Armstrong: Five improvements for Raptors to take the next step
Old 01-11-2010, 01:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Armstrong: Five improvements for Raptors to take the next step

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The Toronto Raptors are playing much better of late and sport one of the Top 5 records in the NBA since early December after their horrible loss at Atlanta and the big team meeting in Washington to straighten out the mess. I love the fact that the defence has tightened up and lots of players are buying in and accepting their roles. The team is playing with confidence and is right on the heels of the Miami Heat (look at their schedule - tons of road games coming up) for the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference, which I think is the spot they should be in based upon their talent level.

The Raptors have turned their season around and they deserve tons of credit for getting their act in gear. Jay Triano and his staff have done a nice job of getting their philosophy through to the team and have made the necessary adjustments in the X's and O's to adapt to the needs of this team.

Now the next step: how do the Raptors, who are currently at 19-19, make the next step and become that winning and contending team that Raptors fans are craving for? I must caution - let's be realistic here - they are not as good as Cleveland, Boston, Orlando and Atlanta at this stage but they are getting closer. With that being said, here are 5 ways that they can make another step and be a team folks don't want to deal with come springtime.
LINK - TSN.ca
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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3. WING (2/3) SPOTS IMPROVEMENT: a) Hedo Turkoglu needs to be better and much more consistent. He has played A LOT better of late and has another level that he has and needs to get to. Raps have made huge commitment to him and they need him at a higher level each game. b) DeMar DeRozan is improving and getting more aggressive. Need his consistency and aggressiveness to get and stay at next level - nice potential there. c) Sonny Weems - played better than most thought he could and has defended pretty well. Need him to be solid and make high percentage plays. d) Marco Belinelli - playing much better of late. Seems to have hit his stride. Love the energy and grit he brings. Keep doing it. Another thought here in terms of this team making some noise in the playoffs: if the internal development/improvement isn't enough in next five weeks, then maybe a trade before the Feb. 19 deadline is in order. Might be worth considering if need be. Patience right now - opportunities are there for everyone - take advantage.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Alot of talk about Reggie Evans. I think he's the perfect for this team. If he's back @ 100% come playoff time... we'll be competitive.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Other then a Major to good to be true package for Bosh at the trade deadline i dont see any big changes happening by the deadline.

Reggie wont be moved because we dont know how well he can play with this team.
Calderon and Jack cant see them going anywhere either
Bargs n Turk seem untouchable
Belli naa cant see it got to much of a good deal for him

POB? Cant get nothing for him even tho hes expiring.

I only wish Marcus Banks was a expiring - imagine that? Could of gotten us a 5 mill player
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bmats7 View Post
Alot of talk about Reggie Evans. I think he's the perfect for this team. If he's back @ 100% come playoff time... we'll be competitive.
Personally I think a high caliber wing is really what the Raptors need to get better. Bosh and Bargs are the lifeblood of the team do we rewally need Evans cutting minutes into those guys?
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Personally I think a high caliber wing is really what the Raptors need to get better. Bosh and Bargs are the lifeblood of the team do we rewally need Evans cutting minutes into those guys?
I agree.

Evans and Jose paired with wright MIGHT get something, might.

$14,979,000

that means team could take $18,823,750 in salary max.

Next thing is though, who needs a backup bigman who hasnt played all season, a solid pass first pg and almost 4 million in cap reduction.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree.

Evans and Jose paired with wright MIGHT get something, might.

$14,979,000

that means team could take $18,823,750 in salary max.

Next thing is though, who needs a backup bigman who hasnt played all season, a solid pass first pg and almost 4 million in cap reduction.
i'd say about 15 teams in the league (just on the top of my head) could use a player like jose. Problem is Jose has long term coin as well and I don't think evans will sweeten the pot. Raptors are stuck until the summer I think with this roster. Unless of course BC could catch a team off guard.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i'd say about 15 teams in the league (just on the top of my head) could use a player like jose. Problem is Jose has long term coin as well and I don't think evans will sweeten the pot. Raptors are stuck until the summer I think with this roster. Unless of course BC could catch a team off guard.
If a team really needs him to advance themselves then a team could bite, but it might take Amir instead of Evans(Amir is expiring)
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Snooch View Post
If a team really needs him to advance themselves then a team could bite, but it might take Amir instead of Evans(Amir is expiring)
Losing Amir would be kind of silly and you better be getting a good wing player which I would doubt. Face it if you make a trade of worth for the raport roster this trading deadling it would hinder the chances of a playoff birth. Something I don't think BC or MLSE would want to see.

Just my opinion anyways. You would be trading for futures if u want a trade to not be ripped off in
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i'd say about 15 teams in the league (just on the top of my head) could use a player like jose. Problem is Jose has long term coin as well and I don't think evans will sweeten the pot. Raptors are stuck until the summer I think with this roster. Unless of course BC could catch a team off guard.
how about the Lakers? they don't care about money and Josť would be their cheapest starter by a very big margin. not even close. Maybe he's too much of a playmaker for the triangle idk, but Fisher isn't playing great and he's definitely getting old. they might like Josť as his successor..?

don't know what it should bring the Raptors though. what they could get
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Did you notice the blurb about Sonny's D in that section jeff?

Maybe I'm not so crazy after all...
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Did you notice the blurb about Sonny's D in that section jeff?

Maybe I'm not so crazy after all...
Who said you were crazy?
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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we better not trade Amir Johnson
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