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JeffB
Dario wrote:
 pls no first round matchup against miami, fiesty ass team


There won't be an easy first round matchup. Likely looking at Miami, Philadelphia or Detroit. Even Indiana wouldn't be easy imo.
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0nekhmer


At 8:50 you can see our two all stars not communicating at all and letting a shooter get a wide open 3 in a crucial moment.. I'm sure Casey is showing them the same clip but I've seen this way too many times from our stars.

Edit: ill give miami credit for actually executing that beautifull play
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elT
MikeToronto wrote:
Miami has no business being in close games with the Raps in our home floor. For the second meeting in a row, they’ve demonstrated how to drag the Raptors down to their level and make us play their game. If I am coaching this team, I am spending some serious time reviewing Spoelstra’s game plan.


Not much of gameplan but their overall formula. They play extremely hard and defend  on the edge of fouling on every possession and often over the edge but that is the trick, refs are not going to call it every time. They have to because there's no guy on that team that they build offense around. 

The best way to beat them is focus on execution, ignore the pressure, match physicality, force them to score from outside and try to dictate the pace of the game, play really fast because they really need to play slow. But it is hard because they have great culture and are prepared mentally and physically and never give up. I like Miami, wouldn't mind playing them again in the playoffs, it would be fun. 




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MikeToronto
elT wrote:


Not much of gameplan but their overall formula. They play extremely hard and defend  on the edge of fouling on every possession and often over the edge but that is the trick, refs are not going to call it every time. They have to because there's no guy on that team that they build offense around. 

The best way to beat them is focus on execution, ignore the pressure, match physicality, force them to score from outside and try to dictate the pace of the game, play really fast because they really need to play slow. But it is hard because they have great culture and are prepared mentally and physically and never give up. I like Miami, wouldn't mind playing them again in the playoffs, it would be fun. 



Fun? I know it won't be fun for me, personally. They have a very good coach who has proven that he can get the most out of any group of players, with or without super-stars. They have a cast of athletic defenders anchored by an excellent shot-blocker at the rim and our super-bench was unable to do anything meaningful against them for two home games in a row. Unless Raps commit to running on every single possession, I'd expect an exhausting, soul-sucking 7 games series, likely marred by multiple fights/ejections. Of all the teams at the bottom of the playoffs bracket, I dislike the Miami match-up the most.
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7shikamaru7
I know it's still early but which team would you rather face in the first round? Given that we will hover around 1st or 2nd place.

Bucks? Wiz? Pacers? Sixers? Heat? Pistons?

For me it will be Pacers. Oladipo will be a problem but i'll take my chances on him.
Pistons and Heat can be interesting too.

No to Bucks, Sixers, Wiz because they got players who can take over the series. 
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JeffB
7shikamaru7 wrote:
I know it's still early but which team would you rather face in the first round? Given that we will hover around 1st or 2nd place.

Bucks? Wiz? Pacers? Sixers? Heat? Pistons?

For me it will be Pacers. Oladipo will be a problem but i'll take my chances on him.
Pistons and Heat can be interesting too.

No to Bucks, Sixers, Wiz because they got players who can take over the series. 


Pacers, Pistons, Bucks, Sixers, Wizards, Heat in that order.
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elT
MikeToronto wrote:


Fun? I know it won't be fun for me, personally. They have a very good coach who has proven that he can get the most out of any group of players, with or without super-stars. They have a cast of athletic defenders anchored by an excellent shot-blocker at the rim and our super-bench was unable to do anything meaningful against them for two home games in a row. Unless Raps commit to running on every single possession, I'd expect an exhausting, soul-sucking 7 games series, likely marred by multiple fights/ejections. Of all the teams at the bottom of the playoffs bracket, I dislike the Miami match-up the most.


Wouldn't that be fun? 

But I disagree. This is Miami's top gear, they are going full throttle on every possession. This is their floor and their ceiling. Raptors have another gear hidden in usage, energy, focus and minutes for Lowry, DD, JV, Ibaka. 

It would be fun competitive series but I believe Raptors would win quickly, 4-5 games.
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MikeToronto
Pistons don't signify at the moment, and unless something changes drastically, I don't see them unseating the current ##4-8 teams. So, in order from most-preferred to least-preferred: Indy, Washington, Milwaukee, Phily, Miami. I can be easily persuaded to swap Wizards and Bucks.
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elT
7shikamaru7 wrote:
I know it's still early but which team would you rather face in the first round? Given that we will hover around 1st or 2nd place.

Bucks? Wiz? Pacers? Sixers? Heat? Pistons?

For me it will be Pacers. Oladipo will be a problem but i'll take my chances on him.
Pistons and Heat can be interesting too.

