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  #51  
Old 11-11-2019, 03:16 PM
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Presumably, Lowry has an avulsion fracture of a ligament in his thumb. This will heal well but will probably knock him out for 6-8 weeks.

Ibaka has an ankle sprain. These range from very mild to very severe injuries. Ibaka could be back this week or next month.

Yes, it’s optimistic. But less so then their starting numbers. And they really played well, it’s hard to shut down Lebron, as the Raptors know better than anyone. Some optimism is warranted, but of course what happens happens. Their bench will surprise a lot of people.
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  #52  
Old 11-12-2019, 10:19 AM
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Okay, maybe the Raptors coming close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

But they were on the toughest back-to-back in B-ball, Lakers then Clippers. Anunoby was poked in the eye 1:47 into the first quarter. Without Anunoby, Serge and Kyle they outplayed LAC for three quarters. No fouls were called when Anunoby was blindsided and the imbalance in foul calls was surprising. Van Vleet must have been on the floor for close to the entire second half with Anunoby hurt — and the Clippers were still lucky to have won.

The Raptors have heart. They’re going to go further than you think.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:30 AM
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These injuries are really hurting the game.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:48 PM
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My Pacers improved to 7-4 with a 26-point drubbing of the Oklahoma City Thunder. We're half a game behind the Bucks in the Central.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:40 AM
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Anybody see that ridiculous game from Coby White last night?
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:31 PM
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The Raptors are now REALLY banged up. It's going to be very difficult for them to beat Portland and Dallas.
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  #57  
Old 11-13-2019, 05:42 PM
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The Raptors are now REALLY banged up. It's going to be very difficult for them to beat Portland and Dallas.
Nah. Portland is a sitting duck. Even Lillard, who is pretty upbeat, is looking disgusted with their play. They had 17 turnovers last night, leading to 18 points by SAC, and had a total meltdown (again) in the 3rd quarter. If they don't start to gel as a team, I don't see them breaking 50% this year.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:31 PM
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An eye contusion typically causes 1-2 days of pain, but I doubt Anunoby will be out long.

The Lowry injury will hurt. Hopefully Serge is back soon too. Ankle sprains vary a lot.

In the third quarter, the Raptors and Portland are basically tied. We’ll see how it goes.
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:08 AM
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Great to see Raptors pull it off, going to 3 and 1 on the road and 8 and 3 overall. Siakam pots 36 points and youths Rondae Hollis-Jefferson impressive with 16 points and 11 rebounds (and great D) and Terence Davies with 15 - those two were especially impressive in the fourth. I was concerned the Blazers were gonna eventually surge ahead during impressive late 3rd-quarter/early 4th play from Christian Wood (who AIUI is happier now than in Utah), and then Lillard and McCollum making their presence felt n the 4th, but then the downward spiral was sealed when, (the way I see it), with five left in the fourth, Portland travelled two trips in a row (when down by eight - whoa).

Boucher will be interesting to watch this season.
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:38 AM
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Nah. Portland is a sitting duck. Even Lillard, who is pretty upbeat, is looking disgusted with their play. They had 17 turnovers last night, leading to 18 points by SAC, and had a total meltdown (again) in the 3rd quarter. If they don't start to gel as a team, I don't see them breaking 50% this year.
Well, you called it. Lillard had nine points all night; Fred VanVleet choked him to death. Fred put on a defensive clinic.

Nick Nurse is the best coach in the NBA. He's rolling guys out there who I think had bought tickets to the game and were called down from the stands and given souvenir jerseys. Particularly striking was that he started Malcolm Miller, who proceeded to play seven of the worst minutes you could possibly imagine; Miller would have been outclassed in a WNBA game. Most coaches would have rolled with Miller longer, figuring he'd do something a maybe snap out of it. Nurse promptly benched him and he didn't see the floor again; "I need to pretend I didn't make a mistake" is not a Nick Nurse thing to say. Instead he gave minutes to the wonderfully named Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, whose name starts at the bottom of his uniform number and wraps all the way around; Rondae was fantastic. He also got 30 sensational minutes out of Terence Davis, an undrafted rookie no one has heard of but who did everything on both ends of the floor.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:14 AM
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In other news in Houston, the Rockets held the Clippers to under 40 percent shooting and under 100 points, in a 102-93 win. Harden ended up with 47, 7 assists, and 6 boards. Doc Rivers got thrown out of the game, late in the 4th, to the delight of his son, who was pantomiming that the referees should give Doc a technical foul. https://www.espn.com/nba/recap?gameId=401160799

