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

Toronto Raptors: 3 two-way players who could be the next Yuta Watanabe

Toronto Raptors: 3 two-way players who could be the next Yuta Watanabe

The Toronto Raptors have placed an emphasis on player development over the last few years, and the Raptors two-way contract pipeline has helped Nick Nurse make another permanent addition to the roster in the form of Yuta Watanabe. The Japanese forward made an impact as a defender due to his long arms and boundless injury. […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 two-way players who could be the next Yuta Watanabe – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Pros and cons of making the playoffs in 2020-21

Toronto Raptors: Pros and cons of making the playoffs in 2020-21

The Toronto Raptors have struggled to stay afloat this season, causing the “tank” talk to undeniably take off. It seems like the Raptors’ tank job is stull in full swing despite the recent success, seeing that they have “rested” key players in their lineup and have had no issues playing their young guys. Nick Nurse […]
Toronto Raptors: Pros and cons of making the playoffs in 2020-21 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Chiu / Raptors HQ

Why this Leafs loss wasn’t close to the David Ayres game

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs have won that game? Sure, but they didn’t. A lot can be said about how the Leafs should’ve thrashed the Vancouver Canucks since they’re coming off their bout with COVID-19. Really though, the Canucks played a hell of a game.
Braden Holtby stood on his head (playing like a Vezina-winning goaltender), Bo Horvat scored two key goals for the team, and the Leafs just were unlucky. I’m okay with this loss because Toronto played good. They were not bad at all. Sometimes losses like this just happen.
Here are more of my thoughts — in video form. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

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

Fixing the Leafs powerplay

In the past 16 games the Leafs have scored on the powerplay exactly one time. They’ve had 38 opportunities in that time. They’ve been outscored on the powerplay having given up two shorthanded goals during that time. I’m pretty sure we can make the argument that if the Leafs did nothing, the powerplay would eventually improve beyond 2.6% effectiveness (coincidentally Taylor Hall’s success rate this season as well), but our crew here at TheLeafsNation.com has some ideas that might fix it quicker, and beyond simply bringing it above rock bottom.
Here they are:
Ryan Hobart:
I’ve always been an advocate of having inverted wingers on the power play. I think you need a presence behind the net as well, so your net front role and your “bumper” role shift down to be a behind the net and front of the net combo. The behind the net player sets up the one timers for the inverted wingers or dishes to the point if they’re covered. The net front and behind the net players are both down low to clean up pucks and maintain possession. It’s a bold strategy as you’re very deep in the zone, …

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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

What do the new guys bring to the team?

The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Leafs have made a few moves to help beef up their roster. While they didn’t go for any big names, it was very clear that Kyle Dubas had a very specific need he wanted to improve up front, and that’s what he looks to bring in with the acquisitions of Nick Foligno and Riley Nash.
With that, I’m going to dive into both players and what kind of role they can play on the current Leafs team. This won’t be evaluations on the trades themselves, but if you want my thoughts in very few words, the Nash trade was sneaky good, and the Foligno trade was a bit of an overpayment, even though I like the player. I won’t dive into Rittich because we already have an article on the way for that.
Nick Foligno
At age 33, expecting Foligno to be the power forward he once was would be setting yourself up for a disappoint. He hasn’t had more than 20 goals and 35 points since 2016-17, and even then, he only ever had seasons of that calibre three times in his 14 season career, and was mostly …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors mock draft: Raps lands Duke star Jalen Johnson in consensus mock

Toronto Raptors mock draft: Raps lands Duke star Jalen Johnson in consensus mock

The Toronto Raptors mock draft plans have started a bit earlier than usual in this laughably unlucky season, as Masai Ujiri is likely staring down a Top 10 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Players like Arkansas’ Moses Moody, Kentucky’s Isaiah Jackson, or Duke’s Jalen Johnson could all end up north of the border. Johnson […]
Toronto Raptors mock draft: Raps lands Duke star Jalen Johnson in consensus mock – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