Raptors Reasonablists, Volume III, Part VI: Choose your dance partner

Title: Raptors Reasonablists, Volume III, Part VI: Choose your dance partner
Date: April 3, 2019
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 looked at which first-round playoff opponent the Raptors should most and least prefer.

Welcome​​ to another edition of​​​ Raptors​ Reasonablists with​ Eric​ Koreen​​ and​​ Blake​​ Murphy. Throughout​​ the year, Raptors staff writers Koreen and Murphy discuss hot-button issues surrounding the Raptors, but with an even-keeled approach in pursuit of finding a 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.

KOREEN: I’m declaring the 2018-19 NBA season over, Blake. I cannot pretend to be truly invested in any of the Raptors’ remaining four regular-season games. Sure, they have got three potential playoff opponents remaining — the Nets, Heat and, least likely, the Hornets — but it’s almost impossible to get a read on anything when one team has so much to play for and one team has next to nothing on which to focus. (I see you, people tracking the Raptors’ record compared to Golden State’s. If the Raptors go 3-1 in their last four, they will clinch at least the same record as the Warriors. Having won the season series, they hold the tie-breaker.)

I’m pretty sure I’m done drawing conclusions from these games altogether, aside from potentially some moments against the Nets’ and Heat’s zone defence. You cannot manufacture intensity, and both the offence and defence have looked solid enough lately that I think the Raptors are ready for the playoffs, more or less.

Saying that, the Raptors still have a realistic shot at playing four teams. As of Tuesday, four teams — the Pistons, Nets, Heat and Magic — had at least a 20 percent chance of finishing seventh and matching up with the Raptors. At the same time, finishing seventh is no team’s most-likely scenario.

Continue reading at The Athletic.

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