Is history repeating itself with the Raptors?
Old 02-19-2014, 05:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is history repeating itself with the Raptors?

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Right now the Toronto Raptors sit atop the Atlantic Division and appear ready to coast into the playoffs with home court advantage in the first round.

DeMar DeRozan was Toronto’s first All-Star since Chris Bosh left for Miami and Jonas Valanciunas was invited to take part in the Rising Stars game in New Orleans.

A lot of smart basketball have argued that Kyle Lowry should have joined DeRozan as an all-star in New Orleans.

Terrence Ross has shown great growth this season which was highlighted by scoring 51 points against the Los Angeles Clippers and cementing himself as Toronto’s starting small forward since Rudy Gay was traded to the Sacramento Kings.

The present and future look great in Toronto but it might be fool’s gold.

This current Raptors’ team is far too similar to the team that caught fire during the 2006-07 season during Bryan Colangelo’s first full season running the Raptors. Adding Jorge Garbajosa and Anthony Parker from Europe while trading for T..J Ford resulted in the team having great chemistry and Bosh enjoyed one of his best seasons in the NBA.

In a year where the Atlantic Division earned the nickname the Titanic Division the Raptors were able to limp to the division crown before getting ousted in the first round.

The problem Colangelo had was that due to some immediate success – he was named Executive of the Year and Sam Mitchell was named Coach of the Year – his hands were tied in regards to getting the coach he wanted to run the team and he couldn’t turn over the roster like he truly wanted.

Because of one season where the team had moderate success, Colangelo was always trying to stop the leak in a dam and he was never truly able to construct a roster that he wanted.

When Bosh bolted for South Beach the dam burst and Colengelo was removed from his position within a few seasons.

The irony is that despite a great start remaking the Raptors, Ujiri now finds himself in a similar situation to Colangelo.

Dwane Casey is entering the final year of his contract and was viewed as a lame duck coach heading into this season. But now, due to Toronto rising to one of the top defensive teams in the NBA combined with the team sitting atop their division, it would be tough to not give Casey a contract extension. But is Casey truly the coach Ujiri wants moving forward? The jury is still out.

The current coaching situation in Toronto is a lot like what Colangelo went through with Mitchell in that it may not being the ideal pairing but shifting things now on the fly will cause ripples with fans, media, and, most importantly, with the players currently on the roster.

Lowry is in the final year of his contract and he’s positing career numbers of 16.8 points per game and 7.6 assists. On top of that, he has lost the chip on his shoulder that has caused him to butt heads with coaches throughout his NBA career.

Fans and the media have caught a case of amnesia in forgetting how rough things were for Lowry in Toronto last season. He was slowed by injuries and his problems with Casey were well documented.

This season may have been improved over last season due to an important chat Lowry had with Raptors chairman Larry Tanenbaum, team president Tim Leiweke, Ujiri and his senior advisor, Wayne Embry, a Hall of Famer on the cusp of this season. Since that meeting Lowry has been a more confident player and once Gay was traded this became Lowry’s team and he has been even more of a vocal leader on and off the court.

But, as great as Lowry has been playing, what player on Toronto’s roster could you see starting on a team playing in the NBA Finals? Maybe Lowry? Valanciunas might get there, but he’s no lock.

With that being said, there should be no untouchables on Toronto’s roster as they head into the trade deadline this Thursday and even moving forward this summer. If a player like Kevin Love is made available by the Minnesota Timberwolves it makes sense to offer Valanciunas, DeRozan and a first round pick.

Or, if Boston is genuine about moving Rajon Rondo, why not offer up a first round pick, Terrence Ross and some other pieces?

The idea of blowing up the roster to have Rondo and Love playing together next season – even if it’s only for one season – would have to be tantalizing for Ujiri.

As fun as this season has been for fans, it’s clear Ujiri still has his work cut out for him over the next few months. While he has been praised for moving the cumbersome contracts of Andrea Bargnani and Gay, it’s clear his toughest job of molding the Raptors into a legit contended for an NBA Championship still lies ahead of him.

Part of what will make the necessary moves tricky is that he will need to convince the fans and media that the moves he makes – like trading fan favourites Amir Johnson or DeRozan – will help the team move towards that goal.

It will be interesting to see if Ujiri plays it easy and keeps the status quo – something that doomed Colangelo – or if he’s willing to see this season is fool’s gold and that more big moves are needed.
History Might Be Repeating Itself For The Toronto Raptors | Hoops Addict
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This guy reminds me of some posters on this site, he thinks you just catch lightning in a bottle. Growth? What is that? Chemistry? What is that? Starpower can't grow internally, it is purchased, right?

The only people with their hands tied during the Collangelo era was Sam Mitchell and Chris Bosh who were tied back to back by Collangelo with the proverbial rope that was Andrea Bargnani.

Furthermore, it's an article written with just no appreciation for what is happening right now. Does the writer not enjoy good basketball? Why does he want to be elsewhere? It's just really weird to me when Raptor Fans and Raptor writers get good basketball for the first time in years and they're talking about trading everybody for overrated Kevin Love and a month removed from a severe injury, Rajon Rondo. As if those two guys are going to be taking down the Heat or Pacers just because they're in the same jersey.

