Dino Nation: Raptors Doing More With Less?
Old 01-05-2009, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Well said James ... I too was pleasantly surprised from this weekend's outcome.

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For weeks now we had been hearing about how this team was getting close. After every lose you would hear players and head coach Jay Triano talking about it. There would be a lot of talk about how few practices this team had under Triano. It honestly sounded like a party line to explain the failure. Jay Triano a couple games ago would call a time out and the team came out and did not follow his advice. He quickly called another time out and gave his team a quick and firm message after which he walked away. Chris Bosh would follow that up with his own form of verbal abuse. The Raptors seem to have got the message. One of my points had been I did not see any emotion from anyone and that this team seemed to accepting and to easy to find excuses. Well in the last two games when this team had some really legit excuses in that they had no Jermaine O'Neal or Jose Calderon they would play well with no excuses required. O'Neal and Calderon may not even go on this mini two game road trip to Milwaukee and Washington. But after wins over Houston and Orlando maybe it will not matter as much as we would have thought a few days ago.

I seriously would have bet my house the Raptors would have gone 0-3 for this homestand and sit at 12-22. But instead they have a couple unexpected wins and sit 14-20 and have moved out last place to 3rd in the Atlantic Division. The Raptors have done it by playing with a lot more effort and energy on both ends of the floor. Triano has got this team running more on offense and playing harder on defense. The win over Houston did not impress me personally as I chalked it up to Houston looking bad as much as the Raptors looking good. The win over Orlando I walked away stunned and impressed. The Magic came into Toronto on a serious roll and had won 9 of their last 10 games. I have been very impressed with them this season and think they have been over looked in favour of the Celtics and Cavs. Once is an accident and twice is a trend. So if the Raptors can follow up with a win tonight over the improving Bucks we may just have something. Until the year 2009 came around the Raptors lacked a quality win on their resume. These type of wins get a lot of talk in college basketball. When teams are trying to get into the NCAA tournament on of the things people look at is quality wins and toughness of schedule. The Raptors had the tough schedule but no quality wins to speak of. Now to start 2009 they have back to back quality wins. When all hope was starting to fade in this fan base the Raptors have given life to the flame of hope in Raptorland.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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a fluent offense leads to good defense.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the Hook Up Doc. I had got an early start and had a lot to say today. I think everyone will given the surprising events of these last 2 games. Soloic > Calderon? LOL no but boy does Raptor defense play better under the Soloic combo.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the Hook Up Doc. I had got an early start and had a lot to say today. I think everyone will given the surprising events of these last 2 games. Soloic > Calderon? LOL no but boy does Raptor defense play better under the Soloic combo.
ive been saying this for ages and people think im crazy.
im just ahead of my time.

i think they play like an actual team when Calderon isnt on the court.
making plays on offense for each other and helping each other on defense which ukic and solomon are both upgrades over jose.

if we had jose guarding nelson yesterday, do we win that close game?

3-1 without calderon.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Exactly. The improved defense coming from the point has been a huge part of both wins. Doesn't mean the combo is better as a whole, though. It just helps that we're giving teams a different look.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Calderon is one of the most efficient PGs in the NBA and he played injured for most of this season. Yet he is at the top-3 of assist stats. He has one of the lowest AS/TO ratio in the league. Stop pissing on him. He is not responsible for everything the Raptors do wrong. Players should complement each other especially on the defensive end. That's why it is a team game. Tell me one PG that cannot be passed by when a big guy screens him.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm as excited about the last two wins as the next guy but let's not forget that it took some career nights to get them. AP is not going to hit 13 of 16 shots every night and that floater of Roko's is going to miss more than it falls.

I agree that the PG defense has been a factor in the past two games, as well as the pace that Roko in particular sets... he's a very good penetrator and is getting guys to nice spots... as opposed to passing to them only when they get open. Some of the dishes by Roko to AP yesterday reminded me of the past two seasons with TJ and it brought a huge smile to my face. It made me wish the Jose for Nash deal was more than a pipe dream. I think a couple years of being groomed under Nash would really vault Roko to a special starting pg for this team.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Calderon is one of the most efficient PGs in the NBA and he played injured for most of this season. Yet he is at the top-3 of assist stats. He has one of the lowest AS/TO ratio in the league. Stop pissing on him. He is not responsible for everything the Raptors do wrong. Players should complement each other especially on the defensive end. That's why it is a team game. Tell me one PG that cannot be passed by when a big guy screens him.
There are lots of guards that fight much harder to stay in front of their man. Calderon's defense is brutal with a capital B. I understand Jose gets nice stats and congrats. But stats don't win basketball games. You can't say on one hand it is a team game and then use individual stats on the other to prove your point. I mean if it's a "team game" in your view then why point to stats of an individual to prove your point when it suits your debate.

