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Just for Fun => All Sports But Hockey => Topic started by: hockeyfan1 on September 29, 2019, 08:22:40 AM

Title: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on September 29, 2019, 08:22:40 AM
It’s basketball time.  Training camp opened on Friday September 27th in Quebec City, and the pre-season games which will begin on Tuesday Oct. 8th against the Houston Rockets in China.

Many ask, where will the 2019 NBA Champions go from here, sans Kawhi Leonard?

First of all, if one had asked if the Raptors were championship material at the beginning of last season, no one could have predicted that that is exactly what transpired.
This year, no one believes the Raptors have what it takes to go all the way Kawhi-less.  Except Masai Ujiri.

This team will be Masai’s team, or whatever he makes it depending on where th roster takes it.

Since the Leonard & Green departures in the off-season, there have been new additions added to the Toronto roster.  Forwards Rondee Hollis-Jefferson, Stanley Johnson, Cameron Payne, Guards Isiah Taylor, Matt Thomas, Devinn Robinson, and draftees Guard Terence Davis, Forwards Sagata Konate, Dewan Hernandez, & Oshae Brissett.
Plus the usual array of returnees and veterans such as Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell, Fred Van Vleet, Patrick McCaw, Malcom Miller, Chris Boucher, OG Anunoby, &  Pascal Siakam,

Lowry, Ibaka, and Gasol are on expiring contracts through next season,  Just the three of them take up $90M on the books.  They are the most experienced but also aging veterans and it’s anyone’s guess on what Toronto’s brass has in mind in tinkering with the roster come deadline day, if at all.

Many believe this will be Siakam’s team and time to take the reigns as the new on-court leader.  The NBA’s MIP Award winner will surely be seeking to lead all forwards and taking charge on the court, much as he had done last season.

While the Raptors look good on paper, in reality on-court they remain a slight question mark.  Even though the Eastern Conference has ‘beefed’ itself up — Kyrie Irving and KD in Brooklyn;  Kemba Walker in Boston; James Horford in Philly; not excluding a revamped Giannis Antetokounmpo & the  Milwaukee Bucks (who are said to be itching for a playoff rematch with Toronto in a bid to avenge last year’s loss) — that is not to say that the Raptors don’t possess the versatility as well as the depth that they displayed and was displayed by Leonard leading up to their incredulous playoff run and championship win.

Guys like Hollis-Jefferson will provide defensive playmaking, Matt Thomas (most accurate non-NBA shooting guard), veteran know-how in Gasol, Lowry, & Ibaka,  speed in Anunoby & Boucher, all-round playmaking in Siakam, bench strength from returnees McCaw, Miller, Powell.

In summarization, the Raptors appear to be a defensive-oriented team not big on offensive numbers if analytics is to be believed. 

This was my response to Blake Murphy’s article on what we can expect this season, namely a “transition” or look-see year with expectations to make the playoffs and hopefully go far (and in Ujiri’s mind, win it all again):


From LD:

Wow, Blake, stats, stats, stats! Great article and quite predictive of a Raptors roster outcome.

Personally, I doubt the Raptors win “2-peat”. Without A Kawhi type, it won’t be the same. Sure they have speed (Siakam, Anunoby, Boucher), leadership & experience (Lowry, Ibaka, Van Vleet, Gasol), versatility (Hollis-Jefferson —defence, Matt Thomas — shooting), and bench strength (McCaw, Powell, etc), but somehow looking at this team’s roster, can one actually say the Raptors look balanced?

I’d expect them to play a tighter defensive game this season given their potential offensive shortcomings given the fact that the team is a mixed bag of players.

At this point, let PIPM do the talking. On paper, not too bad. On court, same.
Results? In the hunt and jostling for playoff position. At best.

Blake Murphy
@Lora D. Yeah, their chances of a repeat look fairly slim, barring some major steps forward from guys (or an unlikely trade). Think you're spot on that they'll be a D-first team. Should be an identity there.

(PIPM is an analytics tool that takes a player’s +-% etc., and rolls it into a probability of that player’s value performance and expectations).

Anyway, furthering to the above, many fans think this Raptors 2020 edition has what it takes to make an indentation in the playoffs again.  Not to worry much regarding the Nets (Kyrie & KD both on long-term injuries/Durant indefinitely).  Teams such as the Sixers with a “rejuvenated” Joel Embiid will prove tough, as tough as they were last season.

It’s really anyone’s guess who’ll win the championship next year, whether it’ll be the Leonard-led Clippers, the Giannis-led Bucks, or surprise again the Siakam-led Raptors. 

Versatility will be the key, and Toronto appears to have it on paper at least.  Kawhi displayed it in spades, and while coach Nick Nurse had ingrained the idea of using strategy to bring out versatility in all areas, more-of the same will be expected particularly from the core.

The entire NBA has got the versatility buzzword, that is players who can play well at both ends of the court, shifting & transitioning, passing and agility to recognize in-play opportunities.  Toronto, already having experienced that, will want to do more of the same for continued success in the East.

Let the season begin!

GO RAPTORS GO!
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on September 29, 2019, 08:47:29 AM
Here is the official 2019-2020 Raptors schedule (includes both pre and regular season):

https://www.nba.com/raptors/schedule (https://www.nba.com/raptors/schedule)


Raptors roster (training camp):  (Note that Hernandez, Konate, Davis, & Brissett are rookies.  Most likely headed to Raptors 905 G League for extra development, with the possible exception of Hernandez who reputedly possesses a monster block).

https://www.nba.com/raptors/roster (https://www.nba.com/raptors/roster)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on September 29, 2019, 07:25:35 PM
Some reading material:

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/masai-ujiri-projects-confident-vision-for-defending-champion-raptors-153507064.html

https://theathletic.com/1240611/2019/09/27/how-will-the-raptors-replace-kawhi-leonards-offensive-usage/

https://globalnews.ca/news/5965641/raptors-focused-on-another-championship/
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 04, 2019, 02:23:08 PM
DeMar still a Raptor at hear


Quote
“I'm there. I spent nine years of my basketball career there so even at times when I seen pictures and seen my jersey all in the crowd, you're there someway somehow.”