The defense has much improved, even with Danuel House not playing due to a back injury. Rockets center, Clint Capela, exited the game after a hard blow to the head by JaMychal Green, but not before pulling down 20 rebounds. The thought is Capela has some form of facial fracture.

Great win for Houston.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:53 AM
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Back in the 80s, it was apparently common for NBA starters to play 32-37 minutes a game, and later, Iverson was notable for playing 42 minutes a game.

With “load management” and bigger egos and salaries, these numbers are down.

So it amazes me when a guy like VanVleet plays 45 minutes a game or more, due to injured teammates. Because he still runs all over the place, steals the ball, makes key plays and throws the ball at the net.

In the fourth quarter against the Clippers (who I am happy to see beaten), VanVleet looked exhausted and did everything but put the ball in the net. He had no problem doing that yesterday. Siakam and the depth of the Raptors bench amazes me. If Nurse deserves the credit, I don’t know how he does it. With what I know, I wondered if it was a mistake to trade Jonas and DeMar.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:18 AM
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And they kept Kawai to twelve points too. I like 538.com, which gives the Raptors a 2% chance of repeating. It probably is higher, and probably isn’t much higher — a lot of good teams out there, and some surprises.
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  #64  
Old 11-14-2019, 11:18 AM
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Well, you called it. Lillard had nine points all night; Fred VanVleet choked him to death. Fred put on a defensive clinic.

Nick Nurse is the best coach in the NBA. He's rolling guys out there who I think had bought tickets to the game and were called down from the stands and given souvenir jerseys. Particularly striking was that he started Malcolm Miller, who proceeded to play seven of the worst minutes you could possibly imagine; Miller would have been outclassed in a WNBA game. Most coaches would have rolled with Miller longer, figuring he'd do something a maybe snap out of it. Nurse promptly benched him and he didn't see the floor again; "I need to pretend I didn't make a mistake" is not a Nick Nurse thing to say. Instead he gave minutes to the wonderfully named Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, whose name starts at the bottom of his uniform number and wraps all the way around; Rondae was fantastic. He also got 30 sensational minutes out of Terence Davis, an undrafted rookie no one has heard of but who did everything on both ends of the floor.
To their credit, other players stepped up. Hood had a standout game, Simons continues to impress, and Bazemore is great defender. If the coaches can make Hezonia understand that not every play involves him dribbling into dense traffic and losing the ball, he could also be a standout. I like Little's energy and fearlessness. For him to get a start last night as a rookie speaks volumes.
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:27 PM
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And they kept Kawai to twelve points too. I like 538.com, which gives the Raptors a 2% chance of repeating. It probably is higher, and probably isn’t much higher — a lot of good teams out there, and some surprises.
I mean, there's 30 teams. If you just assigned players randomly to everyone, your odds are 3.3%. So I'm not sure if 2% is insulting or not. (Actually, they now have them at just 1%.)

I think it fair to say the NBA is remarkably top heavy, with a very high portion of the odds assigned to a small number of teams, unlike MLB or the NHL, where it's much harder to predict the eventual champion. In the NHL, few teams have no chance at all; no one expected the Blues to win last year. By comparison, in the NBA most people will tell you at the beginning of the year than between four to six teams have a realistic shot, and they're almost always correct. Anyway, right now here's how 538 has the top nine

Bucks - 34%
Clippers - 27%
Sixers - 16%
Lakers - 6%
Rockets - 5%
Jazz - 3%
Celtics - 3%
Nuggets - 2%
Raptors - 1%

That adds up to 97 percent; the other 21 teams all combine for just 3%, all listed at "<1%." I think anyone would agree the odds of the Knicks winning it all are whatever the odds are that all other 29 teams will be killed in plane crashes or kidnapped by bank robbers; it is just incomprehensible that any normal sports events could take place that would cause the Knicks to win the title. What are their odds, a million to one? No baseball team or hockey team is that bad.

