We’re practically 1/fifth of the season in and, already, my balding’s gone from a sample to a moonscape thanks to those tumultuous Toronto Raptors video games.
In rehabilitation, hear me out on some issues I dig and don’t dig to date.
1. Rising WNBA-TO Fervour
I’m sooooo right here for the bring-a-WNBA-franchise-to-Canada hype.
Natalie Achonwa calls for it.
"It's only a matter of who will put their cash the place their mouth is" @NatAchon on Canada ever getting a #WNBA workforce. "We’re prepared for a workforce, we’re prepared for a league, we’re prepared for one thing domestically… the place they will compete on residence soil." #MadLove pic.twitter.com/jZ8ErgMlNq
— Lindsay Dunn (@LindsayDunnTV) November 9, 2021
In an ESPN interview, WNBA Commissioner, Cathy Engelbert, hints at it.
Nick (additionally Staff Canada Mens’ head coach) is down for it.
"I feel the ladies ought to be represented in Toronto with a WNBA workforce."
Following Drake's plea for a WNBA growth workforce in Toronto, Nick Nurse weighed in on how helpful a brand new franchise can be for basketball within the metropolis. pic.twitter.com/ovimuYz9PQ
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 3, 2021
Drake desires – oh, sorry, wants – it (not that it issues).
(Until he “places his cash the place his mouth is”; then it issues).
.@NatAchon desires @Drake to sponsor a WNBA workforce north of the border 🇨🇦🏀
Watch the complete interview right here: https://t.co/J33SbWppyD pic.twitter.com/vX9bchGyWU
— Tim and Associates (@timandfriends) November 12, 2021
(Stroll the stroll, buster).
And, Canada wants it.
Basketball is sizzling on this nation. We’re globally renown: the Nationwide Canadian Girls’s and Males’s groups are ranked 4th and 18th, respectively; the Nationwide Junior Boys’ program is 2nd and Women’ program, 4th. And we’ve got an all-time excessive 23 Canadians within the NBA and three within the WNBA (HENCE OUR NEED FOR A FRANCHISE…hullloooo) with scores of Canadians amongst the NCAA ranks.
To be clear, the impetus for a franchise shouldn’t be an fairness factor. Sure, the shortage of consideration to and pay-differential in ladies’s sports activities is a serious drawback in a deeply-entrenched patriarchal society. And, sure, youngsters have to see feminine athletes anointed, paid, and celebrated in the identical approach males are. However the name for a Canadian workforce is strictly enterprise.
The WNBA has grown yearly in viewers. In line with ESPN Viewership, pairs of eyes went up 24% from 2019 to 2020 and 49% from 2020 to 2021 (306,000 per recreation). (The NBA averaged 1.3 million within the 2020-2021 common season for perspective). Comparable development occurred in the course of the WNBA Playoffs. We’ve already seen how the MLS capitalized on a sport rising in recognition in Canada.
Star energy within the WNBA can also be at its pinnacle. Every workforce chalk-full of family names and dazzling expertise. All of that screams growth.
We at all times want extra basketball in our lives. There’s cash to be made within the Toronto and Vancouver markets. This can be a no-brainer. Moreover, I have already got us a reputation.
“Toronto Pterodactyls” is a sultry alliteration.
Which, after all, means, our website must bear a reputation change too: Dinosaur Democracy checks out.
2. Too Many Minutes
By no means good when a workforce is 7-8.
By no means good when a workforce’s sub-500 and its two greatest gamers common probably the most minutes within the league.
FVV and OG are 1 and a couple of within the class. Scottie is fifteenth and Gary, thirtieth.
However what selection have they got. Previous to Pascal Siakam’s return, these 4 have been holding the fort at each ends of the ground.
With out them, the Raps are besieged. The foursome accounts for 75 of the workforce’s 106 factors and have a +3.7 web ranking collectively. Any superior metric with a minimum of 3 of the 4 of them on the ground is constructive.
It’s not simply their minutes, both. FVV and OG don’t play like a LeBron in his latter years – visibly conserving power on the ground. They’re the highest 2 in complete distance traveled main by a 2000-foot margin. FVV travels probably the most offensively; OG, probably the most defensively.
You’d assume Pascal would lighten their burden. He hasn’t actually. OG and FVV are nonetheless high 5 in minutes since his return; although, their distance traveled, particularly on the offensive finish, has lessened.
It’s a basic Millennial dilemma: YOLO short-term or mutual funds long-term.
