Raps Lead NBA by 4 Games

As of this exact moment in time, our Toronto Raptors lead the NBA by 4 whole games. With 8 wins in a row, they're a perfectly symmetrical 10-2 at home and 10-2 on the road.

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jj

This brings me great joy! But I temper my joy, for all that glitters is not always gold.

Also, I wait for Raptors Devotee to hit me with the wisdom *waits*

December 3, 2018 @ 9:52 AM

Justin

The Raptors are looking like they'll easily beat their record of 59 wins in a season, set last year. The only question is by how many. They're currently on pace for 68. An NBA team has won 68 games or more in a season only 6 times in league history. The current Warriors and MJ's Bulls have both done it once.

It's early, a lot can happen between now and April, and I don't want to get ahead of myself and be a total homer, BUT...this Raptors team at least has the *possibility* of being historically good.

December 3, 2018 @ 11:15 AM

jj

Justin - but are we good because Nurse is good? Or we (the players) just mesh very well? I am blown away by Kawhi, but Danny Green! Amazing stuff, every night. I am also so sad for Demar, this season is not too hot for the Spurs :( sigh!

December 3, 2018 @ 12:19 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The Raps are deep, have Kawhi who is as good as advertised, is playing Ibaka at his proper position where he's enjoying his best season in forever, is reaping the benefits of Pascal Siakam's rise and, good ol' Kyle Lowry is quietly having his best season, ever. Oh yeah, and Danny Green has been a pretty sweet surprise. And I haven't even mentioned JV!

Team is deep, and good, and Nick Nurse seems to know what he's doing. We're a couple of bounces from being 22-2 to start the season.

December 3, 2018 @ 1:01 PM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee

jj, that is a ton of pressure, you are bringing the heat, as Mike says when I sometimes ask his guests a tough question and not a friendly "warm me up one".

I already tweeted back to Mike this morning as follows: Very smart to do that Mike, as the schedule gets real tough this month, so our winning % will take a hit, which is fine, as the games are all about working things out for rotations and chemistry, and we are finally almost healthy again with Norm back shortly.

I do not want the Raptors to be historically good, if it means what happens to us repeats itself, like playing FVV to try and get a stupid 60th win and get hurt and ruin our chances in the playoffs last year. Look at what happened to Golden State trying to break the Bulls record for all-time regular wins as they went for it. I am convinced that they would have won that year and now be going for their 5th in a row had they just ignored it.

Having said that, there are advantages to having the #1 seed in the conference for home court, and even for the league itself to get home court in the Finals, which is the bigger prize. The way that playoff matches go and seeding and how you are locked in, sometimes it can benefit you not to finish first, but the way the east shapes up, we should have Boston, Philly, and Milwaukee as legitimate contenders for us.

The real revelation this year is how Siakam has made not just the next step forward, but 2 or 3, and is easily the most improved player in the league right now. He is so valuable not just to the starting rotation but to help the bench out, as of late, Nurse is using him in that role since they are so underachieving this year, giving up huge leads.

Kawai and Green are beyond clutch, and know what the regular season means. If they can help get us to this record so far, even with a fairly soft schedule, I can only imagine how they will perform in the playoffs when everything is magnified. That level of calm, which takes the pressure off of Kyle, is invaluable, plus the Raptors have overall more playoff experience than anybody in the east, even if it has meant losing to LeBron seemingly every year.

Let's not worry about any so called statement games, just enjoy the regular season, and I want Nurse to have a whack of plays to introduce for the playoffs that work against our opponents, and also to get the rotations and chemistry set.

As you all know, I have been lobbying for moving DeMar and firing Casey for years, and to see Masai do both and bring in Kawai, even for one year to me is worth it, and Nurse has shown he is not intimidated by the stage, and is going to thrive in it. His ability to use 2 for 1's alone has endeared him to me!

Stay healthy, practice well, but note that our depth only matters in the regular season, Playoff time there is a ton of rest between games, and you will see the bench shortened because you can!

December 3, 2018 @ 1:34 PM

jj

TM - so why can't we keep a lead to save our lives?! :P Your points are excellent and true.

I also love Nick Nurse a little more because of his blue jacket from Friday night. If I could add the heart eyed emoji, I would!

December 3, 2018 @ 1:35 PM

jj

Brian - I ask you the tough questions, because I love your detailed responses. I can see how much better we are without DeMar and Casey, as much as I loved them both. It's great to have so many options, and see Siakam grow- and there is so much more of the season to go!

Stay low and build is I think the summary of your post, and we can reap the rewards come post season.

December 3, 2018 @ 1:49 PM

Urooj Islam

We've been through 5 years of this already. I'm not interested in meaningless regular season win totals anymore or how they set a new franchise record for wins every year over the last handful of seasons.

It's Finals or bust for this team and if it's bust then maybe it's time for a scorched Earth rebuild.

December 3, 2018 @ 2:07 PM

Dawn Keibals

All is nice and rosey BUT what is done in 2018 is just playoff positioning.
What is done in Spring/Summer 2019 is the money shot !

December 3, 2018 @ 3:26 PM

jj

Urooj Islam - but 5 years with Casey and Demar. I feel like this is different, but also I can imagine a lot of people feel as you do.

Dawn Keibals - let's get through this season and post season first! But that time is a good time spring/summer 2019!

December 3, 2018 @ 3:44 PM

Neil Clarke Warren

Since It seems to be the 'In' thing to do for free publicity I would like to make the following announcement :

This Wednesday morning I will be travelling to G M In Oshawa to meet with the workers.

Thank you

December 3, 2018 @ 4:49 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@jj

Your glass is half empty!

We're 20-4. We've kept many leads. That collapse against the Piston, however, haunts me!

December 3, 2018 @ 6:23 PM

jj

TM - Detroit for one. My issue is more we get 10-20 point leads and they are whittled away, whether the team is good or bad - why!

December 3, 2018 @ 9:52 PM

dale

Raps have played softer teams in 1st qtr. of season & now is the time to show true colours.
Tonight losing by a lot in early 4th qtr. & tie it but couldn't put the game away.
@Mike
Everytime you post about a T.Dot team with their accomplishments in a season (Raptors, Leafs, Jays, TFC) they start losing. U R a Jinx.

December 3, 2018 @ 10:27 PM

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