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Listen to That’s A Rap #59: The changing landscape of Team Canada and the NBA

For Sunday’s episode of That’s A Rap, the boys discuss the NBA’s latest proposals, as well as Team Canada and the growing number of NBA commits.

Toronto Raptors beat the New York Knicks 126-98 Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The landscape of the NBA is on the brink of some big changes. While we anxiously await those changes to occur, the boys at That’s A Rap — myself, Dre, and, Jason — decided to make a programming change of our own.

We’re chopping our hour-long episodes into two parts. On Fridays, we’ll continue bringing the latest from Raptors land, from game recaps to roster movement, and everything in between. (Check out last Friday’s episode on Toronto’s dominance over the Atlantic Division.) On Sundays, we’ll take a look at what’s happening outside of Toronto, specifically, what else is happening in the NBA.

This week was especially news-worthy with Olympic Qualifying and the NBA’s proposed changes occupying all media outlets. Let us know if you like our shorter podcasts, or prefer the older format of one weekly hour-long episode. Enjoy the latest episode of That’s A Rap!

On This Week’s Episode:

With the Olympic Qualifying draw taking place, Team Canada took over as the hot topic of the week. Jamal Murray committed to playing for the national team, prompting similar promises from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, RJ Barrett, and Chris Boucher. That may not guarantee a roster spot, but this may be the first time Team Canada will have to cut NBA players!

While some players are eager to pick up some extra games playing for their country, the NBA is looking into ways of reducing games from the season. A recent proposal by the league sought several ways in improving the quality of play and, ultimately, the entertainment value for fans.

Would a reduction in regular season games from 82 to 78 be of interest to you? Do you think the players would appreciate four less games of wear and tear? Is this possibly a first step to a larger reduction in games?

The NBA is also considering an in-season tournament. Following the model of European Soccer, the league would have a short tournament with the eight best teams in late-November. Participating teams would comprise of the six division winners, plus the next two best records. Games would not count towards their regular season records. If that would happen now, the Raptors would be in the 4-5 range, possibly matched up with the Clippers. What are your thoughts on an in-season tournament?

What if the stakes were higher but with lesser teams? The league is also considering a play-in format for playoff contenders. In this proposal, the top six teams by season’s end would qualify for the playoffs, while the 7-10 seeds would battle for the final two spots. The winner of the 7-8 game would claim the 7th seed, while the loser of the 9-10 game would be eliminated. From there, the loser of the 7-8 game would face the winner of the 9-10 game for the final playoff spot. This format increases the stakes for more teams — imagine being the 11-seed in early April on a hot streak — and is another step forward in reducing tanking.

The final proposal was around re-seeding the playoffs at the Conference Finals round. In this scenario, the four teams would be re-seeded based on their regular season record. This idea probably spawned from the 2018 playoffs when the Rockets and Warriors battled in the West finals, even though they both had better records than the East finalists, Cavaliers and Celtics. If this was instituted last season, the Raptors would’ve hosted the Warriors in the semifinals, then play on the road in Milwaukee (or host the Blazers) in the finals.

Comment with your thoughts on the these proposals. With player health at the top of everyone’s minds, the NBA is trying to adapt to the changing landscape while navigating new ways in helping their declining viewership numbers.

Finally, you might want to brush up on your team’s in-game promotions, because Jason busted out his own rendition of “Name that Team.”

1:52 - CAN, we ball?

11:35 - NBA going through changes?

12:37 - 78

14:28 - In-Season Tourney

22:08 - Wild Card

22:46 - Conference Re-seed

34:45 - Name. That. Team!