Toronto Raptors: Now would be the most painless time to tank

Toronto Raptors: Now would be the most painless time to tank

As a team, the Toronto Raptors have been straddling the line between the mediocre and the downright bad. The Eastern Conference is divided into three subdivisions. At the top, we have the true title contenders, namely the Nets, 76ers, and Bucks. Each could conceivably win the East, each could conceivably win it all this year. […]
Toronto Raptors: Now would be the most painless time to tank – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Raptors are even failing to pull off the dignified tank

The Toronto Raptors are even failing to pull off the dignified tank

The 2021 NBA season has been a rollercoaster ride for Toronto Raptors fans. After a flailing start, the Raptors looked to be coming back into form, only to immediately be ravaged by COVID-19. Since then, it has been much more of the former than the latter as Toronto has struggled to even keep up with […]
The Toronto Raptors are even failing to pull off the dignified tank – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 1 small change that has Gary Trent Jr. dominating

Toronto Raptors: 1 small change that has Gary Trent Jr. dominating

Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors might’ve been led to a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, their third consecutive win, by a dominant Chris Boucher, but Gary Trent Jr. did his part in his return from a sore ankle, as he dropped 23 points, grabbed five rebounds, and amassed five steals. Trent, who has […]
Toronto Raptors: 1 small change that has Gary Trent Jr. dominating – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Marlies and Me: New additions in Suomela and Noesan, COVID, and progress from Robertson and Liljegren

Unfortunately the Marlies have been placed out of commission and into COVID protocols by the AHL. This means that their game on April 15th was postponed and their games on the 18th and 21st will follow suit. The league still has not given an update on when these games will be played. They also have not given reason to why the team was placed on the protocol list in the first place.
Due to his close proximity to the Marlies, Robertson was placed on the NHL’s COVID List. After going through the appropriate measures he was removed from the list on April 15th. 
Leafs 2019 draft prospect Mikko Kokkenen has joined the Marlies on a professional try out. His quarantine should be done by the time the team is up and running again. He’ll be a great defensive add on to this team. Being here will allow him more of an opportunity to develop his skills while his team in Finland is in its off season. 
At the deadline the Leafs acquisitions that are headed for the Marlies include Stefan Noesen and Antti Suomela. Noesan had 8 points in his last two seasons with the Sharks. Suomela currently has 15 points …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

William Nylander removed from NHL’s COVID list

Maple Leafs forward William Nylander has been removed from the NHL’s COVID list and is now eligible to rejoin his teammates. Nylander has been out of the Leafs’ lineup since April 6th after coming in contact with a potential positive case but it was reported by Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston earlier this week that, to his knowledge, Nylander had not returned a positive test result of his own.

William Nylander is officially out of COVID Protocol. He’ll dictate his own return to the #leafs lineup based on fitness, according to Sheldon Keefe, and the team has just gained an extra practice day before playing Vancouver.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 16, 2021

Head coach Sheldon Keefe stated on Friday that it will now be up to Nylander to determine when he is ready to return to game action following his absence. The Leafs were originally scheduled to face off against the Canucks on Saturday but that game has been moved to Sunday, giving Nylander another day to get back on the ice with his teammates before taking part in an actual game.
Read more about the changes to the Leafs schedule here:
Changes to the Leafs schedule announced

The Leafs have gone …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays hit the road to Kauffman Stadium, a place of shadows, to deal with the Royals

It’s been quite some time but watching baseball in Kansas City fills me with a combination of anxiety and dread. I get flashbacks to bloops singles, random overachievers hitting dingers, and runners getting stranded on third. As always, fuck the Royals.

How they’re doing…
This is obviously a very different team than the one we, unfortunately, knew from 2015. That’s the case on both sides.
The only major Royal left from that World Series team is Sal Perez. Jarrod Dyson left for a few years and is now back, the same goes for Wade Davis. Danny Duffy is also still around, though he wasn’t a big part of the 2015 team. Nobody from the 2015 Blue Jays is still around, but one player on the roster faced Kansas City in the playoffs. I’ll let you guess who it is.
Anyways, enough about the 2015 Royals, let’s talk about the 2021 Royals, a team in purgatory.
Kansas City is 6-4 this season and there aren’t really any real expectations for them to compete with Minnesota and Chicago for the American League Central. They have OK pitching and a ho-hum offence. The Royals rank above league-average in terms of runs …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How did rival teams do at the deadline?

There’s been a lot of talk about the moves the Leafs made at the deadline, and all the new players they will be bringing in, and why not? They’re players we haven’t seen on the Leafs before, and it’ll be fun to see what kind of impact they make.
But, the Leafs rival teams also made some additions as well, some bigger than others, but if the Leafs want to go on a deep run, it’s good to know how their biggest competitions improved. There was a bit of a trend within the division as it seemed like the Canadian teams didn’t really want to go all in when they didn’t feel like they could beat the Leafs, and outside the division the bigger teams only made a couple big acquisitions.
Montreal Canadiens
The Habs made their biggest deal a few weeks before the deadline by bringing in Eric Staal for a 3rd and a 5th, but they also made a couple smaller moves this week by bringing in Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson to beef up their blue line a little bit. Staal bring a bit of extra scoring touch to the …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The Curious case of Benjamin Hutton and what he brings to the Leafs

It seems like Ben Hutton becoming a Leaf has been a long time in the making. Hutton has always been one of those defensive defensemen that avoids scrutiny from the numbers crunchers by being a solid shot suppressor, and one that actually plays minutes. In fact, over his six year NHL career, Hutton averages just under 20 minutes a night at 19:48, and he’s been playing 18:31 on average this season as well.

Looking at Ben Hutton, in all situations over the past couple of years, he’s excelled. Last season he was in the 55th percentile of all skaters, and this year numbers have slid marginally, but still show him to be a capable third pairing defender. While Hutton isn’t an overly physical player, he’s not lacking in that ability, and given his defensive, and penalty killing usage, he’ll certainly be a shot blocker on the point.
One of the things that certainly stands out from the numbers on Hutton is that he is certainly underpaid in comparison to what he does, and that’s a big reason why he was targeted for the Leafs. Toronto’s blueline has enjoyed an incredible run of health this year (*knocks …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Playing Daryl Morey’s style of basketball hasn’t been working

Toronto Raptors: Playing Daryl Morey’s style of basketball hasn’t been working

The Toronto Raptors have been an offense-driven team in the last few years, as Nick Nurse’s philosophy hinges on efficient shooting from beyond the 3-point line and tons of movement without the ball. The style of basketball pioneered by Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets, which emphasizes 3-pointers and easy shots at the rim, has […]
Toronto Raptors: Playing Daryl Morey’s style of basketball hasn’t been working – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Weird Weekend in Dunedin! The bats finally wake up, Tanner Roark gets relegated to the ‘pen, and more!

Has there ever been a more welcomed rain-out in Blue Jays history?

The Blue Jays series with the Angels came to an end early on Sunday when the finale got postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a double-header when Toronto heads out west in August, but the Blue Jays will play as the home team on the road.
Now, look, you generally don’t wish for a Sunday afternoon baseball game to get rained out, but I don’t think many of us wanted to see what happened when Tanner Roark went up against Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon. That simply wouldn’t have ended well and the baseball gods spared us.
Also, shortly after it was announced that Sunday’s game would be postponed, we learned that the Blue Jays are activating Robbie Ray from the 10-day Injured List and that be taking Roark’s spot in the rotation.
This news is certainly surprising but in a good way. Roark, as we know, had a nightmare season in 2020 but there was some reason to believe that it was the result of not having a normal spring training to get warmed …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation