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middeljohn Nov 5, 2015 3:54 AM

Basketball in Canada
 
The other sports have threads, so I'm starting one for basketball.

Fresh off beating the Thunder in OKC on a second night of a back to back, the Raptors are now 5-0. In the 12 years watching the Raptors, this is the best I've ever seen them play.

Right now basketball in Canada is bigger than ever before. 12 Canadians in the NBA. 2 first overall picks in the last few years. Many more young Canadian prospects including potential 2016 lottery pick Jamal Murray. Allstar game is in Toronto this year. We are just in the beginning of basketball heaven in tbis country.

Vince Carter was the catalyst to start the rapid growth of basketball in Canada. Now all these kids who grew up idolizing Carter have grown up and as a result Toronto is one of the biggest basketball producers in the world. A Raptors team winning on a regular basis will only continue this trend.

GernB Nov 5, 2015 4:01 AM

I'd say Steve Nash was at least as big a factor in the growth of basketball in this country. A Canadian being MVP showed people that Canadians could excel at the highest level in the sport. If Canada can qualify for Rio next year the sport will really take off.

The owners of the Montreal Canadiens have approached the NBA about the possibility of either a relocated or expansion franchise and there has been talk of Vancouver getting back in. I'd love to see them both. There will be more and more Canadians playing in the NBA over the next few years; already we have more players than any country outside the US and that trend will only increase.

Hali87 Nov 5, 2015 4:03 AM

From a few months ago...

Windsor Express win NBL Canada title after Halifax Rainmen forfeit

GernB Nov 5, 2015 4:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hali87 (Post 7223921)

The NBLC is a bush league, about on par with the old Southern Professional Hockey League. Still, surprising.

rousseau Nov 5, 2015 4:08 AM

That was a very satisfying win. I had that familiar pit in my stomach in the first quarter when they were down 14-4 and OKC were slashing through the paint and dunking at will, but these Raptors are turning into a bunch of tough, fearless sons of bitches. Seriously, they played like crap much of the game, got blocked a thousand times in the first quarter, and a couple players barely showed up (Ross, Demarre Carroll), and yet they still came back and won it down the stretch against one of the best teams in the league with two future hall-of-famers in their prime.

I've got to revisit my preseason player-by-player predictions in that other thread, because DeMar DeRozan is turning into a dependable go-to guy who can make tough jumpers and get a score when it's desperately needed. I said I didn't like his game, but five games into the season, I'm lovin' it. Mainly because this year the ball isn't dying on offence like it did last year when both he and Lou Williams were taking the air out of it. This year the offence is more fluid. Though what's also exciting is that the defence is looking solid, too.

It's still early, but if you're a fan of the Raptors you can't help but feel excited about what this season might bring. So far, they're looking good.

GernB Nov 5, 2015 4:12 AM

Derozan still takes a lot of bad shots but I have to hand it to him, he made a couple of clutch shots late. I'm more impressed by how Valanciunas has upped his game, rebounding more aggressively than last year. Joseph's hustle has impressed me also.

middeljohn Nov 5, 2015 4:16 AM

When Derozan plays within the system and doesn't force shots he looks like an perennial allstar.

Best part of this season, aside from the Raptors kicking ass, is the fact that there's a very good chance we get a top 10 pick thanks to the Bargnani trade.

middeljohn Nov 5, 2015 4:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GernB (Post 7223934)
Derozan still takes a lot of bad shots but I have to hand it to him, he made a couple of clutch shots late. I'm more impressed by how Valanciunas has upped his game, rebounding more aggressively than last year. Joseph's hustle has impressed me also.

Watching Joseph play you can tell he learned a lot from Tony Parker. Very similar styles.

Ramako Nov 5, 2015 4:46 AM

This off-season the Raptors landed their own NBA Development League franchise called Raptors905 which is now playing out of Mississauga.

caltrane74 Nov 5, 2015 5:48 AM

This team is a beast.

Better than last year.

thebasketballgeek Nov 5, 2015 12:26 PM

I would be cautiously optimistic because last year they had a great start with a 10-2 record last year. I also agree they could have gotten better as they have a new fire that's making them look fantastic. I'm mad that the raptors beat Okc because OKC was playing better for most part of the game and I'm an avid OKC/Sonics fan. I also noticed that nobody can outplay the Raptors in the fourth like they are in god mode. But remember it's a long season and the Raptors had this start last year too although I hope they will play like this for the rest of the year.

MonctonRad Nov 5, 2015 1:14 PM

You guys are slow off the mark. There's been an NBL (Canada) thread in the Atlantic Canada section for the last four years. :)

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=190591

In any event, a reborn Halifax franchise is coming into the league this year (the Hurricanes) and it is backed by a number of business people in the city, so it should be stable. There is also a new franchise in Niagara Falls this year, and Sydney NS will likely be joining the league next year.

