Monday, Feb 6, 2023

With trade deadline near, upcoming stretch could determine Raptors’ direction

Whatever happens between now and the first week of February won’t change one simple fact: The Toronto Raptors have a job to do. And the trade..


With trade deadline near, upcoming stretch could determine Raptors’ direction

Whatever happens between now and the first week of February won’t change one simple fact: The Toronto Raptors have a job to do. And the trade deadline approaching and the uncertainty that comes with it won’t make the schedule pause, the standings change or the task at hand get any easier.

The Raptors begin what is arguably the most challenging stretch of their season, and almost certainly a two- or three-week period when the trajectory of the team and even the franchise could be altered.

Which is all well, good and understandably the topic of conversation, but it doesn’t change the fact the Raptors are hosting the NBA’s best team — the Boston Celtics — on Saturday and then the surprising New York Knicks on Sunday.

Or that on Tuesday they’ll fly to California for a 14-day, seven-game road trip.

The Raptors are widely thought to be the team that could be “the first domino” in the trade market, as a league source put it recently, but precisely what direction the club decides to go is yet to be determined.

Which leaves the players left to do their job even while who they’ll be working for or working with or where they’ll be working is an open question.

“We just have to focus on the task at hand … we’ve got to focus on winning games,” said Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, a potential free agent who is among the prominent players who figures to have his name bandied about in trade speculation. “I think if you just lock in on that it kind of blocks out everything else. …

“In my seven years going through it, you realize there’s nothing you can do about it. The better you play and the better your team does, the lower the chance anybody getting shipped out of here. If you [crap] the bed you set yourself up for anything to happen. So we’ve got to control the controllables.”








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Which is the issue. The Raptors are coming off a three-game road trip that encapsulates why they’re looked upon as possible, and maybe likely, sellers when heading into the year they would more plausibly be buyers, hoping to enhance a playoff push.

The Raptors are capable of some great stretches of basketball and have a core of players who could help almost any team in the league. But they don’t seem to put games together, and certainly not stretches of games.

The Raptors came back in the fourth quarter and won in overtime against the Knicks in a game they almost gave away multiple times; they scored 130 points and lost against a Milwaukee Bucks team that was short Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton and gave up 128 points and an 18-point lead to a Minnesota Timberwolves team playing on the second night of a back-to-back without Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Raptors rank 30th in the NBA in opponents’ effective field goal percentage and — even after a week in which the Raptors averaged nearly 124 points a game — remain 30th in their own eFG.

They’ve lost plenty of games they could have, or perhaps should have, won and rarely seemed to luck into a couple of wins here or there on off nights that good teams often do.

“There’s been a couple of times this year that we just didn’t compete,” said VanVleet. “But we’ve had tough luck, some injuries. I think we lost somewhere between like eight games by less than [three] points or something like that? [Toronto is 2-8 in games decided by three points or less], so those are all toss-ups.

“[But] there’s definitely too many of the games where we just didn’t compete. Like coach says, you get one of those every once in a blue moon, but we’ve had too many of those.”













The decision-makers are watching. Raptors president Masai Ujiri has been to see the presumed No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, Victor Wembanyama, play multiple times. Similarly, the Raptors have had eyes on the expected second pick, Scoot Henderson, and the other top prospects in what is considered to be a top-heavy draft class.

They’ll be prepared if the season keeps careening off course. The question is if they decide to nudge the process along by trading key roster pieces for young players or future picks.

For VanVleet and his teammates, all they can do is wait.

“I mean you got to be able to adapt to the situation and look at what’s in front of you and make a decision,” he said. “But our management has definitely proven themselves and they deserve the trust and patience of anyone that we’ll right the ship sooner than later. Progress and development and all of those things aren’t always a straight, linear rocket ship. It’s up and down, it’s all around.”

Before the season started, it would have been hard to imagine the Raptors being at this stage: where they have to contemplate breaking up their core. But after 46 games that scenario seems almost more likely than bringing back a group of players who haven’t been able to improve on last season, and who will be up for some lucrative contracts this year and next.

“We got something here. You know what I’m saying? It might not look good, like what everybody wants it to look like,” said VanVleet, who is averaged 32.3 points and 8.3 assists while shooting 50 per cent from the floor and 48.4 per cent from three on the Raptors three-game road trip. “We got hot the last year [the Raptors were 23-23 after 46 games last season and finished 25-11 to end up with 48 wins and the fifth seed] and changed everybody’s expectation for what this group could do this year, rightfully so.