As to whether this is fair to the Raptors, I don't know, and given how high 538 is on the Sixers right now and less high on the Celtics I assume this is mostly determined by preseason expectations, not by how the season has actually gone. Well... actually, having said that, I have to think 1% is just too low. If Nate Silver offered me 98-to-1 on the Raptors to win it all, I would take that bet in a heartbeat.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:18 PM
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There is a huge difference when you compare Raptors under their new system and the old Elo system which looks at strength of competition and point difference, but wouldn’t have direct player ratings for guys like Rondae who are third string. Based on current play, it seems they call for the Raptors to win 60 games with a 21% chance at repeating. Since some betting sites offer 40:1 odds, it might be worthwhile. But I don’t know the best sites or legality of doing that in Canada?
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:13 AM
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To their credit, other players stepped up. Hood had a standout game, Simons continues to impress, and Bazemore is great defender. If the coaches can make Hezonia understand that not every play involves him dribbling into dense traffic and losing the ball, he could also be a standout. I like Little's energy and fearlessness. For him to get a start last night as a rookie speaks volumes.
I had faith in the Blazers---they're a plucky team, Dame' is tremendous, and in the East they're an easy playoff team. And then they do this: Blazers sign Carmelo Anthony to deal. Yes, it's non-guaranteed, but why do that to your locker room to begin with?
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:50 AM
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Portland is a plucky team, and Hood against the Raptors reminded me of Curry. They’ll make the playoffs, maybe go far.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:08 AM
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I had faith in the Blazers---they're a plucky team, Dame' is tremendous, and in the East they're an easy playoff team. And then they do this: Blazers sign Carmelo Anthony to deal. Yes, it's non-guaranteed, but why do that to your locker room to begin with?
That's a bit of a shocker, but Portland desperately needs another power forward with some talent. One of the great things about Portland's coaching staff (and the team in general) is their ability to quash egos. If it's all about you, you won't get much court time, or you'll find yourself on the trading block.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:27 AM
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That's a bit of a shocker, but Portland desperately needs another power forward with some talent. One of the great things about Portland's coaching staff (and the team in general) is their ability to quash egos. If it's all about you, you won't get much court time, or you'll find yourself on the trading block.
Agreed you guys can use a good 4. So can the Rockets. 'Melo isn't it at this point in his career.

From someone who watched the debacle of his play with the Rockets last year, it's not his play on the court that's the problem. It's that, for whatever reason, when Anthony was involved with the team, the Rockets' other players were much worse than their historic norms, in pretty much all of the statistical areas. That happened whether Melo was part of the five on the court, or sitting on the bench. It didn't stop until Anthony was put out to pasture, and then magically (though hiring back Coach B helped too), all of the other Rockets' players figured out how to shoot, rebound, and pass again.

Maybe your coaching staff will get him to not bring everyone else down? Let's hope so. Well, except for games you all are playing Houston.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:25 PM
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Agreed you guys can use a good 4. So can the Rockets. 'Melo isn't it at this point in his career.

From someone who watched the debacle of his play with the Rockets last year, it's not his play on the court that's the problem. It's that, for whatever reason, when Anthony was involved with the team, the Rockets' other players were much worse than their historic norms, in pretty much all of the statistical areas. That happened whether Melo was part of the five on the court, or sitting on the bench. It didn't stop until Anthony was put out to pasture, and then magically (though hiring back Coach B helped too), all of the other Rockets' players figured out how to shoot, rebound, and pass again.

