Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 12 Recap + Gay Injury Update

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Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 12 Recap + Gay Injury Update

Postby Its_asdf on Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:53 am

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Settings :

Team : Toronto Raptors
Difficulty : Allstar (yes, I'm bad :( )
Played/Sim Quarter Length : 12 minutes
Season Length : 82 games
Playoff Length : 7-7-7-7
Rosters : NBA365 Mod
Sliders : NBA365 Mod
CPU Trades : On
Draft Prospects: Actual draft class of 2014
Team Chemistry: ON
Player Roles: ON
Trade Override: OFF
Trade Deadline: ON
CPU Trades: ON
Preseason Games: OFF



Current Roster

ImageImageImageImageImage
Starting 5:
PG - Kyle Lowry
SG - DeMar DeRozan
SF - Rudy Gay
PF - Amir Johnson
C - Jonas Valanciunas

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
Bench:
C - Spencer Hawes
PG - Michael Carter-Williams
PF - Tyler Hansbrough
SG - Terrence Ross
C - Cole Aldrich
PG - Dwight Buycks
PF - Quincy Acy
Reserves:
PF - Steve Novak
C - Aaron Gray
SF - Austin Daye
Last edited by Its_asdf on Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:46 pm, edited 32 times in total.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors

Postby Its_asdf on Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:54 am

Image

Raptors Face Murky Expectations This Season
New Management and Old Faces Puts Team in a State of Flux Before Season Opener

Image
The Raptors must get improved production from Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan if they are to compete for a chance at the playoffs.

By: Cathal Kelly Basketball, Published on Sun Oct 28 2013

Usually with the completion of training camp and basketball season rapidly approaching, a sense of excitement can fill a team's locker room as team ambitions and goals are renewed. For the Toronto Raptors, a sense of confusion looms over many of the players instead.

Another unspectacular season finally forced a change in the Raptors' management, with most of the alterations arriving in the front office. In terms of the roster itself, what remains are the jumbled up pieces that serve as a reminder of the disappointing 7 year tenure of the Bryan Colangelo era. While the players themselves are saying the right things and preparing themselves for the October 31st season opener against the Celtics, optimism has become difficult to come by for the fans of the franchise north of the border. "I think we're good enough to make the playoffs to be honest," said Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan. "With Rudy (Gay) with us for a full season and some time to gel, I feel confident we can take this team to another level and make the fans happy."

In a way, DeRozan's confidence is not unwarranted. The Raptors did play .500 basketball when they acquired Rudy Gay mid-season, and the bench play, which was the x factor in many lost games, has seen an upgrade with the acquisitions of former Pacer role players Tyler Hansborough and D.J. Augustin. The top 5 Eastern Conference teams are essentially set in stone barring any freak injuries or unforeseen circumstances, and .500 basketball can easily land a trip into the post season as the final 3 seedings are up for grabs.

The problem is, many of the bottom dwellers from last season have made strides this off season. Detroit, Atlanta and Cleveland have wagered their cap space for upgrades via free agency, while teams such as Washington, Orlando and even Charlotte have added more young talent to fuel their internal growth projects. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey seems to have realized this and isn't exactly as confident as DeRozan is. "We still have a lot of work to do if we want to get to the playoffs," replied Casey when he was relayed DeMar's proclamation of playoff hopes. "We need to see improvement all across the board from all of our guys."

When asked what exactly he was looking for, Casey was quick to point out the Raptors' faults from last season. "We need to start talking more on the defensive end." Casey also stresses the importance of the growth of second year players Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross. However, the glimpses shown during the Raptors' Summer League games were a mixed bag. Valanciunas showed that he was a man among boys, displaying new found physicality and grit that the Raptors sorely need upfront. Terrence Ross on the other hand, looked apathetic and played disappointly, which spells trouble for the Raptors as he is considered one of the few perimeter threats on the team despite an underwhelming rookie season as the 8th overall pick.

The defensive side of the court is not the only problem, according to Casey. "We also need some work offensively as well; our perimeter guys like DeMar, Terrence, Rudy and Kyle need to start picking their spots. There's no excuses for them at this point, but I have confidence we can make it to the post season if all goes according to plan."

Unfortunately for Casey, it hasn't gone according to plan in almost a decade. Like any other season with the Raptors, all we can do is wait and see. Hope isn't the easiest thing to come by anymore.


=========================
Discussion:
Outside of the actual Association, I want to keep posters engaged by discussing with the Association itself and getting a read as to what people are thinking. I will try to have a Discussion section at the end of every Association-related post to help facilitate this discussion. This will also be the section where I will get your guys' opinions on other things such as trades, what storylines you want developed on the Raptors, etc.

Given that this is my first article for this association, what's everyone's opinion thus far? Any tips or opinions regarding the format, the tone, or the content of the article itself? I'm thinking of having one Raptors related article every week to give you guys a pulse on what the Raptors staff, players and management are feeling as the season progresses.

UP NEXT: Opening week recap w/ Boston season opener!
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors

Postby deihatein on Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:02 am

The Raptors are one of the most intriguing teams to use in 2k just because of Derozan and Gay, although both sucks at hitting the 3.

JUST PLAY VALANCIUNAS LIKE HE'S THE SECOND COMING OF SHAQ AND THE RAPS WILL WIN AT 4.

phpBB [video]
shadowgrin wrote:Quick question: who is better in basketball, a black dude or a pinoy dude. If you thought or considered for a moment that it's the black dude then you're also a little bit racist.

End of any racist discussion.


Pinoy > Dallas Mavericks
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors

Postby buzzy on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:14 pm

Gay's jumper is pretty wet I thought, just don't ever take a shot with Landry Fields.
Last edited by buzzy on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors

Postby hova- on Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:23 pm

It's a well written article. I'd stress the importance of Kyle Lowry though. Gay, Ross and DeRozan will give you enough scoring via drives and hopefully when their shots are falling. But Lowry has to be the playmaker and defend well.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors

Postby Axel. on Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:24 am

As hova- said, the article is well-written. The format is appealing, and the tone is engaging. (Y) I'm a fan of Kyle Lowry, so I'm hoping he does well here. Even though Rudy Gay is your go-to-guy, Lowry's play will have a significant impact on the performance of the team.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors

Postby Its_asdf on Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:34 pm

Week 1 Featured Game: Raptors Fall to Celtics in Season Opener

Image 100 (1-0) vs Image 96 (0-1)

Bos: 16|25|28|21|10
Tor: 26|16|28|20|6


Image
It was a battle of the big men for the Raptors-Celtics season opener, but Canadian kid Kelly Olynyk got the last laugh over Jonas Valanciunas.

2013/10/30

The crowd at the Air Canada Centre roared to life minutes before the Toronto Raptors' season opener against the Boston Celtics, only to have the life sucked out of it in the waning moments of the game.

The Raptors got off on the right foot by feeding off the energy of their crowd, going on a quick 26-16 opening barrage to start the game. The Raptors played mostly zone throughout the quarter, severely limiting the effectiveness of the Celtic's backcourt of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley. Rondo, the Celtic's main offensive weapon was hounded throughout the game, limited to 5 for 21 shooting but still almost managed a triple double with a 14-8-13 statline. Combine that with the fact that DeMar DeRozan scored 8 of his 23 points in the first quarter and the Raptors looked well on their way to a victory.

"It was our game plan throughout the game to send multiple help defenders at him so that he couldn't get into the paint," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "We did a good job of stopping their main weapon, but we failed to limit their second and third options."

Unfortunately, things got ugly for Toronto. The Raptors lost starters Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas to early foul trouble in the second quarter. Lowry played a big part in setting up both the offence and defence, so naturally the Raptors' offence crumbled. Valanciunas also was the Raptors leading rebounder for the game (14 rebounds), and the Celtics managed to get multiple second chance points from their frontcourt of Brandon Bass and Kelly Olynyk when he was on the bench.

Speaking of Olynyk, the Celtics rookie centre viewed the game as a homecoming of sorts, as that BC native returned to his home country of Canada for the first time as an NBA player. He did not fail to impress, finishing with 17 points and 7 rebounds. "We got great minutes from Kelly tonight," said Celtics forward Jeff Green. "He was agressive and got their big men into early foul trouble which was huge. They don't have a lot of big bodies off the bench that could bang down low with us." When asked if Olynyk was extra motivated to play his first NBA game in Canada, Green could only reply with a smile. "Oh yeah, you could tell that he wanted this one bad."

From halftime onwards, the game was a neck in neck battle, as both teams traded leads throughout the third and fourth quarter. The Raptors managed to claw to a 6 point lead with 2:50 left in the fourth quarter. Timely three point shooting from both Green and reserve guard Courtney Lee quickly erased the deficit and the game would go into overtime. Green would score 6 of the Celtics' 10 points in the extra session to put the Raptors away for good.

The Raptors struggled with their offence late, as star player Rudy Gay struggled offensively throughout the game. The 6'9 wing managed only 13 points on 21 shots. "Every time I went up in the paint there would be 2/3 guys hacking me," complained Gay. "The refs were calling it loose today, but I think it was kind of ridiculous some of things they got away with."

KEY PERFORMERS:

Celtics:
J. Green: 18 pts, 9 rebs, 3stls, 8-13 FG, 2-3 3pt ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
K. Olynyk: 17 pts, 7 rebs, 5-11 FG, 7-8 FT. 1 stls
R. Rondo: 14 pts, 8 rebs, 13 asts, 5-21 FG, 2 stls
B. Bass: 12 pts, 8 rebs, 1 ast, 6-9 FG, 1 to
G. Wallace: 11 pts, 4 rebs, 1 blk, 4-8 FG, 3-4 FT

Raptors:
D. DeRozan: 23 pts, 7 rebs, 10-21 FG, 1 blk, 1 stl
K. Lowry: 14 pts, 1 rebs, 6 asts, 3 stls, 6-12 FG
J. Valanciunas: 15 pts, 14 rebs, 4 asts, 6-13 FG, 5 fouls
A. Johnson: 11 pts, 9 rebs, 3 asts, 4-6 FG, 3-4 FT


Raptors Blow-Out Hawks in the Third Quarter

Image 96 (1-1) vs Image 73 (0-2)

Tor: 19|24|26|27
Atl: 12|21|16|24


2013/11/01

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 19 pts, 5 rebs, 4 asts, 6-16 FG, 6-8 FT
K. Lowry: 19 pts, 5 rebs, 4 asts, 7-14 FG, 2-4 3PT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 16 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts, 2 blks, 6-13 FG
T. Ross: 14 pts, 9 rebs, 3 stls, 5-12 FG, 4-7 3PT
J. Valanciunas: 8 pts, 13 rebs, 2 blks, 4-10 FG

Hawks:
L. Williams: 16 pts, 6 rebs, 2 asts, 5 TOs, 5/6 FT
P. Millsap: 15 pts, 11 rebs, 1 blk, 1/1 3PT, 6/13 FG
A. Horford: 13 pts, 12 rebs, 3 asts, 3 blks, 6-14 FG


Gay's Season High Buries Bucks

Image 110 (2-1) vs Image 107 (1-2)

Tor: 38|21|22|29
Mil: 39|20|22|26


2013/11/02

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 31 pts, 7 rebs, 3 asts, 15-24 FG, 1 blk ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 28 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asts, 11-19 FG, 6-8 FT
T. Ross: 15 pts, 2 rebs, 1 asts, 7-15 FG, 1-3 3PT
K. Lowry: 7 pts, 10 rebs, 13 asts, 2-6 FG, 2 TOs

Bucks:
B. Knight: 21 pts, 1 rebs, 10 asts, 5 TOs, 3-3 3PT
J. Henson: 18 pts, 9 rebs, 3 asts, 1 blk, 7-12 FG
O.J Mayo: 17 pts, 7 rebs, 3 asts, 5-8 3PT, 6-16 FG
L. Sanders: 8 pts, 10 rebs, 1 stl, 2 blks , 3-4 FG


RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

Image
DeMar DeRozan
22.3 ppg
5.3 rpg
2.3 apg
1.3 stls
51% FG
26% 3PT


While Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay and Jonas Valanciunas each had pretty impressive stat lines in each of the games this week, it has been DeMar DeRozan who has been the steady offensive presence for the Raptors' first three games. DeMar's agressiveness has led to many trips to the freethrow line thus far, but has struggled with his shot from the line at 67%. We shouldn't be too worried though, as DeMar has historically been a good free throw shooter throughout his career.

Next Week's Games
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=========================
Discussion:
Hey guys, so with the first week over and the recaps are up, what are your guys thoughts on the formatting, etc? The formatting, to me, might look a bit colourless; a little too much black on white text. However, I'm not exactly a big graphics guy but I'd like to hear what you guys think about it. I'm also a bit "meh" on the recapping format on the non-featured games. I feel like they're a bit too basic, but my initial plan for this type of formatting was to present to you guys a choice as to which game you wanted to read about. I post up what are going to be next week's games and then you could choose which game you would like to see a more in-depth recap about. Anyway, as the season progresses and there is more NBA news (rumour headlines, transactions, team winning streaks, etc.) I will also add supplementary information to these recaps.

So please, be sure to let me know which game you want to see a detailed recap of for next week's games!
Last edited by Its_asdf on Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:13 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors

Postby Its_asdf on Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:44 pm

dei. wrote:The Raptors are one of the most intriguing teams to use in 2k just because of Derozan and Gay, although both sucks at hitting the 3.

JUST PLAY VALANCIUNAS LIKE HE'S THE SECOND COMING OF SHAQ AND THE RAPS WILL WIN AT 4.

phpBB [video]


Yeah, I'm working diligently to bump up DeRozan's three point rating. It's currently sitting at a 69, which isn't all that bad but he still struggles a bit when shooting them in the open. Gay is actually pretty good, rated around 77.

I'm glad someone else adores the "wicktory" meme. :) I'm trying to make him more of a focal point of the offence but its tough. There isn't a lot of spacing right now since the wings like DeRozan and Gay hang around mid range a lot, but I agree, I really want him and Lowry to have bigger roles than they currently have at the moment.

buzzy wrote:Gay's jumper is pretty wet I thought, just don't ever take a shot with Landry Fields.

I 100% agree, the seperation he can get from the crossover + mid range fadeaway is ridiculous in this game. If you haven't noticed, I tried to cheese him a bit too much in the Boston game, resulting in his poor shooting performance, haha. I pretty much scored 18 of his 31 points of the Milwaukee game in the first quarter just off of those. Fields.... Yeah I find it hard to find time for him. I actually kind of like him as a player, but he's not that useful in the game and Terrence Ross provides a bigger perimeter threat.

hova- wrote:It's a well written article. I'd stress the importance of Kyle Lowry though. Gay, Ross and DeRozan will give you enough scoring via drives and hopefully when their shots are falling. But Lowry has to be the playmaker and defend well.

Thanks man!

Yeah, I agree. I love Lowry and feel like he doesn't get enough love from the Toronto fan base for some reason. The guy is a good three point shooter with a beastly all around game but it's hard to do anything else with him in game because of his height unfortunately.

Axel. wrote:As hova- said, the article is well-written. The format is appealing, and the tone is engaging. (Y) I'm a fan of Kyle Lowry, so I'm hoping he does well here. Even though Rudy Gay is your go-to-guy, Lowry's play will have a significant impact on the performance of the team.

Thanks man, I appreciate it. I agree, with the defense part. Lowry was actually considered an elite defensive point guard a few seasons ago under certain advanced stats (forget which though). But like I said earlier, his lack of height makes him hard to check people in game and I also have a terrible habit of gambling for steals while playing him. :P
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week One Recap

Postby Axel. on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:37 am

Unfortunate to lose in OT against the Celtics, but at least you bounced back nicely to win two in a row. (Y)

As for the recap, I think it looks fine the way it is. The non-featured games cover enough information in my opinion; they might be too basic, but they are non-featured games after all.

That Heat game should be a good one, assuming they don't overwhelm you and run you out of the gym.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week One Recap

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Week 2 Featured Game: LeBron and Heat Withstand Raptor Comeback

Image 87 (5-0) vs Image 85 (2-2)

Mia: 18|25|24|20
Tor: 15|20|26|24


Image
Role players Greg Oden and Rashard Lewis stepped up in Wade's absence, combining for 21 points.

2013/11/05

With Dwyane Wade sidelined with a torn hand ligament, the Toronto Raptors were hoping to end the Miami Heat's undefeated record. On the other hand, Greg Oden, and Rashard Lewis had other plans. The Heat's second leading scorer and all-star awkwardly fell on his hand during the Heat's season opener against the Brooklyn Nets and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks of action. "They showed why they were the two time NBA champions tonight, and they've shown it for the past week or so by going undefeated," said Rudy Gay, who finished with a game high 28 points. "Their role players have filled in for Wade nicely."