“We haven’t answered that up until January. So we got a couple of months to figure [stuff] out.”



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By: Michael Grange
Title: With trade deadline near, upcoming stretch could determine Raptors’ direction
Sourced From: www.sportsnet.ca/nba/article/with-trade-deadline-near-upcoming-stretch-could-determine-raptors-direction/
Published Date: 01-21-2023

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the name the Toronto Raptors' official mascot?

The Toronto Raptors are a NBA franchise which was established in 1995. They play their games in Scotiabank Arena.

Raptor, the giant red dinosaur that is the Raptors' symbol of loyalty, is Raptor. Raptor was introduced to the Raptors in 1995. He entertains fans at home with his acrobatics, slam-dunks, and other tricks. Raptor also appears at community events and charity events throughout Toronto. He was awarded the NBA Mascot of the year award in 2019 for his many years of dedication to the Raptors. Raptor is a beloved figure in Toronto and around the NBA, making him one of the most recognizable mascots in professional sports. Raptor has become an international symbol for Canada's basketball fandom.

Many across the country and in cities all over the country agree with Raptor's enthusiasm about his team and its supporters. With Raptor leading the way, the Raptors have become one of the most successful teams in the NBA, winning their first championship in 2019. This win was a significant milestone for basketball fans across Canada and Toronto. Raptor continues being a source to pride for all Raptors. Raptors pride will never end. The Raptor is still around! Go, Toronto Raptors!


What was your favorite year with the Raptors?

The 2019 championship season was the Toronto Raptors' greatest year. It was a memorable and thrilling season for the Raptors. This was their first ever NBA Championship. Kawhi Leonard was named Finals MVP after the team posted a record of 58-24 during the regular season. They defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games to take home the title.

The Toronto Raptors replaced Bryan Colangelo, their then-general manager, with Masai Uriri in 2013. This was a major change for the franchise, and would lead to a new era that would see them one of the most successful teams in the NBA.

The Raptors experienced a revival under Ujiri. They reached the playoffs for the first-time since 2008, and were back in the top five Divisions. They have won five Division titles since then. Their most successful regular season was in 2018. Ujiri also made an unorthodox but successful trade in that year, sending DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Raptors had an incredible 2019, winning their first conference championship, and reaching the NBA finals. They conquered the Golden State Warriors in a total of six games.

Ujiri’s tenure with Raptors has been a tremendous success. It is worth recognizing him as the one who changed the team’s fortunes. The Raptors are now among the best in the NBA and look poised for greatness for the future.

The 2019 Raptors championship season will always be remembered as one among the best in their history.

Ujiri as well as the Toronto Raptors must continue to build a culture that supports their players, staff and players. This team's future is bright if they continue to strive for excellence. The 2019 championship season has set the bar for Toronto Raptors, and it's up to Ujiri and his team to continue building on this success.


What does "We The North” mean?

The Toronto Raptors use the anthem "We The North", also known as We The North Nation. It was written by Drake and Noah Shebib, a producer.

Drake wrote the song at his Toronto apartment with a friend. Drake finished his album Take care with Kanye West. Drake also wrote some lyrics about his hometown during the recording process. Drake wanted it be representative of all Canadians. The song talks about unity, pride, and hope.

Drake began to work on the melody for We The North after he went to London to film the video for his single "Nice For What". He then recorded the instrumental version in one take.

While Drake was writing the lyrics for the track, 40 came up with the chorus. After hearing the hook, Drake thought it sounded like a great idea and asked if he would record it. They worked together to create the final product.

The official music clip for "We The North Anthem", released on October 5, 2018, was made public. It featured Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes performing along with Drake and other musicians.


What was the Toronto Raptors first season?

The Toronto Raptors lost 21 games in their first season. The 1995-1996 Toronto Raptors' inaugural season in the National Basketball Association was the first season for the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors were one of two expansion teams that joined the league that year, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies. This was also the first NBA-level season.

Isiah Tom, an All Star point guard and a Detroit Pistons legend was named the team's general manager. He was a key contributor to the draft that resulted in Damon Stoudamire being named Rookie of Year. They also acquired Tracy Murray and Oliver Miller in separate trades. Thomas introduced a new primary logo featuring a dinosaur playing basketball, and pinstripe uniforms that featured the logo on their jerseys. The Raptors have added purple and red colors to their colour scheme.

