a deal. The only star available at this moment is Harden, which I'd absolutely take a pass on. Generally I'm not a fan of DeRozan, because he'll surely disappear in the playoffs, but perhaps if the deal is depth for him, he'd be an upgrade. This can't go on though, because this season is going to be painful watching some guys have no future on the team getting so many minutes.
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Old 01-03-2021, 05:54 PM   #80
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I have to admit, I have a better understanding of NHL and MLB roster construction than NBA. I look at players like Issac Bonga of the Wizards, who is 3rd and 4th depth at the forward positions, but has all of the stats screaming potential starter. It looks like for whatever reason, he is being mishandled by the Wizards.

Why is this guy not a low-buy target of the Raptors to play first option PF after Siakim off the bench? Exactly what they need. Strong defense, decent/growing offense, clutch player.

I get that it's a star driven league, but when you have a perennially poorly run organization like Washington, why not victimize them with a low risk/high reward trade? Much better option than Harden.
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