Grange: Raptors drowning in 3ft of water
Old 11-18-2013, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors Grange: Raptors drowning in 3ft of water

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The Toronto Raptors are drowning in three feet of water.

This is hard to do for very tall men, but it’s happening. Tyler Hanbrough is thrashing madly, but can’t swim. Rudy Gay is bailing as quick as he can but keeps missing the water with his bucket. Amir Johnson is dutifully standing at attention, saluting bravely as the ship sinks.

If you had your eyes averted on the weekend you missed them losing twice to quality teams—which is what always happens. Once was by way of an absolute thrashing by the Chicago Bulls, who were minus Derrick Rose. Only a determined 37-point effort by the willing-but-not-always-able DeMar DeRozan saved the Raptors from a fate worse than mere embarrassment.

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Outside of Johnson, who does most of the right things to minimal effect, there is nothing truly positive to glom on to. As a group they seem to have forsaken passing, for example. They are last in the NBA in assists (16.5 per game) and 27th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.12). This is consistent with the tendency of their prime players—Gay and DeRozan—to pass almost never.
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The team now heads into a pivotal week against Eastern Conference opponents with just a 4-7 record and little to hang their hat on: They are the 29th slowest-paced team in the NBA, which is usually code for a club that wants to choke the game into oblivion in order to keep it close enough to get lucky at the end—for historical reference see the Kevin O’Neill-coached Raptors of 2003–04.
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As the schedule would have it the Raptors face Philadelphia on Wednesday. They also have games against Washington and Brooklyn in the coming week. Their fate is in their hands.

“The league hasn’t gone anywhere,” Casey said. “Our whole thing is to not let the cloud of gloom come in. The East is open. We’ve got to maintain our focus, maintain our positive approach, keep growing, keep getting better offensively, get better ball movement.”

Given the fact that the franchise has missed the playoffs for five straight years and a year ago was out of serious playoff consideration by the end of November (thanks to a 4-19 start) these should be considered positive developments.

Ah, but the context.

The Raptors are maintaining their relevance only because of the curious tendency of the Eastern Conference—as a whole—to lose more games than they win. Only four teams out of 15 have a winning record to this stage: Indiana, Miami, Chicago and Atlanta. Everyone else so far is varying versions of terrible.

As a whole the East has a record of 66-78 through 144 games for a winning percentage of .456—and this with the Heat and the Pacers combining to win 80 percent of their games. Remove those two juggernauts and the remaining 13 teams are 50-77 for a winning percentage of .393.
Raptors? playoff position means little in weak East - Sportsnet.ca
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Media are all over the Raps today
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am so sick of this. Cannot wait till the 15th
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The team now heads into a pivotal week against Eastern Conference opponents with just a 4-7 record and little to hang their hat on: They are the 29th slowest-paced team in the NBA, which is usually code for a club that wants to choke the game into oblivion in order to keep it close enough to get lucky at the end—for historical reference see the Kevin O’Neill-coached Raptors of 2003–04.
um, we are the 3rd best rebounding team, the 1st offensive rebounding team and we rank 8th in defense according to espn.com. Throughout the Bargnani era I heard countless complaints about how our rebounding and defense are keeping us from greatness (all bargnani's fault of course). Now we are very good in those areas and still struggle.

we just replaced old strengths and weaknesses with new ones, that's it.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That last section really shows, even if we DO make the playoffs which is far from guaranteed, it will be because the team is the best of the worst, and not a good team itself. Do you really think that's a path we should take?
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KoolAid View Post
That last section really shows, even if we DO make the playoffs which is far from guaranteed, it will be because the team is the best of the worst, and not a good team itself. Do you really think that's a path we should take?
Exaclty what I said a few months ago... IF we make the playoffs it would be just because the E confrence sucks.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by moremilk View Post
um, we are the 3rd best rebounding team, the 1st offensive rebounding team ....
We are 9th in DR RATE

We are 1st in OR RATE. And that's simply because we cannot hit a shot and everyone on the team assumes its not going in, and because we take 3 shots from 3 feet before it goes in when we do get an OR.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JoeyJoJo Shabbadu View Post
We are 9th in DR RATE

We are 1st in OR RATE. And that's simply because we cannot hit a shot and everyone on the team assumes its not going in, and because we take 3 shots from 3 feet before it goes in when we do get an OR.
And we are 3rd in overall rebounding rate, which is what I said. Obviously missing shots helps, can't really rebound otherwise, having great rebounding from our SF/PG position also helps. Still, #3 is #3, we wouldn't be able to take 3 shots from 3 feet if we didn't rebound the first 2, it's not like in seasons past we were shooting the lights out and there were no rebounds to be had.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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And we are 3rd in overall rebounding rate, which is what I said. Obviously missing shots helps, can't really rebound otherwise, having great rebounding from our SF/PG position also helps. Still, #3 is #3, we wouldn't be able to take 3 shots from 3 feet if we didn't rebound the first 2, it's not like in seasons past we were shooting the lights out and there were no rebounds to be had.
Plus, missing shots does NOT help a team's offensive rebound percentage. No correlation whatsoever.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Plus, missing shots does NOT help a team's offensive rebound percentage. No correlation whatsoever.
Ya I wondered that when I was being picky and sarcastic
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