1) Teams are well coached and well preped to meet the Raps this season. They are surprising no one.
2) The team seems to lack that defense intensity from last year. Offence is going well but no one is playing D with a chip on their shoulder. Admittedly the D intensity also "let down" from about April last season as well...but
Is it a case of "Raps fans should be satisfied" or concerned:
~ Just win baby is all that matters ?
~ The warning flags are out ; the team needs to pick up its socks?
They have beaten teams they were supposed to beat. I think we could have won against Miami if Dwade hadn't gone beast after his previous terrible game.
But they definitely are not playing as well as they were at their peak last year. The first quarter has been terrible. Yesterday in the second half I was much more impressed with the D and ball movement. DD was terrible for the most part though. He was all Rudy Gay with his ball stoppage and jacking of terrible shots.
Sometimes he needs to acknowledge that he has an excellent defender covering him and he should be looking to create for his teammates.
1) It's too early for this thread. Let's give it a month or at least till the end of 2014 to decide if were happy with the direction. Yes, I do agree that there's some red flags about our defense (I don't know if we'll be Top 10 in defense this year), but were down 2 of our starting front court players.
2) Again, nobody sneaks up on anybody in this league. Everyone is scouted. You either come out and be prepared to play or your going to lose.
3) DeRozan did have an overall bad game, but he did make some key passes and I wish he passed it more because he was getting some of his teammates wide open looks, making good drives just didn't finish. I'm concerned only in the fact that I have yet to see him play a "great" game from him so far overall. Lowry's last night was a perfect example and that was coming off one of his worst games as a Raptor. Really need to see him get more consistent as an overall player.
4) There's home stand coming up tomorrow and there's 3 tough tests (Washington, Chicago, and Memphis) and 4 against 4 of the worst teams of last year (Philadelphia, Orlando, Utah, and Milwaukee). Got to go at least 5-2 in this scenario, but hey... go for the sweep.
I know Washington came off a back to back at Indy but this game was really impressive vis a vis expectations.
It may be too early for this thread but at least we saw a glimpse of what could be this season.
Washington wasn't on back to back, had the night off Thursday (did have a back to back on Tuesday-Wednesday). They didn't have Beal/Webster so that hurt their 3 point shooting, but they weren't going to take a victory away from the Raptors even if they did play.
Really impressive win last night. The D in the first half was completely dominant. JV looked really good defensively. Paul Pierce is done. I can't believe people thought he would be a competent replacement for Ariza and they wouldn't take a step back. Their bench is really old. I laugh that the american media placed these jokers ahead of the raps in standing predictions.