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/spurs-derozan-reflects-on-raptors-nba-championship-legacy-in-toronto-220355675.html
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 15, 2019, 09:33:25 AM
Kyle Lowry was recently signed to a one year $31M extension.  However, as observed by many, this doesn't prevent the Raptors from trading him if the opportunity present itself.

According to some reports, it has been rumoured that Ujiri will want to acquire picks and allow the team to tank somewhat.  By trading some key veteran pieces (such as Lowry), Toronto will not only be sporting a young & 'inexperienced' team but it definitely will be garnering some future prospects along the way in exchange.

Henceforth, the Kyle Lowry trade rumour mill is churning.  Possible destinations include Miami, Detroit, LA Clippers & Minnesota.

Speculation, speculation, and more speculation.  That's about where this is at at the current moment.

 https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/warriors/nba-rumors-raptors-could-trade-kyle-lowry-after-31m-contract-extension (https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/warriors/nba-rumors-raptors-could-trade-kyle-lowry-after-31m-contract-extension)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 20, 2019, 02:04:19 AM
Raptors undertook some roster moves waiving Payne, Robinson, and Morgan.  Plus, are in the throes of finalizing their roster in time for Tuesday’s season home opener vs the New Orleans Pelicans here at Scotiabank Arena:



https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/toronto-raptors-trim-roster-ahead-of-2019-20-season-opener-172338915.html
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 20, 2019, 06:46:16 PM
Some extra roster move

Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 20, 2019, 06:56:53 PM
Raptors Commemorative Championship video will be available on Tuesday — opening night.  The NBA made the announcement and will be released in multi format (Blue ray/DVD/digital).

Sneak peak:
https://youtu.be/DZRhHyuaG7I (https://youtu.be/DZRhHyuaG7I)


https://torontosun.com/sports/basketball/nba/toronto-raptors/raptors-championship-video-to-be-released-on-opening-night (https://torontosun.com/sports/basketball/nba/toronto-raptors/raptors-championship-video-to-be-released-on-opening-night)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 23, 2019, 01:43:23 AM
Emotional night for the Raptors and their fans.  Pre-game ceremony featured the championship banner unveiled (emceed by Lowry & countdown by teammates),  the giving out of the championship rings with NBA Commisioner Adam Silver and the rest of the Toronto Raptors organization.  What a night!

To add to it, the Raptors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans here on Opening Night by a score of 127-122 in OT.

The game was a see-saw battle that saw Paskal Siakam and Fred VanVleet emerge each with 34 pts on the night.  Kyle Lowry had 22 pts., while OG Anunoby had 11.  Serge Ibaka had 13 pts., while Gasol, Terence Davis, & Norm Powell had 6, 5, & 5 pts., respectively.


Beautiful ring:


Introduction by NBA Commish Adam Silver:

The awarding of the rings:

The inveiling of the banner:

OG!

Ibaka!

Spicy!

Toronto’s other Freddie:

Kyle!

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/amp/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/10/23/2851016/1571800762631-nba-web-191022-highlightsdigital-2851016 (https://www.nba.com/amp/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/10/23/2851016/1571800762631-nba-web-191022-highlightsdigital-2851016)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 23, 2019, 01:55:35 AM
Forgot to mention that Lowry had a say in the design of the Championship ring.

It also happens to be the “most expensive ring ever created to date” for NBA Champions.

Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 26, 2019, 07:14:16 AM
Raptors lose 112-102 against the Celtics in Boston Friday in their first road game of the season. 

It wasn’t  a pretty loss as poor offensive rebounding and turnovers were glaringly evident in this game that the Raptors could have won. 

Siakam and Lowry paced Toronto with 33 & 29 points respectively.
The rest of the team left a lot to be desired particularly Marc Gasol who has yet to up to what’s expected of him this season.

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/10/26/2856269/1572054855415-nba-web-191025-gamehil-torvsbosdigital-2856269 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/10/26/2856269/1572054855415-nba-web-191025-gamehil-torvsbosdigital-2856269)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 27, 2019, 08:34:03 AM
OG...D-fence!

OG Anunoby shines in the Raptors 108-84 demolishing of the Chicago Bulls in Chicago last night.  Anunoby had four blocks combined with his 17 points as he and the Raptor defence made life miserable for the Bulls on the court.  No problem with us!

The win was a total team effort with not just Anunoby leading the way but also Siakam (19 pts.), VanVleet (16 pts.), Ibaka (16 pts., 3 blks),  Gasol (10 rebds ., 1 blk), and even Matt Thomas with 6 pts., and 3 rebds.
Good bench contributions all round.




OG-inspired:

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/10/27/2857299/1572146126118-pfd-191026-highlightsdigital-2857299 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/10/27/2857299/1572146126118-pfd-191026-highlightsdigital-2857299)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on October 29, 2019, 02:16:42 AM
Led by Lowry’s 26 points (especially in the latter stages of the game), the Raptors beat the Orlando Magic here Monday night 104-95.

Siakam with 24, VanVleet with 14 plus 5 rebds., & 2 stls, and Anunoby with 12 pts., 8 rebounds., 5 stls., & 2 blks., led the team on the scoreboard.


