What a difference one year makes! (Let alone two.)
Last year, I was a guest on the Let’s Go Warriors podcast — first time ever hearing about Zoom — and talking about how disappointing Golden State would be with the newly acquired Andrew Wiggins while the defending champion Raptors were heading towards another deep playoff run. Life certainly comes at you fast!
We invited Daniel Hardee and Thomas ‘Dr. Tom’ Bevilacqua to help preview the Raptors-Warriors matchup on Friday evening. This was a really fun episode covering everything from Kyle Lowry slander (from the Warriors folks, obviously) and Draymond Green praise (from the Raptors folks, surprisingly). Check it out and make sure to comment with your thoughts below.
In This Episode:
4:25 — Catching up with the Warriors
In an odd development, the Raptors, after following the Warriors’ lead and capturing a championship, appear to be following their Bay Area counterparts again. Last season was a lost one in Golden State with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson out. The Warriors ended up in the lottery and picking the ideal big, James Wiseman, to grow in Steve Kerr’s system. With a lost season in Tampa, are the Raptors headed in the same direction?
4:25 — Maple Jordan has arrived
Is Wiggins a comparable or [gulp] better 3-and-D player than Pascal Siakam? With Wiggins playing the best ball of his career and Siakam unable to string together consistently good performances, it’s not a question many have pondered but one that may gain steam if each player continue recent trends.
26:30 — Playoff & draft outlooks
With the Warriors currently sitting in a play-in game position and Curry returning from injury, it makes sense that Golden State do their best to make a playoff run. The Raptors, on the other hand, have a very intriguing opportunity where losing may actually benefit the franchise. The draft class is filled with franchise-altering players, the Raptors have glaring roster issues that weren’t addressed at the deadline, and zero fans are wasting their money at Scotiabank Arena watching a lost season. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but that sounds like a recipe for tanking.
35:00 — What it sounds like when doves cry
The losses, however, are not what Raptors fans are used to. The negativity surrounding the team is new territory for the bandwagoners who joined during the championship run and for the core players who’ve mostly seen success until this year. Surprisingly, our Warriors compatriots are experiencing similar reactions to Golden State losses (“Fire Steve Kerr” is apparently the growing slander). NBA fanbases: the real life Spiderman meme!
53:25 — Reviewing the Powell trade
Norm Powell’s trade was a bit of an eye-opener to fans outside the Raptors organization. While we didn’t get around to discussing Norm’s tear-jerking love letter to Toronto, we did briefly go over why the trade was necessary and why the return was better than originally thought.
1:00:00 — Raps-Warriors game preview
Oh right, there’s a game tonight! With so many Raptors out (Lowry, Rodney Hood, Patrick McCaw, Jalen Harris, and Paul Watson), in addition to two empty roster spots (three if you count Aron Baynes), does Toronto have any shot at upending the Warriors? Will Golden State’s propensity to turn the ball over feed Toronto’s strong transition game? How many offensive rebounds will Wiseman corral? Does a Toronto victory help because it worsens Golden State’s record (Raptors own the Warriors 2nd round pick this year)? Or does a Toronto loss help because it worsens their own record (#FadeForCade)?