Maybe your coaching staff will get him to not bring everyone else down? Let's hope so. Well, except for games you all are playing Houston.
The driving force on the Blazers team is Lillard. He is the team captain, the mentor, the voice of reason, and the peace maker. If Anthony butts heads with him, the rest of the team will shut him out. The article I read today quoted Anthony as saying he needed time away from the game, as his head wasn't in it, so we'll see what happens.
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Old 11-17-2019, 08:56 AM
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Bradley Beal is going to have to stand on his head every night for them to even be in the game.
To his credit, Beal is doing it. Second consecutive 44-point game, the second time in a win.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:17 AM
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Despite their best efforts to blow another one, POR managed to squeak out a win over the Spurs after blowing a 21 point lead. Lillard is still in a 3-point slump (1-9), with 13 of his 22 points coming from the line. This should have been one of the easier games for this long road trip. Looks like Carmelo will be on board by Tuesday, but I'm not holding out much hope there.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:23 AM
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The Raptors played a mediocre game against the Mavericks. Siakam kept turning over the ball and was largely shut down by some great defending. Still think the Raptors will go far, but they need their injured stars back on the court.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:38 AM
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Yeah, they fell apart inthe second half. They looked tired.

A 3-2 road trip while missing Kyle and Serge is just fine. Lowry is out another couple of weeks; fortunately, they're home for most of that time.

It's fun to watch Fred VanVleet and Norm Powell and all that but the importance of Kyle Lowry to the Raptors is massive. He is underrated, in my opinion, and the guy makes the All Star team every year so that's saying a lot.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:49 PM
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Raptors sure looked good against the Hornets though. Even their fourth string players, once they were thirty points ahead. The team had forty assists and were passing all over the place. I gotta think the Elo score on 538 is more accurate; I’d give ‘em a ten percent chance of repeating.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:39 PM
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POR got creamed by HOU, with another dismal performance by their all-star. Again, a decent first half and a rout in the second. I'm now wondering if Lillard has a low grade injury that he's not revealing. Pretty sure I saw him grimacing during play.
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:06 AM
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Didn’t see much of the Raptors-Magic game, but sounded uninspiring. Instead, enjoyed the Celtics play the LA home team Clippers.

I was curious since the Celtics are 11-2 but have been said to have one of the easiest regular schedules. Bookies favoured LA by 5-15 points. And for most of the game, it was super close.

Indeed, it went into overtime before LA consistently outplayed Boston. Could have gone either way.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:48 AM
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I'm visiting my parents in Dallas. When I am here we usually go to as many Stars games as possible. Last night we happened to go to the Mavs game. I was curious to see if the hype around Luka Doncic was for real. And holy crap did the kid ever deliver. He had 35 points and a triple double in about 25 minutes. There was a point in the game where he alone was at, I want to say 30 points and the Warriors as a whole had 31. What a talent.
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Old 11-21-2019, 01:48 PM
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Turns out I was right about Lillard having a problem (back spasms). They of course lost to NO and now go on to get stomped by Milwaukee tonight, which will drop them to 5-11. At least I get pizza. Maybe they can beat Cleveland?
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:23 PM
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Any b-ball team with seven players would wipe the floor of a team with six players. My point is that teams pay a fortune for a few stars. Some seem completely bereft, not merely hobbled, when there are a couple injured stars. So many injuries at the moment. The importance of a strong bench seems to be making itself more known.
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:25 AM
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Pacers are 8-6 now and we've spent some time without Malcolm Brogdon (who's a good All-Star pick), without Myles Turner, and without Damontas Sabonis. To say nothing of the fact that we haven't had Victor Oladipo all year. We get everyone healthy and playing well together, we're gonna be a team that no one wants to face in the playoffs.

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Old 11-22-2019, 10:39 AM
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Curious to see the 76ers play the Raptors on Monday. Wonder if they’ll check the game ball for excessive elasticity?
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:13 PM
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538.com has a nice piece today reevaluating the Raptors in light of their recent successes. They think they’ll do well in the regular season, but not the playoffs. They’re wrong. And they barely mention VanVleet, the Mississauga miracle.
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:38 PM
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POR did surprisingly well against the Bucks, especially since one of their stars and the starting center (Whiteside) were out. The starting lineup included three bench players and nobody over 6'8", but they still managed to close to within two points in the 4th. Carmelo Anthony is managing to do the job at forward, which is a relief. If it continues, I'd look for Zach Collins to either be back to coming off the bench or to be traded once he's healthy.

