Bad Boys, Bad Boys
The Toronto Raptors remind me of the ‘Bad Boy Pistons’ who won back-to-back championships in 88′-89 & 89′-90′ seasons. The beauty of the ‘Bad Boy Pistons’ is that they were always playing for the name on the front of the jersey not the one on the back. Isiah Thomas was quoted during Bill Simmons – The Book of Basketball 2.0 saying
“The secret of basketball is that it’s not about basketball.”Isiah Thomas
Isiah meant everyone wants more: more money, more playing time, more shots, and more limelight, after you have won a championship. The Pistons were able to win those championships with no player averaging over twenty PPG and they thrived off their defense. Isiah learned this from looking back at the Celtics – Lakers rivalry, because they learned how to maintain success. It wasn’t about getting players with the best talent on your team. It is about getting players that are talented and willing to buy into the importance of team. Most basketball statistics today center around evaluating players against one another, over capturing their effect on a team. They have stats like PER (Player Efficiency Rating), but it doesn’t always consider the intangibles, for example, effort & leadership.
The Raptor Report is Repeat
The Raptors believe they can repeat as champions. Every game Lowry and Siakim will maintain their averages and have their dominant impact, that’s why they’re All-Stars. On any given night it can be any Raptor being the difference maker. The other starters alongside the emergence of Norman Powell, fill in the battle-tested core of the Raptors. They are eerily similar to the Bad Boy Pistons, because of their team-first mentality and toughness.
The Raptors carry a chip on their shoulder as the reigning champs, which is unusual. The Raptors success all thrives off their defense. They currently hold the same regular season record as they did last year during their championship run. The Raptors and Bucks are the only teams that are top 5 in both DEF and OFF efficiency (when Raptors starting line-up is healthy). Many don’t believe the Raptors are title contenders, and the doubters are going to be in for a rude awakening AGAIN.
Record Breaking: ATL vs. TOR
Kyle Lowry passed Jose Calderon in All-Time Assists as a Raptor. Lowry knew that passing Calderon in the assist category is something special and gave him a heartfelt shout-out. Final Score: Raptors 130 – Hawks 114
It was an emotional home game for the Toronto Raptors. They paid tribute to the great Kobe Bryant and if the score board ever hit 8, 24, or 81 it would light up in purple. The score only hit 81 and it was special seeing purple lights as a continued Kobe tribute. It’s very fitting as Kobe’s 81 point master piece came against the Raptors on January 22nd, 2006.
Greatest Raptor of all Time
Kyle Lowry has become the greatest Raptor of All-Time. There have been players that may have been more talented in the past, but none rival his leadership. Lowrys stats, his elite basketball IQ, and the fact he is a champion solidifies him as top Raptor. Lowry’s toughness is the engine that drives the ‘Bad Boy Raptors.’
- Kyle Lowry is #1 in Assists – 3,771
– passing Jose Calderon on Tuesday who has 3,770
- Kyle Lowry is #1 in Steals – 790
- Kyle Lowry is #1 in Three Pointers Made – 1,327
– next best is Mo Pete who has 801
- Kyle Lowry is #4 in Points (soon to be #3) – 9,336
– soon to pass Vince Carter with 9,420
- Kyle Lowry is #6 in Rebounding – 2,581
Lowry also leads in many other categories and there has been multiple years where he has taken more charges in a season then multiple teams! He always holds a high standard of assist to turnover ratio at almost 4:1. All-Star who lays his life on the line is a great depiction of the character of Kyle, as not many multi-time All-Stars would do that. In my opinion the greatest basketball attribute of Kyle Lowry is his basketball IQ. He is the pillar of a true point guard on both ends of the court, and truly is a floor general.
Bad Boy Raptors are Going Streaking!
The Bad Boy Raptors finished January with a 10 game winning streak and a record of 12-3. They started off February with a dominant win against the lowly Bulls. Their current streak is at 11 games and they have a tough home and home with Indiana (playing Wednesday the 5th & Friday the 7th). This streak is tied for the longest in franchise history. Toronto won 11 straight in January 2016, and again in a stretch between Feb-March in 2018. The Raptors are 6.5 games back of Milwaukee and a solid 2 games ahead of the 3rd place Celtics and 4th place Heat.
The Raptors medical staff are back to being busy. The Raptors missed Marc Gasol for his 3rd straight game, and Norman Powell, who broke his finger on his non-shooting hand in Friday’s win at Detroit. Both Raptors are more then just key contributors and unfortunately are out indefinitely. Another notable injury is to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who is day-to-day with an ankle injury, as a result, Nick Nurse reminded the media that they have been through this before.
The next-man up mindset is the Raptors motto and will rely heavily on their rookie Terrance Davis, second year Chris Boucher, and veteran Serge Ibaka. With the Raptors All-Stars healthy, every game they play will give them an opportunity with enough talent to compete and win. There is no need for Coach Nurse to hold back as the week long All-Star break is around the corner.
CHECK IT OUT!
By: Dan Chandran
Lets Go Raptors!
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