Ray Allen was slotted into the starting five for Miami and flourished with 17 points in the game. Seldom used bench players Greg Oden and Rashard Lewis also played a big role in the offence, both scoring double figures off the bench and used their length on defense to bother the Raptors' athletic offense. "We were just out of rhythm completely," sighed Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "The first two quarters of the game was an absolute mess. We can't expect to beat good teams, let alone the NBA champs, by coming out with that kind of energy."

Both teams hung their hat on their defence for the first half of basketball, with a 43-35 Miami lead going into half-time. The Heat were clearly missing Wade, shooting only 38% in the entire game, but the Raptors failed to capitalize by shooting only 40% themselves. For much of the game, the offence was ran through each of the respective team's small forwards. Rudy Gay and LeBron James both caught fire in the second half, with LeBron scoring 12 of his team's 24 points in the third and Gay scoring 12 of his team's 26 points in the fourth.

The Raptors managed to chip away at the Heat lead and were only down 85-82 with 2:47 remaining in the game. Not surprisingly, the Raptors would yet again run out of gas and miss four of their last five shots. "It was a close game, but we wore them down at the end because they spent all of their energy playing catch-up," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.


KEY PERFORMERS:

Heat:
L. James: 25 pts, 8 rebs, 7 asts, 2 stls, 10/17 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
R. Allen: 17 pts, 3 rebs, 3 asts, 1 stls, 7/14 FG
G. Oden: 11 pts, 2 rebs, 4/8 FG, 3/4 FT
R. Lewis: 10 pts, 4/6 FG, 2/4 3PT

Raptors:
R. Gay: 26 pts, 8 rebs, 1 ast, 7/15 FG, 9/11 FT
J. Valanciunas: 14 pts, 9 rebs, 1 blk, 6/11 FG
D. DeRozan: 13 pts, 4, rebs, 2 asts, 2blks, 5/17 FG
K. Lowry: 9 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts, 3 stls, 2/9 FG



Augustin Becomes Unexpected Hero in Charlotte

Image 98 (3-2) vs Image 93 (2-3)

Tor: 24|29|20|25
Cha: 27|30|18|18


2013/11/06

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
D. DeRozan: 23 pts, 1 reb, 2 asts, 9/16 FG, 5/5 FT
R. Gay: 21 pts, 4 rebs, 8/15 FG, 4/4 FT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. Augustine: 19 pts, 1 reb, 4 asts, 5/7 FG, 3/3 3PT

Hornets:
K. Walker: 22 pts, 6 rebs, 7 asts, 10/17 FG, 2/3 3PT
R. Sessions: 15 pts, 3 rebs, 1 ast, 6/12 FG
B. Gordon: 13 pts, 2 rebs, 1 ast, 5/16 FG



Gay-Granger Scoring Duel Leads to Raptors' First Consecutive Wins of the Season

Image 90 (4-2) vs Image 83 (3-3)

Tor: 25|17|18|30
Ind: 19|23|19|22


2013/11/08

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 27 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts, 2 stls, 2 blks ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 13 pts, 2 rebs, 5 asts, 5/10 FG
A. Johnson: 10 pts, 10 rebs, 3 stls, 5/11 FG

Pacers:
D. Granger: 34 pts, 9 rebs, 1 ast, 12/22 FG, 7/13 3PT
D. West: 20 pts, 12 rebs, 4 asts, 6/18 FG, 8/8 FT
G. Hill: 9 pts, 8 rebs, 5 asts, 4/9 FG



Raps Can't Contain Jazz's Backcourt Scoring Trio

Image 106 (2-5) vs Image 101 (4-3)

Uta: 25|28|26|27
Tor: 25|24|27|25


2013/11/09

KEY PERFORMERS:

Jazz:
B. Rush: 22 pts, 8-14 FG
T. Burke: 18 pts, 3 rebs, 7 asts, 6/18 FG, 3/6 3PT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
A. Burks: 17 pts, 2 rebs, 1 asts, 7/9 FG
G. Hayward: 11 pts, 8 asts, 5/11 FG

Raptors:
K. Lowry: 30 pts, 3 rebs, 3 asts, 3 stls
T. Ross: 15 pts, 4 rebs, 6/14 FG, 3/6 3PT
R. Gay: 12 pts, 6 rebs, 5/11 FG



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

Image
Rudy Gay
21.5 ppg
6.25 rpg
1.5 apg
49% FG
48% 3PT


Rudy Gay ended the previous week on a strong 31 point outing, and he seemed to carry that momentum on to this week. The 6'8 forward has been deadly from everywhere on the court this week, especially from three. Gay did end the week on a poor 12 point outing in a loss versus Utah. However, given the uneven performances of pretty much all of the Raptors this week Rudy has performed the most consistently and most effectively.

Next Week's Games
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week One Recap

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Image

New Season, Old Problems
First Two Weeks of Play Showcases Raptors' Inconsistency

Image
Kyle Lowry must limit his tunnel vision of the offence and gambling on defence.

By: Cathal Kelly Basketball, Published on Nov 9 2013

On paper, a 4-3 start to the season looks promising for the Raptors' new 2013-2014 season; this is especially true considering that many of those wins are coming off of road games against potential playoff calibre teams in Atlanta, Indiana and Milwaukee. It also speaks about the mental fortitude of the team and that this team could legitimately make a push for the playoffs. After all, the execution on offfence seems sharper, the players seem hungrier, and the stakes seem bigger now that the Raptors are now half a decade away from their last playoff appearance.

However, if you delve deeper into these three games, many of the same problems that mired the 34-48 Raptors last season still exist on this team. For one, the Raptors bench continues to be a lingering problem that loses leads for the team. The Raptors bench aside from Terrence Ross (and one random offensive outburst from DJ Augustin), has been incredibly lacklustre. The good news is, Dwane Casey seems to realize this problem, but the question from Raptors fans have always been his ability to actually implement these said changes instead of giving lip service.

Next up you have the enigma that is Kyle lowry. Lowry has always been lauded for his ability to be a two way player, a versatile point guard who gives you a bit of everything on the stat sheet. The Raptors look fantastic offensively when he is on his game, opening up slashing lanes for DeMar and Rudy by being a constant three point threat, orchestrating the pick and roll beautifully to set up easy baskets for Amir and JV. However, there are some nights where he is absolutely dead weight for the team from a point guard stand point.

A recurring trend for most teams is to attack Lowry on offence, get him into foul trouble, and severely agitate him. Lowry has tendencies to let his ego get the best of him and freestyle the offense by putting his head down and bullying his way into the paint to get stripped or pick up even more fouls. The point guard position has not looked much stronger from last year (sorry, Augustin fans), and so much of the Raptors' offense is dependent on Lowry making smart decisions. Perhaps it might be time to give Dwight Buycks a call up and see what he is capable of.

Lastly, the Raptors' have simply been playing up to their competition. How does a team go toe-to-toe with the defending champs (granted they are still a top 5 team in the East even without Wade thanks to a certain man by the name of LeBron James) one game and then get bullied by a backcourt trio of Brandon Rush, Trey Burke and Alec Burks? When the Raptors play their style of game, they are a really strong team in the East. This team feasts on transition baskets and quick post up opportunities in the paint by players such as DeRozan and Valanciunas. This point alludes back to the above point on Lowry, where the Raptors would take themselves out of games at times by simply going away from what has made them successful in a game. There are truly Jekyll and Hyde-esque performances to be had by this team on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

The Raptors can make the playoffs this year. It is most certainly a possibility. The only problem is, they're playing a style that's bound to get figured out by 29 other teams. There's still plenty of time left to the season, but we kept saying the same thing last year.



=========================
Discussion:

Alright so with the second week under way, I have a definite feeling that this team will be heading into mediocrity soon. I am going to consider shaking up the roster soon, whether it be via free agency or trades. The thing is, I am always horrifically biased when it comes to players, so I think I need you guys to give me some ideas as to which position is of greatest need for me at the moment and/or which players are the biggest trade assets. I will probably be delving into this topic a bit more later on depending on what kind of repsonses I get and which players/positions I should be pursuing. I'm leaning towards trying to up the playing time of some of the role players on the bench (Fields, Daye, maybe bring in Buycks?) and see what happens from there.

Anyway, as usual, please feel free to tell me which of the upcoming games you would wish to see a more in-depth recap about for Week 3!
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week One Recap

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:35 pm

Axel. wrote:Unfortunate to lose in OT against the Celtics, but at least you bounced back nicely to win two in a row. (Y)

As for the recap, I think it looks fine the way it is. The non-featured games cover enough information in my opinion; they might be too basic, but they are non-featured games after all.

That Heat game should be a good one, assuming they don't overwhelm you and run you out of the gym.


Yeah surprisingly the Heat game was pretty competitive, although I'm not sure how much of that has to do with Wade being out of the game. The lead only got to double digits once and I quickly came back in the second half thanks to Rudy's ridiculous shot creation ability in the game lol. Then the computer got smart and decided to stick LeBron on him again and my offence just wilted. This team can be so frustrating on offence sometimes if my three point shooters aren't hitting their shots and letting me space the floor.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week Two Recap + Article

Postby Vespasian92 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:30 pm

How's Ross doing at providing 3pt shooting for you? Toronto has almost everything else besides shooting: an adequate PG, a 2-way bigman with potential, and an all-star level go-to scorer. But it seems that everybody else is just mediocre from deep, and I'm guessing they pack the paint against JV inside and crowd Rudy from midrange. Looking forward to seeing if somebody's going to be able to step up from the bench.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week Two Recap + Article

Postby Martti. on Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:00 am

Wow, Oden stayed healthy to score 11 points.

You have a decent line-up with young guys on the bench, who just need to develop. Ross should become a beast, as he can shoot threes and dunk, which is the ultimate 2K combo. I'd look to upgrade the front court, you'll need some consistent production from there. JV will develop, but for the time being.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week Two Recap + Article

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:16 am

Week 3 Featured Game: Raptors Claw Back Behind Gay's 3 Point Play in Overtime

Image 110 (5-3) vs Image 107 (5-3)

Tor: 20|29|22|26|13
Hou: 32|28|14|23|10


Image
The go-ahead and-one layup to silence the Rockets' crowd

2013/11/11

There was a reason why the Toronto Raptors acquired Rudy Gay mid-way through last season, and this game was yet again proof of his tantalizing ability score in crunch time. Gay scored 16 of his season high 35 points in the second half of the game to rally a Raptor come back to send the game into overtime. Gay would then score another 5 points in the extra session, including the game-winning basket. "What can I say? I love the big moments," grinned Gay after being asked about his last shot. "I was brought in to be the leader of this team, and I'm here to show everyone that I have what it takes to be the guy you give the ball to when you need a basket."

"There was not much we could do on that last shot," said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, shaking his head as he thought about the final moments of the game once again. "We sent help into the paint because we knew he was their go-to guy but he is just so long and athletic you can only do so much to bother the shot."

Gay received the ball at the top of the circle with 5.7 seconds left in the game and the scored tied at 107. A quick behind the back dribble on Chandler Parsons freed up the driving lane for Gay, who was met by Rockets' big men Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones at the basket. Gay absorbed contact from Howard and was hit on the arm by Jones on the way up to the rim, but Gay's monstrous wingspan allowed him to lay the ball in softly for a three point play. Gay then hit the free throw to give the Raptors their only lead of the entire game. James Harden, who finished with 21 points, clanked a long three pointer at the other end in an attempt to tie the game.

"Give them credit for coming back, but I feel like this game was ours to lose," said Parsons, who had a 20 point, 10 rebound effort. "We got a big lead early on and got complacent. That's when they started to hit their threes to get back in the game and I made the mistake of overplaying his (Rudy Gay's) left hand at the end."

The Rockets bolted out to an early 15 point lead in the second quarter, mostly thanks to Donatas Montiejunas. The Lithuanian sharpshooting power forward had a team high 26 points and scored the majority of his points in the first half. The Rockets also kept the Raptors in foul trouble throughout the game, going to the free throw line 38 times but only converted 28 attempts. The third quarter was an especially rough quarter for the Rockets, going 1 for 8 from the line which allowed the Raptors to come back with timely three point shooting from DeMar DeRozan (6 of 7 from three) and Rudy Gay (5 of 7 from three). DeRozan also finished with 30 points in the game, helping Gay shoulder the majority of the offensive attack in the second half.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 35 pts, 8 rebs, 3 asts, 14/22 FG, 5/9 3PT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 30 pts, 7 rebs, 7 asts, 11/19 FG, 6/7 3PT
K. Lowry: 13 pts, 9 rebs, 7 asts, 3/13 FG

Rockets:
D. Montiejunas: 26 pts, 6 rebs, 9/18 FG, 4/9 3PT
J. Harden: 21 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts,
C. Parsons: 20 pts, 10 rebs, 3 asts
D. Howard: 9 pts, 10 rebs, 4 blks



Memphis' Frontcourt Bullies Toronto for an Easy Win

Image 89 (5-4) vs Image 104 (5-4)

Tor: 21|23|24|21
Mem: 29|27|22|16


2013/11/13

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
K. Lowry: 18 pts, 6 rebs, 7 asts, 6/13 FG
J. Valanciunas: 10 pts, 6 rebs, 3 asts, 5/18 FG
T. Ross: 12 pts, 6 rebs, 4 asts, 2 stls

Grizzlies:
Z. Randolph: 23 pts, 10 rebs, 4 stls, 9/17 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
T. Prince: 22 pts, 7 rebs, 8/14 FG
M. Gasol: 16 pts, 11 rebs, 6 asts, 2 blks, 7/10 FG
M. Conley: 11 pts, 3 rebs, 9 asts, 4 stls



Fernandez's Career-High Carries Bulls to Beatdown Over Raptors

Image 126 (5-2) vs Image 103 (5-5)

Chi: 34|28|29|35
Tor: 26|21|28|28


2013/11/15

KEY PERFORMERS:

Bulls:
R. Fernandez: 27 pts 1 reb, 8 asts, 9/10 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
C. Boozer: 19 pts, 4 rebs, 9/14 FG
D. Rose: 17 pts, 8 rebs, 7 asts, 8/10 FG
J. Butler: 13 pts, 4 rebs, 5 asts, 6/7 FG

Raptors:
K. Lowry: 28 pts, 3 rebs, 4 asts, 9/18 FG
J. Valanciunas: 19 pts, 9 rebs, 5 asts, 9/11 FT
R. Gay: 16 pts, 4 rebs, 6/14 FG
D. Augustin: 15 pts, 7/17 FG



Duo of DeRozan and Gay Run Over Blazers

Image 89 (4-6) vs Image 109 (6-5)

Por: 30|20|15|24
Tor: 29|30|26|24


2013/11/17

KEY PERFORMERS:

Blazers:
L. Aldridge: 20 pts, 8 rebs, 3 asts, 9/19 FG
T. Robinson: 13 pts, 13 rebs, 5/10 FG
C. McCollum: 12 pts, 1 reb, 4 asts, 3 stls
D. Lillard: 10 pts, 1 reb, 4 asts, 3/9 FG

Raptors:
R. Gay: 22 pts, 5 rebs, 1 ast, 2 stls
J. Valanciunas: 16 pts, 13 rebs, 8/13 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 21 pts, 6 rebs, 2 blks, 8/17 FG
K. Lowry: 16 pts, 2 rebs, 8 asts, 2 stls, 6/10 FG



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

Image
Kyle Lowry
18.75 ppg
5 rpg
6.5 apg
45% FG
34% 3PT
2.0 TO

*note: averages are for the week, not over the entire season.

That Toronto Star article on Kyle Lowry's inconsistent motor must have really rubbed him the wrong way, because the pint sized point guard turned his play up quite a bit this week. Lowry's worst outing this week was a lackluster 3 for 13 shooting performance against Houston, but nevertheless managed to nearly grab a triple double. In all four games, Lowry has made a dramatic impact by being a solid distributor, a big time scoring threat from anywhere on the court and an incredible rebounder for a guard. It wouldn't be surprising to see Lowry to be the Raptor of the week for multiple times this season as he is in the final year of his contract.

Next Week's Games
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week Two Recap + Article

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:16 am

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Richardson waived; Ujiri Looking at Free Agent Options
Aldrich, Petro, Williams and Thomas Among Free Agents on Raptors' Radar

ImageImageImageImageImage

Nov 18, 2013

It was announced today by Raptors' General Manager Masai Ujiri that they have waived veterran guard Quentin Richardson and are looking to use the extra roster space to add more big men depth.

Richardson was acquired by the Raptors in the trade with New York which sent Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks. Richardson was essentially signed to a one year deal by the Knicks in order to balance out the salaries to ensure that the trade would go through. "Richardson and his agent came up to me and told me that their wish was to try their luck elsewhere and try to find a roster spot on a championship contender," spoke Ujiri. "I have no problem with that, and I wish Quentin the best of luck in the future."

