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Habsfan84

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I'm not a big NBA fan but the Finals has been quite fun. The Miami Heat are turning into the New York Yankees and it'll be amazing to see the anger and hate if they beat the Thunder.

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dlbalr    708

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has been creative in terms of managing minutes for his aging veterans (particularly Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan). Today, the team announced that those three plus one other starter were sent home prior to tonight's game against Miami to get them some rest. (It also is worth noting that two other regulars are injured, they're only dressing 9 players when the standard is 13.) The Spurs are in their fourth games in five nights (with travel) while the Heat have rested for four days. The game also happens to be on national TV so David Stern was quick to issue a statement promising stiff punishment, it will be interesting to see what comes of this.

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8692304/san-antonio-spurs-sit-4-top-5-scorers-vs-miami-heat

Interestingly enough, as I type this, the Spurs are actually winning. I hope they pull off the win.

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dlbalr    708

A long but interesting read about the usage of a new analytical system that about half the teams in the league are using. Basically it analyzes a where a player is and what he does on the floor based on his actual x-y coordinates relative to what the player should have done on the play.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9068903/the-toronto-raptors-sportvu-cameras-nba-analytical-revolution

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TurdBurglar    26

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/news/20130429/jason-collins-gay-nba-player/#ixzz2Rrh8O559

It's been a long time coming and frankly about time a North American athlete comes out. Now the "seal is broken" it may encourage more players to be themselves.

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JoeLassister    292

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/magazine/news/20130429/jason-collins-gay-nba-player/#ixzz2Rrh8O559

It's been a long time coming and frankly about time a North American athlete comes out. Now the "seal is broken" it may encourage more players to be themselves.

Frank Ocean in the hip hop industry pretty much started it all.

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dlbalr    708

Ah, MLSE, don't ever change. Over the weekend, word came out that they were set to be parting ways with Bryan Colangelo, the President/GM of the Raptors since 2006. Then the report was that he'd stay for the season in a non-basketball capacity. Today, they've announced a contract extension (but not as GM, only President). So after it's determined that he's not the guy anymore, he gets an extension and a say in who replaces him. That's not something you see every day...

Edit: They're giving him permission to look elsewhere in the meantime, that makes more sense.

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dlbalr    708

I've been very impressed with Indiana so far in the conference finals, they've given Miami everything they can handle. Hopefully they can pull off the upset in Game 7 tonight...although I have to think the NBA offices are praying for a Heat victory. I don't see an Indiana-San Antonio final drawing too much attention (although I think it'd be a good series).

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dlbalr    708

What a night for Canadian basketball at the draft. Anthony Bennett shockingly goes 1st overall (I can say I had the exact same reaction Bill Simmons did on the ESPN broadcast when the pick was announced) while Kelly Olynyk went 13th. Not only was that the first time a Canadian was picked 1st overall (surpassing Tristan Thompson last year who was 4th - also by Cleveland), but it's also the first time that two Canadians were picked in the lottery. In fact, before yesterday, the only Canadian picked in the lottery was Thompson.

Next year, expect more of the same, at least with the #1 pick - Andrew Wiggins who has been touted as the top pick in 2014 for a couple of years now.

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Neech    90

Next year, expect more of the same, at least with the #1 pick - Andrew Wiggins who has been touted as the top pick in 2014 for a couple of years now.

Tyler Ennis at Syracuse will probably go in the lottery too.

The Raptors are such a fun team to watch post-Rudy Gay. They move the ball, hustle on defense and play for each other. This is probably the best team spirit I've ever seen in Toronto. Kyle Lowry might be a genuine leader. The win last night over the Nets was awesome.

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dlbalr    708

Ennis seems to be a player on the rise which is nice since Canada could use another point guard (I don't see Cory Joseph being a go-to guy in international play and Jermaine Anderson is too shot-happy).

What a game last night, another nail biter for sure. I'd enjoy Lowry while you can though as it still sounds like Plan A is to trade him, they may just wait until the deadline now to try to give themselves as much of a cushion in the division as possible.

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Neech    90

Ennis seems to be a player on the rise which is nice since Canada could use another point guard (I don't see Cory Joseph being a go-to guy in international play and Jermaine Anderson is too shot-happy).

What a game last night, another nail biter for sure. I'd enjoy Lowry while you can though as it still sounds like Plan A is to trade him, they may just wait until the deadline now to try to give themselves as much of a cushion in the division as possible.

Canada is definitely looking like a contender on the international stage, if not by the 2016 Olympics, then the 2020 ones. I haven't watched Syracuse yet this year, but it sounds like he's a team manager, which is especially useful for short tournaments where you don't have much time to gel.

What kind of return would make it worthwhile to trade Lowry? He's still young and shouldn't be that expensive to re-sign.

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dlbalr    708

What kind of return would make it worthwhile to trade Lowry? He's still young and shouldn't be that expensive to re-sign.

The way he's going, it's probably 4 years at upwards of $9 or $10 mil if he keeps this up. The only thing that may work for the Raptors is if he plays so well that he prices himself well above non-taxpayer MLE range. Then only teams that are under the cap enough to absorb such a contract could go after him which would limit his suitors significantly and give Toronto a better chance to keep him. Or they sign-and-trade although the year-to-year salary variability is more restricted in S&T deals now than just a straight contract (4.5% vs 7.5% which over 4 years makes a bit of a difference).

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Neech    90

That's the upper end of what he could command. With the Raptors in the position to be a mid-level playoff team in a weak conference for the short-term at least, would they want to give up a starter? It seems like Masai's plans might have changed along with the team's fortunes - maybe building up rather than tearing down is what he's thinking now.