No to Bucks, Sixers, Wiz because they got players who can take over the series. 


Boston would be my number one choice but that isn't happening unless they lose 22 out of their last 24 games. Highly unlikely that happens but not entirely impossible given how terrible their offense has been since Christmas. 

Bucks are bad. Sixers are young. Wizards are good when they want to play but Wall's knee is an unknown still. Pacers are limited. Heat are fun. Pistons are weird. 

Ideally, we'll sweep first two rounds, let's say Bucks and Celtics. Those would be my choices. 
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MikeToronto
elT wrote:


Wouldn't that be fun? 

But I disagree. This is Miami's top gear, they are going full throttle on every possession. This is their floor and their ceiling. Raptors have another gear hidden in usage, energy, focus and minutes for Lowry, DD, JV, Ibaka. 

It would be fun competitive series but I believe Raptors would win quickly, 4-5 games.


I love your optimism, even though I fail to see its sources.
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Dmega
Games like this are good for the team to know where they are at.  They almost gave the game away again to a team who frankly plays really hard all the time.  The stars need to learn from these experiences during the regular season so when it happens in the playoffs they will respond better.

It's clear to me the stars are still not fully buying into the ball movement offense the rest of the team plays.  Either the stars step up and produce in crunch time or learn to make the right play.  Otherwise they will be embarrassed again like last year.  

Casey has to be blunt with DeRozan about his hero shots.  They simply don't work out and repeating this over and over again without doing something different is insane.

The difference between the bad teams (non playoff teams) and the semi good ones (boarder line playoff teams) is talent and/or experience.  The difference between the semi good teams and the good one's (boston/toronto etc...most playoff teams) is limiting mistakes.  The difference between the good teams and the elite (golden state) is they play to their strengths and not to their weakness.

Toronto could be great but they always go away from what works.  Jonas could be balling getting boards and buckets but not touch the ball at all in the fourth.  The bench mob could be playing inspired defense running the other team off the floor but then the stars come in and start turning over the ball, taking difficult shots resulting in a momentum turn.

I call it hero ball because the stars can't get over the pride...they are the leaders and the All stars after all?  But there is a very fine line to walk when DD and Klow want to carry the team but it's not working.  Casey needs to put a stop to this not when the game is in the final seconds...but the instant it becomes repetitive.
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elT
MikeToronto wrote:


I love your optimism, even though I fail to see its sources.


Consistency, sustained success, clearly visible and continued improvements, depth, versatility, unity. 

Also, this:

http://stats.nba.com/teams/

Seeing "Toronto Raptors" top five in bunch of categories is not something random.
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Berimbolo
elT wrote:


Consistency, sustained success, clearly visible and continued improvements, depth, versatility, unity. 

Also, this:

http://stats.nba.com/teams/

Seeing "Toronto Raptors" top five in bunch of categories is not something random.



 all the numbers point to the Raptors being a legit championship contender. there is no doubt about it.


 the doubt is in Lowry and DeMar in the playoffs having sustained success. We have not seen that yet. Others are right to doubt our team until those 2 show they can take their games not just to the same level as the regular season, but a higher level. Thats what it takes to win a championship. Your best players have to win games for you. We have a deep roster but it will still come down to that at some point, late in games.


  I do expect to finally devastate a team in the 1st round. I think that should be our expectation. We are better, deeper, more experienced than any team we can face in the 1st round. If we struggle there, it will be a hard road to the finals thru LeBron or even Boston. 
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elT
Berimbolo wrote:



 all the numbers point to the Raptors being a legit championship contender. there is no doubt about it.


 the doubt is in Lowry and DeMar in the playoffs having sustained success. We have not seen that yet. Others are right to doubt our team until those 2 show they can take their games not just to the same level as the regular season, but a higher level. Thats what it takes to win a championship. Your best players have to win games for you. We have a deep roster but it will still come down to that at some point, late in games.


  I do expect to finally devastate a team in the 1st round. I think that should be our expectation. We are better, deeper, more experienced than any team we can face in the 1st round. If we struggle there, it will be a hard road to the finals thru LeBron or even Boston. 


Here's my problem with doubt of Lowry/DDR even though some of it is legitimate:

Have they not improved in almost every way imaginable?
Past struggles, was it all their fault? If so, why the style change?
Past struggles, was it all the coach's fault? If so, why keep him? 
Past struggles, was it all on the role players? If so, why change the style?

Say what you will but this is not the same team nor same players nor same coaches nor same style. Masai, Casey&staff, Lowry, DDR have turned this thing upside down. There's no knowing what will happen, better teams and organizations and coaches have failed before but denying the progress and work and dedication of the organization overall and resorting to throwing old doubts at star players is lazy, superficial and boring. 


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