LOL! Most enjoyable thread of the preseason!
I guess it's great it'll 'light a fire' under them but sadly the talent just isn't there.
We will try our darnedest though!
So much for players not paying attention to the media.... :|
The Raptors kind of remind me of last years Rockets team. That team missed the playoffs but had a 34-32 record (so were above .500). They were also in a harder conference than the Raptors are.
Comparing Rosters, I would say the teams are fairly close:
Raptors - Lowry, Calderon, Lucas
Rockets - Lowry, Dragic, Flynn
You'd almost say Raptors are better here, but I'd consider this a wash. Both Dragic/Calderon can start and are effective off the bench. Flynn was horrible, and Lucas should be better.. but their 3rd stringers so won't really matter much to be honest. I'd consider this a tie.
Raptors: DeRozan, Ross
Rockets: Martin, Lee
I'd give the advantage to the Rockets, but Martin only played in 40 games (2/3 of the season), and only scored about 17ppg. Not a defense stud by any means, so DeMar could duplicate some of what Martin provided. Lee is a very good player and I wish we had him, thus I'd give the Rockets the edge, but not by much.
Raptors: Fields, Kleiza, Anderson
Rockets: Parsons, Budinger, Patterson
Neither team had stud wings.. Parsons/Budinger made a nice little two headed monster, but neither would blow you away (Budinger had a nice 3fg%). Fields has the glue-type mentality.. just needs a better shooting percentage, and Kleiza could give you some offense. I'd give the Rockets the edge here, but again not by much.
Raptors: Bargnani, Johnson, Davis
Rockets: Scola, Hill
Scola in my opinion is a more traditional PF than Bargnani so comparing the two is a bit difficult, but Bargnani provides better offense and helps create space for the other guys. Scola however is dirty and can grab a few boards. Neither are defensive gems. Hill was okay as a backup, I'd rather have Johnson/Davis. I'd give the edge to the Raptors here, but not by much.
Raptors: JV, Gray
Rockets: Dalembert, Camby
JV is a rookie so hard to assess, but he did well against Dalembert in preseason.. Camby only played in 19 games last season so was pretty much a no show.. I believe that JV/Dalembert are a wash here, and with Camby not playing much would pretty much equal what Gray would do for Toronto this year. I'd consider this a tie.
As a homer I'd choose Casey in this battle, but McHale was a heck of a player and I wish he was around to help show JV some post moves.. but from what I've heard he's not very well liked by his team typically.. and I've seen what Casey did last year with pretty much the same roster Triano had, and it was pretty miraculous. Also if I recall McHale took over Casey's job in Minny after Casey got fired, and did a horrendous job. Raptors win this one.
My point behind this is that Toronto and Houston look very similar yet Houston was above .500 and was scratching the playoffs out in the West. So it's not completely inconceivable for Toronto this year to have a semi decent record this season either. I'm still not entirely convinced we'll be a playoff team because of the other improvements in the East, but a 37/38/39 win season may not be too much of a reach.
One positive thing about finishing 9th or 10th in the East is that it discharges the lottery draft pick owed to Houston in the Kyle Lowry trade quickly, without much of a cost. Of course, it would be better to be perpetually in the playoffs for the next 5-7 years. I'm not sure, but if the Raptors don't have a lottery pick for the next 5-7 years, does that mean that they have to give Houston a non-lottery pick at some point?
yeah, if we're going to give up the pick id rather do it this year in a bad draft class (most likely late lottery to boot) than later on.
The only thing that troubles me is, "haven't we seen this before?". It now almost seems like an annual rite of passage. Toronto sports team is pegged to finish poorly by a big american media site. We are aghast. Don't they see all of the strengths we have? Then the season is played. And the prediction is often right. Is it that the prediction is made by somebody elsewhere without our optimistic blinders? Do we envision a season where everything goes right but then never does? Makes it hard to bet against this until we actually rise against it. The only solace I can take it that we have so many new parts, nobody can predict what will happen. Until April...
here. 48 out of 75 people thought we'd finish with less than 21 wins (with the most going for 15-18). Only 17 people thought we'd win at least 25 games. So much for those optimistic blinders being an annual thing.
Re-visiting preseason predictions from Holly McKenzie at SportsNet.ca: (preseason is underlined as italics don't show in quote)
2. Andrea Bargnani was efficient offensively and competent defensively in last year’s first 13 games before getting injured. Was that a mirage?
