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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
C-mon Raptors fans fire up!!!

Game 1 is almost apon us. We need to win this game and get the season on a roll. The Wizards are on our home court, so we have the pshychological advantage here. Can they come to our arena and beat us??

We can get by with a relatively smaller lineup, as none of the Wizards big guys really scares me. Yeah, Brown has showed some signs, but pre season is preseason after all.The Wizards will rotate their big men alot against us, without getting any real contribution from them.

I expect the Wizards to line up with:

Haywood
Brown
Stackhouse
Jordan
Hughes

Yeah, I expect Jordan to start in this game. In my opinion, it just might be a smokescreen, to use him as a sixth man. For the Wizards, their way of thinking, is that no team has three backcourt defenders, to guard the likes of Stackhouse, Jordan and Hughes, at the same time. For Jordan starting, one, to get the confidence of the Wizards up to an optimum. Secondly, to stretch the Raptors defense, to ensure we do not go for double teams on Stackhouse, or Jordan.They will look at spreading us out over the floor, to create space for their backcourt to operate and penetrate.

The questions here, is do we have enough backcourt defenders to counter the Wizards backcourt of Hughes, Jordan and Stackhouse?? Remember they can also bring on Whitney, Russell and Lue to hit a three pointer when needed.

We need to cut out all the drives and the amount of cuts that these guys are going to get. Let us make sure, that they are going to shoot primarily jump shots. Stackhouse, Jordan, Russell, Whitney and Hughes, are coming off horrible shooting seasons, Hughes particularly in the past. Stackhouse struggled with his shot, in todays game against the Nuggets. So, we need to make them shoot jump shots.

Hughes and Stackhouse are turnover machines, so when they get the ball, we need to pressure them. I expect Lenny Wilkins to instigate half court traps and look for the ball to be turned over here. Remember, Hughes has not proven that he is even a decent point guard yet. On the turnovers, we need to make them pay and just run our guts out and score on transition.When we have a chance to dunk it, lets go for it and show them that we are an aggressive team and want to dominate our opponent.

Once again, I cannot see their big men hurting us, so I believe that we can get by, playing a smaller lineup. I would be surprised, if they run alot of plays, for their big men. We can also hang off their big men and look to double team their ball handlers, because their big men are not offensive threats yet, in my opinion.

Starting Line Up:

Davis
Junk Yard Dog
Peterson
Carter
Williams

Why, do I have Jerome Williams starting ahead of Bradley?? Well, it is opening night and we need to do everything in our power to get the win. We need to get out running with lots of energy.Dive for loose balls, defend, steal the ball, etc. We can get by, with Junk Yard Dog, being a smaller power forward.

Peterson, Carter and Williams, need to defend against the backcourt of the Wizards. I expect the Wizards to run alot of screens for Jordan, Hughes and Stackhouse, so our guys better be prepared to go hard and chase at all costs. If Peterson, or Carter is getting lit up, we can alter the lineup and insert Bradley at the 4 and shift Junk Yard Dog to the three, to lock down the hot hand, if required.

Our big men need to cut off the drives and the key. The Wizards, will no doubt look at creating space in the lanes, for their guards to wheel to the rim, so we need to counter that plan. If they are going to lay it up, we need to be aggressive and make them earn every drive to the hole, to deter them in the future.

On offense, we need to get as many easy looks for Carter,Peterson and Murray as we can. Our big men need to post some hard screens and we need to free up the key, so our guys can drive, and draw some fouls.

I would, on offense, look at drawing up some plays for both Davis and Bradley. These guys can hit the 15 footer. What this play will do, is force the Wizards big men out of the key to defend our big guys. This will also reduce their chances of getting the rebound, so we have more chances to score.

I believe that the Wizards are a suspect defensive team. So I back the likes of Carter, Murray, Hunter, Williams, etc to be able to score enough for us to win. Like I said, we cannot get into a shootout with these guys. Because, their guys can score in bunches, when hot. We need to get aggressive and force them to shoot jump shots and make them eat up alot of shot clock in their offense. We need to make them panic and I believe that we will get the win on opening night and fire up our season!!!

Comments on our first game of the season??
 

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I like the Raps chances in this one. Vince shuts MJ down. Last year, Vince played the mose intense defense of his career against Jordan. There will be no need to double team. Jordan cannot do his thing against Vince. Mo Pete will play well against Stackhouse. Jerry can post him up, so if Peterson prevents penetration, Stack will be forced to make jumper. He won't. Also, I think Toronto has the small advantage up front (even though Kwame Brown is probably the best 4 or 5 on either team).
 