Anunoby:

Lowry:

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/10/29/2859921/1572315343280-nba-web-gamehil-191028-torvsorldigital-2859921
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 04, 2019, 05:53:29 AM
Raptors big matchup against Antetokounmpo & the Milwaukee Bucks ended in a 115-105 loss Saturday night.

Lowry was spectacular while Siakam was unimpressive.  Anunoby kept Antetokounmpo at bay but wasn’t used enough, Ibaka looked fatigued and Gasol has largely remained impactless this year.  Go figure.

This game showed that the Raptors are going to clearly need better efforts from their bench and from guys like Siakam, and from others who didn’t play if they are to be on a par in games like these.  Lowry and VanVleet simply won’t be enough.

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/03/2867801/1572753404131-nba-web-191102-gamehilitesdigital-2867801 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/03/2867801/1572753404131-nba-web-191102-gamehilitesdigital-2867801)

Story:
https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/toronto-raptors-milwaukee-bucks-takeaways-kyle-lowry-refuses-to-go-down-without-a-fight-giannis-antetokounmpo-032629584.html (https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/toronto-raptors-milwaukee-bucks-takeaways-kyle-lowry-refuses-to-go-down-without-a-fight-giannis-antetokounmpo-032629584.html)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 07, 2019, 08:43:47 AM
Raptors battled the Sacramento Kings in a wild shooting contest at Scotiabank Arena last night. 

Led by Lowry (does this man ever get any rest?! and by the tireless VanVleet, Toronto played quite possibly it’s best game yet.  Guys like Marc Gasol finally shrugged off the sluggishness that had been plaguing him from the opening game, contributing 12 pts., 4 rebds., & 1 stl, but the numbers don’t do justice to Gasol’s work on the court. Neither for VanVleet who shared nearly identical totals to Gasol in this game.

Serge Ibaka came up with 21 pts., off the bench while Siakam with 23 pts., 13 rebds., & a double-double, Lowry with 26, and Anunoby with 18 pts., & 3 blocks.  This guy can defend!

Great entertainment for the faithful!  And no, Spicy P. did not foul out.  Looks like coach Nurse got through.

Lowry:

Siakam:

Gasol:

Ibaka:


Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/07/2873542/1573096937690-nba-web-191106-gamehil-torvssacdigital-2873542 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/07/2873542/1573096937690-nba-web-191106-gamehil-torvssacdigital-2873542)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 08, 2019, 08:03:26 AM
Lowry having a banner year so far:

Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 08, 2019, 08:05:12 AM
Siakam is leading the pack into the Raptors record books...


Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 08, 2019, 10:48:53 PM
McCaw out (injury); Boucher, Thomas, & Davis in.


Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 08, 2019, 10:55:53 PM
The Raptors this season have gotten the most minutes as well as points from seven players on the roster...more than any team in the league.  How long can they keep this up for and do they carry enough depth?

(https://imageshack.com/i/pl5i8Uhsp)
(https://imageshack.com/i/pn70DT6up)


https://theathletic.com/1349364/2019/11/05/small-sample-theatre-three-early-raptors-trends-to-keep-an-eye-on/ (https://theathletic.com/1349364/2019/11/05/small-sample-theatre-three-early-raptors-trends-to-keep-an-eye-on/)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 08, 2019, 11:51:24 PM
Raptors win 122-104 over the New Orleans Pelicans but it came with a cost...Lowry (thumb) & Ibaka (ankle) both injured. 

Still, it was Siakam who led the way with a whopping 44 points & 10 rebounds.  OG Anunoby also contributed with 21 pts., 7 rebds., & 1blk, while Norm Oowell provided some bench strength with 18 pts., 4 rebds., & 1 stl.

Chris Boucher showed why he won defensive player honours in the G-league as he demonstrated some apt timing as well as contributing offensively no less. 
Matt Thomas went 5/8 on the 3-pointers— his specialty.

Toronto unleashed 45 points in the second quarter to vaunt ahead and never relinquished their lead.  Poor Pelicans.

Boucher!

OG, oh yeah!

Spicy’s dance:

Highlights:

https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/09/2877282/1573270772621-nba-web-191108-gamehil-torvsnopdigital-2877282 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/09/2877282/1573270772621-nba-web-191108-gamehil-torvsnopdigital-2877282)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 08, 2019, 11:56:23 PM
Raptors injury update:


Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: Highlander on November 09, 2019, 12:24:22 PM
adversity is a bone for the dogs to chew on.  Now we have the test, a fracture in the thumb means at least 3 weeks for Lowry.   Serge almost looked like it would be a fracture as well, but I think that kind of sprain is around 4 weeks... Dr. Highlander has spoken.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: L K on November 11, 2019, 12:03:11 AM
Hell of a win in LA.   Boucher and Davis really stepped up
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 11, 2019, 03:22:43 AM
It sure felt good beating LeBron at his own game.  Especially those blocks on his layups. 

Like the Raptors ‘swarming’ in the paint as defensive tactics particularly late in the game with L.A. threatening a comeback.  Overall, very pleased with  Toronto’s performance.

So far, they are 2-0 on this five-game road trip.  Next up, Kawhi & the Clippers tonight.

GO RAPTORS!