This workforce strugggggles to attain. I shudder on the considered resting anybody (with out Fred, the Raps gave up a season-high 127 factors to the DETROIT FRIGGIN’ PISTONS!!!). The bench scores a league-worst 24 factors a recreation.
Burn-out’s additionally very actual and a standard precursor to harm; this quantity’s unsustainable and will plague them when these remaining stretch video games actually matter.
3. Sneaky Svi
Svi Mychailiuk’s one in all them pure scorer varieties. He’s received a quick-trigger three and a penchant for rim strikes.
It’s his craftiness with out the ball, at each ends of the court docket, that I really like most. He, like Gary Trent Jr., performs wonderful positional basketball. Svi is at all times shifting: slicing, filling voids, and discovering open areas to spot-up. It’s an underrated ability and invaluable to a workforce thirsting for something simple within the half-court.
His sneakiness is one of the best half to observe. Svi waits – at each ends of the ground – for his opponents’ momentary lapses of focus. He’s watching everybody: his man, helpside, his teammates with and with out the ball, and skulks in ready.
The timing must be proper. Heads turned a sure approach, ball and man shifting a selected course. Too early, and the move isn’t there, defence recovers. Too late, performs over and he’s inflicting a crowd. Excellent: zhoop lay-up.
Similar on defence. Intercepting passes is the final word convergence of anticipation and subterfuge. It’s a must to seem non-threatening whereas remaining vigilant for that singularly excellent second to grab it.
4. Kickass Raptors 905ers
The Raptors 905 season has commenced. They’re a pristine 2-0: a thumping after which a last-minute escape each in opposition to the Westchester Knicks.
Most notably, in accordance with our Raptorcentric egoism, have been Dalano Banton, David Johnson, and Isaac Bonga.
Dalano shouldn’t be a lot of a shock. He’s already contributing on the NBA stage. The G-League, although, much like Summer time League, offers gamers – and the groups observing them – the chance to carry out because the man.
Max contract instantly https://t.co/QtEFhRdDEG
— The Mild Watch (@AdonMoss) November 14, 2021
In his 905 debut, Banton was all alpha-doggy-dogg. Whole dominance. His dimension, velocity, size, and end overwhelmed Westchester – regardless of, I’m certain, the complete workforce figuring out full-well what he deliberate to do.
All however one rating was exterior of the paint. He parsed defensive models like a Hadron Collider plunking in layups comfy. He additionally dished 9 assists with… checks stats sheet once more…7 turnovers. An anticipated by-product of a hyper-aggressive, risk-defying, battery-less mechanical stallion with a sudden improve in utilization (36%).
The NBA doesn’t have the identical open-door coverage. We all know Dalano’s not going to get to the rim so simply. It’s good to know that he’s not slowed by lesser competitors, nonetheless. With the G-League, he can proceed to hone his skillset and decision-making, enhancing his jumper (he was 1/3 from three; 0/3 from past 4ish ft) and limiting the turnovers (see under).
Isaac Bonga’s excellence over two video games, too, ought to be much less shockworthy. He’s solely 22, however it’s his 4th yr within the league. In 2018/19, he averaged 12 factors/7 boards/3 assists within the G-League. It ain’t his first rodeo.
Similar factor applies. We wish to see if Isaac can impose his will upon the sport. He’s caught round on this roster as a result of (A) his physique and skillset matches the precise prototype of the Raptors’ imaginative and prescient and (B) he’s an autonomous playmaking unit – not like Dekker or Ish, who have been roleplayers with singular functions.
In his first two video games with the 905, Bonga’s averaged 24/8/3 and a couple of.5 shares on 80% efficient area targets and 58% 3-point capturing (7 makes an attempt/recreation).
Like Banton, he’s operated as a main playmaker (21% utilization) pushing the tempo, attacking relentlessly, and utilizing his size and top to complete in site visitors. He additionally had a 1:1 help to TO ratio, which, once more, is widespread for a much bigger playmaker with increased utilization who’s not as accustomed to assembly a defence at its focus. The few assists he did full, although, have been high, together with a well-timed lob and a dribble-into-a-cross-court-one-handed move.
The distinction from Banton is Isaac’s capturing. If he can preserve that type of a clip, and present constant defence, Bonga’s going to be a Raptor for a great whereas.
David Johnson is the nice shock of the three. He was unnoticeable in Summer time League, which isn’t shocking for a late second-rounder on the backside of the “let’s see what you bought” record. With the 905, he’s displaying one thing.
