RaptorsHQ 2013-14 Media Roundtable Part II

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The RaptorsHQ Media Roundtable rolls on...

What's this, yesterday's Part I of our Media Roundtable wasn't enough for ya?

You want more questions and more answers?

(Insert Slick Rick voice)

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere we go...

5. RHQ: Finish the sentence. The 2013-14 Toronto Raptors' season depends on...

Michael Grange: ...Kyle Lowry

Ryan Wolstat: ...what kind of offers Masai Ujiri gets for his players.

Eric Koreen: In order of importance: 1. Masai Ujiri's vision; 2. How much value the trade market yields for the starters; 3. Whether or not Tim Leiweke gives Ujiri total control; 4. Health; 5. The global ambassador's Q rating.

Duane Watson: I can't agree enough with Eric's first point. I would follow that with; Dwane Casey getting this team back to playing defense again.

6. RHQ: Speaking of Mr. Casey, does he make it through the season? And if so, is he the head coach to start the following Raptors' campaign?

Ryan: All signs point to he'll be given a choice not pushed out when the revamp happens. I say yes and yes.

Eric: I'll say yes and no. So long as the defence does not collapse again, he'll be given a legitimate shot. But I think Ujiri will ultimately decide to alter the roster, and find a coach who fits with those alterations.

Mike: I think so ... Expectations for this group are modest enough it will be hard to miss the mark by so much that it's a coaching issue and if they rebuild it can't be hung on Casey. And lastly if they do rebuild more likely they keep Casey as a sacrificial lamb.

Duane: Yes, he stays through the season. But like Eric says, Ujiri is (re)building the franchise in his vision and ultimately, if his vision calls for a different coach, or Casey is unable to be that coach, there will be a parting of ways. I only think that happens closer to completion, or if Casey no longer can get this team to perform.

7/8. RHQ: How many games do you see the Raptors winning? Is it enough for a playoff spot?

Eric: 39, and no. They will be right in the mix with Detroit, Washington, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Atlanta. But I like a few of those teams a bit better, especially in terms of their depth.

Mike: 29 and no ... They will attempt to tank but too late to make up ground on the dedicated tankers. Tank fail.

Ryan: If they keep the gang together... 38 wins. if they break them up in January, subtract 10. Grange's tank fail would be a disaster scenario, and very Raptor-like.

Duane: Looks like I'm the optimist here with 40 wins and a playoff appearance. Of course the bottom half of the east all have legitimate shots, but it's a crapshoot and I feel the Raptors can slip in. To tank you have to pull the trigger early, or you're doing it half-as like Grange said. I don't think Masai is pulling the trigger that quickly and will ride it out.

9. RHQ: #Tankfail, love it. And yes, it would be quite Raptorsy to end in that manner.

What about you folks personally as media, what are you looking forward to most this season, either versus last season or just in general?

Ryan: For the plan to start rolling into action, whenever it does. Also, in general, seeing Derrick Rose live again, he's an incredible athlete and I'm not sure anyone else in league is as impressive up close.

Mike: I am probably most excited to see how the young Canadian contingent continue to find their feet in the league and also if LeBron can continue his ascent.

Eric: As a long-standing KDphile, I'm very interested to see 1) How good Durant and Westbrook are in their first playoffs together without Harden; and 2) whether Durant eventually scales the heights LeBron has reached. Also, I'm curious to see how fan bases react to their teams' blatant tanking, although early on in the year, the Sixers are doing their best to ensure I never get a good answer to that.

Duane: As Grange said, definitely excited to see how the Canadians perform, in addition I feel that there are going be some new teams in the NBA Finals this year, which will make for an interesting season. I've waited all summer for some NBA action, just glad it's finally here.

10. RHQ: Awesome folks, we'll end it on this: If you were to pick a song, or album, to represent the 2013-14 Toronto Raptors' season, what would it be?

Duane: "Them That's Not" by J-Live, you can take what you want from the song title, but the tempo of the track is more significant here.


The song starts off slow, progressively speeding up, even too fast at one point, then evens out to a normal pace and closes the track slowed down as it started. The parallel to the season is a calm, confident start, where winning and losing streaks and a possible trade make everything get hectic (sped up), the team finds it's groove, they make the playoffs and lose in the first round and back to ground zero, to the calm, slowed down ending.

Ryan: Strictly Business by EPMD.

Whatever happens, it's a business. Masai is going to do what he's going to do (to borrow a gem from Tyler Hansbrough), no time for feelings.


Meanwhile, Lowry and Gay in particular are going to have a very business-like approach to the year with thoughts of new contracts in their heads.

Eric: Unsatisfied by The Replacements.


No matter what happens this year, a subsection of raptors fans are going to be ... Well, you know.

Mike: Hear Me Roar, Tim Leiweke remix.

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