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moremilk
Devlin thinks Lowry had a great shooting night ... The pot in Arizona must be quite potent [smile]
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Acie
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KAWHACTUS
DD was downright disrespect full on that defensive stand ... DD stood that bitch up.
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LX
Pretty weird game. Toronto's offense dipped fairly dramatically, while the Suns' percentage shot up a bit, but they ended up even stevens in the second half. The free throw differential evened out, after something of an advantage had kept the Suns within reach in the first half.

Toronto had only 1 turnover in more than a half of play, with 6 overall. That's great to see. It's just a drag to see everything going sideways as soon as Norm steps on the floor. He was the guy that always made things go sideways for the opposing team. And Kyle proved that less can be more. Good that he left it on DeMar's shoulders. And good to get a win with him struggling as well.
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'trane
I had to miss this one, but it looks like it was a bit of a grinder.  Coming out on top in the midst of all these road games is all I'm asking for.  I'll take it.

Demar is the man.
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edki
Powell has zero confidence in his shot. He's forcing his drives and not moving the ball properly.
Somehow it also impacts his defence. With Wright back I see even more minutes reduction for Powell.
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edki
I was stunned!!! Casey didn't go to his usual small lineup with Ibaka at 5 in the end of the 4th.
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DanH
edki wrote:
I was stunned!!! Casey didn't go to his usual small lineup with Ibaka at 5 in the end of the 4th.


Ibaka would probably have subbed himself off after the beating he took from Monroe in last year’s playoffs.
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7shikamaru7
Powell is trying too hard to be the saviour on that bench lineup. The coach probably gave him a green light to just "go off"....unfortunately it's been a train wreck. He needs to know his role. In the starting lineup, he's a 3D guy and drive when the defense shifts when they're off balance. On the 2nd unit, he needs to facilitate, curls, kick outs, pick his spots, etc. When he gets the ball...he goes back 3-4 feet from the 3 point line as a head start for his drive....what  the heck is that?? Him and Miles need to keep moving off the ball and make the defense guess what they'll do. 
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elT
Lately, the front court starters started playing hard and focused. And guess what...the pairing suddenly works! Oh my! Who would have thought?! Well, I remember DanH writing about it somewhere, twitter or otherwise. Looks good, if they can't keep it up it is entirely on them. Nothing in the system or lineups or usage that can stop them from playing hard and focused and if they do that, we'll all be fine to live with whatever the results. 

Meanwhile, you plug one hole another opens up. The bench now blows ass for a number of reasons. Fatigue is one, being scouted and prepared for is another and we miss Delon and maybe even Bebe. Casey's quirky 24 men rotations from start of the season were frustrating but maybe all that variety brought about a layer of mystery that helped those guys succeed/surprise opponents. Surprise factor is gone now, likely for good. Need a little bit of rest and adjustment and shitload of energy on defense to get that mojo back. 

Norm will be fine. He could go on like this for whole year but something happens in that head come playoff time and he'll still somehow help us win a round. I could see him guarding Porzingis in first round and making his life miserable. Yeah, a perfectly random matchup that he'd win in playoffs just like he'd lose a perfectly random matchup with Milt Palacio in regular season. 

I think Lowry was just bored the last two games or is still hangover from the trip to California. 


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LKeet6
that was the kind of grind it out win we wanted against clippers. We did ok. The low turnovers and fairly consistent (how do you stop daniels going off there??) D show the professional and focused approach we took. But man, yeah, some not great things at the moment... (and some good!)

Bench just been crap! I'm not convinced it's a permanent slump, or getting "figured out," i just think shots haven't fallen, and some inconsistent D too, when the shots don't fall, breakouts and the like. They just blow basically! But still all good players...

This is part of the point eIT raised above, "one hole appears..."

We're a young(ish) team, with vets still adapting to a new way of playing. Like lowry has been just excellent this season, but it seems slightly easier for him to drop a level this season? Hot and cold? Maybe a smaller "sweet spot" for him in his game so far. Ibaka has been fine all season, for me, but he's defo had too many quiet games. That seems to be trending more positively recently, it's a shame he didn't close that clippers game for us, he was looking great, woulda liked him to win it for us, but then he followed that up with an excellent game against the suns.

So yeah, like i said the other day, we're still not "elite," this is clear. But as the season goes on, surely we can be confident in continued improvement, at the very least, in terms of consistency?

Once everything clicks, if CJ and powell start playing to their ability on the bench, ibaka and JV continue to get touches and play D and rebound, man this team can be seriously good.
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7shikamaru7
I feel like CJ is trying to do a little too much. Every game there would be a couple of instances where he would dribble out and look to drive instead of just catching and shooting it. He might be getting the "raptors over dribbling" sickness.
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LX
I think the plugging holes syndrome has come about from the need to overemphasize the starters getting fully integrated into the new system, especially the frontcourt. I think that has left Kyle a little bit on the outside of where he usually is. And there has been less time for different bench players to play alongside multiple starters, where they maybe shined a little more than as part of a separate unit. Or that separate just needs Powell to perform better and Wright to join him in providing more offensive weapons. Roles have just gotten a bit stilted for the bench guys with those different factors in play.

I guess a question that remains is whether Lowry can flourish consistently without disappearing when the game dictates a need for an entirely balanced attack. He is probably going to need to be given regular intervals where he can be himself fully. That could come most usefully while playing alongside the bench in DeMar's place in the rotation. But then that makes it harder to keep his minutes down. I think just like how Dan correctly suggested that the perceived problems with the starting bigs was not so much of a problem as it was something that needed time and tending to, the other problems that spring up are just flowing from the same sort of newness with all the options that will open up or shift here and there. Eventually there will be a good feel for everyone involved. It really is pretty remarkable to push change on the veteran players while placing so much emphasis on developing young players at the same time. It definitely puts any “problems” into perspective when seeing that big picture in that light.
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DocHolliday
7shikamaru7 wrote:
I feel like CJ is trying to do a little too much. Every game there would be a couple of instances where he would dribble out and look to drive instead of just catching and shooting it. He might be getting the "raptors over dribbling" sickness.


I'm not sure where that came from as that's contrary to the team's style and how CJ has stated how he wants to play.  He'll figure it out, as they all will, as the team gets more games under their belt and more comfortable with the system.


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LKeet6
Miles has had spells of being ruthlessly chased off the line; he MUST show a desire and ability to drive if he is going to be consistently useful in that context...

I'm defo not seeing it as something deliberate, or that he is doing too much. He's a really solid and high IQ guy, in my opinion. Just need him to be not so much feast and famine with the shooting...
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