The first full week of games is in the books, which means we have just enough data to make ridiculously early assumptions about the league! A great indicator of success is if a team places in the top 10 in both Offensive and Defensive Rating. Last season, four teams met that criteria — Bucks, Raptors, Celtics, Nuggets — all of which hosted a first-round series.
This season, only three teams meet that criteria — Lakers, Raptors, Suns. This can only mean two things: each will finish as a Top-4 seed, and the Raptors are definitely repeating as champions!
All jokes aside, Toronto has played as well as you could hope against several playoff contenders... and the Bulls. Check out the latest episode of That’s A Rap!
On This Week’s Episode:
For Halloween, the Raptors decided to trick Dwane Casey into thinking his team had a chance, and treat Toronto fans to an ol’ fashioned beatdown. Pascal Siakam continues his ascent into superstardom, OG Anunoby is living up to the All-Defense hype as the only player in the top 10 in both steals and blocks, and Kyle Lowry is showing no signs of post-championship hangover or post-extension-signing letdown.
It should be noted this episode was recorded on Wednesday night, immediately after the Raptors game, but before any of us were tuned into the Warriors game. That’s all I’ll say about that. At the 10:10 mark, find out why.
If there’s one glaring concern, it’s how Nick Nurse is using his bench. He isn’t! Norm Powell and Serge Ibaka are the only reserves in regular rotation. Nurse has only given significant playing time to one other reserve in each of the first five games. Call me crazy, but Lowry leading the league in minutes played may not be the best idea for a 33-year-old point guard with 13 years of mileage.
The rest of the league has been nothing short of highly entertaining. The Miami Heat have been scorching out of the gate, without Jimmy Butler, and led by two rookies. Phoenix has already defeated the Clippers and Warriors - on the road, no less. Speaking of Golden State... yeeesh!
The physical brawl that happened between Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns on court, and subsequent diss fest off the court, has created quite a stir around the league. Was Ben Simmons really a peacemaker or should he also have been suspended? What did you think of Embiid’s actions/words after the game? Is he being childish or is he allowed to boast because he actually does own KAT?
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be an NBA GM, check out the NBA Live League. From managing a team’s salary cap to navigating the ins and outs of trade/player exceptions, I feel lucky to have the opportunity and give this a try. While you probably don’t care about my fantasy team, the sign-up form sparked some interesting discussion. Do you remember your ICQ number or AIM username or MSN email address?
Setting: Halloween house party
Guest list: Toronto Raptors
Attire: You decide! What costume would be suitable for any of the Raptors?
2:40 - More like Detroit Piss-tonnes, amiright?
10:10 - Eerie premonition
12:15 - Is it a rotation of only two players are being rotated in?
18:00 - Rest of the League, after one week
24:00 - KAT / Embiid fallout
30:30 - NBA Live League
43:50 - Toronto Raptors, but in costume form