Smith: Two reasons why the Raptors can make the playoffs
Old 10-29-2012, 09:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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There is a depth of talent not seen for years — relatively young, unproven talent without any history of success, but talent nonetheless.
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But here’s the thing, as has been pointed out in several private conversations with coaches, front-office types and scouts:

The team’s best players have to be their best players.

To accomplish their goals — and the public one of challenging for the playoffs belies the fact many privately think the playoffs are a necessary achievement — guys like Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan and Lowry have to be as advertised.

Especially Bargnani, who is the focal point of the offence and the guy teams game plan against. He has to stay healthy and productive, because as much as they talk about depth and wanting to play at some higher tempo, they need a star, or at least something approximating one.

If Bargnani does what he did at the start of last season, if DeRozan becomes as good a basketball player as he is an athlete, and if Lowry provides some defensive toughness, things could get good in a hurry.

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The Eastern Conference is loaded with bad to awful teams and the opportunity to move up the standings quickly is there.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks are pretty much where, or below, where the Raptors are. They are huge question marks with rosters laden with youth and dubious talent and that, as much as anything, fuels the feeling this could be the year Toronto breaks its playoff drought.

Toss in the fact no one knows how the perennial playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks will do without Joe Johnson or how much the perennially injured Andrew Bynum will help Philadelphia or how the New York Knicks will make a team that squeaked into the playoffs last year better by adding a gaggle of senior citizens (Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas chief among them) and the East is, frankly, wide open in the bottom half.

As one insider said last week: “We have to beat the teams we’re supposed to beat and if we steal some other games, we’ll be fine.”

That means not losing twice in a season to Charlotte, it means dominating those bottom-feeders and it means holding their own when the powers of the Western Conference come visiting.
Raptors can make the NBA playoffs: Two reasons why - thestar.com
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Two reasons Raptors make Playoffs:

1. Kyle Lowry
2. Jonas Valanciunas
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
playoffs please dont end

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losing twice in a season to Charlotte
I still cry at nights when I think about it
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Toss in the fact no one knows how the perennial playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks will do without Joe Johnson or how much the perennially injured Andrew Bynum will help Philadelphia or how the New York Knicks will make a team that squeaked into the playoffs last year better by adding a gaggle of senior citizens (Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas chief among them) and the East is, frankly, wide open in the bottom half.
and.....Chicago is a bit of wildcard too....not a total lock for the playoffs. Rose out until the all-star break; Deng's wrist is wonky; and it's not clear what they'll get from both guard positions. A lot of the Bulls good back-up PG play came from JL3 and Watson, both of whom are gone.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'd be surprised if Chicago didn't tank a bit.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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yeah, chicago. i wouldn't be surprised to see them amnesty boozer this year and give luol deng more "rest" than he might need.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Miami, Indy and Boston are the only 3 real locks in the East to make the playoffs. NYK is like a time-bomb. As talented as the Nets are, they aren't a lock. Philly are really banking on Bynum being healthy. Chicago's depth isn't the same. The JSmoove situation + when/if he's dealt is going to impact Atlanta's record. Then the raps are competing with a bunch of teams who are at/near their level. Will be a fun season in the East though.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LET'S GO RAPTORS!!!!! View Post
Miami, Indy and Boston are the only 3 real locks in the East to make the playoffs. NYK is like a time-bomb. As talented as the Nets are, they aren't a lock. Philly are really banking on Bynum being healthy. Chicago's depth isn't the same. The JSmoove situation + when/if he's dealt is going to impact Atlanta's record. Then the raps are competing with a bunch of teams who are at/near their level. Will be a fun season in the East though.
Miami's the only lock.
Everyone else can lose a top player and go right down the toilet for the season.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LET'S GO RAPTORS!!!!! View Post
Miami, Indy and Boston are the only 3 real locks in the East to make the playoffs. NYK is like a time-bomb. As talented as the Nets are, they aren't a lock. Philly are really banking on Bynum being healthy. Chicago's depth isn't the same. The JSmoove situation + when/if he's dealt is going to impact Atlanta's record. Then the raps are competing with a bunch of teams who are at/near their level. Will be a fun season in the East though.
Bingo

I get annoyed when people suggest teams like the Knicks, Nets and Hawks are locks for the playoffs. Heck the bulls could be without Rose for the entire year...

There are only 3 teams that are locks: Miami, Indiana and Boston

The other 5 spots are up for grabs.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah, chicago. i wouldn't be surprised to see them amnesty boozer this year and give luol deng more "rest" than he might need.
Amnesty deadline passed for this season. They'll have to wait until next off-season to do so.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Bingo

I get annoyed when people suggest teams like the Knicks, Nets and Hawks are locks for the playoffs. Heck the bulls could be without Rose for the entire year...

There are only 3 teams that are locks: Miami, Indiana and Boston

The other 5 spots are up for grabs.
I get annoyed when people suggest any team is a lock... Lebron could blow out a knee and Miami could be stuck with Allen and Wade leading them.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I get annoyed when people suggest any team is a lock... Lebron could blow out a knee and Miami could be stuck with Allen and Wade leading them.
I think a team with Allen, Wade and Bosh could still make the playoffs lol.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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.......Bosh??
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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.......Bosh??
a sap looking for reaction. it pains me to see you guys fall for the same crap he laces everyone of his posts with.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If the one of the best organizations in the NBA (San Antonio) was offering their all-star point guard (Tony Parker) for the rights to draft (Jonas), the Harden trade is feasible plus the 10.5million expiring contract of Jose.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jackson Filth View Post
a sap looking for reaction. it pains me to see you guys fall for the same crap he laces everyone of his posts with.
a sap looking for reaction. it pains me to see you guys fall for the same crap he laces everyone of his posts with.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Miami's the only lock.
Everyone else can lose a top player and go right down the toilet for the season.
Not necessarily. Boston has mad depth. Indy has a nice squad as well. The types of teams that can't survive losing 1 starter (or supersub) are 1-man teams like the cavs when they had LBJ (arguably not in 09/10) and the Magic (when they had DH12).
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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a sap looking for reaction. it pains me to see you guys fall for the same crap he laces everyone of his posts with.
lmao I know he left him out it's just funny.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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lmao I know he left him out it's just funny.
Plus one!

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Old 10-29-2012, 05:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
Likes raw prospects with a great work ethic...

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do people really think miami wouldn't make the play-offs without james!?

wade and Bosh with nice depth, top 4 imo. And i've never been involved in the crazy Bosh back and forths on this website.
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