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dlbalr    708

If he's an All-Star, that will boost his demands too. I think the Raptors want to ensure they get top value out of Lowry. If that means trading him if their sense is that he wants too much or won't re-sign, then they'll do it. If they wait until the deadline at least, they should be close enough to solidifying a playoff spot that they could move him and have Vasquez take over the starting job and still expect to get into the postseason.

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Neech    90

Yeah, it's definitely best asset management to trade him if they've decided they can't or won't keep him. I just think he might be a piece that you build around (but then again, for most of his time in Toronto he hasn't looked like that).

Vasquez is a great backup pointguard, but he's not quite starting material. I doubt the Raptors will be buyers at the deadline, but it would also surprise me if they're bigtime sellers, barring a real downturn after the all-star break. They could win a round and have an entertaining series against Miami/Indiana, which is something to build on organizationally.

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dlbalr    708

I doubt the Raptors will be buyers at the deadline, but it would also surprise me if they're bigtime sellers, barring a real downturn after the all-star break. They could win a round and have an entertaining series against Miami/Indiana, which is something to build on organizationally.

I think they'll need to buy. They desperately need another big; their backup C is either 6'9 (Hansbrough) or 6'6 (Hayes), depending on who plays that night. Against teams with legit 7-footers, they need to have someone with size and bulk (instead of one or the other which they have a lot of). Beyond that though, I don't see any major moves aside from maybe Lowry getting dealt.

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Neech    90

What kind of sense would it make to add a big man for the playoffs while dealing our 2nd best player?

Toronto won't beat Indiana or Miami anyways, but they have a chance against any other team. I agree that Valanciunas is overmatched when guarding scoring centres, but looking around the conference at potential opponents, who is there to be afraid of? Nene, whoever might sign Bynum, Garnett, Jefferson... not exactly a murderers row.

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dlbalr    708

What kind of sense would it make to add a big man for the playoffs while dealing our 2nd best player?

Toronto won't beat Indiana or Miami anyways, but they have a chance against any other team. I agree that Valanciunas is overmatched when guarding scoring centres, but looking around the conference at potential opponents, who is there to be afraid of? Nene, whoever might sign Bynum, Garnett, Jefferson... not exactly a murderers row.

In terms of adding a big, I'm talking about an end-of-bench big, another Aaron Gray type of player. One that will match against teams with big C's, either in the East or the West (since they have quite a few out-of-conference games still to go). That shouldn't affect any decision with Lowry.

In terms of noteworthy bigs in the East, I'd add Hibbert, Noah, and Chandler (if the Knicks finally wake up and play to potential) as legit C's that can impact a game. And even then, it's more the backups I'm concerned with. When the opponent puts in a big C off the bench, I don't like seeing Hayes give up nearly half a foot trying to guard him. Bench play has hurt the Raptors this year, adding another legit 7-footer might help ease some of the strain in certain matchups.

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Neech    90

Hibbert is on Indiana, who the Raps have no chance against anyway, which is why I didn't include him. Noah and Chandler are defense-first guys whose primary threats are movement and passing (in Noah's case). Defense by committee should be sufficient against those types of players. If the big hole in the lineup is Aaron Gray-shaped... well, things are better than I thought.

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Neech    90

Haha the Raptors fans wanted their free pizza tonight, unfortunately the team couldn't get to 100 in the final two minutes.

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dlbalr    708

Haha the Raptors fans wanted their free pizza tonight, unfortunately the team couldn't get to 100 in the final two minutes.

Not the first time that has happened...won't be the last. Booing a winning team off the floor, only in Toronto...

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Neech    90

Not the first time that has happened...won't be the last. Booing a winning team off the floor, only in Toronto...

I like how Jack Armstrong got into it, he's pretty much the only basketball personality on TSN that I like. We sat through Rod Black for so long that Matt Devlin seems good (I'll give that he's improving, but still pretty inane).

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dlbalr    708

I like how Jack Armstrong got into it, he's pretty much the only basketball personality on TSN that I like. We sat through Rod Black for so long that Matt Devlin seems good (I'll give that he's improving, but still pretty inane).

Devlin's been around the block for a long time (Toronto isn't his first full-time PBP job). It's not a matter necessarily of him improving but rather the style he's told to be. He does some games for TNT in the playoffs usually, it's a difference of night and day; he's much more balanced and professional. Armstrong is tons of fun though.

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Neech    90

Devlin's been around the block for a long time (Toronto isn't his first full-time PBP job). It's not a matter necessarily of him improving but rather the style he's told to be. He does some games for TNT in the playoffs usually, it's a difference of night and day; he's much more balanced and professional. Armstrong is tons of fun though.

It's good that they actually went out and got someone with experience instead of using the first non-basketball guy they had around. I guess his homerism is a part of the gig (I don't mind him getting excited for the Raps, but it's annoying when the other team makes a great play and he's catatonic). Maybe it's part of the homer thing, but I feel like he overuses his 'important' voice and it makes him sound really dumb. Like he'll use the same tone to announce a basket that pulls the Raps within 6 in the third quarter as a key play late. (he also seems to overvalue a two-possession game at any point that's not in the final minutes). He doesn't have much in the way of original thoughts - competent is the best he can aspire to be. Tirico, Marv, and Breen are still leagues ahead.

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dlbalr    708

So Jason Kidd, who had no business being a head coach after just retiring last year, is expected to leave after just 1 year with Brooklyn. Why? He demanded a significant raise in pay and to have more authority than the GM. He's likely going to Milwaukee...I feel bad for the Bucks right about now...

http://espn.go.com/new-york/story/_/id/11152724/jason-kidd-leaves-brooklyn-nets-just-found-them

Congrats to Andrew Wiggins, the second straight Canadian to go #1 in the draft. Nik Stauskas and Tyler Ennis also both went in the 1st round. Canada Basketball's future actually looks decent for once.

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