In 33 minutes a recreation, Johnson’s averaged 18/4/6 with 3 shares. He appeared assured as a playmaker, executing passes with out hesitation and discovering “extra-level” targets (just like the move to Bonga on the 25 second mark and the no-looker to Banton at 42 seconds). He additionally confirmed some work out of the decide and roll using his bum (large fan of bum work) to seal off the defender and a pleasant mid-range floater.
If it weren’t for his abhorrent 3/14 from 3-point, DJ’s area purpose share can be astronomical. Good indicators! His incapacity to hit from afar is what dropped him to the 2nd spherical within the first place. Should you sense a pattern right here (good participant/unhealthy type), then you understand DJ’s on the proper path ahead.
5. Raptors Republic’s New Kickass G-League Podcast
If you wish to hear extra [and better] perception on the 905 go try my colleagues’, Kelsea O’Brien and Duane Discover’s new podcast, Westside Tales: A G-League podcast – produced by Zarar Siddiqi.
First episode’s already within the archives(?), library(?), music…field…?
I dunno, simply go have a pay attention.
6. Dwell Mic
Talking of Audio/Video, I’ve been on a little bit of a scored earth rampage with how unhealthy the native asserting crews could be (sorry, Alvin, however…nevermind) throughout the league.
I don't imply for folks to lose their jobs. However some #NBA native broadcasts are HORRIBLE. Theyre outdated, conservative, whiny, and inaccurate. Nuggets broadcast known as Dillon Brooks: Corey Dillon. You wish to enchantment to subsequent gen; can't have 68 yr outdated white males doing color evaluation
— The Mild Watch (@AdonMoss) November 2, 2021
Extra proof for wholesale native broadcast alternative https://t.co/hXOXmzjgkT
— The Mild Watch (@AdonMoss) November 9, 2021
I used to be struck with an answer watching the Raptors play the Pacers a number of video games again. Undecided how or why – I’d guess the Raps broadcast was too near the bench – however all through the sport you can hear the bench speaking loud and clear.
It’s what you’d count on:
“Journey!” the bench yelled on the refs.
“Helpside!” the teaching workers reminded Boucher (no shock there ) .
— Chris Boucher (@chrisboucher) November 2, 2021
Hear rigorously, under. You’ll be able to hear Pascal exclaim, “Goddamn…Large Dogg (?)” after Svi’s fastbreak cram.
Simply think about what else we may get.
That is the reply to all our issues. I’ll hearken to some evaluation … if it’s good. However I’d slightly soak up the chatter.
I wish to hear the coaches holler in-game alterations. I wish to hear what benches say each time a nook three goes in and the man capturing it seems to be again in contempt. I wish to hear the collective celebrations, the person frustrations, the scheming, the inspirations, the trash discuss, and the whole lot else that these guys need to say.
Shit, they already incept our lives exterior of basketball: dumb Instagram posts, disgruntled Twitter replies (poor, Sahal), and 6 seasons (!!!???) of actuality TV.
Why not share what they’ve received to say about basketball?
Beats having outdated Johnny McMiserable on the horn reminiscing about how foul callin’ ain’t prefer it was once again when gamers may physique slam each other after which go have a smoke and a steak at halftime.
7. Even When It’s Incorrect, It’s Alright
I really like our rookies. All of us love our rookies.
(Should you don’t love our rookies, you’re useless to me).
There’s no want to elucidate why. Scottie Barnes and Dalano Banton’s fast development and success is astonishing and unexpected by principally everybody besides the Toronto Raptors group.
You count on rookies to make errors. To not solely miss the proper determination, however to go for the unhealthy one. That’s usually a consequence of velocity and being overwhelmed by the general dimension and athleticism of the NBA. It’s why some gamers take 3-4 years to blossom.
It’s additionally what makes Scottie and Dalano so distinctive. Even their errors – they common 2.3 and three turnovers per 36 minutes, respectively, sixth and seventh amongst rookies – are high-level.
Many are the extraordinary, foolish rookie turnovers: barrelling into costs, travelling, misreading a play, or getting caught within the air heaving a hopeless move.
Others are extra superior. Scottie and Dalano share an oracular imaginative and prescient, seeing performs formulate forward of schedule. The next turnovers come up from the place they anticipated their targets to ultimately be, however by no means arrived.
They do do it otherwise, the 2 of them. Banton’s brash and unafraid to place himself – and the defence – in uncomfortable conditions. His velocity and shocking probes make up for his poor jumper. His sophistication is in seeing and selecting when to benefit from a compromised defender. His errors come from overcomplicating the act. You’ll that particularly so within the first and third clips under, the place a floater would have been the right determination:
Barnes is much less daunting, extra methodical. Performs unravel and he awaits the optimum level of trade. Issues come up with supply or the receivers’ preparedness.