Meanwhile, the Raptors intend to bolster their weak bench with another center/power forward to round out their roster via free agency. "It is as of right now probably our biggest area of need," said Ujiri. " We're trying to look for low risk, high reward players out there who can fill in minutes off the bench for us."

Last season, the Raptors would play Aaron Gray as one of their big men off the bench, but the stylistic change in the Raptors offense to a more up-tempo style that favours running the floor means that Gray is probably on the outside looking in for the Raptors' rotation. Many sources say the Raptors are looking heavily into free agents Cole Aldrich, Johan Petro, Tyrus Thomas and Sean Williams, players that can run the floor and who can fit the mold of what the Raptors are looking for.

Ujiri appears to plan on making a small move for now, but says that there is still too much uncertainty as to whether this is the first step towards any other roster overhauls. "We're still evaluating what we need to do with the players on this team and it will be an on-going process," Ujiri said. The Raptors' have also gotten off to a somewhat surprsing start to the season, beating some of the stronger teams in the league which has made Ujiri hesistant to pull the trigger on any deals. "We're in no rush to make any trades or additions, but we are not afraid to make a move that we think will make our team better in the long run."

Headlines Around the NBA:
-Joel Freeland on the Block, Mavericks interested
-Wizards Want to Trade Ariza to Nets
-Andre Miller Demands Trade from Nuggets, Package with Mozgov available?
-Heat Interested in Ibaka
-Bargnani Available to the Highest Bidder



=========================
Discussion:

Well obviously this isn't exactly world shattering news, but I would really like to have a few more options in terms of my big man rotation. As Martti pointed out, my big men rotation off the bench kind of blows. At this point of the season, there aren't going to be many solid big men free agents out there, but I would like to grab a somewhat young-ish big guy off the bench who can grab me some rebounds. I think it's for the best if I don't look for a supremely polished offensive big man as there are not a lot of shots to go around at the moment. Aside from the bumbling corpse known as Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, the options are pretty limited for the second big to come off the bench (I feel obligated to give Hansborough a large portion of the big man minutes off the bench because he's an Ujiri signing, but boy do I fucking hate him in real life and in this game :P ). I'm not leaning as much into Thomas or Williams because they're a bit too much like 4's which I feel the Raptors have an abundance of already. I prefer the size of Petro and Aldrich a lot more.

What do you guys think? Feel free to recommend any other players, whether it be via free agency or even a trade. The problem is to try to find a player who would be happier rounding out the roster as a role player or diamond in the rough prospect as opposed to a superstar big man.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week Two Recap + Article

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:24 am

Vespasian92 wrote:How's Ross doing at providing 3pt shooting for you? Toronto has almost everything else besides shooting: an adequate PG, a 2-way bigman with potential, and an all-star level go-to scorer. But it seems that everybody else is just mediocre from deep, and I'm guessing they pack the paint against JV inside and crowd Rudy from midrange. Looking forward to seeing if somebody's going to be able to step up from the bench.


Ross is doing very well, and as shown from that Houston game, the 3 point shooters that I do have can be incredibly streaky. Ross has been great though, I was really suprised by how well rounded he is in this game. Keep an eye out for Mr. Ross in the future, I might have something planned for him. :wink:

Martti. wrote:Wow, Oden stayed healthy to score 11 points.

You have a decent line-up with young guys on the bench, who just need to develop. Ross should become a beast, as he can shoot threes and dunk, which is the ultimate 2K combo. I'd look to upgrade the front court, you'll need some consistent production from there. JV will develop, but for the time being.


Yeah the ability for 2k to live out your deepest fantasies (or worst nightmares) can make for quite the experience lol. I do like some of the players that are coming off the bench (Augustin, Ross) and others not so much. I REALLY want to try to make Fields work because of his stupidly large contract, but my goodness he is just turrible in this game. But yeah, I already said it and I'll say it again, Ross is one of my favourite players on this roster at the moment. He's very J.R. Smith esque in his ability to heat up in a hurry while being a gazelle in transition. I agree with what you said about lacking in the big man department, and from now on that's an area I'm actively trying to address at the moment.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 3 Recap + Q Rich Waived

Postby Bella on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:04 am

What about a guy like Kenneth Faried? In all of my associations, he's a beast and can be acquired for pretty much nothing. This may be a bit far fetched, but pairing up Derrick Favours and JV would be amazing. You would also get an improved bench, since Amir would be a sixth man.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 3 Recap + Q Rich Waived

Postby Axel. on Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:25 am

Good comeback win against the Rockets. One thing I'm concerned about for them in real life is free throws; can they make them? Even though they were missing free throws, the three-point barrage between Gay and DeRozan and the former's clutch play were the real reasons you won. (Y)

If all you need is a big man with size to grab you rebounds, I don't think you can go wrong with Aldrich or Petro. However, regardless of your hate for Hansbrough, it also wouldn't hurt to give him a go.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 3 Recap + Q Rich Waived

Postby Martti. on Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:26 am

I'd go with Tyrus Thomas, but that's because I've liked him since his rookie year and it's been sad seeing his career go down after getting that big contract.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 3 Recap + Q Rich Waived

Postby Vespasian92 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:58 am

I feel for Tyrus after the way things have gone for him recently, but Cole really does everything you'd need him to on the cheap. I'd be running Aldrich a lot in my association if Golden State hadn't given away Ezeli.

Funny that Acy isn't doing much for you, he usually seems to rebound pretty well as long as he isn't forced to play center.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 3 Recap + Q Rich Waived

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:20 am

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Raptors Add Size by Signing Aldrich
Ujiri Inks Former Lottery Pick to a Two Year Deal

Image
Aldrich will most likely be the second big man off the bench after Tyler Hansborough.


Nov 19 2013

After waiving veteran swingman Quentin Richardson who had yet to play a game, the Toronto Raptors held a press conference today to announce that they have signed free agent center Cole Aldrich to a two year deal. Sources indicate that the contract is worth around 2.91 million over the two year span.

"We are happy to bring Cole into our roster and feel that he brings some added depth to one of our weaknesses," spoke Raptors GM Masai Ujiri at the press conference held today. "Cole is a big body who can play defence, rebound, block shots and can be a complimentary player down low off the bench for us."

The 6'11 center out of Kansas was drafted 11th overall in the 2011 NBA draft but has yet to make a significant impact in the NBA. He has already been on three teams in two seasons with averages of 2.0 points per game and 2.3 rebounds per game. Aldrich has played for the Thunder, the Rockets and the Kings, but has only played a total of 86 games in two seasons.

When asked about his career thus far, Aldrich insisted that he simply never had the opportunity to prove himself. "I'm not here to worry about what I should have done," claimed Aldrich. "I just want to compete with the Raptors and show people that I can be an effective player in the NBA." He later added, "I think if I just play my game and work hard everything else should fall into place."

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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 3 Recap + Q Rich Waived

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:22 am

Week 4 Featured Game: Fourth Quarter Meltdown Seals Raptors' Fate

Image 98 (6-6) vs Image 106 (8-5)

Tor: 33|20|25|20
Phi: 28|20|25|33


Image
DeRozan had a strong game and threw down a dunk of the year worthy dunk this game, but it wasn't enough.

2013/11/20

The Philadelphia 76ers continue their surprising start to the season by ending the game on a 33 point fourth quarter barrage. Most of the damage was done by Sixer guard Evan Turner, who finished with a 28 point, 10 rebound double double and has become one of the leaders of the young 76er team. Turner also got a lot of help from Thaddeus Young and recent free agent acquisition Delonte West, who each poured in 21 and 20 points respectively. "You know, a lot of people wrote us off early on in the season, but I think that the growth of a lot of our players has really caught people off guard when they play us," Turner said.

To answer Evan Turner's 28 point performance was DeMar DeRozan, who also scored 28 points himself to lead the Raptors. The entire game was highlighted with a back and forth duel between Turner and DeRozan, each seemingly scoring at will against the opposing defences. "It was fun to watch, that's for sure," said Sixers rookie Nerlens Noel. Noel had 6 points and 8 rebounds. "There was a lot of trash talking and a lot of baskets by both of those players. I'm just glad we got the win though."

The Raptors held a small 5 point lead going into the fourth quarter, but DeRozan received no help in the fourth quarter and the Sixers took advantage of the floundering Raptors defence. Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry put on a show in his home town with a 23 point 8 assist outing, but was the only other Raptor to make a meaningful impact on the game. "It's frustrating to be in control for most of the game and then just throw it away like that," said Lowry. "We need to put together 48 minutes of good basketball, not 36. This is what 36 minutes of good basketball looked like tonight."

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey cited the team's lackluster performance at the free throw line as one of the reasons why the game got so out of hand in the final quarter. "We shot 8 for 18 from the line," Casey lamented. "That right there is a 10 point swing that could have kept us from losing the game."

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
D. DeRozan: 28 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts, 12/22 FG, 3/5 3PT
K. Lowry: 23 pts, 3 rebs, 8 asts, 9/14 FG. 3/5 3PT
A. Johnson: 13 pts, 5 rebs, 6/11 FG

Sixers:
E. Turner: 28 pts, 10 rebs, 5 asts, 13/26 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
T. Young: 21 pts, 9 rebs, 1 ast, 10/12 FG
D. West: 20 pts, 2 rebs, 6 asts, 7/15 FG



Raptors Go Ice Cold as Wizards Get the W

Image 89 (6-6) vs Image 80 (6-7)

Was: 25|26|16|22
Tor: 27|14|20|19


2013/11/22

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 21 pts, 7 rebs, 2 asts
K. Lowry: 19 pts, 8 rebs, 5 asts, 7/14 FG
D. DeRozan: 11 pts, 3 rebs, 4 asts

Wizards:
J. Wall: 22 pts, 3 rebs 7 asts, 2 stls, 8/25 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
B. Beal: 15 pts, 6 rebs, 7/10 FG
T. Ariza: 12 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts, 4/11 FG



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

Image
Kyle Lowry
21 ppg
5.5 rpg
6.5 apg
57% FG
46% 3PT
1.5 TO

*note: averages are for the week, not over the entire season.

Despite playing only two games, Lowry has continued to put up stellar all around numbers this week. A recurring trend this season for the Raptors' offence would be to have DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay taking turns being the primary option on offence, but it is always Lowry who is following steadily behind one of them. If there has been one complaint this week on Lowry, it has got to be his defence. In both games against Philadelphia and Washington, Lowry has been letting opposing point guards wreak havoc, as both Delonte West and John Wall scored 20 or more points.

Next Week's Games
Image


=========================
Discussion:

Well that was a pretty disappointing week to say the least, I got my ass handed to me by two of the crappier teams in the East. I'm now sitting at below .500 and next week I'm up against two of the best in the East (Nets and Heat). At the same time, I'm pretty happy that the team is on a bit of a downswing. If this trend continues you can be sure to have me pull the trigger on some sort of change, whether it be a coaching change or a trade. We'll have to wait and see though, the going's not too tough right now but being below .500 for the first time this season is not a good feeling.

Anyway, as usual, please let me know which game you would prefer to have a more in-depth recap on. Both games look to be against top tier teams so you can't really go wrong with either.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 3 Recap + Q Rich Waived

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:40 am

Bella wrote:What about a guy like Kenneth Faried? In all of my associations, he's a beast and can be acquired for pretty much nothing. This may be a bit far fetched, but pairing up Derrick Favours and JV would be amazing. You would also get an improved bench, since Amir would be a sixth man.


Faried would be an interesting choice. I think he would complement Valanciunas pretty well as a starting 4 and both are super high energy guys. However, him and Favors are both pretty important pieces to their respective franchises and I personally don't feel right when I try to make lopsided trades. I really like that you pointed out Denver as a potential team to deal with though, I like a lot of their players and I am currently looking into certain scenarios involving them to further the story.

I am also a fan of moving Amir to the bench, but my options at the moment are pretty limited. We shall see what's in store in the future. :P

Axel. wrote:Good comeback win against the Rockets. One thing I'm concerned about for them in real life is free throws; can they make them? Even though they were missing free throws, the three-point barrage between Gay and DeRozan and the former's clutch play were the real reasons you won. (Y)

If all you need is a big man with size to grab you rebounds, I don't think you can go wrong with Aldrich or Petro. However, regardless of your hate for Hansbrough, it also wouldn't hurt to give him a go.


Yeah, you can bet your ass that team's are going to go for the hack a Howard/Asik strategy in late game scenarios. I still think with the lineup they got they should be beating teams well before that should happen, though. That team is going to be scary next season!

Yeah, Hansborough is currently my seventh man in my rotation after Ross and he usually soaks up the majority of the minutes when one of Amir or JV get in foul trouble or get fatigued early on. He's just really clunky to use in game and he has Kwame esque hands every time I try to get him to score underneath the basket. I'm hell bent on torturing myself and continuing to use him because I have faith in Ujiri....

Martti. wrote:I'd go with Tyrus Thomas, but that's because I've liked him since his rookie year and it's been sad seeing his career go down after getting that big contract.


I was really leaning towards Thomas, but he was asking for a lot of money and a lot of years (I think 3 years around $3 mill per). Any player who can run and jump tend to be pretty good in 2k and I tried him out a few games and I really liked him. However Vesapasian92 and Axel seemed to favour Aldrich more so you got outvoted 2-1. :wink:

Vespasian92 wrote:I feel for Tyrus after the way things have gone for him recently, but Cole really does everything you'd need him to on the cheap. I'd be running Aldrich a lot in my association if Golden State hadn't given away Ezeli.

Funny that Acy isn't doing much for you, he usually seems to rebound pretty well as long as he isn't forced to play center.


Acy is 6'7 and seems to be more of a small forward size but he plays like a power forward which is weird. I feel like the 4 spot is pretty well covered with Johnson, Hansborough and even JV can slide over there as well considering how mobile he is. Acy, like Fields, is a player I like on the team but I just don't have the minutes to spare for him, unfortunately.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 4 Recap + FA Signing

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:55 am

Week 5 Featured Game: Gay Drops 5 Threes to Lead Raptors over Nets

Image 125 (8-6) vs Image 132 (7-7)

Bkn: 27|32|22|44
Tor: 33|30|29|41


Image
It was just one of those nights where every shot was a good one for Rudy Gay.

2013/11/26

With a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter, the Raptors were sitting comfortable in what was looking like a victory over the Brookyln Nets. However, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, had other plans. The Nets backcourt duo sparked an 11-2 run in the fourth quarter to bring the game to within 1 point with 10 minutes remaining. A scoring barrage from both teams ensued, and in total, the quarter had 85 points with both teams dropping over 40 in the final period. "The fans certainly got their money's worth tonight," joked Tyler Hansbrough, who finished with his first double-double and season high of 11 points and 12 rebounds. "It got really messy towards the end of the game but we can thrive in that frantic run and gun pace."

Rudy Gay was once again the de facto scorer for the Raptors in crunch time, scoring 8 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter. Gay was on fire throughout the entire game, scorching the Nets from the perimeter (5/6 three pointer field goals). "We had no answer for him tonight," Nets head coach Jason Kidd said with a look of bewilderment on his face. "Right from the tip, he was killing us." Nets forward Paul Pierce, who was out with a sprained ankle says the Raptors' hot shooting was not expected. "People keep saying that the Raptors' hot shooting is a fluke this year and we kind of believed it," said Pierce. "We sagged off them way too much and kept expecting them to cool off. That's not how we should have approached the game."

Gay wasn't the only one who filled up the scoreboard though. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both scored 31 and 30 points respectively. They also scored 14 points apiece during the hectic fourth quarter to get the Nets back into the game. The lead changed 6 times in the fourth quarter, with both teams grasping for a one point lead after each successive basket. The game was tied 125-125 with a minute remaining when an unlikely hero rose to the occasion for the Raptors to put the Nets away for good.

Seldom-used guard Landry Fields was inserted in to the game as DeMar DeRozan fouled out and sixth man Terrence Ross was struggling both offensively and defensively against Joe Johnson. Fields hit a huge corner three pointer to put the Raptors up 129-125 with 50 seconds remaining. On the other end, Fields forced a Joe Johnson miss and secured the rebound only to be intentionally fouled. He would hit both free throws to complete a 5 point swing in the Raptors favour with 32 seconds left in the game. "We really ran out of options at the 2 guard," said Dwane Casey. "Landry is a professional who comes ready to play every night, and fortunately for him he got his opportunity tonight and played great down the stretch."