Brendan Malone, new head coach for the Raptors, made his debut on November 3 against the New Jersey Nets at SkyDome. The Raptors lost their next seven contests.

Murray was second in scoring with 16.2 points per game. He also led the team with 151 three point field goals. Miller contributed 12.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 stoles to the team. Robertson contributed 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and four assists per game from the bench.

Despite having one of the worst records in the league, attendance was very good, as they averaged over 17283 fans per game at SkyDome (now Rogers Centre).


What was it like to be a Toronto Raptors fan for the first year?

The Toronto Raptors' first season in the NBA was a difficult one. Brendan Malone was hired by Isiah Thomas to be the head coach. The team quickly acquired many talented players through drafts and trades. They won the Chicago Bulls' game once that season, but their overall record was 21-61.

Toronto drafted Marcus Camby (Rookie of The Year) in 1996. Camby joined the Toronto starting line-up along with Alvin Williams at guard. Damon Stoudamire was traded later in 1997. Toronto made more roster changes over the years to ensure future success.

Despite all of these changes, the team struggled through its first few seasons in NBA. Toronto lost the 2000 series to the New York Knicks after a period of rebuilding and transition.


Who owns the Toronto Raptors?

The team is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). MLSE also owns the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, MLS's Toronto FC, the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, the AHL's Toronto Marlies, and the Toronto Rock lacrosse team.


Statistics

  • By 2018, estimated the Raptors were worth $1.4 billion, 12th in the NBA. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • This improved during the 2006–07 regular season to an average of 18,258 fans (13th in the league), 92.2 percent capacity at the Air Canada Centre. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • This improved during the 2006–07 regular season to an average of 18,258 fans (13th in the league), 92.2 percent capacity at the Air Canada Centre. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • This improved during the 2006–07 regular season to an average of 18,258 fans (13th in the league), 92.2 percent capacity at the Air Canada Centre. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • After Thomas attempted to execute a letter of intent with Slaight to purchase the team failed, he resigned from his position in November and sold his 9 percent stake in the team to Slaight. (en.wikipedia.org)

External Links

globalnews.ca

raptorshq.com

thestar.com

basketball-reference.com

How To

How to get a Toronto Raptors authentic jersey

If you're a fan of the Toronto Raptors, there's nothing quite like owning an authentic jersey from the team. The authentic jerseys are made from high quality materials and have the exact same design and cut as the ones worn by the players on the court. Whether you're looking for a modified version or a replica, there are a few ways to get an authentic Raptors jersey.

The official Toronto Raptors web store is the best and easiest option. There are many options available for jerseys for children, adults, and men. You can also choose from alternate, home and away designs to ensure you get the look that you are looking for. The store stocks a variety of accessories to help you complete your Raptors gameday look.

The Toronto Raptors team shop is worth a visit if your goal is to find something special. Here you'll find a wider selection of jerseys and other team merchandise, including limited-edition items like autographed jerseys.

If you want to purchase an authentic Raptors jersey online, you will find many sellers who specialize in it. Be sure to do your research before buying from an unknown retailer. You might also be interested in special discounts or promotions that could save money.

A Toronto Raptors jersey is more than just an item of clothing. It's a symbol of pride for any sports fan. The jerseys of teams are treasured items among fans. But it's not just another piece of apparel. These jerseys hold special meaning to the fans who wear them.

They represent excellence in basketball. These jerseys are beloved by fans because of the way they have watched their players grow up and become superstars.

In addition to watching the game, fans enjoy seeing the players play in person. Fans are able to feel a connection to the athletes by seeing them in action.

Toronto Raptors jerseys can be a great way for players to show their support and enjoy the game's action.

Here's how to get a Toronto Raptors authentic jersey

  1. Visit Official Stores and Retailers - To purchase a Toronto Raptors jersey, you should visit an official retailer or store like Nike, Adidas Fanatic, Mitchell & Ness, Fanatic, Mitchell & Ness, or Nike. These items can be purchased at any sports shop.
  2. Look out for authenticity - Each item should be accompanied by a certificate. You should ensure that the jersey is authentic and includes the correct player numbers and name. Also, make sure to check if there are any stickers or patches. Also, check if there is any damage to the jersey.
  3. Buy online - If your team doesn't have an authorized store nearby, you may be eligible to buy your jersey online. Make sure the seller offers free shipping
  4. Wait for your item - Once you have received your jersey, take good care. Do not wear it outside. Only use it to view the game. It should never be washed.