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We've got enough defenders to matchup.

Alvin, Hunter, Jackson, Carter, Peterson and JYD. No worries on this end.:vbanana:
 

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The Wizards are much improved this season from last season. VC has everyone's number so that shouldn't be a problem. I expect Jordan to not start but finish.

Starters:

Hughes
Stack
Russell
Brown
Haywood

Expect this lineup at the finish of the game:

Hughes
MJ
Stack
Oakely
Brown

I think the Wizards will win this one. VC will more than likely get his, but with very little in the middle, the Raptors can't take advantage of the relative youth of Washington's frontline. Davis primarily being an outside/in post player. VC played well in early quarters against the Wizards but didn't finish it out. However, the Raptors really have no answer to the Wizards backcourt trio.

Getting them to shoot Jumpers is good in theory but can they really stop Stack, MJ, and Hughes from getting to the basket? Doubtful.

As for the Wizards defense, that should be looked at. They were not bad last season, and have gotten bigger and more physical this year with the additions they have made.

Good luck to the Raptors.
 

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Great post Kingofkings as usual.

MOP dominated Stack in last years playoffs (exspecially the last 3 games) Carter has allways faired well against Jordan and I expect VC to start out the season with a bang (although not the 50 points he predicted)

I like how the Raps match up against the Wiz so I'm predicting a Raps win. Although I feel the wiz will have the better record when the season is said and done.

GO RAPS GO
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Like I said...

I back our backcourt to be able to cover the Wizards guns. We proved that we could handle Jerry Stackhouse in the playoffs last year. In the 5 game series, he scored only 16 points per game and shot 30% from the field and 25% from three point land. We also made sure that he only went to the free throw stripe only 7 times per game, which is still reasonable for Stack. We doubled him, intensley and made him give up the ball and forced the Pistons to look at other areas to score.

We blocked up the lanes and covered the possibility, that he could just drive the lane whenever he wanted. So, I back our team to cover the impact that Stackhouse will have for the Wizards.

I also have no doubt that the Wizards are going to target Davis and try and get him into foul trouble.One, as he is our best big man and best interior defender. So I expect that the Wizards guards, just might look at driving hard at Davis and forcing him to give up some cheap fouls, in the process.

As I said before, the Wizards big men will not have any impact on this game and I stand by that. One, the backcourt of the Wizards all need to have the ball in their hands to be good players for the Wizards. I always stress this point. They are all going to want to get their looks and want to create. This is why the Wizards big men, will not have any impact on this game. I mean, the Wizards will have to start an offensive attack from the perimeter ,as their big men are not developed enough to have plays drawn up for them, as yet. I just see them scoring off put backs and offensive rebounds, which we need to counter and be wary of.

If we make this game a grind, we will win. Just like we matched it with the Pistons in the 5 game series last year, without our best player and number 1 offensive option, in Carter. Making sure that we reduce the number of shots the Wizards get, I back us to be able to hold them down and score enough for us to win.

I mean, I will be very surprised if both Stackhouse, Jordan, Hughes and Russell are able to coincide at the same time. Stackhouse is going to jack up alot of shots, in this effectively being a contract year for him. You might not think that this is an issue, but it just might be at the back of his mind. Sure, some people say he changed his game last year, but he had both Cliff Robinson and Williamson, to take some scoring load off him, last year.

The Wizards back court, all need the ball to have an impact on the game, as I have said before. As long as we can force them outside and to hit jumpshots, their poor shooting percentages will come into play and we will win!!

Is anyone going to this game, or going to watch it with some friends?? I am throwing a party in my dorm with a few friends, to watch us open our account against the Wizards!!
 

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I think you are underestimating the frontline of the Wizards.

Haywood is a legit 7 footer and Kwame is 6'11". If you look back to last year, you will see the Wizards pretty much held the inside game. Oakley will have some incentive to put some hurting on the Raps as well.

Hughes, Stack, and Jordan are all going to the basket. You are right that they are perimeter players by position but MJ will play in the pinch post. Hughes and Stack will penetrate. As the fouls mount, they will either get easy baskets or dish off to the Bigs. The Wizards will get an impact performance from a big either offensively, defensively, or on the boards.

I don't believe the raptors have the size, defense, or depth to stop the Wizards. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wizards front line

I think we will hold our own here. Antonio Davis has been fighting out of his weight division all his career. He is one of the strongest big guys in the league, pound for pound, for a 6'9 power forward centre. Your big man core of Haywood/Brown are both second year players, who really have not shown much. Granted Haywood, did show some signs last year.