MacKenzie: I don’t think it was a mirage. I think it was a version of Bargnani that was comfortable and motivated and the credit for that goes largely to Dwane Casey. Almost every coach says you’ll sit if you don’t play on the defensive end, but Casey has made it clear that his words are not just empty threats. As for his performance during this pre-season … well, it’s pre-season.
And this is where I felt like setting the internet on fire.
I suppose this is what you get for believing in a 13-game segment from a season ago instead of the six previous seasons, but count me in on the list of people who were all-in on Bargnani. Less than six months later, this statement makes me want to shake my head at myself.
It’s been a bad season in Toronto and, through injury/apathy, it has been the worst season for Bargnani. From fans booing to Italian interviews needing to be cleared up, there probably isn’t a Raptors player who is looking forward to the off-season more than Bargnani. The question now: Where will home be for Bargnani next season?7. Will Dwane Casey turn the Raptors into a top-10 defensive team?
MacKenzie: If we look at the improvements that the team made last season, add Valanciunas, who is a presence inside, along with very capable defender Terrence Ross and another year for players to get familiar with the system and Casey’s expectations, and it’s a safe bet to assume they’ll continue to climb the defensive rankings.
This was the question I’d felt most confident about answering. Really missed the mark here, didn’t I? I think we all did. While Valanciunas struggled to pick up the defensive schemes and speed/size of the NBA game more than I expected, I also was overly confident in Ross’s ability to transition to the NBA from the jump. Both players needed the duration of the season to get adjusted and comfortable with their new surroundings. As for the rest of the team…yeah. Easily the biggest disappointment in a season filled with them.9. What will the Raptors’ record be, and where will they finish in the Eastern Conference standings?
Fun fact: When the Milwaukee Bucks clinched a playoff spot on Saturday night. They had 37 wins. Beyond that magic number and the recognition that 37 wins could make the post-season cut in the Eastern Conference, I really regret being wrong on this one. Another year without the playoffs — I feel you, Raptors fans.MacKenzie: I’m going to say the Raptors will finish eighth, at 37-45. Yes, this basically means the rest of the Eastern Conference will have to fall apart, but this is my fifth season in this city and I’ve yet to cover a playoff game. It’s time.I picked the four questions I found most interesting. The link is worth the click.10. After this season, the Raptors have a team option to retain president and general manager Bryan Colangelo. Will he still be running the Raptors a year from now?
MacKenzie: Yes, I think he will be. Drafting Valanciunas, pulling off the trade to bring in Kyle Lowry (he’s making $6 million each of the next two seasons, making the failed Steve Nash pursuit look like a blessing) and, of course, the positive after-effects of his decision to hire Dwane Casey will ensure him more time in Toronto.
Ahh, the (multi)-million dollar question in Toronto right now. Well, things certainly look different than they did in November, don’t they? They also look remarkably different than they did after the 4-19 start or the midway break of the season or even the beginning of February, when the team reeled off wins in the immediate aftermath of the Gay trade.
While Colangelo’s decision to draft Valanciunas was absolutely the right one — and one that will pay off big time in the years to come — the other moves haven’t unfolded as planned.
Lowry has not fit in as expected; Casey’s defensive schemes seemed to elude the team a season after they had made serious strides on the defensive end of the floor and the team is missing the post-season for the fifth straight year. It isn’t that they are missing the post-season so much as it is the way they missed it. It’s been a season of disappointment after disappointment and regroup after regroup. When the pieces don’t fit and each one matters, eventually the blame has to fall upon the person responsible for putting them together.
It’s been a wild ride this season, hasn’t it?
I remember thinking 38 or 39 wins.... booooo. The Bargnani bit nails it. Everything for me was on Bargnani not being the previous 6 season version. Very much wrong. And it is from that point forward where I want sweeping changes. Good bye BC - 7 years of failure with a doomed to fail Bargnani. Good bye DC - you were brought in to teach defense (fail) and get the most out of Dirk-Lite (minus 17 games, FAIL). Good bye AB - it is time for everyone to part ways.
There is a thread out there with the actual poll but for the life of me, I can't find it.
"You donít know the Bruno Caboclo......"Bruno Caboclo
everyone should start tweeting demar with a lil #clown
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