Grantland: The Raptors make over - Page 4
Old 01-02-2014, 01:35 AM   #61 (permalink)
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We'd have a pretty weak tank EVEN after trading Lowry. Might even finish with a .425 to .450 record in 8th to 10th place.


Tell that to Brooklyn and Phoenix. Complete contradictions to your statement.
just because you can't follow simple logic, doesn't make my statements contradictory ... if i say talent is the most important thing, that is not the same as saying that talent is the only thing. You can have talent and lose, it's very easy to fuck up regardless of how talented you are. But without talent, you will not win period.

The reason talent is so critical is because everything else can be acquired. You can hire the best coach and spend as much as you want, but getting a top 10 player is nearly impossible. And only one team has ever won a title without a top 10 talent and even making the finals is nearly impossible without such a player.

We clearly lack this kind of supertalent and without the benefit of drafting in the lottery, we will never get it. Our future will look very much like denver's the last decade, unless ross or JV somehow make that major jump. I guess it's not completely insane to think JV may be that player for us one day, but it's a fairly major stretch at this point.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:38 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Talent trumps everything? I can't disagree more. Talent is vital, without a doubt, but there is so much more that is needed, even on behalf of the most talented players. Just look at the level that Lebron had to push himself to, look at how much he had to transform himself mentally, to finally have the kind of success everyone expected from him.

We are not talking about a videogame here, with numbers assigned to players and results coming about accordingly. It's a team game, and there are so many factors involved in getting the talent to combine in a way that has the right impact.
again, on purpose or by accident, you misundestand. As I said in the previous post, talent is obviously not enough - it's just the hardest thing to improve. I would love if Toronto somehow bucks the trend and becomes a contender without that player, or gets that player in free agency or through internal development. But I wouldn't bet too much on it ...
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:44 AM   #63 (permalink)
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If you're talking about 1 or 2 isolated wins then I'd certainly agree.... but this team is light years different from the one that started the season with Gay. Superstar talent or no... this team is playing (and winning) like a very good squad. Championship calibre? Of course not. But playoff team capable of winning some games and perhaps even a round? Not out of the question by any stretch of the imagination.
I can relate to this post, I enjoy our current play immensely. I said in the game thread, this is (imo) the best raptor team I've seen in the past 10 years. At the same time, cold reason tells me that eventually we will come to regret this, the same way we regretted (or at least I did) us winning 47 games in bargnani's rookie season.

I've rarely been more happy to be proven wrong lately with all my predictions. But I've followed enough basketball to have seen this before, with other teams. I honestly don't know how good we are right now and I've also made peace with the fact that tanking is probably not going to happen.

Hopefully, we'll be good enough to at least have that denver/memphis/atlanta level of success, I'm not all that sold on absolutely having to be a contender. I know that if we are good, we'll get used to it and 2 years from now we'll be almost as sad as we were one year ago, because winning 50 games will no longer be enough (assuming we are that good - long way to proving that still).
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:56 AM   #64 (permalink)
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just because you can't follow simple logic, doesn't make my statements contradictory ... if i say talent is the most important thing, that is not the same as saying that talent is the only thing. You can have talent and lose, it's very easy to fuck up regardless of how talented you are. But without talent, you will not win period.

The reason talent is so critical is because everything else can be acquired. You can hire the best coach and spend as much as you want, but getting a top 10 player is nearly impossible. And only one team has ever won a title without a top 10 talent and even making the finals is nearly impossible without such a player.

We clearly lack this kind of supertalent and without the benefit of drafting in the lottery, we will never get it. Our future will look very much like denver's the last decade, unless ross or JV somehow make that major jump. I guess it's not completely insane to think JV may be that player for us one day, but it's a fairly major stretch at this point.
whoa. LMAO. i didn't even state whether i agreed with you or not.

not going to bother reading your response b/c i actually agree with your opinion on talent.

i was just pointing out the outliers...BKN and PHO.