KEY PERFORMERS:

Nets:
D. Williams: 31 pts, 3 rebs, 11 asts, 12/30 FG
J. Johnson: 30 pts, 8 rebs, 3 asts, 4 stls, 11/24 FG
B Lopez: 19 pts, 9 rebs, 2 asts, 6/10 FG, 7/9 FT
K. Garnett: 12 pts, 9 rebs, 6/10 FG

Raptors:
R. Gay: 31 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts, 13/19 FG, 5/6 3PT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 19 pts, 5 rebs, 9/18 FG
K. Lowry: 18 pts, 1 reb, 15 asts, 4/6 FG, 8/9 FT
T. Hansbrough: 11 pts, 12 rebs, 5 asts, 5/6 FG




Heat Lose Second Straight Without Bosh and Wade

Image 71 (15-2) vs Image 103 (8-7)

Mia: 13|21|22|15
Tor: 29|20|22|32


2013/11/29

KEY PERFORMERS:

Heat:
L. James: 28 pts, 8 rebs, 3 asts, 2 stls, 10/20 FG
R. Alen: 16 pts, 4 rebs, 2 asts, 4/13 FG
G. Oden: 8 pts, 2 rebs

Raptors:
D. DeRozan: 23 pts, 6 rebs, 7/14 FG, 8/9 FT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
K. Lowry: 19 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls, 2 blks
T. Ross: 15 pts, 2 rebs, 2 stls, 5/5 FG
J. Valanciunas: 11 pts, 11 rebs, 2 asts, 2 blks




Raptors Win Third Straight at Home Against Denver

Image 94 (10-5) vs Image 119 (9-7)

Den: 25|26|16|22
Tor: 27|14|20|19


2013/12/01

KEY PERFORMERS:

Nuggets:
T. Lawson: 17 pts, 3 rebs, 10 asts, 7/14 FG
D. Gallinari: 16 pts, 4 rebs, 5 asts, 8/15 FG
R. Foye: 16 pts, 5 rebs, 9 asts, 7/14 FG, 2/4 3PT
K. Faried: 12 pts, 7 rebs, 5/6 FG

Raptors:
R. Gay: 26 pts, 3 rebs, 2 asts, 11/20 FG, 4/4 3PT
T. Ross: 25 pts, 3 rebs, 1 ast, 11/12 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 19 pts, 4 rebs, 6 asts, 7/12 FG
A. Johnson: 13 pts, 8 rebs, 4 asts, 5/7 FG



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

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DeMar DeRozan
20.3 ppg
5 rpg
2.3 apg
53% FG
33% 3PT
96% FT

*note: averages are for the week, not over the entire season.

DeMar's stat's this week have not been eye popping, but just like in the first week where he got Raptor of the Week, he was a model of consistency. The Raptors had a fantastic fifth week, winning against 3 upper echelon teams and the Compton native was the one who made it happen. While his shooting beyond the arc has inevitably fallen off, he is looking like someone that you can't leave open from there anymore. DeRozan hasn't been settling for jumpers though, as he has been super agressive going to the rim and converting a large amount of his free throws this week as well.

Next Week's Games
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 4 Recap + FA Signing

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:55 am

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November Player Report Card

By: Cathal Kelly Basketball, Published on Dec 1 2013

The month of November was capped off on a surprising note for the Toronto Raptors, as they reeled off three straight wins against powerhouse teams Brooklyn, Miami and Denver. While Brooklyn and Miami were without key starters such as Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, it was the fact that they managed to dispatch these weakened teams with surprisingly large margins of victory. To top it all off, the Raptors were losers of two straight before hand, dipping to below .500 which indicates a certain resiliency and confidence that was not seen in previous Raptor teams.

That is not to say that the Raptors have been playing perfect basketball. A lot of costly mistakes on the defensive end, particularly in the fourth quarter have been the Achilles heel of the Raptors. An over reliance on the starting lineup for an offensive punch has spelled trouble for the Raptors in the month of November, but many of these weaknesses have been minimal to non-existent during the mini three game winning streak. Hopefully the Raptors can maintain their above .500 play in December as they face off against western conference powerhouse teams in a brutal road trip to San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Dallas.

The Grading System
A - Above expectations. This player has gone above and beyond what has been expected of him and has performed at a high level consistently.
B - Hit expectations. This player has met or has gone slightly above what has been expected of him, but still needs to fine tune a few things.
C - Below expectations. This player has produced slightly below what has been expected of him. Can be sporadically effective at times, but is still a net positive.
D - Well below expectations. This player is severely lacking in several key areas and has performed poorly as a result. Overall he does more harm than good for the team.
F - Probably shouldn't be an NBA player.

Guards
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K. Lowry: A
This is the Kyle Lowry that the Raptors were expecting when they traded away their draft pick to Houston. Lowry has had some quiet games early on in the season, but has roared to life after an article was published criticizing his consistency. Simply put, the Raptors are an up-tempo, competitive team that's fun to watch when Lowry is running the offence. You can tell that coach Dwane Casey has given Lowry a lot more of a green light to control the offence this season compared to last year. The Philadelphia native has been looking incredibly comfortable and confident, and it's not surprise that the Raptors beat elite teams when Lowry brings his A game. Lowry's ability to be a triple double threat and seemingly contribute in every area on the stat sheet easily make him the most valuable player on the team. Gay and DeRozan might be the engine that make the Raptors go on offence, but it's Lowry who is in the driver's seat orchestrating it all.
Statline: 16.3 ppg, 5 rpg, 6.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 48.4% FG, 38.6% 3PT, 82.1% FT

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DeMar DeRozan: A-
DeRozan is currently averaging career highs across the board despite having his playing time cut by a few minutes. The USC product has shown tiny improvements in his point, rebound and assist averages, but the one area that has taken a gigantic step forward is his shooting efficiency. DeRozan's shooting has cooled off a bit by the end of the month, but he is now considered one of the Raptors' threats to score from beyond the arc. As a result, DeRozan is now respected as an all around scorer and opposing defenders cannot sag off of him anymore. His defense still leaves a lot to be desired for a player that athletic, but DeRozan has come a long way to become a much more polished player overall.
Statline: 18.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 49.6% FG, 40% 3PT, 77% FT

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Terrence Ross: B+
Many people expected Ross to flounder after a mediocre showing at the Raptors' summer league, but Ross has been a bright spot off the Raptors bench. He might struggle with consistency, but Ross has been given the green light to score for the Raptors' second unit. Ross' streaky playstyle tends to dictate how many minutes Landry Fields and DeMar DeRozan get throughout the game as he can single handedly carry or lose games for the Raptors. When he's in the groove, Ross is easily one of the most exciting players to watch on the Raptors. Aside from his feast or famine play style, another problem exists in his free throw shooting. At 61%, it is simply unacceptable for a shooter of his caliber to shoot that low of a percentage.
Statline: 11.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1. spg, 46.6% FG, 40.8% 3PT, 61.3% FT

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DJ Augustin: D
It's no surprise that the Raptors' offence bogs down significantly when Kyle Lowry has to rest. The diminutive point guard has had trouble running the offence as the back-up off the bench. Outside of a few sporadic offensive nights, Augustin has been awful at creating his own offence as well, hitting only 35% of his shots. This shouldn't come as too big of a surprise though, as Augustin has struggled in a similar situation with Indiana last season.
Statline: 5.5 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.2 spg, 35.2% FG, 42.4% 3PT, 80% FT

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Dwight Buycks: N/A
Buycks has been toiling away in the D-League this month, but with Augustin's poor performance at running the offence thus far it wouldn't surprise me if he received a call up in the near future.
Statline: None

Forwards

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Rudy Gay: B+
If you quickly glance at his stats, Gay's numbers aren't exactly eye popping. They are numbers that we've come to normally expect out of him. The one thing that he has made remarkable strides in however, is his efficiency. Gay has been lights out from the perimeter and has carried many games for the Raptors with his scoring prowess from beyond the arc. While this improvement has been spectacular, Gay has fallen in love with the jump shot quite a bit this month and is his free throw shooting percentages have taken a hit as a result. He hasn't gotten to the line much at all, and when he does get there he only converts at a 69% clip. We expect that percentage to rise as the season progresses, but Rudy needs to make a better effort in going to the rim.
Statline: 20.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg, 48.3% FG, 46.8% 3PT, 69% FT

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Amir Johnson: B-
The beloved Amir Johnson has had his minutes cut a bit from last season, but is still maintaining close to the same level of productivity as last year. Johnson's shot blocking is probably the one thing that has been below par this season. Other than that, it's been the same old Amir Johnson that has endeared himself as a Raptor fan favourite.
Statline: 8.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 0.5 bpg, 52.8% FG,, 73.5% FT

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Tyler Hansbrough: C+
Psycho T was signed this off-season to add some intensity and a little a bit of crazy off the bench; and he's been pretty much just as advertised. Hansbrough has received ample minutes off the bench but in terms of statistical productivity he's a bit shy of his career levels. He is however, shooting a career high 48% from the field and is still a key factor in the Raptors' success.
Statline: 5.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 48.4% FG, 66.6% FT

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Landry Fields: D+
Fields has shown some decent hustle and defence when he has been put into games, but that's about it. Aside from his one game in Brooklyn where he came up big in crunch time, Fields has been struggling mightily with his shot from everywhere on the court; especially at the free throw line. His current 12 million salary over two years makes for a truly disappointing combination to behold.
Statline: 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.7 spg, 40.4% FG, 20% 3PT, 57.1% FT

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Quincy Acy: N/A
Acy was expected to play some more minutes this season but the addition of Tyler Hansbrough has soaked up the majority of his minutes off the bench. From the scarce minutes that he has been given this season, he does look like the same player he was last season, bringing energy and some toughness in an undersized 6'7 package.
Statline: 0.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.1 spg, 40% FG, 66.6% FT

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Steve Novak: N/A
Novak was brought in from the Bargnani trade, but his main asset (shooting), seems to already have been covered with the improved perimeter games of Gay, Ross and DeRozan. As a result, Novak has yet to see any playing time in a Raptors uniform, and rightfully so. If a one dimensional player is bringing in a redundant skill to the team then he's not going to be able to find minutes in the rotation.
Statline: None

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Austin Daye: N/A
Like Novak, Daye has yet to play a single game this season. It isn't likely for him to see any minutes on the floor.
Statline: None

Centers

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Jonas Valanciunas: C
What was expected to be a big year for the Lithuanian centre has turned out to be a bit of a sophomore slump. JV is the clear cut starting center on the team and looked poised to break out after adding a ton of muscle to his wiry frame, but the big man just hasn't put it together like most would have expected him to. His field goal percentage (44%) has been a significant drop off compared to his rookie season and has tended to be unassertive in the block. This is a sharp contrast to his summer league play, where he looked to dominate and get in the face of his opponents.
Statline: 10.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2 apg, 1.1 bpg, 44.1% FG, 81.8% FT

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Cole Aldrich: C
Acquired mid way through the month, it is not really fair to assess what Aldrich is capable of. His offensive numbers are awful to say the least, but from day one he has added some needed presence on the inside. He is also is a bit more nimble on the floor than you would expect as he solid at rotating as a help defender.
Statline: 1.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.6 bpg, 28.6% FG, 50% FT

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Aaron Gray: N/A
With the addition of Cole Aldrich, it looks like Aaron Gray has become a redundant piece for the Raptors. Aldrich is a big body like Gray but is younger. Barring extensive injuries to the Raptors' roster, Gray's minutes are and will continue to be close to zero in the rotation.
Statline: None


=========================
Discussion:

Alright, so I managed to end off the month on a pretty good note, beating some of the better teams in the process. I think that has more to do with the fact that I'm slowly getting used to how to utilize the Raptors and play to their strengths (up tempo, athletic shot creators who can create from mid range easily). Now that I'm pretty confident in my ability to play the game, I think that the playoffs aren't necessarily out of reach anymore. I'm planning to post another update about what's going on in the NBA and when I show you the standings I think you guys can see that I will probably have a decent shot at making it to a mid to low seed. What do you guys think? Are the playoffs the way to go or is tanking for Wiggins, Randle, etc. a more viable option?

Also, if there's anything in particular that you want an update on from the NBA (e.g. trade rumours, stats, etc.) please feel free to let me know so that I can change the format of my next post to cater to whatever it is that you want to see.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 5 Recap + Monthly Report Card

Postby Its_asdf on Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:18 am

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NBA.com November Stats

Standings - East
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Standings - West
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League Leaders

Points Per Game

1. L. James, Mia - 32.5
2. K. Durant, OKC - 23.8
3. C. Anthony, NYK - 23.6
4. S. Curry, GSW - 23.2
5. R. Westbrook, OKC - 23.1
6. K. Bryant, LAL - 23.1
7. K. Love, Min - 22.7
8. J. Harden, Hou - 22.5
9. T. Duncan, SAS - 21.6
10. B. Griffin, LAC -21.6


Rebounds Per Game

1. B. Griffin, LAC - 12.9
2. T. Duncan, SAS - 11.5
3. K. Love, Min - 11.2
4. M. Gortat, Pho - 11.1
5. D. Cousins, Sac - 10.9
6. J. Noah, Chi - 10.5
7. S. Ibaka, OKC - 10
8. A. Bynum, Cle - 10
9. P. Gasol, LAL - 9.9
10. M. Gasol, Mem - 9.9


Assists Per Game

1. R. Rubio, Min - 8.5
2. R. Rondo, Bos - 8.2
3. D. Williams, BKN - 7.8
4. M. Chalmers, Mia - 7/5
5. D. Rose, Chi - 7.3
6. J. Wall, Was - 7.1
7. T. Lawson, Den - 7.0
8. T. Burke, Uta - 6.9
9. J. Holiday, NO - 6.8
10. K. Lowry, Tor - 6.8


Steals Per Game

1. E. Bledsoe, Pho - 2.6
2. R. Westbrook, OKC - 2.4
3. M. Chalmers, Mia - 2.2
4. M Conley, Mem - 2.2
5. K. Bryant, LAL - 2.2
6. C. Delfino, Mil - 2.1
7. R. Rubio, Min - 2.1
8. T. Lawson, Den - 2
9. J. Harden, Hou - 1.9
10. K. Walker, Cha - 1.9


Blocks Per Game

1. L. Sanders, Mil - 2.6
2. T. Duncan, SAS - 2.4
3. B. Lopez, BKN - 2.1
4. J. Noah, Chi - 2
5. D. Howard, Hou - 1.9
6. D. Favors, Uta - 1.9
7. M. Gortat, Pho - 1.9
8. C. Anderson, Mia - 1.8
9. D. Jordan, LAC - 1.7
10. P. Gasol, LAL - 1.7

Eastern Conference Player of the Month - LeBron James
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MPGPPGRPGAPGSPGBPGFG%3PT%FT%
36.632.58.65.21.65155.9%47.9%77.5%


Western Conference Player of the Month - Russell Westbrook
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MPGPPGRPGAPGSPGBPGFG%3PT%FT%
3823.15.76.52.40.445.2%35.7%78.8%



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1. Trey Burke, Uta: 35.4 mpg, 20.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.9 spg, 42.2% FG, 41.5% 3PT (***ROOKIE OF THE MONTH***)
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2. C. Zeller, Cha: 32.6 mpg, 13.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 bpg, 47.6% FG, 42.9% 3PT (***ROOKIE OF THE MONTH***)
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3. N. Noel, Phi: 27.1 mpg, 12.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.5 bpg, 57.2% FG
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4. V. Oladipo, Orl: 20.2 mpg, 8.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.15 spg, 40.9% FG
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5. M. Carter-Williams, Phi: 22.1 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 39.1% FG
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6. O. Porter, Was: 24.3 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.2 apg, 0.8 bpg, 42.2% FG
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7. C. McCollum, Por: 12.9 mpg, 7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, 46.9% FG, 35.1% 3PT
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8. B. McLemore, Sac: 8.7 mpg, 6.9 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 1 apg, 56.9% FG, 55% 3PT
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9. K. Olynyk, Bos: 11.4 mpg, 6.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.8 apg, 49% FG, 38% 3PT
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10, D. Schroeder, Atl: 15.4 mpg, 5.7 ppg, 1 rpg, 2.5 apg, 32.4% 3PT

Outside Looking In: Nemanja Nedovic (GSW), Shabazz Muhammad (Min), Shane Larkin (Dal)

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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Monthly Stats Update

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:52 am

Second Half Collapse Ends Raptors Winning Streak

Image 100 (9-8) vs Image 112 (12-7)

Tor: 27|33|26|14
GSW: 28|27|30|27


2013/12/03

The Golden State Warriors managed to snap the Raptors 3 game winning streak and start off their three game Western Conference road trip on a bad note. Both teams put their run and gun offences on display, as the Raptors had raced off to a 60-55 at halftime. The game was a battle of the point guards as Stephen Curry and Kyle Lowry led their teams in scoring. However, it was the Warriors' bench that made the difference in the second half, as sixth man Harrison Barnes managed to score 17 points off the bench while Raptors' sixth man Terrence Ross struggled, going 3 of 11 from the field. The lackluster performance eventually allowed Golden State to pull away in the fourth quarter as the Raptors cooled off from the field. Toronto was badly outplayed in the final 12 minutes of the game, as they ended the game shooting only 38% from the field in comparison to the Warriors' scorching 60%.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
K. Lowry: 24 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts, 4 TOs
R. Gay: 18 pts, 8 rebs, 3 asts, 4 stls
J. Valanciunas: 10 pts, 8 rebs, 4/10 FG

Warriors:
S. Curry: 31 pts, 7 rebs, 7 asts, 11/18 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
H. Barnes: 17 pts, 6 rebs, 6/8 FG
A. Iguodala: 12 pts, 6 rebs, 11 asts, 5/8 FG



Raptors Rally After Hansbrough Injury to Beat Suns

Image 100 (10-8) vs Image 93 (9-11)

Tor: 29|16|31|24
Pho: 32|18|17|26


2013/12/06

After having their three game winning streak snapped, the Raptors looked eager to get back on track against the Suns. The game played out exactly the opposite of how the Warriors game went, as the Raptors catapulted themselves to a major second half lead after a 31 point surge in the third quarter. Toronto was in fact trailing 50-45 after two quarters of play, as Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe hounded the Raptor guards into a lot of bad decisions early.