If we need to go bigger, we can also start McCoy at centre and Davis at power forward. Then, with Davis on Brown, I back him all the way. Davis will just out body him and get him out of position. He will make sure that he is out of the play and a non factor. This is what he does best.

McCoy is a 6'11 centre with sound shotblocking skills. He is just the athletic, big body that we need. All we need from him is rebounding, solid defense, boxing out and post some hard screens. Nothing more. Can he stop Haywood?? Not an issue, because, once again the ball will rarely be in the big men's hands.

Stackhouse does not give up the ball very easily. When he gets the ball, he just does not shoot instantly. He like to get his man off the dribble, assess his options and get to the rim, or if not, fire up the jumper. Will Jordan, Stackhouse and Hughes, pass to their big men, once everything goes on the line on opening night??

You also talk about post up plays for Stackhouse and Jordan, if so, where will your big guys be?? They will be out in the high post, because Stack and Jordan need room in the post, to score and operate from post up plays.They will be non factors.We will use alot of switching, if these plays start to be a problem.

No-one fears Oakley anymore. As a Raptor fan, we want him playing plenty of minutes. He has hardly played much preseason games, so he might be a little rusty. This guy has lost alot of steps in his game. He had a disaster in Chicago. Say what you want about Tim Floyd, etc but Oakley is too slow now and the players that he will be defending, are just too athletic and faster than him. Sure he still has some strength and I would be surprised if he did not give up some hard fouls in the process.

Anyway, the big men will not be deciding this game, I can assure you of that. Lenny does not coach that way. The big men of the Raptors are complimentary to our backcourt. Whoever can contain each respective backcourt, will win. I ask you guys this, who on the Wizards can stop Carter, Peterson and Williams from getting to the hole?? Alvin Williams loves to drive and penetrate and he will do alot of this in this game. Once again, I back our guys in. I back our scorers to put some numbers on Stackhouse, Hughes and Jordan, no doubt!
 

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The big guys have their roles in the offense. You are correct that when MJ is in the post, you will probably see kwame in the High post and Haywood on the opposite block, hence a triple-post/pinch post offense that the Wizards run.

I can't comment on Jelani other than to chuckle a little if you think he is going to match up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Michael Bradley...

I forgot about this guy. He has been our best player so far in the preseason. He has been by far, our best rebounder and post player so far. I see him being a factor in this game. He is 6"11 and can score from most positions. In the game against the Bulls, he posted 12 rebounds in the first quarter and 16 for the game.

He is a guy that the Wizards will need to guard against. Because if you choose to double against Vince, or Mo Pete, he will shoot, if open. But, I see him as being a decoy on offense. Lenny will have him up high, leaving space in the lanes for Carter and Peterson to drive to the hole and operate on offense.

Bradley just needs more confidence and he will have a great year.We also have Junk Yard Dog, one of the best defenders in the game. He can guard anyone from the point, to the power forward position.

Our big men have more playoff and big game experience in Davis and Junk Yard Dog, to Haywood and Brown. Down the stretch in a tight game, which I will predict, our guys will play the percentages and just do what they know is right. They will just play the basics. Can your young big guys do the same??

Also, McCoy is just there to block the middle and prevent penetration, that will no doubt happen. Hopefully, he gives up his 6 fouls in the process, stopping the Wizards backcourt from wheeling to the rim.This guy is very strong and fearless. He never really got a chance on the Sonics and the Lakers, as they had Baker and Shaq, but he seems to be very determined.

I really think that Haywood and Brown are lazy players. Haywood, especially was in College. All we need to do, to make them non factors is to keep needling them, out bodying them, out positioning them and just going at them hard and with everything we have. Their NBA inexperience will be in our favour.Do they both have enough fire in the belly to take it to us?? How many times did I read last season about Brown not giving 100% to the Wizards?? Has this changed, or will it flare up again?

All in all, we can post 1 million theories about this game. But so what, the season is starting soon!!
 

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i completely agree with your assertion of michael bradley.he appears to be a confidence player lacking confidence and let me tell ya,the difference between hitting your shot and missing is confidence.he was married in the off season and i think he realises that once his rookie contract is up he may not have gainful employment in this league, if he doesnt step up.so the options are simple, work his azz of and make an impression or go play in europe.defending and being a rebound junkie can only lead to spotting up and finding his mid range game,which is always the last part of the puzzle,example, keon clark.he found his mid range game late last season and thats when he was at his most valuable.lets hope bradley can put it together and be our sleeper off the bench,we need him.
 

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I fully expect the Raptors to remain the one dimensional team the Wizards beat last year especially with Antonio Davis' horrible summer, plus he is a year older, and the fact that the Raps best big man was let go without so much as a fight.
 