I'll give you a great defensive point guard, Rajon Rondo. But ask anyone and they will tell you Calderon defensive wise is a bottom tier point guard. His injury issues this year have just made it more glaring and obvious.

Jose never took any form of abuse in his rise to where he was at. If people said anything against him they were deemed to be a T.J Ford fan and that was why. But the points made about him Ford fan or not were legit.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm as excited about the last two wins as the next guy but let's not forget that it took some career nights to get them. AP is not going to hit 13 of 16 shots every night and that floater of Roko's is going to miss more than it falls.

I agree that the PG defense has been a factor in the past two games, as well as the pace that Roko in particular sets... he's a very good penetrator and is getting guys to nice spots... as opposed to passing to them only when they get open. Some of the dishes by Roko to AP yesterday reminded me of the past two seasons with TJ and it brought a huge smile to my face. It made me wish the Jose for Nash deal was more than a pipe dream. I think a couple years of being groomed under Nash would really vault Roko to a special starting pg for this team.

how often does the 'groom a young guy under an older star' pattern actually work? honestly, what current stars were groomed in their formative years under a star that showed them the ropes? especially with respect to point guards?
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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how often does the 'groom a young guy under an older star' pattern actually work? honestly, what current stars were groomed in their formative years under a star that showed them the ropes? especially with respect to point guards?
i dont know how true it is but jose credits dmart for alot.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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how often does the 'groom a young guy under an older star' pattern actually work? honestly, what current stars were groomed in their formative years under a star that showed them the ropes? especially with respect to point guards?
im wrong.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Nash and Ford both have worked with D.J Augustin in the off season as well. Plus given the respect Nash has for Triano I am sure he would be glad to act as a mentor for Ukic. But it was just a rumor and I have no idea if Suns have interest in Calderon and it would be a tough trade to make happen given Claderon's new contract.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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how often does the 'groom a young guy under an older star' pattern actually work? honestly, what current stars were groomed in their formative years under a star that showed them the ropes? especially with respect to point guards?
Kidd and Nash could be argued there.

At least I think they palayed a season or 2 together, shit I am really second guessing myself now......
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Who cares where and when it's been done in the past? Who wouldn't want Steve freakin' Nash on this team over Jose Calderon(that's rhetorical by the way, i dont' want to open that can of worms again) if you like Roko as a future starting point guard???

If you dont' beleive Roko could be that guy with some grooming, no need to reply.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Nice post Dino.

The thing that made me happiest about this win over ORL is that even the haters had to FINALLY admit that we...

a) beat a quality team


b) beat a team that was playing WELL

and

c) did it without 2 of our best players
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Nice post Dino.

The thing that made me happiest about this win over ORL is that even the haters had to FINALLY admit that we...

a) beat a quality team


b) beat a team that was playing WELL

and

c) did it without 2 of our best players
i'll just pre-empt the inevitable response from the always negative crowd:

a) orlando lost to us, we didn't beat them.
b) they were playing well, but their streak had to end sometime. we just got lucky.
c) we won BECAUSE we didn't have these two waste of money nooses around our necks.

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i'll just pre-empt the inevitable response from the always negative crowd:

a) orlando lost to us, we didn't beat them.
b) they were playing well, but their streak had to end sometime. we just got lucky.
c) we won BECAUSE we didn't have these two waste of money nooses around our necks.

Hahahaha... I guess we'll just have to hope that we continue getting teams on their "off" nights.....

I have no problem with that at all.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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indeed to.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hahahaha... I guess we'll just have to hope that we continue getting teams on their "off" nights.....

I have no problem with that at all.
Its is easy to say that but how often to fans say the opposite I don't recall anyone saying that oh well Oklahoma City just played over their heads. O.K maybe that was not the best example.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Its is easy to say that but how often to fans say the opposite I don't recall anyone saying that oh well Oklahoma City just played over their heads. O.K maybe that was not the best example.
That's what kills me about some fans.... it's like if we don't beat EVERY "mediocre" team and just barely lose to every elite team then we're underachieving.

We ARE going to lose some games down the stretch that we probably shouldn't. Sometimes the other team just has your number that day.

That being said, we should also expect to win some games that we really have no business winning (like yesterday).
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