Things began to turn around for the Raptors after Tyler Hansbrough was fouled hard on a drive to the basket and landed awkwardly on his foot after being inadvertently tripped by Marcin Gortat. After a brief scuffle on the court between both teams, Hansbrough had to be carried off the floor and the Raptors used the injured teammate as motivation to agressively attack the Suns' defence. Second chance points was where the Raptors won the battle, outscoring them 20-8 through hard work and hustle on the glass.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 23 pts, 8 rebs, 2 asts, 3 stls, 2 blks ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
J. Valanciunas: 16 pts, 10 rebs, 3 blks, 8/11FG
D. DeRozan: 14 pts, 6 rebs, 4 asts
T. Ross: 11 pts, 2 rebs, 5/7FG

Suns:
Markieff Morris: 19 pts, 7 rebs, 2 asts, 4/8 3PT
E. Bledsoe: 19 pts, 6 rebs, 2 asts, 4 stls, 7/13 FG
M. Gortat: 16 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts, 6/10FG



Week 6 Featured Game: Lakers Lose to Raptors' Stingy Fourth Quarter Defence

Image 100 (11-8) vs Image 91 (8-12)

Tor: 26|27|13|34
LAL: 17|32|21|21


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The Raptors defence was suffocating in the fourth quarter, particularly against Kobe Bryant.

2013/12/08

Sporting one of the best offences in the league this year, the Toronto Raptors showed that they can actually clamp down and play defence when it matters. The Raptors managed to hold the Lakers to just 36% shooting from the field to pull away and secure the victory mid way through the fourth quarter. Trailing 70-66 after three quarters, Raptor guard Kyle Lowry believes that the Raptors' inconsistency throughout the game was what made the game much more difficult than it needed to be.

"We made a lot of mistakes in the second and third quarter that made this game tougher on us than it needed to be," claimed Lowry. Lowry finished the game with only 2 assists and 6 turnovers, allowing the Lakers to reclaim the lead after the Raptors led early. "It was just one of those days where I could not get into any sort of rhythm at when it came to passing," lamented Lowry. The dynamic 6'0 point guard wasn't the only one coughing up the rock for Toronto though. The Raptors turned the ball over 22 times total, 8 of which occured during a dismal 13 point third quarter which allowed the Lakers to take a double digit lead.

"They had a lot of mental lapses, but we couldn't make a big enough of a cushion for ourselves to put the game away," said Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni. "They turned the ball over quite a bit but at the same time our guys couldn't figure out how to deal with their quick double teams. It wasn't pretty basketball on both sides."

The difference was that when the Raptors didn't manage to turn the ball over, they were lights out from the field. Shooting 51% from the field, the Raptors started taking care of the basketball in the fourth quarter and limited Kobe Bryant to only 3 shots. "We tried to get the ball out of Kobe's hands as much as possible," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "Bryant and Farmar were killing us today early on in single coverages and pick and rolls, but when we made Kobe into a passer we knew that his teammates were struggling to make shots." Bryant finished with 19 points on 7/12 shooting but with the Lakers played the game without starting point guard Steve Nash. Nash did not play due to a torn hamstring which placed more of the ball handling duties on to Bryant which tired him out.

Bryant was clearly fuming after the loss. "I should have tried to split their double teams more and scored myself," he said after the game. "Honestly the team came out looking like they didn't even care about the outcome of the game. When we got a tiny lead we eased off the gas pedal way too quickly."


KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
D. DeRozan: 30 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts, 4/6 3PT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
K. Lowry: 19 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asts, 6 TOs
R. Gay: 16 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast
J. Valanciunas: 12 pts, 9 rebs, 5/8 FG

Lakers:
K. Bryant: 19 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts, 7/12 FG
J. Farmar: 17 pts, 4 rebs, 2 asts
C. Kaman: 14 pts, 8 rebs, 4/11 FG



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

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Rudy Gay
19 ppg
7.6 rpg
2 apg
58% FG
2.3 spg
75% FT

*note: averages are for the week, not over the entire season.

As you guys all know, we love to award the Raptor of the Week to the most consistent player out there. While Jonas Valanciunas was the only Raptor to notch a double double this week and DeMar DeRozan dropped another 30 point game this season, it was Rudy Gay who had a constant impact on most games. Gay's point production has been solid, but nothing to go crazy over. It has, in fact, been Gay's defense that has been superb this week. The 6'9 forward's rebounding and steal totals have been stellar this week, but we'd still like to see him assert himself more in the paint and get going from the freethrow line. 8 Freethrow attempts over 3 games is underwhelming to say the least.

Next Week's Games
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Monthly Stats Update

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:52 am

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Aldridge Losing Patience in Portland
LaMarcus Aldridge "Frustrated with Blazers" Says Source

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LaMarcus Adridge has become agitated at Portland's losing ways this season.

Dec 9, 2013

A promising re-tooling effort in Portland during the off-season had both the Portland Trail Blazers and LaMarcus Aldridge hopeful to once again play in the post-season. Those hopes seemed to have been squandered now, as the Blazers have started the season off at 5-12 and there are rumblings that the Blazer star forward is becoming restless.

Aldridge had voiced his displeasure not making the playoffs last season, and there were rumours that Aldridge might be a probable trading piece for a full blown Portland rebuilding effort. However, Blazer owner Neil Oshley calmed Aldridge's worries by actively signing and trading players, overhauling their roster to keep the 2nd overall pick of the 2006 draft happy. The Blazers are now fighting in contention with the Charlotte Hornets as the worst team in the league this season. "He knows that there is still hope to make a playoff push," says a source close to Aldridge who wished to remain anonymous. "But realistically, there isn't a good chance that will happen and he's just sick of all the losing he's been going through."

If asked if he wants to be traded, the source could not give a definitive answer. "He just wants to win, with or without Portland," he said. "He feels like he's given the organization his best for a very long time and they haven't been able to reward him for his loyalty. He feels like he's still in his prime right now and he's wasting it away when he can be helping a better team."

Most of the team's inadequacy stems from Portland's inefficient offence and defence which has been "driving Aldridge up the wall," claimed the source. The Blazers right now are giving up 104 points per game to opponents and are also 28th in team field goal percentage. It also doesn't help that starting forward Nicholas Batum has missed a large portion of the season with a torn hand ligament which has affected his offensive production. The 6'8 forward out of France is only avergaing 10.8 points per game and 37% from the field so far this season. Last year's Rookie of the year Damian Lillard has also been hitting a sophomore slump recently, scoring only 14.5 points per contest.

On the other hand, you can't fault Aldridge for his efforts this season despite his frustrations. The two-time All-Star has been averaging a career high 22.8 points per game in one of his best offensive seasons so far.



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News Around the NBA


Knicks Sign Chris WIlcox

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The New York Knicks have announced today that they have reached an agreement with free agent center/power forward Chris Wilcox today. The deal is reported to be a one year deal worth approximately $2 million. The 31 year old from Maryland spent last season with the Boston Celtics averaging 4.2 points per game and 3 rebounds per game. A roster with already a multitude of big men, Wilcox looks to be an insurance pick-up for one of the oldest teams in the league as Bargnani, Chandler, Martin and Stoudemire all have had injury issues in the past.

Dirk Re-Signs with Dallas

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It comes as no surprise to anyone that Dirk Nowitzki has decided to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks. The cornerstone of the Mavericks franchise has been awarded a one year 8.98 million dollar extension for next season. "Dallas has been my home for over 15 years now. I couldn't see myself being anywhere else," said Nowitzki. Despite the great news for Mavericks fans, the team is still on the outside looking in for playoff contention with a 6-12 record.

Raptors' Hansbrough Out 2 Weeks with Bruised Heel

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After the Raptors victory over the Phoenix Suns, team doctors have diagnosed Tyler Hansbrough with a severely bruised heel. The Raptors power forward is slated to be injured for approximately two weeks. While MRIs have indicated no structural damage, the Raptors medical staff have stated that Hansbrough will be unable to walk and thus will be moved to the inactive list for the time being. Forward Austin Daye has been called up from the inactive list to fill Hansbrough's roster spot as he recovers.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 6 Recap + NBA News

Postby Axel. on Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:39 pm

Nice job recovering from your turnover-fest against the Lakers. (Y) It's certainly frustrating racking up 20 turnovers, almost to the point of rage-quitting. :lol:

Portland seems to be in a bad situation, but I see it as only temporary. I don't think it would be necessary for Aldridge to be traded, at least not yet. If Batum can overcome his injury and Lillard can break out of his sophomore slump, then the Blazers should be able to get back on track.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 6 Recap + NBA News

Postby Its_asdf on Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:44 am

Second Half Comeback Not Enough for Raptors

Image 95 (15-6) vs Image 88 (11-9)

SAS: 25|27|22|21
Tor: 9|19|30|30


2013/12/10

With Tim Duncan out of the lineup nursing a knee injury, it was the perfect opportunity for the Raptors to start up another winning streak. Unfortunately they never accounted for Livio Jean-Charles to step up in Duncan's absence. The 28th pick of the 2013 draft got the rare opportunity to start and he rewarded coach Popovich's faith in him by pouring in 24 points and 10 rebounds; career highs in both categories.

Jean-Charles' unexpected superb play in combination with the Raptors terribly lethargic opening quarter allowed the Spurs to eventually catapult themselves to a 28 point lead at one point. Kyle Lowry did his best to will the Raptors back into the game, scoring a game-high 24 points on 9 for 12 shooting. Toronto would finally come out of its coma in the second half, where their signature run and gun style of play managed to vault them back into the game with back to back 30 point quarters. Toronto would chip the lead to as small as 85-80 with 3 minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the Raptors spent way too much energy attempting to to come back into the game that they were simply too fatigued to close out the game down the stretch.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Spurs:
l. Jean-Charles: 23 pts, 10 rebs, 7/15 FG, 8/11 FT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
T. Parker: 21 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asts, 7/12 FG
M. Ginobili: 12 pts, 2 rebs, 5 asts, 2 stls
D. Green: 10 pts, 4 rebs 1 ast, 3 stls

Raptors:
K. Lowry: 24 pts, 3 rebs, 9 asts, 9/12 FG
J. Valanciunas: 14 pts, 4 rebs, 6/8 FG, 2 blks
D. DeRozan: 14 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asts, 6/16 FG
A. Johnson: 12 pts, 9 rebs, 4 asts, 5/11 FG



Sixers Pull Away with 76 Points from Turner, Richardson and Young

Image 117 (15-9) vs Image 100 (11-10)

Phi: 29|33|18|37
Tor: 33|26|19|22


2013/12/13

There seems to be something about Sixers-Raptors games that bring out the best in Evan Turner and DeMar DeRozan. A few weeks, ago, DeRozan and Turner both engaged in a personal scoring duel as they both led their teams in scoring with 28 points. This game played out eerily similar to the previous one, as DeRozan and Turner continued another high-tension scoring match. DeRozan would lead the Raptors with 31 points while Turner registered 29 of his own. Much like last month's game, the Raptors also lost control of the game in the fourth quarter when they were heavily outgunned. DeRozan once again received no help from his team in the fourth quarter as the Raptors shot 38% in the fourth while Turner managed to defer his scoring load to Jason Richardson and Thaddeus Young down the stretch for an easy win.


KEY PERFORMERS:

Sixers:
E. Turner: 29 pts, 5 rebs, 6 asts, 10/21 FG
J. Richardson: 26 pts, 4 rebs, 10/17 FG, 5/8 3 PT
T. Young: 21 pts, 12 rebs, 2 blks, 10/17 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
M. Carter-Williams: 8 pts, 1 reb, 4 asts, 3/3 FG

Raptors:
D. DeRozan: 31 pts, 4 rebs, 5 asts, 2 stls, 4/7 3PT
R. Gay: 22 pts, 9 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls, 7/17 FG
K. Lowry: 16 pts, 6 rebs, 10 asts, 6/9 FG
J. Valanciunas: 14 pts, 7 rebs, 5 asts, 6/12 FG



Week 7 Featured Game: Late Noah Tip in Hands Raps 3rd Straight Loss

Image 87 (11-11) vs Image 88 (15-7)

Tor: 28|26|17|16
Chi: 21|25|22|20


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Noah's game winning put back.

2013/12/14

With 36 seconds left in the game and down one point, the Chicago Bulls gave their star player and leading scorer Derrick Rose a chance to hit the go-ahead basket. It would be Joakim Noah that would steal the spotlght for this game though. The Bulls center corralled Rose's missed floater and scored a layup that would put Chicago up 88-87. The Raptors would have the opportunity to return the favour, but Rudy Gay's jumper from the baseline just rimmed out; much to the relief of the crowd at the United Center.

Noah overall had an unimpressive but well rounded game, scoring 10 points to go along with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. "He wasn't doing anything spectacular tonight, but I think that's what lulled them into a sense of security," fellow front-court starter Carlos Boozer said. "They pretty much threw 3 bodies at Derrick to alter his shot, but that left Noah to do whatever he wanted on the inside."

"There were a lot of switches and a lot of chaos on that last play," explained Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "I think we needed to communicate a lot more on that last play to make sure everyone was accounted for, especially their big guys. We got burned by a few plays like this today.... We need to iron this out in practice tomorrow with our guys."

Turnovers were once again a problem for the Raptors, who have gone 0-3 this week and are now sitting with a .500 record. Toronto started the game off strong and even held a 12 point lead mid-way through the second quarter, but the Bulls' defensive playstyle grinded the Raptors fast breaking style to a halt and forced 16 turnovers. On the defensive end, The Raptors had very few answers for Rose, who would score a game high 25 points on 10/18 shooting. "He's just too fast and too strong," said Kyle Lowry who had the task of trying to contain Rose. "You would not have guessed that he missed an entire year of basketball with the way he played tonight."

With the Raptors' fast paced offence out of the way, it would still prove difficult for the Bulls to truly take control of the game. Surprisingly, the Raptors were able to match the Bulls' physicality in a slow paced half court style offence. Toronto's rough play managed to maintain a small lead for a good stretch of the second half, and they did it by getting to the free throw line 39 times. The Raps would get some bad bounces at the charity stripe though, hitting only 26 of those attempts which would eventually give the Bulls the opportunity to seize the game.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 23 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, 8/22 FG
K. Lowry: 18 pts, 12 rebs, 7 asts, 4/8 FG
D. DeRozan: 16 pts, 2 rebs, 1 ast, 5/13 FG
A. Johnson: 14 pts, 8 rebs, 1 ast, 6/10 FG

Bulls:
D. Rose: 25 pts, 1 reb, 4 asts, 10/18 FG
C. Boozer: 13 pts, 6 rebs, 1 stl, 6/16 FG
L. Deng: 13 pts, 10 rebs, 5 asts, 6/12 FG
J. Noah: 10 pts, 6 rebs, 4 asts, 4/7 FG, 2 blks ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

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Kyle Lowry
19.3 ppg
7 rpg
8.6 apg
65% FG
50% 3PT
78% FT

*note: averages are for the week, not over the entire season.

Lowry is the only Raptor so far this season to grab a points-rebounds and points-assists double-double, and he did it all in one week. Much like in week 4 when Lowry won Raptor of the week, The Raptors have performed poorly when Lowry is forced into being more of a scorer as opposed to a distributor who sets up the offence. Let's hope that this isn't a recurring trend, because watching Lowry stuff the stat sheet like he does is certainly a sight to behold.

Next Week's Games
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 6 Recap + NBA News

Postby Its_asdf on Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:44 am

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Raptors' Ross an Erratic X-Factor
Mercurial Sophomore Needs to Tame Inconsistency

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Terrence Ross has looked disinterested on the court when his jump shot isn't falling.