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one dimensional in what respect, all vince all the time.not this year son.vince being out last year for all that time made the raptors realize that ball is truely a 5 man sport.vince is gonna dunk on jordens dome and jelani is gonna clothesline old man oak and make kwame look silly,jyds gonna shut down jerrie,mo petes gonna make nelly wish hughes wasnt in his video and ad has to atone for his stellar play this summer.im going off.
 

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Seriouly, outside of VC, who do the Raps really have? JYD? Please. You are hyping McCoy and Bradley? You sure you want to do that? Mo Pete? Antonio Davis showed the type of player he was at the World Championships.

Just a one man team, and that man showed lsat year that Jordan owned him. Maybe VC can hold off the laughter until after the final buzzer in a loss this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Who do we have??

One guy who is going to go off is Morris Peterson. As I keep saying, all we need to do is to make this game into a scrap and your shooters will just keep clanging shots like they usually do.Peterson killed Stackhouse in the playoffs last season and will run your defenders ragged on offense. Our guys just do not stand back and watch on offense, so we will target and hone in, on your suspect defensive players.

Just check out the shooting percentages of Stackhouse, Hughes, Russell and Jordan last year. Like I said, we kept Stackhouse to 30% shooting in the first round playoffs last season and to 16 points per game. We are going to force your shooters to shoot jumpshots and see if they have even improved their shot this year.

All respect to Jordan, but I am encouraged in the fact that he is going to have to jack up 25 shots per game, just to get 20 points,as he did numerous times last season.Jordan needs to be judged on the player that he is today. We will run at him.

Lenny has talked about upping the ante on defense in this game and we will play this game on our terms. The Wizards are coming to our home court and no way are they going to just come in to our arena and blow us off the court. Who is going to stop Carter and Peterson?? Stackhouse, Hughes?? Please.Carter is fit and firing and ready to go. Can Bryon Russell stop Carter?? No

When the heat is on, like it was in the playoffs last year, Stackhouse gets found wanting, in games whereby the intensity and the pressure builds. We are going to play tight tough man on man defense. Stackhouse is your #1 player and will be all season. We are going to target him, becasue he is a suspect player.He will shoot you out of games and will turn the ball over at crucial and critical times. Yeah, thanks Jerry for the win!!
 

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BCH.yer dreamin.face it.michael jordan is a parody of his old self.stackhouse is gonna have flashbacks of his miserable performance in the playoffs against the raptors last year.hughes is blinded by the bling bling and is still playing embarrased from his pitiful performance at the slam dunk comp 3 yrs ago,he couldnt handle the pressure of a dunk comp,hugh sucks.old man russell and oak>retire pls...vince is healthy,and hes pissed,hes got the same attitude as when he was on the olympic team,and does evryone forget who the best player on that team was,yup VINCE CARTER.washington isnt going anywhere this year except for the michael jordans 5th time retirement party.go preach how well the wiz are gonna do to washington fans theyre the ones who need convincing.RAPTORS BLOW OUT WIZ -read the headlines.
 

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i find it amusing.everyone outside of toronto and being fans of the raptors think vince fell the fuk off.he played far to long on one knee last season.and people think his skills have diminshed?wtf.these are people who have never had ligaments torn or muscle strains or physical ailments.basketball is the hardest sport on the joints and playing injured you never really have focus other than that twinging accompanying pain.been there done that.i spent the whole summer getting smoked by my good friend whom id owned on the playgroung my whole life.why?i snapped my ankle dunkin on him 14months earlier.and it hasnt healed.so to all you haters hatin on vince when your watching him on the highlites and the victories start piling up stay off the band wagon we dont need any of u.
 

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I'm backing BCH is this dabate. Not just because I am a Wizards fan but because of the improvement we have made to the overall team:

Haywood - a year more experience and also this is early in the year. Last year he peaked early and faded. This year he should have made the adjustment. Good weak side defender.

Brown - Much more confidence, has gotten stronger and has worked on his footwork. Good weak side defender

Etan Thomas - He will be one of the sleepers this year. Workhorse type player that does not try to do too much.

Hughes - Tremendous upgrade over C Whit is almost every category

Stack - improvement offensively (Rip not a #1 guy). Defense is better than Rip also. Gets to the line. We will deal with the turnovers.

MJ - won't have to carry the entire load like he did last year which is a tremedous positive. He will not start to begin the season.

Russell - upgrade from T. Nesby

Oak - if you want to get rough

Our only set-back was losing Popeye Jones.

Forgive any typos as I am typing fast.
 
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