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Old 01-02-2014, 10:26 AM   #65 (permalink)
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whoa. LMAO. i didn't even state whether i agreed with you or not.

not going to bother reading your response b/c i actually agree with your opinion on talent.

i was just pointing out the outliers...BKN and PHO.
they are not outliers because I never claimed that talent is everything, just the most important aspect due to its scarcity. Phoenix does have some talent actually, but they're definitely overachieving and I would be very surprised if they make any noise in the playoffs (assuming they make it).
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:31 AM   #66 (permalink)
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again, on purpose or by accident, you misundestand. As I said in the previous post, talent is obviously not enough - it's just the hardest thing to improve. I would love if Toronto somehow bucks the trend and becomes a contender without that player, or gets that player in free agency or through internal development. But I wouldn't bet too much on it ...
You said talent trumps everything. I'm not sure there's much to misunderstand in that. I'll accept that you meant something more nuanced.

There have been a lot of teams that contended without the mega star. There really is no trend to buck. The history of the league is littered with strong teamwork defeating supreme talent. Do you really think Bill Russell was so much better than Wilt and the logo? His greatness lies in how he played the team game.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:40 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Indiana are a great team without a top 10 talent..........
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:41 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Indiana are a great team without a top 10 talent..........
You're short selling Paul George and Roy Hibbert, but there's still a point to your post.

Certainly, talent is important, but as Charles Barkley said recently, talent alone as a factor is over-rated. Energy and toughness count for lot. Talent without them is wasted, but if a team has them, they can succeed because they make your talent more useful. That's why teams rise, because they combine all 3. The best talent isn't always the best team.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:23 PM   #69 (permalink)
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You're short selling Paul George and Roy Hibbert, but there's still a point to your post.

Certainly, talent is important, but as Charles Barkley said recently, talent alone as a factor is over-rated. Energy and toughness count for lot. Talent without them is wasted, but if a team has them, they can succeed because they make your talent more useful. That's why teams rise, because they combine all 3. The best talent isn't always the best team.
I think Indiana is one of many examples where great players come about through playing the right way as a team within a strong culture. You can bring in lower picks in good situations and see them become much better than if they had ended up somewhere else. That's been the main reason for my own thinking that tanking is too risky when this team appeared to be close to being able to establish that kind of positive identity. Over time that can really pay off.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:02 PM   #70 (permalink)
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You're short selling Paul George and Roy Hibbert, but there's still a point to your post.

Certainly, talent is important, but as Charles Barkley said recently, talent alone as a factor is over-rated. Energy and toughness count for lot. Talent without them is wasted, but if a team has them, they can succeed because they make your talent more useful. That's why teams rise, because they combine all 3. The best talent isn't always the best team.
Yep. Let's not forget the mighty Lakers last season. Loads of talent.... but a complete mess.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:08 PM   #71 (permalink)
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they are not outliers because I never claimed that talent is everything, just the most important aspect due to its scarcity. Phoenix does have some talent actually, but they're definitely overachieving and I would be very surprised if they make any noise in the playoffs (assuming they make it).
This is exactly what you said:

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nba talent trumps everything.
I was simply saying that if that were to be absolutely true, a team like Brooklyn or the 2012-2013 LA Lakers wouldn't be so crap. Even when they were at full health...complete crap. Talent DOES NOT trump everything. It may however be the difference in later rounds of the playoffs. I respect that you've since changed your stance (explained yourself in detail) and are now saying a good NBA team needs a mix of talent and chemistry (which is essentially saying that talent DOES NOT trump everything).

Also, Phoenix's player for player talent level is incredibly similar to Toronto's. We're just clicking now. Where as, they've been on the same page since game 1.

Lowry | Dragic
Demar | Bledsoe
Ross | Tucker (Ross might even be better)
Amir | Frye
Jonas | Plumlee

Vasquez > Goodwin
Salmons | Green/Morris
Patterson | Morris
Tyler | Len

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Old 01-02-2014, 02:09 PM   #72 (permalink)
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BEAT THE DEAD HORSE CUS NO ONE CAN UNDERSTAND EACHOTHER'S ARGUMENTS LOL.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:12 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Yep. Let's not forget the mighty Lakers last season. Loads of talent.... but a complete mess.
To be fair, their "talent" has been hyped up due to their market. An aging Kobe not there half the time, an aging/near retiring Nash, Pau, some other alright pieces but nothing extraordinary or of note.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:24 PM   #74 (permalink)
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To be fair, their "talent" has been hyped up due to their market. An aging Kobe not there half the time, an aging/near retiring Nash, Pau, some other alright pieces but nothing extraordinary or of note.
So Dwight Howard is an "alright piece"?
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:50 PM   #75 (permalink)
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You said talent trumps everything. I'm not sure there's much to misunderstand in that. I'll accept that you meant something more nuanced.