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/video/2019/11/11/0021900139-los-angeles-lakers-vs-toronto-raptors-game-highlights (https://www.nba.com/video/2019/11/11/0021900139-los-angeles-lakers-vs-toronto-raptors-game-highlights)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 12, 2019, 11:25:51 PM
Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Kawhi:

https://sports.yahoo.com/clippers-doc-rivers-on-kawhi-leonard-relationship-with-raptors-he-has-a-different-bond-with-them-042058793.html

For the record, Kawhi committed 9 turnovers (courtesy of the Raptors defence) but L.A. still managed to beat  Toronto team 98-88 Monday night.  Raptors appeared to tire in the later stages of the final quarter but they were a tough team to beat no question about it.
 Kawhi didn’t power the Clippers in so much as their bench did, outperforming the Raptors bench in the scoring department.

Hollis-Jefferson defence!

Boucher!

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/12/2880643/1573539059647-nba-web-191111-gamehil-torvslacdigital-2880643
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 20, 2019, 05:52:15 PM
Raptors latest home win, (after winning 3 out of 5 on the road), a 132-96 blowout of the Charlotte Hornets Monday.


Anunoby is flying:
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 28, 2019, 01:48:18 AM
Keep on ‘runnin...


Raptors defeated R.J.Barrett & the Knicks 126-98.

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/28/2914507/1574910927353-nba-web-191127-highlightsdigital-2914507
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on November 30, 2019, 08:21:41 AM
Make that six in a row...

The Raptors, powered by Norm Powell’s 33 points and VanVleet’s 22 pts., picked apart the Orlando Magic last night 90-83.  The score was indicative of low lying offence in this game as the a Raptors dominated both the third and fourth quarters to carve out the win.  Toronto’s defence smothered the Magic when it counted most towards the latter stages of the game.

Powell!

More Powell:


Can these kids run! Davis:

Anunoby!


Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/11/30/2918183/1575081267634-nba-web-191129-highlightsdigital-2918183
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 02, 2019, 02:06:56 AM
There is something about the Utah Jazz that the Raptors like.  For the upteenth time in as many meetings between these two teams — the first a bottom six Conference occupier and second a top tier Conference occupier — Toronto won out again, a 130-110 outcome for their seventh straight win Sunday.  The Raptors are undefeated on home court this season.

Once again, the Raptor buzzword is their defence.  Suffocating defence coupled with sharpshooting equals a tough act to stop for just about any team that has played Toronto this year. 

Even in that awful performance Friday night in Orlando, the Raptors found a way to comeback and win.  But, when they take the lead, they’re tough to contain especially at home...


...get the picture.  Just ask the Jazz.  Chances are high they probably felt like fleeing at that point.

Siakam led the way with 35 points, 5 rebds., & 2 stls., followed by VanVleet with 21 pts., 5 rebds., Powell with 15 pts., Ibaka, Davis, Anunoby & Hollis-Jefferson all contributed one way or another.

Hollis-Jefferson:

Siakam:

O G!

VanVleet:

Highlights:

https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/02/2921196/1575251265667-191201-postup-torvsuta-highlightsdigital (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/02/2921196/1575251265667-191201-postup-torvsuta-highlightsdigital)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 03, 2019, 08:58:31 PM
Not including tonight’s game against Jimmy Butler & the Miami Heat, the Raptors currently rank third in the NBA power rankings.  Here’s a look at how they’re doing so far:

Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)

Toronto Raptors
Record: 15-4
Pace: 101.3 (14) OffRtg: 111.2 (5) DefRtg: 102.3 (2) NetRtg: +8.8 (2)

The Raptors remain pretty, pretty good. They've won seven straight games, picking up wins over the Sixers and Jazz last week, holding Joel Embiid scoreless and dropping Utah from fifth to 11th in defensive efficiency in one night with a rather ridiculous performance from the perimeter. They're still just 3-4 in games between the 13 teams that are currently over .500, but they've joined the Bucks as teams in the top five on both ends of the floor, and they're the only team in the league that hasn't lost a game that wasn't within five points in the last five minutes. After the 77-point first half on Sunday, they've scored a league-best 118.4 points per 100 possessions at home, where they've had a much lower turnover rate (13.4 per 100 possessions vs. 16.5 on the road) and where they're 9-0, with their schedule remaining home-heavy through the end of the month. A couple of good teams are at Scotiabank Arena this week, and their visit to Philly on Sunday will obviously test their ability to take the show on the road.


Source:  NBA.com
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 03, 2019, 11:03:17 PM
The Miami Heat put the brakes on the Raptors perfect home record with a 121-110 OT win.

Miami’s Jimmy Butler did most of the damage in the OT.  The determined and resilient  Butler scored several key points to uplift his team and stay there in the overtime past a seemingly gassed out Raptors squad.  Toronto had been trailing for most of the game, took the lead at the end of the third quarter, and watched it become a comeback bid for themselves.

Norm Powell led Toronto with 23 points on the night, including some crucial three-pointers that helped the Raptors get closer in tying it up.  VanVleet with 19 pts., & 6 assists, Gasol with 14 pts., while Siakam, Lowry & Ibaka were the other contributors.
It was Lowry’s first game back from injury.

VanVleet:

Lowry:

Powell:

Highlights:
https://youtu.be/l_wwhb48lIQ (https://youtu.be/l_wwhb48lIQ)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 06, 2019, 02:25:15 AM
The Raptors prevented James Harden and Russell Westbrook from dominating the court (even so, Westbrook had a triple double) but certainly couldn't stop the rest of the Rockets, as Toronto loses it's second straight home game, a 119-109 defeat by Houston.

The Raptors defence was evident throughout the contest in limiting the Rockets behind the arc, but it wasn't good enough to hold off a victory by the opposition, as Toronto didn't excel at the basket.  Even though the Raptors are among the league's top five teams in three-point shooting, not tonight, and it cost them.

Siakam led the way with 24 points, VanVleet with 20, and Lowry with 19.