Published on Dec 15, 2013

Terrence Ross shifts past his defender for a wide open mid range jumper, one of his bread and butter moves. He stops on a dime, sets his feet, and lets the ball fly with his velvet-like shooting touch. The ball clanks right off the rim and sails out of bounds. Ross peers over to his head coach; Dwane Casey has had enough. It's 6 minutes into the third quarter and the second year guard out of Washington has a dejected look as DeMar DeRozan calls for Ross to sub out for him. Ross finished the game with 2 points, going 1 for 7 from the field and would not play for the rest of the game. The Raptors would lose the game by 17 points to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.

This isn't an uncommon sight for Ross this year. Given the role as the Raptors de facto scorer off the bench, Ross has been incredibly hot or cold for Toronto. Some nights Ross looks like an offensive wizard, scorching opposing defences with a myriad of moves. His off-the-ball cuts are sharp, his drives to the rim are aggressive, and his jumper looks silky smooth. Ross' 25 point outing against Denver last month is an example of the potential firepower Ross can bring off the bench when the second unit is in a pinch.

Then there are nights where Ross looks terrified to even touch the basketball. If his shot isn't falling, Ross looks disinterested and frustrated on the court. Ross can go from swooping into the paint effortlessly one game to simply sulking and bricking contested jumpers repeatedly the next game.

Raptors Assistant Coach Nick Nurse has worked with Ross in the summer league and believes that he is one of the more talented players on the roster. "He's got a lot of skill offensively," Nurse said. "He has all the tools to be a very good sixth man for this team; the athleticism, the jumpshot, the quickness... But it's driving us nuts when we don't know what to expect out of him on a game to game basis."

It's easier said than done though. Some contend that a lot of the times Ross usually has the burden of being the only productive bench scorer on the team and that is contributing to his poor shot selection at times. This could be a potential problem that fuels his wildly erratic production, but Nurse feels that it's up to Ross to show more mental fortitude. "It's true that we do rely on him as our go-to guy off the bench, but his body language can be incredibly poor when things aren't going his way." he argues.

The Raptors' coaching staff aren't the only ones aware of Ross' disappearing acts. "I think he wants to prove to everyone that he is worthy of being the 8th overall pick last season," an Eastern Conference scout said when asked for his evaluation of Ross' inconsistency. "He knows that there are a lot of critics of his selection and he gets frustrated when he can't live up to that billing. He gets down on himself too easily."

The truth of the matter is, the Raptors need Ross. It's no surprise that Ross shoots only 36% when the Raptors lose and a scorching 50% when they win.

"I gave Ross a little bit more lee way offensively because he can win games for us," Explained Dwane Casey. "I think by doing so I've shown confidence in him, but I'm only going to tolerate mistakes up to a point before we put in our more experienced guys on the wing."

After a brief pause, Casey added "Maybe Ross is not yet ready for that much responsibility offensively yet, but for our sake, we need him to be."



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News Around the NBA


Spurs, Thunder Swap Nando De Colo and Perry Jones

ImageImage


The first trade of the 2013-2014 NBA season wasn't the most earth shattering deal. The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to ship away second year combo guard Nando De Colo along with the 2014 second round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In return, they recieve sophomore forward Perry Jones. Both young players were stuck in logjams at their positions; Jones could not find any playing time over the Thunder's forward rotation of Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison while De Colo had Tony Parker, Cory Joseph, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili ahead of him in the depth chart. Perry Jones is averaging 3.1 points per game and 1.7 rebounds per game and De Colo has averages of 1.8 points per game and 1.1 assists per game.

While Jones was drafted 28th overall in the 2012 draft, many had him projected to be a lottery pick for that draft class. The Spurs look to add more low-risk high-reward talent to their team as their aging roster gears for what looks like yet another playoff bound season. The Thunder on the other hand, look to add more flexibility to their backcourt. De Colo can fill in at either the one or the two guard as an insurance policy for the Thunder's bench.

It's difficult to tell who won this trade as the Spurs also gave away a second round pick. However, judging from their current standings in the West, it will most likely be one of the last picks of the second round and therefore irrelevant. Both players are still young but Jones is only 22 years of age and has many more intriguing physical tools than the 25 year old De Colo. Overall, the winner of this trade is probably the Spurs.

Spurs Grade: B
Thunder Grade: C+



Pacers Re-Sign Granger to 5 Year Deal

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Indiana wasted no time in re-signing their star player, inking forward Danny Granger to a 5 year deal worth $44.57 million. Granger played all but 5 games last season due to patellar tendinosis, but has quickly rounded back into form this year. The 30 year old forward out of New Mexico currently sports a team-high 18.9 point per game average along with 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

After a fantastic run in the playoffs last year, the Pacers are looking like they have fallen back down to earth with a 12-11 record to start the season. Future Pacer star Paul George seems to have regressed with Granger back in the lineup, scoring only 14.8 points per contest. It has been hotly contested that Granger is holding George back, but it appears that Larry Bird and the Pacers management have surprisingly committed to an aging Granger for another 5 years.

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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 6 Recap + NBA News

Postby Its_asdf on Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:54 am

Axel. wrote:Nice job recovering from your turnover-fest against the Lakers. (Y) It's certainly frustrating racking up 20 turnovers, almost to the point of rage-quitting. :lol:

Portland seems to be in a bad situation, but I see it as only temporary. I don't think it would be necessary for Aldridge to be traded, at least not yet. If Batum can overcome his injury and Lillard can break out of his sophomore slump, then the Blazers should be able to get back on track.


Yeah I've been super turnover prone lately. Those outlet passes to my big men running down the court can be so tempting to throw at times.....

Yeah, and technically speaking, the Aldridge story was completely made up by me. His morale is incredibly high in the game at the moment even though Portland is fighting it out with Charlotte for the Wiggins sweepstakes. I simply don't think that's realistic seeing as he was pretty frustrated last season and this would make for a more interesting story line to follow outside of the usual Raptors-related stuff I write. Besides, it feels like every year now there's always one star player on a team that's whining about not being on a winner and all that. Aldridge seemed like the perfect candidate in the perfect situation to showcase that.

I really hope they do at least make it back to .500 though. The Blazers are actually my second favourite team after the Raptors.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 7 Recap + NBAs News/Ross Artic

Postby dascoot on Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:04 am

Very interesting dynasty I am looking forward to reading more when the time comes.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 7 Recap + NBAs News/Ross Artic

Postby Its_asdf on Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:41 am

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Raptors Actively Involved in Trade Talks
GM Ujiri on the Hunt for a Better Bench, Sources Say

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This season the Raptors' bench has been their Achilles heel and Ujiri is looking for an upgrade.

Dec 17, 2013

After a three game losing streak that puts Toronto back to a .500 record, Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri has made it clear that he is not particularly satisfied with the Raptors' current roster and is willing to shake things up if necessary. "We just past the quarter mark of the season and I think we are doing OK," Ujiri had said in a nonchalant tone. "I am not satisfied with just 'OK' and we are going to explore some options to make this team better."

Ujiri in particular has been worried about the Raptors' productivity from the bench and has already contacted a few teams this season for some upgrades, said an inside source. This comes as no surprise to anyone who has watched the Raptors play this season. The Raptors currently average 101 points per game but the majority of these points are coming from the starting unit. Aside from highly erratic production from Terrence Ross, the Raptors have really been struggling to find any sort of offensive cohesion in the second unit. The play from the bench really labours when it comes to setting up the offense and the poor execution usually leads to excessive turnovers. This of course has led to numerous fourth quarter meltdowns or games where the starters can not make up enough ground to cover for the second unit's mistakes.

The remedy to that problem, according to Ujiri, may be the point guard position. Sources claim that Ujiri has been on the market for any sort of help he can find to bolster the bench, but is mainly looking to deal for a backup point guard. Current Raptor backup DJ Augustin has not been performing his point guard duties effectively and third string guard Dwight Buycks has yet to play an NBA game.

What Ujiri wishes to give up in return however, is still in question. Many believe that Ujiri is reluctant to part ways with his starting five but outside of those five players, the Raptors do not have too much of value to offer.



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News Around the NBA


Jason Terry to Nuggets in Exchange for Andre Miller

ImageImage


The Brooklyn Nets and the Denver Nuggets decided to swap their disgruntled veteran guards, sending Jason Terry to the Denver Nuggets for Andre Miller and a '14 first round draft pick. Both Miler and Terry were unhappy in their respective roles. Terry was traded to Brooklyn this season but was unable to adapt to a more traditional back-up point guard role, while Miller lost his back-up point guard spot to free agent acquisition Nate Robinson.

Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King believes that the trade was mutually beneficial for both parties. "Denver felt like they needed a veteran perimeter scorer off the bench and we needed a more pass-first guard off to get our offence set up," King said.

Terry currently avergaes 6.9 points per game this season in 16 minutes off the bench. Miller on the other hand has been averaging 2.3 points and 2.3 assists in 9.2 minutes per game. Ultimately, this trade is viewed as mutually beneficial to both teams, but the Nets managed to pry Denver's 2014 first round draft pick away from them. Even though the pick is expected to be a fairly low first round pick (Denver is currently 16-8,) if this 2014 draft class is as deep as everyone makes it out to be, then the Nets have probably won out on this deal in the long term.

Nets Grade: A-
Nuggets Grade: B



Raptors Bring in Buycks from D-League

ImageImage


The Raptors plan on doing a little re-shuffling of their roster before they play host to the Charlotte Hornets on the 18th. It has been announced that 24 year old rookie Dwight Buycks will be suiting up in the red white for the first time this season. As a result, forward Steve Novak will be placed on the inactive list for the time being.

A product of Marquette, Buycks went undrafted in the 2011 draft and entered the NBDL. Eventually, Buycks joined to the LNB Pro A, a French basketball league where he eventually earned MVP honours. This earned him a spot on the Raptors Summer League roster where he played well enough to obtain a NBA contract. Buycks has spent the majority of the season in the Raptors' D-League affiliate the Bakersfield Jam, averaging 17.8 points and 6.3 assists per game.

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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 7 Recap + NBAs News/Ross Artic

Postby Its_asdf on Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:46 am

dascoot wrote:Very interesting dynasty I am looking forward to reading more when the time comes.


Thanks man, I appreciate any viewship that can come my way!
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - More NBA/Raptors News

Postby Lamrock on Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:47 am

Looking great, dude. Like the real team, you're mired in mediocrity. Any deals on the horizon?
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - More NBA/Raptors News

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:48 am

Week 8 Featured Game: Gay, DeRozan and Lowry's Three Point Shooting Snap Raptors' Losing Streak

Image 121 (8-18) vs Image 129 (12-11)

Cha: 30|28|37|26
Tor: 36|36|29|28


Image
Dwight Buycks was a welcome surprise, scoring 8 points in his NBA debut off the bench.

2013/12/18

Managing to snap a three game losing skid, the Toronto Raptors were led by the usual cast of Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. It was recent call-up Dwight Buycks, however, that managed to impress in his NBA debut. The 6'3 guard out of Marquette was given the opportunity showcase his ability to run the offence and did not disappoint, finishing with 8 points 2 assists and a steal in only 13 minutes of playing time.

"To step in like that and contribute right away is huge, especially since our bench has not been up to par lately," Raptors Coach Dwane Casey told the press after the victory. "It shows how hard he worked to stay ready once he got the opportunity to see some action."

"I'm not surprised he played that well at all," claimed Kyle Lowry. "He was the MVP overseas for a reason." While Buycks showed promise, it was wing players and point guard that stole the show. Lowry notched another double-double for this season, scoring 21 points to go along with 10 assists on 7 for 11 shooting. Meanwhile DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay manhandled any defender that was thrown their way, combining for 57 points between the two of them. Hornet''s head coach Steve Clifford was furious at his team's lack of commitment to guard Toronto's star players.

"They flat out walked all over us," exclaimed Clifford. "I can't count how many times they simply jogged into the paint for an uncontested layup. The effort tonight was inexcusable." The Raptors also torched the Hornets from three point territory, dropping in 13 of their 20 three point attempts. 12 of those three pointers came from Gay, DeRozan and Lowry, who each chipped in with 4 apiece. "Don't even get me started on our defense at the three point line," groaned Clifford. "It was only three players who were making threes the entire game!"

If you didn't look at the boxscore numbers are already, the game itself was simply an up-and-down fast paced game. The Hornets faced an uphill battle right from the tip as Toronto came out guns blazing and Charlotte tried to match their offensive intensity. It was a game of catch-up for the Hornets as they trailed behind the Raptors the entire game; mostly by double figures. Keeping them in the game was Ben Gordon and his season high 39 points, but took 32 shots to score them. Kemba Walker, the Hornets point guard, seemed irritated at Gordon's ball dominance during the game. "This is a team game, we're not going to win if we try to pretend we're Kobe Bryant out there," said Walker. "I' was hot. MKG was hot. If we got everyone involved more we could have came out with the 'W'."

KEY PERFORMERS:

Hornets:
B. Gordon: 39 pts, 1 reb, 3 asts, 15/32 FG
K. Walker: 22 pts, 5 rebs, 6 asts, 4 stls, 2 blks
M. Kidd-Gilchrist: 19 pts, 3 rebs, 6 asts 9/9 FG
G. Henderson: 14 pts, 3 stls, 5/12 FG

Raptors:
R. Gay: 29 pts, 8 rebs, 3 asts, 8/16 FG, 4/8 3PT ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 28 pts, 8 rebs, 11/24 FG, 4/9 3PT
K. Lowry: 21 pts, 3 rebs, 10 asts, 7/11 FG, 4/6 3PT
J. Valanciunas: 13 pts, 8 rebs, 6/12 FG, 2 blks



Struggling Dallas Get Decimated by Toronto

Image 98 (13-11) vs Image 77 (8-18)

Tor: 31|28|20|19
Dal: 26|15|14|22


2013/12/20

The Toronto Raptors snatched up their second win in a row and did it in a convincing fashion as the Dallas Mavericks continued their downward spiral into the cellar of the NBA this season. You don't need to look any further than the Raptors dominant 36-16 differential of points in the paint as proof of the Maverick's poor interior defence. Toronto as a whole did not shoot too well, hitting only 43% of their shots. Instead they chose to wear down their opponents through constant post-ups from Rudy Gay and Jonas Valanciunas. This took a heavy toll on the Mavericks, especially leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki, as he managed only to hit 7 of his 20 field goal attempts.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 20 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, 3 stls
K. Lowry: 19 pts, 6 rebs, 10 asts, 6/13 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 18 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts, 2 stls, 2 blks
J. Valanciunas: 12 pts, 10 rebs, 4 asts

Mavericks:
D. Nowitzki: 18 pts, 6 rebs, 7/20 FG
V. Carter: 14 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, 5/11 FG
M. Ellis: 9 pts, 3 rebs, 7 asts, 3 stls
J. Calderon: 8 pts, 9 rebs, 4 asts, 2/3 FG



Raptors Get Manhandled by Westbrook and the Thunder

Image 66 (13-12) vs Image 98 (16-11)

Tor: 9|16|15|26
OKC: 26|29|17|26


2013/12/22

After bullying Dallas in a blowout victory, the Raptors got a taste of their own medicine. Toronto's offence was immediately stagnant right from the start of the game, thanks mostly to terrible shot selection and the Thunder's perimeter defensive rotations. Simply put, the Raptors were embarassed in the first half, scoring only 25 points by half time and shot a season low 30% from the field. Toronto tried to pick it up in the second half, but the damage had already been done as the Thunder would balloon the lead to 36 at one point. The star duo of Kevin Durant an Russell Westbrook played a combined 2 minutes in the final quarter as the Thunder easily cruised to a win on their home floor.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 16 pts, 3 rebs, 4 stls, 6/22 FG
K. Lowry: 12 pts, 5 rebs, 4 asts, 4/17 FG
J. Valanciunas: 10 pts, 11 rebs, 3/5 FG
A. Johnson: 8 pts, 10 rebs, 4/9 FG

Thunder:
R. Westbrook: 24 pts, 2 rebs, 6 asts, 8/15 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
K. Durant: 16 pts, 12 rebs, 2 asts, 8/11 FT
S. Adams: 15 pts, 11 rebs, 6/14 FG
J. Lamb: 10 pts, 10 rebs, 5/7 FT
N. De Colo: 12 pts, 7 rebs, 9 asts, 4/8 FG



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

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Jonas Valanciunas
11.7 ppg
9.7 rpg
3 apg
2 bpg
51% FG
83% FT

*note: averages are for the week, not over the entire season.