In other news, they've waived Pau Gasol. They were betting on building around him, as he was supposed to be cleared for play by last August, but that didn't happen and he's useless to them. At age 39, he may be heading for retirement.

In Cleveland tonight, whose record is as dismal as the Blazers'. But I keep flashing back to POR losing to GS, the lowest ranked team in the NBA at this point. At least Lillard is back in action.
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:51 PM
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Tough loss for the Rockets late last night to the Clippers. Gave up a 13-4 run over the final 2 minutes, to lose by 3. Very poorly officiated game on both sides of the ball, with numerous uncalled obvious fouls, called phantom fouls, and ignored attempts to call TO. Westbrook continues to deteriorate as a shooter, 1-7 from 3 and under 50% FT. I hope it can be fixed.

OTOH, the Rockets were without two starters, House and Gordon, and still only lost by 3 on the road. Clemons needs more playing time .
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:19 PM
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Through three quarters the Hawks are shooting 55 percent against Toronto; it's a miracle it's only a three point lead.

The absence of Kyle Lowry is being felt, and also concerning - though no one is talking about it except me - is that Marc Gasol cannot score.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:18 PM
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The Raptors came to life in the fourth quarter to win over Atlanta, but they were down most of the game. In the past, they’ve had games with tons of turnovers and this remains one of their weaknesses. Siakam and VanVleet had great games. The Hawks were shooting very well; they had lost the previous five games and were looking to win at home.

Gasol has never been a high scorer. But he has had a tough time so far; with career 14 points per game down to 7 so far this year. He is still playing decent defence. Not sure he is worth the high salary, but if he comes through during the playoffs again, perhaps. The Raptors have far less turnover than most teams, and the veterans do have value.

Siakam is the big surprise; on fire, more often than not. Steady Freddy continues to play long minutes, force turnovers and make assists. The 76ers will be a real challenge on Monday.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:35 PM
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POR did surprisingly well against the Bucks, especially since one of their stars and the starting center (Whiteside) were out. The starting lineup included three bench players and nobody over 6'8", but they still managed to close to within two points in the 4th. Carmelo Anthony is managing to do the job at forward, which is a relief. If it continues, I'd look for Zach Collins to either be back to coming off the bench or to be traded once he's healthy.

In other news, they've waived Pau Gasol. They were betting on building around him, as he was supposed to be cleared for play by last August, but that didn't happen and he's useless to them. At age 39, he may be heading for retirement.

In Cleveland tonight, whose record is as dismal as the Blazers'. But I keep flashing back to POR losing to GS, the lowest ranked team in the NBA at this point. At least Lillard is back in action.
I'm glad Anthony is working out for you guys so far. I'd like to see his career end on a higher note than it did in Houston. It looks like the Blazers players aren't as dragged down by Anthony being around, as the Rockets clearly were last year.
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:25 AM
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:17 PM
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The Raptors has a tough opponent in the 76ers. Fortunately, they were playing at home. They won a tight game, and this should establish them as a serious contender for this year.

Gasol had another brilliant and terrible game. He played great defence and somehow kept Embiid to zero points. And he shot a lot of 3 pointers, going 0 for 9. He played better than his stats. But this game was all VanVleet and Siakam, who continue to surprise. Davis and Hollis-Johnson played well. The team will be tough to beat once Lowry and Ibaka are back.
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:27 PM
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Gasol basically exists just to stop Joel Embiid now. While that was a terrific defensive performance, they only have four games a year against the Sixers, and 78 games against teams that are not the Sixers. He is easily the worst player on the team right now.

Gasol has value in spots, and he's a great guy to have in the locker room, but to continue handing him 28-30 minutes a game is going to start being really hard to justify. He has fallen off REALLY far since last year, or a year before the that. It's alarming.