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/06/2930674/1575602375173-nba-web-191205-gamehil-torvshoudigital-2930674 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/06/2930674/1575602375173-nba-web-191205-gamehil-torvshoudigital-2930674)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 12, 2019, 02:17:21 PM
Kawhi received  his championship ring last night including a rousing ovation from the crowd.

He contributed 23 points in the Clippers 112-92 win over the Raptors.


Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/12/2942996/1576121379664-nba-web-191211-torvslac-gamehildigital-2942996 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/12/2942996/1576121379664-nba-web-191211-torvslac-gamehildigital-2942996)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: Hobbes on December 12, 2019, 02:29:58 PM
Kawhi received  his championship ring last night including a rousing ovation from the crowd.

I'm so glad that the fans in attendance gave him the much-deserved ovation. I was a bit afraid (thanks to reading some assorted articles in the media) that he might get booed and that would have been a travesty. It's disappointing that he decided to move on, but I completely understand and respect his reasons. Thank you Toronto Raptors fans for giving him a classy reception...if nothing else, it shows other potential free agents what a great team this can be to play for.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: Highlander on December 12, 2019, 05:34:34 PM
Kawhi received  his championship ring last night including a rousing ovation from the crowd.

I'm so glad that the fans in attendance gave him the much-deserved ovation. I was a bit afraid (thanks to reading some assorted articles in the media) that he might get booed and that would have been a travesty. It's disappointing that he decided to move on, but I completely understand and respect his reasons. Thank you Toronto Raptors fans for giving him a classy reception...if nothing else, it shows other potential free agents what a great team this can be to play for.
If he had won with Phili or the Nets, no standing ovation, just bronze knuckles!  We are so nice in Canada.  We should all get nice pins for our lapels.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 19, 2019, 08:00:27 AM
Raptors beat the Pistons 112-99 in Detroit.

Siakam, Ibaka, Lowry, & Anunoby led the way.  Ibaka played one of his best games this year in accruing 25 points & 13 rebounds.  Lowry had a triple -double (20 pts., 10 assists, 10 rebounds), while Anunoby with 19 pts., & Siakam with 26 were also the players with points in double digits.

Toronto is currently 19-8 in the w/l column good enough for fourth in the East.

Two Raptors left the game with injuries — Marc Gasol (pulled hamstring) and Norm Powell (shoulder).  Plus, add VanVleet who has yet to return (knee injury).  He has been out five games so far.

Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/19/2957407/1576723455391-nba-web-191218-torvsdet-gamehildigital-2957407 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/19/2957407/1576723455391-nba-web-191218-torvsdet-gamehildigital-2957407)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: L K on December 22, 2019, 06:06:56 PM
What just happened?   That was incredible
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 23, 2019, 05:34:26 AM
Yes, epic!  Biggest comeback in Raptor history...


Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/23/2965331/1577061396741-191222-postup-torvsdal-highlightsdigital (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2019/12/23/2965331/1577061396741-191222-postup-torvsdal-highlightsdigital)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 27, 2019, 12:33:55 AM
The Raptors sport a perfect 16-0 w/l record against teams that are .500 or below them in the standings.

But they are 5-10 against teams .500 or above.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on December 29, 2019, 02:35:42 AM
Big win for the Raptors in Boston (avenging their Christmas Day loss to the Celtics in T.O.), with a convincing 113-97 victory at the TD Garden last night.

Lowry and Ibaka led the way with 30 & 20 points respectively.  But the night belonged to guys named Patrick McCaw, Terrence Davis, Chris Boucher, and Oshae Brissett.  McCaw in particular had a career high 18 points, and while Davis and especially Brissett didn’t burn up the court, the youngsters provided ample energy and sharpshooting whenever it called for, providing VanVleet, Ibaka, Lowry, et al to do their good work.

Not a bad night for a team still beset by injuries (Gasol, Siakam, Powell, Thomas still out).

Lowry!

McCaw:

Brissett:

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/video/2019/12/28/0021900473-boston-celtics-vs-toronto-raptors-game-highlights (https://www.nba.com/video/2019/12/28/0021900473-boston-celtics-vs-toronto-raptors-game-highlights)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on January 01, 2020, 06:38:58 PM
A few kind words about KLow:


Story:
https://clutchpoints.com/raptors-news-cavs-tristan-thompson-calls-kyle-lowry-a-hall-of-famer/

In the Raptors 117-97 win last night, not only Lowry led the Raptors but kudos to Terrence a Davis with 19 points.
Lowry, Ibaka, Davis and Hollis-Jefferson (14)  were the players with double digits points.

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/video/2019/12/31/0021900500-toronto-raptors-vs-cleveland-cavaliers-game-highlights
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on January 10, 2020, 11:09:20 AM
Some Raptor facts:

- team is 6-5 since mid December
- stingiest defence (after Milwaukee) in the league
- have lost more man games to injuries than any other team in the league


Latest victory was a 112-110 comeback win in OT Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets in which Terrence Davis had a standout game.

Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/01/09/2996790/1578538982117-nba-web-200108-gamehil-torvschadigital-2996790
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on January 12, 2020, 09:48:00 PM
That was one comeback the Raptors can forget about...a 105-104 loss to the DeMar DeRizan-led San Antonio Spurs here at the Scotiabank Arena.

DeMar had 25 points with 20 of those coming in the second half alone, spurring the Spurs on the comeback trail.  With the Raptors on a fifteen point lead going into the final quarter, San Antonio’s shooting remained consistent while the Raptors were a little shaky at the rim.  Nevertheless, there’s no underestimating Toronto as the scoreboard indicates.