The future of the league remains a little shaky however, ownership issues continue for the Moncton Miracles despite the fact the team has the second highest attendance in the league. Ontario franchises tend to appear and disappear with distressing regularity, with only Windsor and London being stable.

I hope the league survives. Secondary markets in the country deserve access to professional basketball too, and the quality of the play is actually quite good. With mascots and dancers, the game day experience can be quite festive.

What will really make a difference is expansion into western Canada. I know the league is looking into this as a possibility. Travel costs are the big issue I believe.

north 42 Nov 5, 2015 1:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonctonRad (Post 7224175)
You guys are slow off the mark. There's been an NBL (Canada) thread in the Atlantic Canada section for the last four years. :)

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=190591

In any event, a reborn Halifax franchise is coming into the league this year (the Hurricanes) and it is backed by a number of business people in the city, so it should be stable. There is also a new franchise in Niagara Falls this year, and Sydney NS will likely be joining the league next year.

The future of the league remains a little shaky however, ownership issues continue for the Moncton Miracles despite the fact the team has the second highest attendance in the league. Ontario franchises tend to appear and disappear with distressing regularity, with only Windsor and London being stable.

I hope the league survives. Secondary markets in the country deserve access to professional basketball too, and the quality of the play is actually quite good. With mascots and dancers, the game day experience can be quite festive.

What will really make a difference is expansion into western Canada. I know the league is looking into this as a possibility. Travel costs are the big issue I believe.

I hope the league makes it too, I think it has some promise. We have had a hard time here in Windsor filling seats in most games, as many residents are big Detroit Pistons fans and have season tickets, so it's a struggle to get them to attend NBL games as well. Attendance has grown though, just very slowly. This is just a very different market than most NBL franchises because of this.

caltrane74 Nov 5, 2015 2:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thebasketballgeek (Post 7224159)
I would be cautiously optimistic because last year they had a great start with a 10-2 record last year. I also agree they could have gotten better as they have a new fire that's making them look fantastic. I'm mad that the raptors beat Okc because OKC was playing better for most part of the game and I'm an avid OKC/Sonics fan. I also noticed that nobody can outplay the Raptors in the fourth like they are in god mode. But remember it's a long season and the Raptors had this start last year too although I hope they will play like this for the rest of the year.

If they go 10-2 this year, it's worth twice that in wins, considering more than half their games will have been on the road. Maybe even 2/3's of their games will be road games. They are gonna have a big cushion at the middle end of the season when the balance comes back.

Potentially, they could be 11-0 before they get their first loss, and we know who they are gonna lose to as well. That game is in a week and a half.

If they can beat that team (which they won't) then we'll know they are for real.

They have a tough early schedule that is for sure, but this is a tough team defensively this year, that they weren't last year.

Nobody is looking forward to playing the Raptors for sure (even "that" team)!

circle33 Nov 5, 2015 2:39 PM

I used to be a huge fan of the game but don't watch much anymore. That said I did catch the fourth quarter of last nights match. What strike me the most, other than the impressive Raptor comeback, was how moribund the OKC crowd was given how tight the game was right down to the wire. Have they always been like that?

TorontoDrew Nov 5, 2015 4:51 PM

I would highly recommend to anybody visiting Toronto or another NBA city to try to take in a game when visiting. It's more entertaining then Hockey live. I'm not even a huge fan but love going to the games.

middeljohn Nov 6, 2015 3:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thebasketballgeek (Post 7224159)
I would be cautiously optimistic because last year they had a great start with a 10-2 record last year. I also agree they could have gotten better as they have a new fire that's making them look fantastic. I'm mad that the raptors beat Okc because OKC was playing better for most part of the game and I'm an avid OKC/Sonics fan. I also noticed that nobody can outplay the Raptors in the fourth like they are in god mode. But remember it's a long season and the Raptors had this start last year too although I hope they will play like this for the rest of the year.

They had an extremely easy start to the season last year, with lots of home games and mostly against non-playoff teams or teams ravaged by injury. Every team they've played so far this year is projected to at least contend for the playoffs. Tomorrow's game aainst the Magic will be the first game against a very likely non-playoff team.

caltrane74 Nov 26, 2015 6:11 PM

And then they go lose that game! WTF?

Anyways, nice game beating Lebron last night.

Undefeated on Drake Night.

MonctonRad Nov 26, 2015 8:00 PM

The name of the new Cape Breton franchise in the NBL (Canada) will be the Cape Breton Highlanders.

Points docked for lack of originality....... :rolleyes:

middeljohn Nov 27, 2015 4:05 AM

10-6 with 11 on the road so far is very respectable, likely better than most expected to start the season. EC overall is doing surprisingly well so far.


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