These are good issues to have. Endurance is less complicated to amass than notion. Once they and their targets do join, Barnes and Banton look nicely past their years as creators.
8. Adalanovanced Stats Banton
That is beginning to grow to be a Dalano Banton article (examine Mat Issa’s precise Banton article). Arduous to not write about him when he’s dashing down the court docket like Hermes.
Let this soak in.
Of rookies who common a minimum of ten minutes a recreation and performed a minimum of ten video games this season, Dalano Banton, per 36 minutes, isssss:
1st in efficient area purpose share
1st in true capturing share
4th in participant effectivity ranking (undecided why ESPN has 2nd-year guys as “rookies” )
4th in offensive ranking
sixth in Participant Influence Estimate
sixth in help share
sixth in rebounding share
seventh in web ranking
eighth in offensive rebounding share
eighth in complete RAPTOR
twelfth in utilization
Shucks, Masai, you gone an’ dunnit once more.
9. Basketball’s a Metaphor
Generally, in basketball, a play says a thousand phrases. You inform me what you see:
Skip by means of that lane … @filayyyy can be proud 🥲 pic.twitter.com/79NYKGTwSN
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 16, 2021
I’ll let you know what I see: tenth man, Malachi Flynn, with the ultimate seconds melting away within the third quarter insisting (twice) that main scorer, OG Anunoby, throw a display screen his approach. OG obliges. Flynn proceeds to disregard the semi-open OG rolling and calling for the ball. Flynn strikes on, rejecting a subsequent Birch display screen. He drives, fails to see [read: ignores] an much more wide-open OG, once more, calling for the ball, and snakes a positive end on the buzzer.
Consequentialist interpretation: 2 factors. No drawback.
Moralist interpretation: Flynn’s self-righteous and rejects all that’s the Toronto Raptors. Drawback.
In fact, I infer way more for the drama. OG most likely thought nothing of it. The 2 of them most likely had a giggle after OG skunked him in a spherical of cribbage on the flight to Utah. Flynn’s most likely in love with the brand new Raptor technique and, fortunately, awaiting his few alternatives to get extra reps.
Or the one factor he’s excited about that complete sequence – 24/7, for that matter – is…fuck’em all.
10. Extra Barnes Again to the Basket, Please
He posts up as soon as a recreation. Scottie does.
Small pattern dimension, to say the least, however, to date, he scores 1 level per possession there. That’s higher league echelon.
I need extra. The Raptors want extra.
I’ve stated it earlier than and I’ll say it once more. Extra.
Scottie offers coaches trigger for an Ativan prescription. Guards are too small and bigs too sluggish. He has the court docket imaginative and prescient of a top-passing guard and super end in, round, and over (all of us noticed what he did to Domatas Sabonis) the rim too.
He additionally already makes chop liver outta the brief nook. As a Raptor drives, Scottie gravitates in the direction of the rim for a dump move or a rebound. Again and again, once more, he’s milked it.
(That’s only one recreation).
All of it beggggsss for extra put up play. You see how simple it’s for him already.
I don’t know if you wish to name all of those post-ups – Barnes appears to thrive off somewhat momentum. However you get the purpose. He’s wholly unpolished and nonetheless devouring. Wait until the doubles come and his passing involves energy.
And, buddies, expensive buddies, think about, only for a second, if you’ll, a Barnes who hits fadeaways, like he did in opposition to James Harden in that final clip, on the common…gooooood evening, see-ya-later, hullo momma, hullo daddy, right here comes the massive cash, we’re going off to the Large Present.
I think about dumping it right down to him with a winding shot clock, a easy drop-step baby-hook after a few arduous dribbles into the defenders stomach. Nada más. Even when he doesn’t get the ball, he’s in prime place for offensive glass poundage.
I perceive the hesitation. Birch and Achiuwa are the bigs. Issues may get crowded.
Possibly…simply perhaps…this results in a dialog of Barnes coming off the bench. I really feel sick have typed these phrases, I gotta go lie down.
Reminder: bench stinkkkkksss. Insert Barnes and Flynn/Banton, run some P&R, as I inspired final week, after which begin hammering it down low with Scottie.
Worst case situation, Boucher’s reverse nook ready to fling…unhealthy instance….
10 issues I dig and don’t dig in regards to the Toronto Raptors originated on Raptors Republic.