Serge Ibaka had 14 rebounds to go with his 21 pts., while Lowry contributed with 15 assists.

Crazy back and forth game, entertaining no less.

DeMar, by the way, received a warm ovation from the faithful during a mid-quarter video tribute.  An emotional return for him no doubt.

Highlights:

https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/01/13/3004889/1578880377366-200112-postup-torvssas-highlightsdigital
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on January 24, 2020, 03:22:46 AM
Congratulations Spicy!

Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: L K on January 26, 2020, 02:50:04 PM
Damn.  Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on January 29, 2020, 08:02:23 AM
What a night at the Arena Tuesday.

The tribute to Kobe Bryant, the return of former Raptor Vince Carter, and Kyle Lowry’s all-time record-breaking ascension in the franchise’s  history.

All that in the Raptors 130-114 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Lowry became the all-time franchise assists leader surpassing ex-Raptor Iose Calderon.

Carter received a warm welcome in his last appearance in Toronto (he will retire at the end of this season).

The Raptors are currently on an eight-game winning streak.

Highlights

Bryant tribute:

Lowry!




Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/01/29/3041121/1580268247805-200128-postup-torvsatl-highlightsdigital (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/01/29/3041121/1580268247805-200128-postup-torvsatl-highlightsdigital)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on January 29, 2020, 08:08:58 AM
The Raptors (33-14), on an eight-game winning streak, occupy second spot in the Eastern Conference  one full game above third-place Miami Heat, and 8.0 GBL Milwaukee Bucks.

They’re also the league’s second-best defensive squad:

Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: Bender on January 29, 2020, 10:16:44 AM
I somehow fell into tickets to the game last night and was happy to cheer on our boy VC one last time.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: Nik Bethune on January 29, 2020, 02:13:18 PM

Obviously roster moves may happen between now and then but the Hawks will play in Toronto one more time before the season ends on April 10th so last night being Vince's "last" game in Toronto is emphatically not a sure thing.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 06, 2020, 12:19:07 AM
Cue the comeback!

Add in a franchise record 12th consecutive win and the Toronto Raptors, ladies and gentlemen, are gaining full steam ahead.  They sit firmly in second place 5.0 GBL Milwaukee Bucks and 2.5 up on third place Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference.  Second-best defence in the league and a 37-14 w/l record.

The Raptors defeated the Indiana Pacers 119-118 in Toronto, led by Serge Ibaka’s 30 points and Lowry’s 32.  Siakam with 25 and 3 steals.

Highlights

Lowry!

Terrence Davis

Siakam:

Ibaka!

Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/video/2020/02/05/0021900758-toronto-raptors-vs-indiana-pacers-game-highlights (https://www.nba.com/video/2020/02/05/0021900758-toronto-raptors-vs-indiana-pacers-game-highlights)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: Nik Bethune on February 06, 2020, 02:44:16 PM

The Knicks are apparently hiring Leon Rose as their new President, which means the long rumoured "Masai to Knicks for a dumptruck of money" thing probably isn't happening. It'd be nice if the Raps would announce a nice long extension at this point but...?
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 07, 2020, 01:55:24 AM
The Raptors keep going, showing resiliency and mental toughness.

Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 07, 2020, 02:18:48 AM
The friendship between Raptors GM Bobby Webster and the Leafs Kyle Dubas:  How they both share similar philosophies, similar ideals.  Webster achieved his goal (Raptors Championship win) while Dubas is still awaiting his.

Dubas on Webster:
Quote
“One of the things that stood out to me was how incredibly calm he is… about everything. Not in a laid back, chill sense. Just a calm confidence,” Dubas says. “He was somewhat of an outsider as well. He didn’t grow up having a long-playing history.”

Quote
Neither of them really listens to the outside noise. The Raptors faced years of criticism after falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason three years in a row, leading to the firing of Casey and the trade that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio for Leonard.
“I care because we’re disappointed. I don’t care because other people are upset,” Webster says. “I care because the team’s disappointed. We all put an incredible amount of work into it. And to have seasons end like that, it’s tough to take.”

Quote
Early this season Dubas read something he found interesting and passed it along to Webster. They had a discussion about the topic, but Webster won’t divulge what it was. Dubas is still quick to pass on ideas that he thinks might interest his counterpart.
Webster says he’s not as good about reciprocating but is grateful to have benefitted from his friend’s inquisitive mind — even if he still doesn’t listen to hockey podcasts, as Dubas does with basketball. On the other side, Dubas says he’s particularly benefitted from the experience and example set by Webster and the Raptors.


https://theathletic.com/1557158/2020/01/29/how-kyle-dubas-friendship-with-raptors-gm-bobby-webster-offers-the-leafs-a-championship-roadmap/ (https://theathletic.com/1557158/2020/01/29/how-kyle-dubas-friendship-with-raptors-gm-bobby-webster-offers-the-leafs-a-championship-roadmap/)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 09, 2020, 07:16:12 PM
The Raptors have done some pretty amazing things on their way to a 14 consecutive win streak...and counting.

They sit second in the overall East, 6.5 GBL Milwaukee Bucks.  They own the third-best w/l record in the league (after the L.A. Lakers).  They are first in their Atlantic Division.  Now here’s where everything veers off on a different course...

...they have the best  — yes, Kawhi — the best defence in the NBA forcing 22+ turnovers avg./game.  This includes 10 steals per as well.

During this streak, they have been tops in the league with the 3-pt. shot @ 39%+.

Currently Gasol (hamstring) and Lowry (whiplash) are out with day-to-day injuries, while Norm Powell is out indefinitely with a fractured finger.  However, at one point, Toronto had one of each of their seven starters/regulars in the lineup out for a brief period at any one time during the streak. 