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Old 02-19-2014, 06:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I find the article odd myself. I understand selling high on players, but wouldn't gutting the team of its young players and draft picks for 1+ years of Love and Gay be even more destructive long term and even short term?
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it, just because it states some inconvenient similarities. It's VERY easy to see us being much worse next season. Heck, all it takes is losing lowry, chicago and atlanta getting their stars back and NYK remaking their roster around carmelo/chandlers to see us having to fight a bunch of teams for that last playoff spot.

that being said, there are also some differences vs that team. We are younger now, parker/garbo/rasho were 30+ old starters on that veteran team. We are relying more on defense, while that team was more offensively oriented. We have a MUCH, MUCH better coaching staff. And that team may have been a lot different had we not lost garbo to that freak injury (followed by losing TJ the next season). If Garbo doesn't go down, we don't sign kapono (or we sign him, but don't force him into a role he cannot fill), we probably win against NJ in the first round and we have more flexibility to construct the team. Once Garbo and TJ went down, we were always scrambling to fill holes and emergencies. Heck, maybe Garbo's presence has a positive impact on Andrea and he develops differently, who knows.

But we'd be wise to pay attention to the mistakes made with that team (rushing the rebuild for example) and be more patient this time. And let's not be afraid to gut the team if it becomes apparent we're not good enough, rather than hold on to guys like we did with Bosh and lose them for nothing. But to do it now, it's premature - even if the situation was identical, that doesn't mean the future unfolds the same way ..
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very different ownership which makes everything from top to bottom completely different. History turned the page here. How that can't be seen is beyond me. It could be that the old storylines are something that some just can't let go of.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very different ownership which makes everything from top to bottom completely different. History turned the page here. How that can't be seen is beyond me. It could be that the old storylines are something that some just can't let go of.
It can be seen in theory, but until there is sustained winning people will always have doubts.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It can be seen in theory, but until there is sustained winning people will always have doubts.
Because they can't let go of them. The ownership has an entirely different structure and overall objective. Not in theory. In reality.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Because they can't let go of them. The ownership has an entirely different structure and overall objective. Not in theory. In reality.
It'll be let go when there is sustained winning, period.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It'll be let go when there is sustained winning, period.
That's brilliant. Knock yourself out. Still a very different ownership.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This guy reminds me of some posters on this site, he thinks you just catch lightning in a bottle. Growth? What is that? Chemistry? What is that? Starpower can't grow internally, it is purchased, right?

The only people with their hands tied during the Collangelo era was Sam Mitchell and Chris Bosh who were tied back to back by Collangelo with the proverbial rope that was Andrea Bargnani.

Furthermore, it's an article written with just no appreciation for what is happening right now. Does the writer not enjoy good basketball? Why does he want to be elsewhere? It's just really weird to me when Raptor Fans and Raptor writers get good basketball for the first time in years and they're talking about trading everybody for overrated Kevin Love and a month removed from a severe injury, Rajon Rondo. As if those two guys are going to be taking down the Heat or Pacers just because they're in the same jersey.
Funny you should say that because I remember someone posted a very similar thread talking about similarities between the situations. I think the author brings up a very legitimate point. We're winning in a shitty conference in a year where most teams are tanking. Can we actually continue this play next year when teams are better? I don't know, but it's a possibility that we won't.

That being said, Ujri doesn't seem to be one to be fooled by the "fools gold". That's why he is still open to trading Lowery. As good as the team has been, I still think Ujri won't resign Casey unless he actually feels it's the best move. Ujri is very careful in his approach, unlike Calengelo.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Most teams aren't tanking, they're just legitimately bad.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Most teams aren't tanking, they're just legitimately bad.
Some are tanking
Some have had major injury issues (namely Brooklyn/NYK/Atlanta/Chicago)
Some legitiamtely suck bad
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Some are tanking
Some have had major injury issues (namely Brooklyn/NYK/Atlanta/Chicago)
Some legitiamtely suck bad
Who is tanking?
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Who is tanking?
Tanking: Philadelphia, Boston, Orlando

Worse then expected (poorly constructed): Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland

Injury problems: Brooklyn, NYK, Atlanta, Chicago


Team taking advantage because of the above issues: Charlotte
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Tanking: Philadelphia, Boston, Orlando

Worse then expected (poorly constructed): Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland

Injury problems: Brooklyn, NYK, Atlanta, Chicago


Team taking advantage because of the above issues: Charlotte
Boston doesn't look like they're tanking tonight, and they've won 4 of their last 6. Orlando recently beat the Pacers and Thunder in back to back games.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Boston doesn't look like they're tanking tonight, and they've won 4 of their last 6. Orlando recently beat the Pacers and Thunder in back to back games.
Combined 40 games below .500

You're not arguing about Philly and they've beat Miami this season. Doesn't mean they aren't tanking. The players won't tank but the talent isn't there
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I like how Silver adressed the issue, nobody is really tanking, just building for the future. Milwaukee is doing the same thing.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I like how Silver adressed the issue, nobody is really tanking, just building for the future. Milwaukee is doing the same thing.
I agree. But, tanking or building all equates to losing basketball to get high picks whatever you want to call it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Who is tanking?
their management is tanking, did nothing to improve their teams and actively tries to make them worse. Bet you that doesn't happen next season ...
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I like how Silver adressed the issue, nobody is really tanking, just building for the future. Milwaukee is doing the same thing.
conveniently ignoring to talk about GMs, who are the ones doing the tanking. Haven't seen anybody accusing players or coaches (especially the latter, who have nothing to gain by losing, unless they have long term job security ...).
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