I almost put Brooklyn in "Probables", but I'm not quite ready to give it to them, for the following reasons:
- D.Williams, J.Johnson and G.Wallace have all been at their best with the ball in their hands, as the primary scorer, especially DW/JJ... I'm curious to see how they'll handle sharing the ball more and playing off each other... at the very least, there will be an adjustment period
- Wallace seemed to lose a step last year and, as a player who has relied on his athleticism, it has yet to be seen whether or not he can return to form, or be just an average player
- the entire starting lineup (DWill, JJ, Wallace, Humphries, Lopez) is pretty weak defensively, so they'll need to score lots of points
- their bench is weak, so the the starters will be heavily relied upon... is DWill/JJ were to get injured, this team is really no better than NJ was last year
I left Cleveland, Detroit and Orlando in the "Unlikely" group because they have enough intriguing young, talented pieces that they could surprise, plus they are all substantially better than Charlotte.
- without Bogut, they weren't very good
- which Dalembert will show up? the effective, defensive anchor, or the moody me-first one?
- will Ilyasova prove he's worth his shiny new contract, or will he rest on his laurels?
- will Ellis do anything to disprove that he's a volume scoring ball hog, who can actually put the team first?
- yes they improved their character and depth, but none of Nene, Okafor or Ariza are players that can carry their teams (they're primarily defensive-minded players)
- all the scoring will fall to Wall and Beal, who's a rookie
- their bench has a few decent young players with potential (Vesely, Crawford & Booker), but I still think their bench is fairly weak, which doesn't help answer the question "where will their scoring come from?"
If Brooklyn stays healthy, they very well could make it 7 solidified playoff spots (Miami, Indiana, Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Brooklyn), leaving several teams fighting for #8 in the East: Toronto, Phildelphia and whichever other team(s) jump up as the 'best of the rest' (Milwaukee, Washington, Detroit, Cleveland, Orlando and Charlotte).
Toronto's toughest challenge is the fact they play in what should be the strongest division in the Eastern conference, with Boston, NY, Brooklyn and Philly. Chicago & Milwaukee benefit from playing Cleveland/Detroit more, while Atlanta & Washington benefit from playing Charlotte/Orlando more.
Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Mon Aug 13th, 2012 at 03:04 PM.
Anyways, to get back on topic, chemistry is a very big deal, no doubt. But this team needs to stay relatively injury free, players need to maintain (or even improve upon) their career bests, and Casey needs to improve too.
Here's what Steve Brotherston thinks
Forget the 8th seed… Can the Raptors get the 7th or even the 6th seed? Or do the Raps need everything to go perfect which includes a healthy Bargs and effective rookies to get higher than 8th??
It’s the if everything goes right for Toronto and a couple of other teams struggle with the changes they made – or run into injury problems – situation.
YES, of course Toronto could find themselves ahead of a team like the Knicks who had chemistry and injury concerns last year, 7th or even 6th is possible – Toronto could also end up in 10th behind the 76ers & Bucks if Toronto runs into injury or chemistry issues. That’s why we play the games.Christian
What’s the ceiling for this Raptors team?
I put the Raptors ceiling this year at 6th place – and that will take a couple of teams to under perform – possible this year with all the roster moves. BUT – I expect them to fight it out for 8th and end up somewhere between 7th-10th.
That’s the hour for today. Thanks for all the great comments and questions.
With all the changes we’ve seen to rosters in the NBA – it’s going to be an exciting season with surprise teams more the norm than usual.
Last edited by Chr1s1anL; Mon Aug 13th, 2012 at 03:23 PM.
The only benefit about just missing the playoffs this season is that we'd giveup a 2013 end-of-the-lottery 1st round pick to Houston, to complete the Lowry trade. By giving up the pick right away, it takes away the uncertainty surrounding the conditional pick involved, while also allowing the Raps to once again include future 1st round picks (starting with the 2015 pick) in potential trades.
It would give the rookies (Valanciunas, Ross & Acy) time to acclimate themselves to the NBA, all the young guys a chance to develop individually (rookies, DeRozan, Davis), final evaluations to be made on expiring young contracts (ie: DeRozan, Davis), and the revamped roster a chance to develop some chemistry together, while gaining experience running DC's offensive/defensive systems together.
I'm not pushing for missing the playoffs or tanking, but if the Raptors are going to miss the playoffs at all during the next 5 seasons, I'd prefer it to be this year and prefer them to get a late lottery pick... thinking purely about the conditional 1st round pick going to Houston and all the various positive/negative ramifications of the conditions placed on the pick.
whats with people thinking the bucks will be good i think that roster is trash. a bunch of bums besides illlyasova and 2 chuckers who dont play any defence.
I don't think that is a great argument but I do agree with you the Raps need a lot of things to go their way to make the playoffs.
Since Bosh wasn't a truly elite talent, I think I would rather roll with the team as currently constructed (i.e. depth and youth) versus most of the Bosh teams (i.e. significant talent drop off). The wild card is Casey is the best coach the Raptors have had in the last 6 years.
Last edited by mcHAPPY; Mon Aug 13th, 2012 at 06:59 PM.
For me, the new players (Lowry, JV, Ross, Fields) need to be the difference, because the old regime (Bargnani, Derozan, Johnson, Calderon) leave much to be desired imo.
Casey can only do so much. Even good coaches need talent to win.
As already mentioned, Bosh only got doubled because of where he set up his offense -- some teams double the high post regardless of who's playing it because of its low-risk high-reward prospects. Not so with big's sitting on the 3-point line.
In terms of just straight player comparisons, while Bargnani doesn't have the first step and finishing ability that Bosh had, he's a much better shooter, with deeper range, which is significant in terms of match-up problems. And defensively, they both suck: Bosh is the better help defender; Bargs is the better man defender.
I realize this isn't completely on-topic, but in a way it's actually quite relevant. One way of answering the "will we make the playoffs?" question is by comparing ourselves to years past when we did, and any time that happens the underlying suggestion is that we might be in the same unfortunate position as those Bosh-era teams. In other words, are we just back at square 1? And I think the answer is a much more hopeful "No".
EDIT: I didn't really make that last pgh. clear. We're not just in a better position than the Bosh-era teams because Bargs is as good as Bosh was. We're in a better position (and the comparison is accordingly relevant) because this team isn't constructed AROUND Bargs -- a player who, like Bosh, simply isn't good enough to be built around.
Last edited by themasao; Tue Aug 14th, 2012 at 08:12 AM.
Agree with you that the team should be in a better position to succeed now the way it is constructed, as opposed to the days of Bosh when it was built around him.
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