Can the Raptors keep on winning?  Judging by the above, why not.

T-Wolves vs Raptors in T.O. Monday.

GO RAPTORS GO!


Source:  NBA stats
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 09, 2020, 07:34:37 PM
The future of Masai:  What can transpire going into Ujiri’s final years of his contract, his relationship within the ranks of MLSE, and what MLSE would need to further do to retain his future status should he elect to remain in Toronto.


https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/nba/stress-masai-ujiris-future-raptors-just-beginning/
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: L K on February 10, 2020, 10:33:34 PM
Remember that altercation Masai had with the Almaeda PD officer when the Raptors won the Championship.  Turns out he is totally disabled and 100% not a racist.

Quote
The suit claims Strickland suffered serious injuries to his body and nervous system that will result in a “permanent disability.”

...

The suit claims Ujiri’s actions were “foreseeable” based on what it cites as Ujiri’s “previous altercations involving similar circumstances.” The Raptors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the NBA were also named in the suit. They’re all accused of failing to warn the plaintiff of Ujiri’s “violent predisposition” and “propensity for physical violence prior to his assault on (Strickland).”

The suit, which seeks medical expenses, lost wages and other damages, also accuses the defendants of failing to “provide adequate safety and security to the public” and “failing to post signs warning of danger, including the danger of Masai Ujiri.”
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: Bender on February 10, 2020, 11:01:32 PM
Remember that altercation Masai had with the Almaeda PD officer when the Raptors won the Championship.  Turns out he is totally disabled and 100% not a racist.

Quote
The suit claims Strickland suffered serious injuries to his body and nervous system that will result in a “permanent disability.”

...

The suit claims Ujiri’s actions were “foreseeable” based on what it cites as Ujiri’s “previous altercations involving similar circumstances.” The Raptors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the NBA were also named in the suit. They’re all accused of failing to warn the plaintiff of Ujiri’s “violent predisposition” and “propensity for physical violence prior to his assault on (Strickland).”

The suit, which seeks medical expenses, lost wages and other damages, also accuses the defendants of failing to “provide adequate safety and security to the public” and “failing to post signs warning of danger, including the danger of Masai Ujiri.”
Who's the lawyer, Lionel freaking Hutz??
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 11, 2020, 03:59:30 AM
In reference to LK’s posted article:  MLSE response:

Quote
Jennifer Quinn, a spokesperson for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, said in an email on Monday that the lawsuit is disappointing.

"We are disappointed but not at all surprised Mr. Strickland has elected to take this path. His claims are baseless and entirely without merit. They should and will be viewed appropriately for what they are." Quinn said.

"The Toronto Raptors and Masai have jointly retained very able counsel who will be handling this matter on our behalf and consequently, we do not intend to make any further statement about it."

$75,000+ (Which includes the mentioned med. expenses & lost wages) is the amount Strickland is suing for.  Either he was never fit to be a police officer or he needs early retirement money.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/masai-ujiri-sued-by-california-officer-1.5458416
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 11, 2020, 04:02:58 AM
Speaking of the Raptors, last night they beat the Minnesota T-Wolves 137-126 for their 15th consecutive win...a Canadian sports streak record!

Game Highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/02/11/3069923/1581394576261-200210-postup-torvsmin-highlightsdigital (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/02/11/3069923/1581394576261-200210-postup-torvsmin-highlightsdigital)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 11, 2020, 11:56:16 PM
Then and now:  Some comparables from this season (without Kawhi) to last season (with Kawhi):  The Raptors are better.

                    2018-19            NBA Rank            2019-20           NBA Rank
Record          43-16 (.729)    No. 2 in East          40-14 (.741)   No. 2 in East
Home Record 24-5   (.828)   -                            21-7 (.750)
PPG                         114.3            6th                   113.4                 9th
OPP PPG                  108.7            10th                  106.7                 5th
ORTG                      112.5             5th                   111.7                 11th
DRTG                      107.3             8th                   105.1                 2nd
3PM/G                    11.5              13th                   13.7                   5th
3P%                       34.6              22nd                  37.8                   3rd

The only blip here appears to be their ORTG.  What is that?
(Pretty obvious the Kawhi played an effective role in that stat).

What is Offensive Rating - ORtg?A metric that estimates how many points an individual player produces per 100 team possessions. This concept is also used to rate a team's offensive production per 100 possessions.

Source:    SportingCharts


https://ca.nba.com/news/no-kawhi-no-problem-the-toronto-raptors-are-ahead-of-where-they-were-at-last-years-nba-all-star-break/15ucxt1tmz2x013f3l7vurf182 (https://ca.nba.com/news/no-kawhi-no-problem-the-toronto-raptors-are-ahead-of-where-they-were-at-last-years-nba-all-star-break/15ucxt1tmz2x013f3l7vurf182)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 12, 2020, 01:17:22 AM
One of the Raptors biggest weaknesses (yes, even during this streak):  “Defensive rebounding.”

Quote
The Raptors concede an average of 14.1 second-chance points a game, 26th in the 30-team league. It’s a trend Nurse would like to nip in the bud before the post-season rolls around.

“Defensive rebounding hasn’t been as good as we would like it,” the coach said, “and that’s just a combination of making sure we’re blocking out a little better, but then chasing them down and trying to sense where the long (rebounds) will fly to.