While his statline has not been as impressive as previous Raptors of the Week, everyone is probably tired of seeing the same three names (DeRozan, Gay and Lowry). The justification for Valanciunas getting the award this week is that he has managed to play consistently well throughout all three games, something that can't be said for most Raptors that played in the Thunder blowout loss. Secondly, Valanciunas has shown a steady defensive presence this week, anchoring the Raptors defence and limiting opposing big men from scoring. It was especially promising to see Valanciunas match Nowitzki's agility on the perimeter and took the challenge of shutting down the German so well. The same can't be said for his help defence, but that porous defense is mostly to blame from the Raptors' wings players and their inability to guard a pylon during this stretch.

Next Week's Games
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Last edited by Its_asdf on Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - More NBA/Raptors News

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:53 am

Lamrock wrote:Looking great, dude. Like the real team, you're mired in mediocrity. Any deals on the horizon?


Thanks for the kind words.

Yeah, I have something planned coming up. Funny that you mention this though, as I've been tinkering around with my roster for potential trades that I'm interested in making. There was one particular trade that I wasn't particularly keen on making but I wanted to play around with it anyway. Turns out I accidentally saved over my Association save file with the said trade and now I have to live with the consequences. :lol:

So yeah, expect an announcement to pop up soon.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 8 Recap

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:18 pm

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News Around the NBA


Raptors Deal Augustin and Fields to Sixers for Carter-Williams and Hawes

ImageImageImageImage


Masai Ujiri has ironed out his first deal as the General Manager of the Toronto Raptors, sending a package of back up point guard DJ Augustin, forward Landry Fields and 2015 first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams and center Spencer Hawes.

The Raptors, who appear to be on the playoff hunt, hope to improve the playmaking and offensive productivity of their second unit. Uneven performances from the players off the bench have hindered the Raptors' ability to close out winnable games. "It's no surprise to anyone that we were on the market for adding more depth on the bench," Ujiri stated in his press conference. "We feel that Carter-Williams will make the players around him better and is another young piece that we can add to our core. Spencer Hawes is also a big man with great passing and scoring which will help with our offensive philosophy of sharing the ball and keeping the offence moving."

The rookie Carter-Williams was the 11th pick out of Syracuse. Highly touted for his passing and size at the point guard position, Carter-Williams currently averages 7.2 points, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game off the bench for the Sixers. "We were really interested in his skill set," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "During the draft we didn't have any picks this year but we tried to trade for a pick to land him." The Sixers traded breakout guard Jrue Holiday during the draft to make room for Carter-Williams, which meant that the Raptors would have to wait until a later date to attempt to acquire him.

Philadelphia has been a pleasant surprise this season with an 18-10 record despite initial expectations of being one of the worst teams in the league. The free agent acquisition of guard Delonte West had eaten away at Carter-Williams' playing time and did not have much of an opportunity to showcase his ability to run the offence with Evan Turner being the main ball handler. "This season has been a surprise for us and we needed to make a move to account for these unexpected changes," Explained Sixers General Manager Sam Hinkie. "Both Carter-Williams and Hawes were a nice players for us, but we feel that we need some more veteran experience at the point if we want to win now. At the same time, we also got a future draft pick so this also helps us in the long term as well."

Hawes was the starting center for Philadelphia this season averaging 10.7 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game and 4 assists per game. Known as a highly skilled and versatile big man, Hawes has had his toughness questioned throughout his entire career. Hinkie' claims that backup big men Nerlens Noel and Lavoy Allen have been much more efficient on offence (Hawes has shot 41% this season) and have played more of a factor in the Sixer's success this year than Hawes. This has made Hawes expendable and the Sixers GM was eager to trade him away after three seasons of highly erratic play in Philadephia.

DJ Augustin has averaged 4.8 points and 2.6 assists per game in his first season with the Raptors after signing a one year deal in the off-season. The Raptors have been unhappy with Augustin's performance, particularly with his poor shooting (37.5%) and high turnover rate (2.1 turnovers). However, Augustin has been a solid three point threat, hitting 39% of his three pointers. Hinkie pointed out that Augustin's perimeter shooting is a better compliment to Evan Turner, who is the main shot creator and facilitator for the team. "He fits our schemes better than Carter-Williams does because he (Augustin) doesn't need the ball as much to function as more of a spot up shooter on the floor," Hinkie said.

Sporting averages of just 3.7 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game, Landry Fields was also included in the deal to match Hawes' contract. Ujiri claims that since the Sixers were in need of some depth at the wings they had initially coveted Terrence Ross or DeMar DeRozan in the deal but he had negotiated that Fields and a future first round pick to be sent instead. Fields is in his second season with Toronto and coming off a disappointing first year with the Raptors after signing a 3 year $20 million contract. This season marked a slight improvement for Fields as he has become an efficient high-energy hustle player off the bench despite his limited playing time.

If all goes according to plan, Carter-Williams and Hawes should be dressed and ready to play in the Raptors next game against the San Antonio Spurs.


Raptors Grade: B
Sixers Grade: B-



Mozgov Shipped to Denver for Bonner and a First Rounder

ImageImage


With injuries to Boris Diaw and Livio Jean- Charles, the Spurs look to add some toughness to their frontcourt by shipping away the seldom-used Matt Bonner and a first round pick to Denver for Timofey Mozgov. Bonner has spent most of his time on the inactive list for the Spurs, only averaging 4 minutes per game with a 1 point per game average. Mozgov has similar averages of 5.6 minutes and 1.6 points per game, but has played in every single game for Denver.

This trade was orchestrated by the Spurs mostly due to Jean-Charles and Diaw sustaining long term injuries. Each are expected to miss approximately a month of basketball due to a shoulder and hamstring injury. Surprisingly, they coughed up a first round draft pick in addition to taking on Mozgov's 2 year $9.05 million salary. Bonner on the other hand only has one year remaining on his contract as Denver continues to load up on three point shooters to compliment their run and gun playstyle.

Overall, it feels like the Spurs gave up a little too much and took on a little too much salary for just an insurance policy.

Nuggets Grade: B
Spurs Grade: C-

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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Trade

Postby Vespasian92 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:43 am

MCW will probably help some of your bench players get better shots, particularly Ross. The first-round pick is always difficult to let go of, but you might be able to regain one later on if someone like Gay or Lowry end up needing to be moved before they expire. I don't really think it's that bad of a trade.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Trade

Postby dascoot on Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:06 am

I love the trade of Augstin and Fields for MCW and Hawes. I think that should improve your bench some.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Trade

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:01 am

Green Nails Game Winning 3 Against Toronto

Image 103 (13-13) vs Image 105 (16-13)

Tor: 26|27|26|24
SAS: 26|24|32|23


2013/12/23

Danny Green managed to spoil the debut of Michael Carter-Williams and Spencer Hawes by draining the game winning three pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining. Carter-Williams had a good debut off the bench with 5 points and 8 assists and it appeared that he was just the shot in the arm at the point guard position that Toronto needed. Hawes also chipped in with a fairly pedestrian 4 points and 4 rebounds but did not receive as much playing time since starters Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson were playing well offensively.

While the new look Raptors managed to look good, the second unit still looked shaky at times due to the lack of developed on-court chemistry. Carter-Williams had a few costly turnovers in the early fourth quarter that led to back to back three pointers and Hawes travelled on a key possession at the 2 minute mark that prevented the Raptors from seizing any momentum. Ultimately the game came down to Green's three pointer in the corner from a kick-out pass out of a double team on Tim Duncan in the post. Kyle Lowry had a clean look at the three point line but the shot clanged off the rim as time expired.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
D. DeRozan: 32 pts, 6 rebs, 4 asts, 11/25 FG
R. Gay: 21 pts, 6 rebs, 3 asts, 8/18 FG
J. Valanciunas: 11 pts, 4 rebs, 3 blks, 5/6 FG
A. Johnson: 10 pts, 12 rebs, 5/10 FG

Spurs:
M. Ginobili: 18 pts, 3 asts, 6/10 FG
T. Parker: 18 pts, 2 rebs, 4 asts, 6/17 FG
T. Duncan: 16 pts, 14 rebs, 1 ast, 5/12 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. Green: 14 pts, 3 rebs, 1 ast, 5/9 FG
K. Leonard: 12 pts, 9 rebs, 4 asts, 5/10 FG



Toronto Once Again Falter in the Fourth

Image 93 (13-14) vs Image 111 (15-14)

Tor: 30|26|20|17
NYK: 32|26|20|33


2013/12/27

Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith propelled the Knicks to a victory over the Raptors as the Knicks exploded for 33 points in the fourth quarter. Toronto once again failed to put the clamps down defensively on the perimeter and allowed Smith and Anthony to walk all over the Raptors with spectacular all around performances. Both Smith and Anthony combined for 44 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists and 17/26 shooting. New York managed to keep the Raptors at bay for the first three quarters with the use of their slashing ability as they went to the freethrow line a total of 29 times. In sharp contrast, the Raptors only attempted 11, and made only 6. Once the Raptors started to cool off from the field, they became too predictable on offence and any momentum was quickly pulled from underneath them.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 23 pts, 8 rebs, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk
D. DeRozan: 16 pts, 1 rebs, 6 asts, 7/13 FG
J. Valanciunas: 15 pts, 8 rebs, 3 blks
K. Lowry: 14 pts, 4 rebs, 5 asts, 5 TOs

Knicks:
C. Anthony: 24 pts, 9 rebs, 5 asts, 9/13 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
J.R. Smith: 20 pts, 8 rebs, 6 asts, 6/13 FG
R. Felton: 16 pts, 2 rebs, 6 asts, 2 stls
I. Shumpert: 14 pts, 2 rebs, 2 asts, 4/4 3PT



Week 9 Featured Game: Raptors Get Revenge Against Knicks

Image 89 (15-15) vs Image 91 (14-14)

NYC: 27|25|16|21
Tor: 24|25|21|21


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New Raptors Spencer Hawes and Michael Carter-Williams helped lift the Raptors back to a .500 record.

2013/12/28

The Raptors finally nabbed their first win with their new roster, but barely scrapped by with a well balanced attack. No Raptor scored over 20 points for the game but at the same time they had 5 players in double figures. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Knicks put most of their eggs in one basket, with Carmelo Anthony dropping a game high of 32 points. "Melo is just one of those guys who's going to get his points and shots up," said DeMar DeRozan. "Our goal coming into this game was to try to slow him down but we also wanted to make sure that none of the other Knick players had a good night offensively."

Anthony did get some help from J.R. Smith, as he poured in 19 points and 8 rebounds, but the supporting cast failed to deliver. The next highest scorer for the Knicks was Amare Stoudemire with 13 points, but he only shot 5 for 14 from the field. "Give kudos to them (the Raptors), they made use of the home-and-home series and made the proper adjustments. I think we got a little to complacent out there because we beat them so easily last game," admitted Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

It appeared as if there was a complete reversal of strategies this game. Last game, the Knicks pounded the basketball inside for multiple trips to the free throw line while the Raptors were content to settle for outside jumpers. Instead, it was the Raptors who did all their damage by attacking the basket, going to the line 29 times. The Knicks were content to rely on their three point shooting, shooting 9/18 from three this game. At first glance that number might have seemed spectacular, but 8 of those attempts came in the second half with none of those attempts finding the bottom of the net.

"We were kind of getting pushed around that game, but we made the right adjustments at half time to really stop their hot shooting," said Kyle Lowry, who was two rebound shy of a triple double and finished with 0 turnovers. This was night and day compared to Lowry's previous game against the Knicks where he had 5 turnovers.

The upgraded bench of the Raptors also finally came through tonight, as Tyler Hansbrough led all bench players with 10 points. New comers Michael Carter-Williams and Spencer Hawes each chipped in with 6 points apiece. Dwane Casey found himself impressed by the productivity of the bench, claiming that they "did not disappoint tonight." "That's how we're going to win games as the season progresses; by having everyone play their role and pull their weight," he said.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Knicks:
C. Anthony: 32 pts, 3 rebs, 4 asts, 11/18 FG
J.R. Smith: 19 pts, 8 rebs, 3 asts, 6/12 FG, 6/9 FT
A. Stoudemire: 13 pts, 8 rebs, 2 asts, 5/14 FG
R. Felton: 7 pts, 2 rebs, 5 asts, 3/15 FG

Raptors:
R. Gay: 19 pts, 4 rebs, 2 asts
D. DeRozan: 18 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts
K. Lowry: 16 pts, 8 rebs, 10 asts ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
J. Valanciunas: 13 pts, 12 rebs, 6/16 FG
T. Hansbrough: 10 pts, 4 rebs, 5/6 FG



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

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DeMar DeRozan
22 ppg
3.6 rpg
4.7 apg
45% FG
50% 3PT
75% FT

*note: averages are for the week, not over the entire season.

DeRozan had the most note-worthy offensive performance this week with a 32 point outing against the Spurs. The usual Raptor of the Week contenders Rudy Gay, Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry all put up pretty big numbers as well, but struggled from the field for the majority of the games. What made DeRozan's week stand out during week 9 was his passing ability. The draw and kick game was in full effect for DeMar this week, creating a lot of solid looks for others with his dump off passes to cutting big men or simply taking it to the rim himself for two foul shots. DeRozan has Tyler Hansbrough to thank for his up-tick in assists this week; Hansbrough has recently come back from injury and has developed some nice chemistry on the floor with DeRozan by being the main recipient of his passes.

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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Trade

Postby Its_asdf on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:07 am

Vespasian92 wrote:MCW will probably help some of your bench players get better shots, particularly Ross. The first-round pick is always difficult to let go of, but you might be able to regain one later on if someone like Gay or Lowry end up needing to be moved before they expire. I don't really think it's that bad of a trade.


Yeah, my hope with that trade was that by 2015 I'd be a pretty decent playoff team and that Carter-Williams will develop into something solid; whether it's as a starter or as a back-up I'm not too sure yet though.

dascoot wrote:I love the trade of Augstin and Fields for MCW and Hawes. I think that should improve your bench some.


So far they've been pretty good to me. Hawes definitely isn't starter material but tends to play pretty well against back-up big men. He's really mobile and can hit some longer range twos which is a boon for players like Ross, DeRozan and Gay who need the lane open to slash. MCW's jumpshot is dreadful in this game, but his length and his passing are really nice. It can be hard to go from a short, stocky dude who shoots 3s all day to a bricklaying 6'6 lanky dude.
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 9 Recap

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:44 pm

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Casey Calls out Rudy Gay
Star Forward "Needs to Stop Being Passive" Says Coach


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Gay has been effective attacking the basket this season, but needs to do so more often.


Published on Dec 31, 2013

With 2013 soon to be behind them, Toronto is looking to turn over a new leaf and build up some chemistry between their new players after completing a 4 player trade with Philadelphia. However, in Dwane Casey's mind it's not the new players that he's worried about, it's Rudy Gay.

When asked about his New Years resolutions, Dwane Casey jokingly brought up Gay's passivity during games. "My resolution would probably be to try to get Rudy to score the ball more attacking the basket," laughed Casey.

Toronto's star small forward has seemingly performed up to par, at least statisically speaking. Gay is averaging 20 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists per game which are well in line with his career averages. What has people's heads turning in surprise is Gay's upswing in efficiency; particularly behind the three point arc. The 27 year old is shooting a career high 40% from three and is second in the team in three pointers made after Kyle Lowry. One could argue that Gay's productivity from the perimeter has been one of the main reasons why the Raptors as a team brandish a solid 38% three point field goal percentage. This is a huge turnaround from last season, where the Raptors were sixth from the bottom but are now the sixth best team in terms of three point field goal percentage.

"He's been huge for us when it comes to making people respect our outside shooting," said Casey. "But at the same time we're starting to live and die by three point shot now, and that's just not how we're going to win games against tougher defensive minded teams." This statement comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed Raptors games, particularly if they have been watching during the fourth quarter. Toronto's offence either seemingly implodes or flourishes, depending on how hot the team is feeling for that quarter. "We get leads by being aggressive and Rudy has got to be the one who sets the tone for us on that end. He's playing way too passively out there," Casey added.

In the past, Gay has been routinely criticized for being a ball stopper on offence who takes questionable shots at times, and this season is no different. The 6'9 forward has launched 135 three pointer attempts this season but has only attempted 129 free throws, a scary number for a player with as many tantalizing physical gifts that Gay has. At the same time, his reluctance to attack the basket has also caused his free throw shooting to suffer, as he is currently shooting a career low 71% from the line.

It's no secret that Rudy has worked out with Hakeem Olajuwon this off-season, and the improvements do show. Whenever Gay has established position at the free throw line area or closer, he puts on a display of artful spins, fakes and dribble moves that can leave his defenders in a daze. The only problem is getting him to actually execute these moves on a more consistent basis, Casey says. "He's worked with Hakeem and it shows. He's so tough to guard down low now, but every time we try to run a set for him, he ends up deviating from the plan and just settling. I think we might have come away with a few more wins under our belt if Rudy took charge of the offence and attacked their defence more."