There have been a lot of teams that contended without the mega star. There really is no trend to buck. The history of the league is littered with strong teamwork defeating supreme talent. Do you really think Bill Russell was so much better than Wilt and the logo? His greatness lies in how he played the team game.
so if I said that in Formula 1, the driver trumps everything, would you interpret it that a good driver could win in a beetle and the car is irrelevant?

Being the most important factor doesn't make all other factors inconsequential ... I would have thought that's obvious, no?

I also never said that having the best players is enough, that's another pretty obvious thing. No need to go way back to russell, you can find plenty of example in the past 10 years, from miami against dallas to lakers against detroit.

The point I was making, which you continue to avoid, is that teams without a top 5-10 talent do not usually make the final and almost never win a title. Even Detroit, who is the outlier, they had at least 3 top 30 players that season and 4 all stars (after the fact, true), and benefited from the internal struggles the lakers were going through and the general lack of strong teams in the east.

Obviously, you need all the other ingredients to beat a bunch of teams who also have a lot of talent. But getting a good coach and playing properly and spending enough to have a good bench is relatively easy compared to getting the anchoring talent.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:56 PM   #76 (permalink)
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This is exactly what you said

I was simply saying that if that were to be absolutely true, a team like Brooklyn or the 2012-2013 LA Lakers wouldn't be so crap. Even when they were at full health...complete crap. Talent DOES NOT trump everything. It may however be the difference in later rounds of the playoffs. I respect that you've since changed your stance (explained yourself in detail) and are now saying a good NBA team needs a mix of talent and chemistry (which is essentially saying that talent DOES NOT trump everything).

Also, Phoenix's player for player talent level is incredibly similar to Toronto's. We're just clicking now. Where as, they've been on the same page since game 1.

Lowry | Dragic
Demar | Bledsoe
Ross | Tucker (Ross might even be better)
Amir | Frye
Jonas | Plumlee

Vasquez > Goodwin
Salmons | Green/Morris
Patterson | Morris
Tyler | Len

Talent does trump everything, in the sense that it's the most important ingredient of them all. Not in the sense that it makes all other factors irrelevant.

For example, you give the example of Phoenix. They are currently ahead of teams like houston, GSW or New Orleans. If you had to choose which team to move to Toronto, would you pick them over Houston? I think most fans would choose Houston, and the reason they would do it is howard and harden. Yes, Phoenix is a nice story and they play the right away and they play hard and what not. But at the end of the day, you would pick houston and you would be right to do it. Because it's a lot easier to get Houston to play like a great team than to get players like howard/harden to Phoenix. And, to clarify, when I say "a lot easier", I mean it in a comparative way. Please don't claim I said it's easy, because it's not. Just easier ...
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:00 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Indiana are a great team without a top 10 talent..........
actually, they only became a great team when george made the jump from top 25 to top 10, and that happen during last season and became apparent to all in the playoffs against Miami. Nobody was calling Indiana a great team before that.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:01 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Paul George only made the jump from top 25 to top 10 after Indiana became a great team.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:10 PM   #79 (permalink)
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So Dwight Howard is an "alright piece"?
Woops. My bad, did not read the part that said last season.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:12 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Talent does trump everything, in the sense that it's the most important ingredient of them all. Not in the sense that it makes all other factors irrelevant.

For example, you give the example of Phoenix. They are currently ahead of teams like houston, GSW or New Orleans. If you had to choose which team to move to Toronto, would you pick them over Houston? I think most fans would choose Houston, and the reason they would do it is howard and harden. Yes, Phoenix is a nice story and they play the right away and they play hard and what not. But at the end of the day, you would pick houston and you would be right to do it. Because it's a lot easier to get Houston to play like a great team than to get players like howard/harden to Phoenix. And, to clarify, when I say "a lot easier", I mean it in a comparative way. Please don't claim I said it's easy, because it's not. Just easier ...
Yes, I'd take them over Houston, because the talented Howard isn't inclined to play like a member of a great team, and all the coaches he's had haven't been able to get him to play that way. Howard and the Rockets can be exciting to watch, but I don't think they'll win a crown because defense is their weakness and defense wins in the playoffs. It's much harder to get team chemistry right than you think, and sloughing it off doesn't make it less relevant. You can acquire talent by draft/trade or FA, but chemistry and team play can't just be acquired.
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