Story:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2020/02/11/the-streaking-raptors-know-what-needs-fixing-before-the-playoffs-roll-around.html
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 14, 2020, 03:12:43 PM
Revisiting history...remember when?  The 2000 AL-Star Game where the Vinsanity showed why he’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest slam dunker of all-time:

https://youtu.be/-OJMLCF5oK4 (https://youtu.be/-OJMLCF5oK4)



https://theathletic.com/1605837/2020/02/14/vince-throws-down-and-lowry-loves-iron-ranking-the-47-raptors-all-star-weekend-performances/ (https://theathletic.com/1605837/2020/02/14/vince-throws-down-and-lowry-loves-iron-ranking-the-47-raptors-all-star-weekend-performances/)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: Nik Bethune on February 23, 2020, 08:31:25 PM

Being a Raptors fan right now is just lovely.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 23, 2020, 08:56:37 PM
The 127-81 Toronto win over the Pacers today was the largest margin of victory in franchise history.  Plus, coach Nick Nurse gets win #100.

Every Raptor from the starters to the bench boys hit the basket today.  Matt Thomas with 17 pts., Boucher with 4 blocks, etcetera, etcetera.  It was that kind of game.

Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/amp/league/video/2020/02/23/0021900843-toronto-raptors-vs-indiana-pacers-game-highlights
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 24, 2020, 09:41:17 AM
How the Raptors have withstood the loss of Kawhi and confounded their critics this season, on route to being contenders in defending their championship. 

Shrewd management both on the court and in the organization, defensive versatility, smart signings & drafting, contributions from every part of their roster, strong bench presence, roster depth, etc., the list goes on.  An impressive one, too.

Story:
https://www.insidehook.com/article/surviving-kawhi-are-the-superstar-less-raptors-the-easts-second-best-team (https://www.insidehook.com/article/surviving-kawhi-are-the-superstar-less-raptors-the-easts-second-best-team)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on February 27, 2020, 03:52:07 AM
Currently, the Raptors (42-16) remain in second spot overall in the Eastern Conference, 8.0 GBL Milwaukee (50-8), (whom they lost to last night 108-97), and 1.0 points ahead of the third-place Boston Celtics (41-17).

Tuesday night’s game showed why the Bucks are having a dominating season, but it also showed how not having Powell nor Gasol in the lineup proved instrumental in Milwaukee’s win.
Gasol, with his presence, and Powell, a 3-pt. sharp-shooter are still sidelined with injuries.  They both would have added to the offensive and defensive Raptor aspects in the game.

On a positive note, despite being led by Siakam, Van Vleet, Anunoby, and the usual starting lineup, the bench — Davis, Boucher, Thomas & Hollis-Jefferson — provided plenty of opportunities to light up the scoreboard.

Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/channel/team_highlights (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/channel/team_highlights)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on March 02, 2020, 03:20:23 AM
Ugly loss yesterday 133-118 to the Denver Nuggets in Denver.

Without Gasol, VanVleet, & Ibaka, the Raptors in this game looked as good as lost against Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, he of the long-ball passing.
Even the Raptors bench couldn't do much as the Nuggets forced turnovers, threw 3-pointers with impunity, and generally made life miserable for the Raptors in the paint.

Yes, this was one of those games.  Sigh.

Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/03/02/3112627/1583114878187-200301-postup-tor-den-highlightsdigital-3112627 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/03/02/3112627/1583114878187-200301-postup-tor-den-highlightsdigital-3112627)
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on March 06, 2020, 05:43:26 PM
Raptors clinched playoff spot with a win over Golden State 121-113 last night.

Game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/03/06/3122856/1583476459020-200305-postup-tor-gsw-highlightsdigital-3122856 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/03/06/3122856/1583476459020-200305-postup-tor-gsw-highlightsdigital-3122856)

They remain in second place overall in the Eastern Conference 1.5 G ahead of third place Boston Celtics.
Title: Re: 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors Thread: “Hail to the Champions! In Masai We Believe”
Post by: hockeyfan1 on March 10, 2020, 12:02:52 PM
In the second of a back-to-back game — Sunday’s 118-113 win over Sacramento — the Rqptors win their fourth out of five on the  West Coast as they defeated the streaking Utah Jazz Monday night by a score of 101-92.

With the absence of Norm Powell who left the game with an ankle sprain, the team was led by Siakam, Ibaka, and Lowry, along with detailed contributions from the bench along the likes of Hollis-Jefferson, Matt Thomas and Patrick McCaw.

Siakam, Lowry and Powell airlifted the Raptors past a stingy Kings team Sunday night, but without Powell against the Jazz, coach Nurse had to rely on his instincts to best utilize his roster to the max, something he has done time and again this year, which puts him in line as candidate for Coach of the Year honours.

There’s something that can also be said about this Raptors team and the “next man up “ mentality they employ.  Even detailed contributions in the form of key moves by the bench results in positives for Toronto.

It was good to watch Marc Gasol return in Sunday’s game in his familiar spot doing the things on court that Marc Gasol does.  He did not play against the Jazz.  Call it load management or maintenance.

Let’s hope Powell returns to the lineup soon enough.  The Raptors can sure use his firepower for those three-pointers. 
On another note, VanVleet is still sidelined.  No word yet in his return.

Raptors / Kings game highlights:  (Sunday March 8)
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/03/09/3128468/1583727134019-200308-postup-tor-sac-highlightsdigital-3128468 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/03/09/3128468/1583727134019-200308-postup-tor-sac-highlightsdigital-3128468)

Raptors / Jazz game highlights:
https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/03/10/3130603/1583811696783-nba-web-200309-gamehil-tor-utadigital-3130603 (https://www.nba.com/raptors/video/teams/raptors/2020/03/10/3130603/1583811696783-nba-web-200309-gamehil-tor-utadigital-3130603)