Gay seemed to agree with some of Casey's points, but dismissed the criticism of his tendency to float more on the perimeter. "Yeah, I think I have gotten away from slashing to the basket a little bit this season," admitted Gay. "But I'm not doing it to shy away from contact or anything." Rudy then pointed out the team's balanced scoring and the utilization of other scorers in the paint like Jonas Valanciunas and slashers like DeMar DeRozan. "I'm not saying that I don't need to change anything right now, because I do think I can get to the freethrow line a bit more, but I'm not going to be going to the basket as often if we got other guys who can do it too. But if coach wants to change something up and play me more inside then I'm fine with that. Whatever help us get the win at the end of the day, I'm all up for it."

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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 9 Recap + Casey Calls Out Gay

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:09 am

Week 10 Featured Game: Raptors Survive Rose Onslaught

Image 115 (15-14) vs Image 110 (21-9)

Tor: 25|37|22|31
Chi: 22|27|28|33


Image
Terrence Ross was out to prove that he was the most athletic guard on the court with this vicious poster dunk.

2013/12/31

Derrick Rose tried to keep his team in the game, but it just wasn't enough. Rose, after missing an entire year of basketball last season due to a torn ACL, dropped a season high 41 points and also chipped in with 4 steals. "He started off the season a bit slow but you can tell that he's really comfortable now," observed Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

Ultimately, Rose's fantastic play would be the Bulls' undoing. While scoring an impressive 41 points, Rose also needed 43 shot attempts in order to do so. This was reflected in the assists totals, which the Raptors dominated 29-19. "We shared the ball and it showed," said Kyle Lowry, who had a team high 6 assists. "We're at our best when everyone keeps the ball moving. We're not the best team when we rely on one hot hand, we have to play as a team to make this offense work."

The Raptors were able to take hold of the game early thanks unsurprisingly to the trio of Lowry, Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan. All three players demonstrated their tremendous impact on all facets of the game, combining for 67 points, 29 rebounds and 15 assists. Gay and DeRozan in particular were tremendous on the defensive glass, each securing double digit rebounds to lead the team. "There are a lot of rebounds to be had when you have one guy taking 43 shots," joked DeRozan.

Chicago managed to keep the game close thanks to their usual calling cards; rebounding and defence. The Bulls managed to secure 18 offensive rebounds to go along with 14 steals. "I feel like they roughed us up a little bit throughout the game but we responded pretty well by showing our own toughness," Casey said.

While Rose was unstoppable for 3 quarters, he eventually ran out of gas. The former MVP went 1 for 8 in the fourth quarter despite his team having a 33 point outburst.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 29 pts, 13 rebs, 4 ats, 2 blks, 2 stls, 12/22 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 19 pts, 12 rebs, 5 asts, 8/23 FG
K. Lowry: 19 pts, 4 rebs, 6 asts, 3 blks, 7/12 FG
J. Valanciunas: 10 pts, 10 rebs, 2 blks, 2/7 FG 6/8 FT

Bulls:
D. Rose: 41 pts, 3 rebbs, 8 asts, 4 stls, 16/43 FG
T. Gibson: 17 pts, 17 rebs, 2 asts, 3 stls, 2 blks, 7/10 FG
C. Boozer: 14 pts, 17 rebs, 1 ast, 7/15 FG
J. Butler: 12 pts, 6 rebs, 2 asts, 2 stls, 5/10 FG



Raptors Beat Pacers at Their Own Game

Image 84 (16-15) vs Image 113 (16-14)

Ind: 27|23|22|13
Tor: 32|25|30|26



2014/01/01

The Indiana Pacers are known to be a gritty team that hangs their hat on defence and team play. However, it was the Toronto Raptors who showed up with those qualities tonight. Toronto managed to cruise to a 30 point victory thanks to fantastic defence. Usually a team reliant on the three point shot, the Raptors struggled from beyond the arc, going 4 for 14 from three. Fortunately for them, superior ball movement was once again the Raptors' calling card for the game, as they racked up their second consecutive 29 assist night.

Toronto remained agressive all game long, relentlessly attacking the paint and getting Pacer big man Roy Hibbert in early foul trouble. Hibbert's impact on the game was menial, tallying only 6 points and 4 rebounds. Meanwhile, the Raptors wing duo of DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay continued their dynamic play, notching their second consecutive game with strong overall performances. With Indiana's main rim protector playing poorly, Gay and DeRozan were also complimented by strong performances from the Raptors big men trio of Jonas Valanciunas, Spencer Hawes and Amir Johnson.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Pacers:
CJ Watson: 17 pts, 2 rebs, 6 asts, 4 stls, 6/19 FG
L. Scola: 14 pts, 13 rebs, 2 asts, 5 TOs, 7/14 FG
P. George: 14 pts, 12 rebs, 5/13FG

Raptors:
R. Gay: 29 pts, 9 rebs, 5 asts, 11/20 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
D. DeRozan: 21 pts, 8 rebs, 8 asts, 8/19 FG
J. Valanciunas: 14 pts, 8 rebs, 4 asts, 6/10 FG



Inside-Out Combo of Nene and Wall Too Much for Toronto

Image 98 (16-15) vs Image 109 (13-17)

Tor: 31|21|26|20
Was: 28|28|22|31


2014/01/03

After a stellar defensive outing against the Pacers to start off the New Year, the Toronto Raptors managed to follow it up by allowing the Washington Wizards to shoot 57% from the field and 54% from three. Toronto was able to keep up a high level of intensity as they shot 48% from the field and 50% from three themselves, but it was not able to overcome their incredibly pourous defense.

John Wall and Nene carved up the Raptors on the inside, leading the Wizards to 42 points in the paint. This opened up room for the Wizards' shooters. Bradley Beal and Martell Webster combined for 6 three pointers, and Beal in particular scored 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 30 pts, 3 rebs, 1 asts, 2 stls, 9/25 FG
D. DeRozan: 27 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls, 12/19 FG
S. Hawes: 11 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts, 4/6 FG 1/2 3PT

Wizards:
J. Wall: 27 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts, 3 stls, 12/18 FG ***(PLAYER OF THE GAME)***
Nene: 23 pts, 5 rebs, 4 asts, 9/13 FG
B. Beal: 19 pts, 5 rebs, 7 asts, 7/11 FG, 3/4 3PT



Heat Get Payback Against Raptors

Image 98 (16-16) vs Image 115 (28-6)

Tor: 24|26|24|25
Mia: 28|28|28|31


2014/01/05

The Raptors gave the Heat a thorough beat down back in November, and Miami was eagerly awaiting to return the favour. Without stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Miami faltered to the Raptors 103-71. Now at full strength, Miami showed the Raptors what they were missing, as Wade and Bosh led the Heat in scoring. Surprisingly, the league's leading scorer LeBron James contributed only 18 points, but didn't need to as Wade and Bosh combined to hit 17 of their 27 shots.

On the Raptors' end, Jonas Valanciunas and Rudy Gay led the way for Toronto. Valanciunas managed to take advantage of Miami's small front court, bulldozing his way to 20 points but also had 5 turnovers. The Raptors as a whole tried to match the Heat's fast pace, but fumbled their way to 15 turnover night.

KEY PERFORMERS:

Raptors:
R. Gay: 23 pts, 6 rebs, 2 asts, 3 blks, 7/17 FG
J. Valanciunas: 20 pts, 5 rebs, 10/21 FG
D. DeRozan: 13 pts, 6 rebs, 3 asts, 3/11 FG, 7/10 FT
K. Lowry: 8 pts, 4 rebs, 9 asts, 3 stls, 3/10 FG

Heat:
D. Wade: 28 pts, 3 rebs, 6 asts, 2 stls, 2 blks, 10/14 FG
C. Bosh: 22 pts, 5 rebs, 7/14 FG, 7/8 FT
L. James: 18 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts, 2 stls, 2 blks, 6/14 FG
R. Allen: 14 pts, 4 rebs, 2 asts, 6/9 FG



RAPTOR OF THE WEEK:

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Rudy Gay
27.8 ppg
7.8 rpg
3 apg
1 spg
1.5 bpg
46% FG
30% 3PT
75% FT

*note: averages are for the week, not over the entire season.

Gay managed to start off the week on an incredible 29 point 13 rebound double-double. While his other numbers (namely his shooting percentages) have wavered, his scoring prowess has not; Gay's lowest point total this week was 23 against Miami's top tier defence. Speaking of defence, Gay's stellar defence this week has showcased why he has the potential to be a devasting two way player. When he feels like it, Gay can really leverag his length and athleticism to become the most versatile defender on the team.

Next Week's Games
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 10 Recap

Postby Its_asdf on Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:25 am

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Raptors December Report Card

Published on Dec 31 2013

A 6-7 record for the month of December isn't exactly anything to write home about, but it was to be expected with more road games and tougher opponents cropping up in the schedule. It was pretty troubling to see Toronto fare incredibly poorly against upper echelon Western Conference teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors. All of those games were losses by a wide margin, which showed a lack of competitiveness when playing against teams that are disciplined and can execute plays effectively. The recurring theme of fourth quarter meltdowns or explosions also continues to be prevalent for the Raptors.

Last but not least, the Raptors also struck a deal mid way through the month by trading DJ Augustin, Landry Fields and a 2015 first rounder for Spencer Hawes and Michael Carter-Williams. While this move does bolster the Raptors talent level to perhaps compete for a playoff seed, mortgaging away future assets such as a first round pick could be a dangerous game to play with a team as volatile as this.

The Grading System
A - Above expectations. This player has gone above and beyond what has been expected of him and has performed at a high level consistently.
B - Hit expectations. This player has met or has gone slightly above what has been expected of him, but still needs to fine tune a few things.
C - Below expectations. This player has produced slightly below what has been expected of him. Can be sporadically effective at times, but is still a net positive.
D - Well below expectations. This player is severely lacking in several key areas and has performed poorly as a result. Overall he does more harm than good for the team.
F - Probably shouldn't be an NBA player.

Guards
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K. Lowry: B+
Lowry continues to stuff the stat sheet with his fantastic all-around play, but he hasn't had as many nights where he would flat out carry the Raptors like the ones back in November. It's hard to complain about Lowry's production as it is still near all-star caliber levels, but has had some drop off in productivity for the month of December. It seems that opposing teams are doing their homework on Lowry now as he has relied more and more on his erratic mid range jumper when teams take away his drives to the rim and his three point shot.
Statline: 15.9 ppg, 5 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.3 spg, 46.2% FG, 39.1% 3PT, 82.1% FT

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DeMar DeRozan: A
Much like his progress from season to season, the production of DeRozan has gone up slowly and steadily from the month of November to December. Aside from his field goal percentage, all of DeRozan's stats have seen a slight increase. The drop off in his shooting percentages were to be expected, but DeMar's all around game continues to flourish. What has impressed most people about DeMar's game this season is definitely his ability to rack up assists in transition, particularly while utilizing his drive-and-kick ability. There are some nights where DeRozan acts as a secondary playmaker on the floor and has done a good job in getting others (particularly big men who can cut to the rim) involved.
Statline: 19.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 0.9 spg, 44.9% FG, 41.8% 3PT, 78.8% FT

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Terrence Ross: C
Two things of major concern regarding Ross' game. First, his free throw percentage has dipped into the 50% range, which is absolutely unacceptable for a guard. Second is his tunnel vision on the floor. With his minutes getting cut a bit this month, Ross has made it even more of a priority to get his shots up. Ross has become much more predictable to read as people are keying in to the fact that he's a bit of a black hole on offense. Defensively, Ross has shown some nice development on the ball, but also remains a bit of a liability against stronger, lankier guards. What prevents Ross from having his grade drop too low is his potential to be an energetic 6th man scorer that we see glimpses of every now and then.
Statline: 9.6 ppg, 3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.7 spg, 46.4% FG, 42% 3PT, 56.3% FT

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Michael Carter-Williams: C+
While an upgrade from DJ Augustin as a back-up point guard, Carter-Williams hasn't set the world on fire after coming in from his trade from the Sixers. Instead, Carter-Williams was just as advertised; a smooth offensive playmaker who lacks the perimeter skills to consistently hit the open jumpshot. Carter-Williams also displays a lot of potential as a defensive playmaker as well, racking up 1.1 steals per game in just 17 minutes a contest (the highest rate out of all the rookies.)
Statline: 6.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 41.4% FG, 36.1% 3PT, 77.9% FT

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Dwight Buycks: C
Buycks had a nice game in his NBA debut with 8 points, but that's about it from him. The addition of Michael Carter-Williams will probably keep Buycks limited to the bench barring any major injury. He definitely looks like he has the tools to be a solid combo guard scorer when he's given the minutes.
Statline: 0.9 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, 50% FG, 50% 3PT, 100% FT

Forwards

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Rudy Gay: B-
While we were initially concerned about Gay's freethrow percentages, he hasn't done anything to stop those concerns as he continues to shoot a pretty lackluster percentage from there. Gay was also recently criticized by his head coach for coasting on the perimeter a bit too much. When Gay's jumper is falling, he is one of the most dangerous players in the league as he has shot the Raptors in to and out of a lot of games this month. It can be hard to blame Gay for his offensive shortcomings as he does seem to have recommitted himself to being a more impactful player on the defensive end by posting some really nice rebound/steal/block totals this month though.
Statline: 21.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.9 bpg, 45.3% FG, 39.7% 3PT, 71.2% FT

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Amir Johnson: B+
With virtually the same stats as last month, one would wonder why Amir would receive a bump in his grade. The fact that he maintained the same level of productivity while getting his minutes cut in favour of new big Spencer Hawes is quite remarkable. In fact, one could argue that Amir is even more effective in shorter spurts. Amir is able to play at his maximum energy level without worrying about having to play 30 plus minutes a night.
Statline: 7.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.6 bpg, 50.2% FG,, 71.9% FT

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Tyler Hansbrough: C
Hansbrough continues to be the agitating, hard-nosed workhorse off the bench. However, Psycho T sustained a heel injury that sidelined him for a two week stretch. In the mean time, the Raptors struck a deal for Spencer Hawes, whose finesse oriented play replaced Hansbrough's physical presence on the inside. Hansbrough still plays meaningful minutes doing what he does best, but he is definitely not as relied on as much as he was before.
Statline: 4.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 48.5% FG, 70.6% FT

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Quincy Acy: D+
Acy has been moved even further back in the depth chart on a team loaded with big forwards and centers. Acy has been caught trying to do too much at times when he does see action on the court, hoping to impress the coaching staff by playing more on the perimeter as opposed to being the hustle and energy player that he's supposed to be.
Statline: 0.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 47.4% FG, 75% FT

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Steve Novak: N/A
Novak has yet to see a minute on the court this season, and with the recent Philadelphia trade it doesn't look too promising that he will either.
Statline: None

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Austin Daye: N/A
Daye has officially been moved to the inactive list. Barring any major injuries it is doubtful that we will get a very good look at how he performs this season.
Statline: 0.6 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 0.2 apg, 25% FG

Centers

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Jonas Valanciunas: B
The future of the Raptors has made some strides during December by bumping up his field goal percentage to respectable (but still somewhat lacking) levels. Like most promising young big men, he is best off being the recipient of passes off the pick and roll and lobs at the rim. In November, it seemed that he tried to display his unrefined but promising 15 foot jumper way too often. It looks like the coaching staff has got through to him though, as he has seen a slight upswing in productivity by understanding his role as the fourth option on the court.
Statline: 11 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.4 bpg, 48.9% FG, 73.9% FT


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Spencer Hawes: B+
Hawes has come in to the Raptors and has been a stable contributor off the bench. This is surprising considering his reputation as a player who takes games off on a regular basis. Hawes has been a great back up center for Valanciunas as he brings a nice package of size and skill which he can use to full effect against opposing teams' weaker bigs.
Statline: 10.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.2 bpg, 44.2% FG, 31.4% 3PT, 73.1% FT

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Cole Aldrich: D
When Tyler Hansbrough was injured, it was the perfect opportunity for Aldrich to shine and showcase that he could be a reliable back up in this league. Unfortunately for him, he looked uncomfortable being given more minutes.
Statline: 1.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.6 bpg, 35.7% FG, 54.5% FT

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Aaron Gray: N/A
Nothing to say really. Gray's just doesn't have much going for him in comparison to all of the other big men on the roster.
Statline: None

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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 10 Recap + November Report Car

Postby Valor on Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:38 am

Just got a chance to check this out, solid stuff you got here man, love the report cards! Raptors are an intriguing team for sure, interested to see where you go with this roster. Keep it up! (Y)
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Re: Its_asdf's Raptors - Week 10 Recap + November Report Car

Postby Radioman on Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:36 pm

Great read so far, you have a really awesome Dynasty going on. Lets see how the acquisition of Michael Carter-Williams turns out.
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