Rudy Gay speaks to the team, takes responsibility
Old 02-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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They also received a talk from Rudy Gay. Gay, only a Raptor for 11 games now, has served as both go-to player and experienced vet for a young Raptors team that is trying to make a playoff push in the final 25 games of the season. Monday's loss against the Wizards was Gay's worst outing as a Raptor. He made just one of 11 field goal attempts and had five turnovers. After the game he took responsibility for his performance and acknowledged the need to be aggressive. He also spoke about finding consistency.

"We've just got to, no matter what, whether it's practice or a game, we just have to really be the same way," Gay said. "That's how good teams get good, by being the same way every day. It's learned behaviour. It's not just something you get by putting a team together."

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After seven-and-a-half seasons in Memphis, Gay remembers the early days of losing, but also the process of becoming a winning team in a league filled with talented veteran franchises that know what it takes each night to play past April. Coach Dwane Casey considers the team lucky to have an experienced voice like Gay's to explain the importance of that process to its younger players.

"He's been through the process," Casey said. "They started out in Memphis where we are as far as the building part of the program … he's seen this growth and the building process and how hard it is.

"That's what I told our guys. This is hard. What we're going through now is hard. We can't relax and take a step back because to get to where we are now is hard to do. Rudy's been through that. He reminded the players today how hard it is to win in the NBA. To get a game up, to get so close you can smell it and see it, but to take that next step is even harder. He impressed that upon his teammates. If you haven't been through it, you don't know it. That's what we've got to learn. That's what we're going through right now."

Despite being with the team less than a month, Gay feels comfortable addressing his teammates about their miscues. He said there wasn't ever a fear of stepping on anyone's toes because he wants to win. He also acknowledged that the team needs everyone to pick up the level they're playing at, every night, to get there.

"It's not easy being good," Gay said. "It takes awhile. It takes people stepping up and actually being that vocal leader. You have to do that. You have to have somebody. This is a young team. This is a relatively young team. We need people to be professional. We need people to be accountable."

While the road to the post-season isn't one the Raptors get to navigate on their own -- they will need some help from the Bucks and Sixers if they are to reach the playoffs -- Gay was firm when he stressed that post-season play is a reward born from regular season efforts.

"Playoffs is what comes from us being a good team," he said. "Before anything it's practicing and being a good team. That's like a reward. We will be rewarded if we keep on working as hard as we've been working and get back to the basics."

Casey agrees with Gay. He also said that every player in the Raptors locker room is aware of the situation they are in and the limited timetable they're working with.

"We've got 25 more games," Casey said simply. "We can do anything for 25 games."

Good or bad, Casey is right. Which Raptors team will come out in Cleveland Wednesday night? That remains to be seen, but Casey didn't mince words when describing what his team needs to do against the Cavaliers and in their other 24 games this season.

"We can't afford to not come out and not play in a desperate mode, in a hungry mode, in a hit-first mode, whatever you want to call it," he said. "If we don't play that way we're not giving ourselves a chance."
Raps notebook: Gay embracing leadership role - sportsnet.ca iPhone

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Old 02-27-2013, 01:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I love it, however its the age old scenario...talk is cheap. Lets hope these guys can pull it together.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Rudy Gay with a big night tonight.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I love it, however its the age old scenario...talk is cheap. Lets hope these guys can pull it together.
Kind of funny since they've just won 6 of 8 games, including wins in Indiana, vs Denver, Clippers, Knicks. Just goes to show that expectations have hightened. It's a shame we were flat in the Gizzlies/Wizards games because even with playing like shit we almost won both. If we weren't so flat we could be 8-0 in that span.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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every game is pretty much a must win if we expect to be in the playoffs. That's why any loss is a big deal. and that's why a loss to a shitty team like Washington gets such a negative and reactionary response. Lose more of those and you may as well throw in the towel and hit the golf course.

We need to be beating every team below us in the standings and most teams above us right now period.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I remember being at a game against the Grizzlies in Mayo's rookie season. Man they were terrible. Talk about no offense and not being able to execute anything. It was one of the worst games I've ever seen. The fact that Rudy has gone through that and seen what it took to get beyond that is a plus that will hopefully translate here.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's to hoping!!
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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25 games left, we need to go 17-8 to even have a chance. Tall order
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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23-2
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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23-2
Agreed, let's go for home court!
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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thats the spirit!
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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25 games left, we need to go 17-8 to even have a chance. Tall order
Since the Rudy trade, we've gone 7-4, against the toughest stretch of schedule we have this year (in terms of opponents - we did only have 3 road games). The Clips, the Heat, the Celts, the Pacers, the Nuggets, the Knicks twice, the Grizz. The Hornets and and Wiz twice were the easy games. That's over .500 against a set of teams that collectively all rank very highly in their respective conferences. Heck, outside of the Hornets and Wiz, all the teams are above 500, and other than the Celts, the worst record among them is 36-22.

Assuming the Raps take care of business against below 500 teams from here on out (winning 2 of 3 like they have over this stretch), and post a 500 record against top teams (which they have outdone over this stretch), then they end up winning 8 of 13 against the bottom dwellers, and 6 of 12 against the better teams. That's 14-11. Now, if they can find a way to take a few more of those wins against terrible teams, they don't really have to overachieve much relative to their recent play to make that happen. Add in the very real possibility that Milwaukee doesn't hit 40 wins (they are 1 win below 500 on the year, but have played to a 3-9 record of late), and it's not out of reach yet.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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25 games left, we need to go 17-8 to even have a chance. Tall order
If we can get another 5 game winning streak soon here we only have to go 12-8 in the other games..
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"It's not easy being good,it takes awhile. It takes people stepping up and actually being that vocal leader. You have to do that. You have to have somebody. This is a young team. This is a relatively young team. We need people to be professional. We need people to be accountable. Playoffs is what comes from us being a good team. Before anything it's practicing and being a good team. That's like a reward. We will be rewarded if we keep on working as hard as we've been working and get back to the basics."
Rudy hit the nail on the head. This aspect of the acquisition in addition to his on court play will be key for this Raptors team moving forward. Everybody needs to adopt a similar mentality and be on the same page. If not,take a seat. Player's who aren't working enough hard in practice or during games,shouldn't be seeing action just because they get paid a certain amount of money or been here for however long. The talent is there for this Raptors squad to make the playoffs either this season or next,just need to align that with individual and collective efforts.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Have to love people that understand accountablity. Play on Rudy Gay.
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