Title: Raptors Reasonablists, Volume II, Part V: The ‘Bebe-and-a-second’ trade deadline edition
Date: February 5, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: Eric Koreen and I will be doing a semi-regular email exchange column about the Raptors, dubbing ourselves The Reasonablists. The latest edition looks ahead to this week’s trade deadline.
Welcome to another edition — and another year — of Raptors Reasonablists with Eric Koreen and Blake Murphy. Throughout the year, lead NBA writer Koreen and regular contributor Murphy discuss hot-button issues surrounding the Raptors, but with an even-keeled approach in pursuit of finding reasonable middle ground. If we have faith in anything, it is that reasonable middle grounds lead to: a) workable long-term solutions; b) increased empathy and understanding for others; and c) more wins — at least more wins when they truly matter — probably. We hold these truths to be self-evident, and we hold these truths to be good truths. Note: the Raptors Reasonablists podcast, usually recorded early in the week, will be recorded after Thursday’s trade deadline this week.
KOREEN: Big, big few days coming up, Blake. On Tuesday, the Boston Try-hards, fresh off a comeback win without Kyrie Irving over Portland on Sunday, come to visit the Raptors for the first of three remaining matchups between the two teams. The Will Huntings — without Irving — won the first meeting in November by a single point. Since then, the Marky Marks and Raptors have established themselves as the two top teams in the Eastern Conference, at least in the regular season. Boston is two games up on the Raptors, who are five-and-a-half games up on the Cavaliers (net rating: minus-0.4 points per 100 possessions per game; it feels good to laugh) for third place in the conference. That is a bigger cushion than the Cavaliers have on ninth place heading into Monday’s game.
Basically, the remaining games between these two teams (March 31 in Boston; April 4 in Toronto) will go a long way in determining which team finishes first and which team finishes second in the conference. In terms of getting the most desirable opponent in the first round, the value of finishing first is an unknown, since seeds three through nine are such a jumble right now. (As we sit here today, the Raptors would play the Heat in the 2-7 matchup, with the beat writer in me wagging his tail in excitement.) In terms of getting as many games as possible at home — the Raptors are 21-4 at home and 15-12 on the road, while the Celtics have a much more balanced record — getting that top seed is obviously crucial.
Continue reading at The Athletic.