Conversely, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is playing twice as well as I thought him capable of. Nick Nurse is deploying him in exactly the right spots and he's playing inspired basketball. He kind of reminds me of JYD, a rebounding energy machine you bring off the bench for fifteen or twenty minutes a night, though JYD wasn't as good an offensive player.
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Last edited by RickJay; 11-27-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 05:01 PM
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Blazers got a big win over Chicago a few days ago. They actually looked like they wanted to be in the game for a change. Carmelo had a 25 point game, hitting threes like he knew how, and their defense looked alive instead of asleep. They take on OKC again tonight at home. Here's hoping for a repeat of the last time.
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:55 AM
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I'd crow about the Raptors winning last night but it was against the Knicks. I could assemble a team from the people posting in this thread who could give the Knicks a run for their money.

ESPN's power rankings from a few days ago had the Raptors at 11th, which offended many Canadians. Out of curiosity I looked up the Baseball Reference "simple rating system" numbers. Here is how they rank NBA teams as of right now:

1. Milwaukee
2. Toronto
3. LA Clippers
4. LA Lakers
5. Dallas
6. Boston
7. Denver

If you don't buy into the Lakers being fourth, fair enough, neither do I. Still, this may be closer to the truth than ESPN's ratings.
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Last edited by RickJay; 11-28-2019 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:51 AM
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See, I don’t know. There were articles in the paper about holding Embiid to zero points. This is a great player who averages twenty points a game, so shutting him out is like scoring twenty points. And the articles interviewed knowledgeable people who said Gasol was a one-of-a-kind defender and the best in the league. 538.com talks about Gasol’s terrible season, and he misses a lot of three pointers, but he stepped up during the last playoffs. I think he’ll step up again. There is money to be made betting on Toronto.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:47 AM
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OKC is really feeling the effects of rebuilding after Mr. Loonie left for Houston. At one point last night, POR was up 30 points and we got to see all the scrubs come off the bench for the last five minutes or so. Mello had 19 and Whiteside had another double-double, racking up 16 rebounds on his own. Looks like Lillard has found his mojo again, which is a relief for fans. I'm really impressed with Kent Bazemore's defense. The guy's signature move is to chase down a fast break and swat the ball from behind, but he's also a good thief.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:58 PM
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Raptors had another slow start. But once they get going they are hard to beat. The Jazz have been winning a lot of games and are going to be s challenge. The difference between Toronto’s revised and original ratings is remarkable, and Hollis-Jefferson continues to surprise.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:14 PM
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Hassan Whiteside set a franchise record with 10 blocked shots in last night's second rumble (and win) with Chicago. I've got to believe that Nurkic is seeing his starting position in serious jeopardy. POR has managed to claw its way up to .400, which will change for the worse after their upcoming games with L.A. and the Clippers, I'm guessing. Carmello continues to play well and had a double-double last night.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:35 PM
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A somewhat bizarre game versus the Jazz. For the first eight minutes, the Raptors went 3 for 11. They got lots of shots but couldn’t sink them, like the players all had the same middle ear infection. This is when Gasol showed his leadership. He got eight points when nobody else could score and kept them in the initial game. A great defender; but his 35% for 3-points is down from the playoffs.

Then the Raptors flipped a switch and made Utah turn the ball over again and again. The Jazz are good. But the Raptors were up forty points at halftime.

Then Utah stopped turning the ball over, and scored fifty points in the third quarter, the most Toronto has given up this year. But that pace tired then out. The Raptors scored about thirty, and went on to win the game by about twenty points.

All the Raptors starters were in double digits and VanVleet got a double-double with Siakam scoring 36. Hollis-Jefferson and Davis has some nice shots; Boucher and Ibaka played well too. The Raptors next three games are all hard, so it will be interesting to see if they can maintain momentum.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:41 AM
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To clarify, Powell played well. Boucher has later well but with Ibaka returning, only played the last four minutes.

Eight players in the double digits. Some tough games this week though.
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