I was able to watch about half of their pre-season games. While some things can be gleaned from the pre-season I am hesitate to put too much weight on it when it comes to how a team might do during the regular season.
Having said that at this point I have more questions than answers about 2010-11.
I won't list them all but here are what I consider some of the questions that depending on the answer could have a material impact on the Raptors play in 2010-11.
Listed in no particular order other than they came to my mind in this order.
1. Reggie Evans - Evans has averaged only 19 mpg for his career. Only twice in his career has he played over 1,400 minutes in a season. Twice he has played 1,880 minutes, give or take one. He has never played more than that in his entire NBA career.
He is only 30 and came into camp in great shape having lost a lot of weight. I think it was a lot more than ten pounds that he mentioned in at least one interview.
So I have no idea how many minutes Evans will log this season. 1,880 minutes for 82 games equals 23 mpg.
So my question regarding Evans is how many minutes will he play over the course of the season? Totally unknown
2. Ed Davis - Expected to be available to actually play in games sometime between late November in early to mid-December. He missed all of pre-season which for a rookie is not good. When he returns the team will be playing full bore and not having an awful lot of practices. When Davis is ready to go live he will have played in only 5 games of about 25 minutes each since Feb 2010 or maybe nine to ten months or more.
So given all of that how effective will he be in 2010-11 and will be be able to contribute meaningful minutes during 10-11? Totally unknown
3. Amir Johnson - Will he be limited to retrieving garbage for 15 mpg for the full season for whatever reason?
If Evans and Johnson only play 1,400 minutes each for the season that comes to a combined 34 minutes per game. If that is all they play where will Triano go to get the additional 14 mpg he needs at the PF slot? That assumes that Johnson and Evans don't share any court time. If they do then there could be as many as 20 minutes a game unaccounted for at PF by Evans and Johnson. Will Davis be able to play those minutes and contribute? Will Kleiza slide over to the PF for 15 mpg thereby leaving at least 30 plus minutes free at SF?
4. Can Weems expand his role and contribute more than one FG attempt a minute and a few rebounds?
5. Can DeRozan up his scoring without killing his efficiency? If DeRozan is getting to the line 10 times a game but only making 6 maybe that is not such a good thing. While DeRozan has shown a lot more aggressiveness and improved shooting during the LVSL and the pre-season how will that carry over once the bell rings? Unknown
6. Can Kleiza take on the scoring load in the NBA that Triano is expecting of him? Unknown.
7. Can Bargnani step it up another notch on offense and improve his defense? Unknowns.
8. Can Calderon stay healthy? Unknown
9. Can Anderson contribute valuable minutes though I expect his time on the court to be erratic? Unknown.
10. Barbosa - How bad is his wrist and will he have to get it operated on during the season? If so how much time might he miss? Unknown.
11. Jack - I think he represents the most known commodity among the Raptors top eleven players. It seems to me that what we saw last season is what we will get again this season. No more nor no less.
12. Can the Raptors as a unit play passable defense night in and night out for 48 mpg? Totally unknown
13. Finally the Raptors talk about playing hard and how hard this team will play. However I have two questions about this?
13A. How hard will they play when the going gets tough on long road trips? Will they get discouraged and lose that pre-season enthusiasm? They are for sure going to have some really bad games this season on the road. How will they respond? Unknown.
13B. Playing hard is great but it is worthless if you don't play smart! Its great to play hard if you are playing smart at the same time. Playing hard but not so smart only means that you are working hard at making a lot of bone head plays. That does not win games
So will the Raptors play smart in 10-11 82X48? Unknown.
Too many unknowns for me to get a feel for how this team will do in 10-11.
No prediction at this time regarding wins or Conference ranking in 10-11