Raptors aren’t tanking, they’re on a ‘strategic retreat’

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Old 12-11-2013, 12:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raptors aren’t tanking, they’re on a ‘strategic retreat’

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Quitting is a dirty word in sports. Call a player a quitter and get prepared to fight.

It’s a stain that can’t be removed.

But a team that quits? In the NBA it’s just good business, and if you don’t like it, call NBA commissioner David Stern and ask why he has fostered a system – the NBA draft lottery — that rewards the most incompetent franchises with the league’s lifeblood: cheap players with star potential.

So we won’t say the Raptors are quitting on the 2013-14 season. We won’t even say they’re tanking.

From now on the term is: ‘strategic retreat’.

Sound better?

And in one of life’s great coincidences the Raptors first game after their trade of Rudy Gay on Monday – the one that signaled the team will be coming into the NBA draft hot next June, was against the San Antonio Spurs.

If there’s a figure in the NBA who understands the value of a strategic retreat, it’s Gregg Popovich, the head coach and major domo of the Spurs, who rolled into the Air Canada Centre Tuesday night and predictably – and helpfully – blew out the Toronto Raptors, 116-103.

The Spurs improved to 16-4; they have an eye on one last NBA title before Tim Duncan retires.

The Raptors fell to 7-13 and they have an eye on Julius Randle or Andrew Wiggins or Marcus Smart or any number of elite prospects in a loaded 2014 draft that could emerge as a franchise cornerstone.

It’s an alluring concept, and anyone who embraces it can blame the Spurs and Duncan, who benefited more from one bad year than any team in NBA history, arguably – it’s not so much they won the lottery as they found water on Mars.

“Anybody who goes through a difficult season hopes something good comes around,” says Popovich. “That’s the only way to think. So we went through some tough seasons and we got lucky.”

The last time the Spurs missed the playoffs was in 1996-97, or when the Raptors were playing in the SkyDome.

Ravaged by injury – Hall-of-Fame bound David Robinson played just six games – they finished 20-62, and won the first overall pick in the draft lottery,

Waiting there was Duncan. Paired with a healthy Robinson (himself the first overall pick in the 1987 draft) the next season the Spurs went 56-26. In 1999 they won their first of four NBA championships. In their worse season since they won 53 games.

The former member of the US Air Force, Popovich knows his military history. He knows that winning ‘wars’ doesn’t mean winning every battle.

It was only last year that Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker home to save their legs at the end of a long road trip rather than have them face the Miami Heat on a national broadcast.

He effectively threw the game and was fined $250,000 for offending the league’s competitive sensibility.

But it was a long-term play.

But that doesn’t mean he wants to talk about the NBA’s dirtiest open secret – that every year franchises make decisions that hurt their chances to win in any given season with an aim toward improving their draft position.

It’s a gamble – some seasons you get LeBron James in the lottery; others you get Andrea Bargnani – but the rewards outweigh the risks, especially if you’re going to be bad in any case.

“I don’t know what Toronto’s plan is,” said Popovich. “I’m not really interested in fueling whatever it is you want to write.”

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Raptors aren't tanking, they're on a 'strategic retreat' - Sportsnet.ca
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is it a fact that we're tanking? I ask honestly because I keep hearing people say we are then others say we arent
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
and that's the bottom line, cause JV said so!!!

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Is it a fact that we're tanking? I ask honestly because I keep hearing people say we are then others say we arent
No one knows.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
and a 1, and a 2, and a 1,2,3,4!

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there's no indication to either. or rather, sure indication to ether, yet
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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After raps game on that sport show they said something like: Raptors lost to spurs, but they are tanking so it's ok.. Odd thing to hear on the sport show.
I think it's pretty much obvious that we are tanking.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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After raps game on that sport show they said something like: Raptors lost to spurs, but they are tanking so it's ok.. Odd thing to hear on the sport show.
I think it's pretty much obvious that we are tanking.
No it isn't
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Just curious, are people going to start these stupid tank threads every day, and start these same played out, and over done tank or no tank arguments in every thread regardless of what its about? Just curious, because if so I'll just stop reading because this is extremely old.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It's win-win, win.

If we win, we won!
If we lose, we Wiggins!
Get drunk when anything happens!
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
to each his own.

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It's win-win, win.

If we win, we won!
If we lose, we Wiggins!
Get drunk when anything happens!
define winning in your first premise. championship or bust? if not then I disagree. ^^
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
No it isn't
Toronto Raptors won’t say it, but trading Rudy Gay looks an awful lot like tank mode | National Post

Trade Reaction: Masai Ujiri, Pt. 1 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE TORONTO RAPTORS

Watch the video there are hints about the ''future''. Plus the interview during SAS game (that I couldn't find), imo he gives as much hints as he can without saying tanking.
Than again maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see

Last edited by LOG; 12-11-2013 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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define winning in your first premise. championship or bust? if not then I disagree. ^^
Championship? At this point, winning our division would be the promise land!

But, yeah, Wiggins is the only legitimate direction we can take. I was totally anti-tank before, but there really isn't much else we can do with this squad as it is.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
to each his own.

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Championship? At this point, winning our division would be the promise land!

But, yeah, Wiggins is the only legitimate direction we can take. I was totally anti-tank before, but there really isn't much else we can do with this squad as it is.
thanks welcome aboard TWO.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LOG View Post
Toronto Raptors won’t say it, but trading Rudy Gay looks an awful lot like tank mode | National Post

Trade Reaction: Masai Ujiri, Pt. 1 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE TORONTO RAPTORS

Watch the video there are hints about the ''future''. Plus the interview during SAS game (that I couldn't find), imo he gives as much hints as he can without saying tanking.
Than again maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see
I think you are. Basically MU is just offloading bad contracts (Gay, Bargs, even Augustine if you think about it) just like every other capable GM would if he knew how to do his job, regardless if he's tanking or not. He's not stripping this team of it's talent in order to lose games. Vasquez and Patterson look like solid shortterm additions.

Btw "Trading Gay looks like a tank move" makes me lol everytime. No, acquiring Gay and his contract are tank moves!

Last edited by ZanTheMan; 12-11-2013 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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to me it's obvious we're tanking.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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"Championship or bust" pretty much means endless tanking. But that does offer some interesting rebranding possibilities.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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to me it's obvious we're tanking.
Yup I gotta agree with u. The loss in GS and Rudy being traded just after that means that MU is moving on from this team, and moving on to the future. He won't call it tanking, its more about collecting talent, picks and young prospects now.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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We will find out if we're tanking when the next trade or two for our team gets completed. I agree with others that MU has constantly talked about the future, so it maybe a hint, but we just have to wait and see.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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You'll know we're tanking when MU ships off a guy and you're like: "Really MU? We didn't need to trade him!". The Gay and Bargs trades were not that kind of deals. They had to go ASAP and the team got better as a result.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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You'll know we're tanking when MU ships off a guy and you're like: "Really MU? We didn't need to trade him!". The Gay and Bargs trades were not that kind of deals. They had to go ASAP and the team got better as a result.
i don't think they got better.

Especially with the Gay tade i don't they're better now than they were before. I don't think they're worse either for what it's worth.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:51 AM   #20 (permalink)
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i don't think they got better.

Especially with the Gay tade i don't they're better now than they were before. I don't think they're worse either for what it's worth.
I don't see how they could ever be worse than before the Gay trade...
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