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v21: Kyle Lowry for Prime Minister

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08-29-2012, 08:58 PM
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The Nemesis
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v21: Kyle Lowry for Prime Minister




Figured we might as well look at the 12-13 Raptors in this first post so everyone can familiarize themselves with a roster that's had a decent amount of turnover.


First up, who's gone from last year's team (only counting players who were on the roster at season's end. So not Barbosa, for example):

DEPARTURES
PG/SG Jerryd Bayless: A casualty of adding Kyle Lowry, Bayless' qualifying offer had to be rescinded and he was snapped up by the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunate, but with Lowry in and Calderon still on board, there wouldn't have been any playing time for him.

SF James Johnson: Traded to Sacramento, Johnson reportedly clashed with the Raptors coaching staff over his role with the team and what was expected out of him (IIRC, the coaches wanted him to devote himself to being a defensive stopper, while Johnson was more interested in continuing to try and be a scorer as well) and in the end, management chose to side with Dwane Casey instead of Johnson.

SG/SF Gary Forbes: Traded to Houston for Kyle Lowry. Forbes' impact on the team was minimal and he spent most of his Raptors tenure stapled to the end of the bench or being a garbage time or injury fill-in. He won't be missed.

PG Ben Uzoh: Brought in on 10-day contracts to fill the void created by injuries, Uzoh did well, but he wasn't coming back after the Raptors acquired Lowry and John Lucas to shore up the PG spot. He recently signed with a team in France.

C Jamaal Magloire: Relegated largely to being a bench player and cheerleader because of a crippling lack of ability on the court, he was not re-signed and currently sits as a free agent awaiting a team offering him a contract.

C Solomon Alabi: Played 26 games in 2 seasons with the Raptors, averaging unremarkable stats and playing mostly in garbage time against inferior competition. After failing to make any meaningful improvement in his time in both the NBA and the D-League, the team chose not to pick up his contract option for this year. He is currently an Unrestricted Free Agent.



And now the current roster. Players are being listed alphabetically.



Contract
12-1313-1414-1515-16
$665,000$778,872$915,243*RFA
*Non-Guaranteed year

11-12 Stats
None, this will be his rookie year

Player Breakdown
Strengths: Strong, thick-bodied interior player with a huge wingspan who can rebound well and play in the post. Shows a surprising mid-range game for a guy who is an under-the-basket player (not a good mid-range game, but better than you'd expect for players of his ilk). Has a high basketball IQ and an excellent motor and knows his role

Flaws: Undersized for the PF, but not athletic enough to be a SF. His overall offensive game is quite raw and most of his points (which will likely be sparse) will probably come from garbage buckets and dunks.

Role expectation: Reggie Evans/Jerome Williams lunchpail-type guy that Raptors fans love far beyond the limited contributions they make on the stat sheet. But to start the season at least, he'll likely be stapled to the bench as a scratch until/unless there are injuries or trades that thin out the frontcourt depth.


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Contract
12-1313-14
$854,389UFA


11-12 Stats

GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
17(12)27.19.6.387.393.851.52.00.180.298.7

Player Breakdown
Strengths: A good scorer with range out to the 3 point line. Is capable of breaking down defenders to get offensive chances. Not overly athletic, but good enough to beat defenders off the dribble. Can get hot and rack up points in bunches.

Flaws: Is not the defender or rebounder that was expected of him coming out of college. Has limited NBA experience in spite of being 29.

Role Expectation: He will likely be the 3rd option off the bench at SF and occasionally at SG and can be a "microwave" scoring option for a second unit if there are injuries or trades.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-1515-16
$10,000,000$10,750,000$11,500,000*UFA
*Early Termination Option

11-12 Stats
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
31(31)33.319.5.432.296.872.05.50.480.5818.0

Player Breakdown
Strengths: A matchup nightmare as a legitimate 7-footer with deep range out behind the 3 point line, and enough athleticism to get by many of the league's power forwards and centers. A deadeye shooter and capable passer, he can quickly rack up 20+ points seemingly effortlessly. Not a great defender, his size and athletic ability do let him block shots as a help defender.

Flaws: While he has shown improvements, he's neither a great rebound or overall defender. He is also slender and not physical or tough, which means that he gets pushed around on defence and not as effective under the basket on offence. It also means that he is more easily boxed out on rebound opportunities. It remains to be seen if he can show any further improvements or if he'll forever be an excellent offensive player who has his contributions somewhat undone by porous defence.

Role Expectation: Once again he will be the Raptors' starting PF and relied on as the primary scorer for the team. He will also have to start strong to avoid being stuck in the downswing he experienced at the end of the 11-12 season upon returning from injury. If he doesn't assert himself offensively and at least show some passable defence, the rumor mill could start up once again with trade scenarios.

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Contract
12-1313-14
$10,561,982UFA

11-12 Stats
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
53(53)33.910.5.457.423.888.83.00.060.8916.7

Player Breakdown
Strengths: One of the best distributors in the league, Calderon's calling card is his ability to run an NBA offence smoothly and efficiently without turning the ball over. He's also an excellent shooter from behind the arc and the free throw line, and is able to cut to the basket and score in spite of his diminishing athletic ability.

Flaws: Now into his 30s, Calderon's athleticism has taken a hit both due to age and due to a string of leg and ankle injuries. As a result, while he's still able to attack the basket, he's not as effective in the interior as he used to be, and he's been downgraded on defence from "sub-par" to "atrocious".

Role Expectation: With the arrival of Kyle Lowry by trade, Calderon's time in Toronto is seemingly coming to an end. As an expiring contract that's far too pricey to come off the bench, it's just a matter of how long into the season we go before some GM makes Bryan Colangelo an offer he finds acceptable to part with Calderon for. Until then, Calderon will lead the second unit from the point and help facilitate the offence for the Raptors' bench players.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-15
$2,207,040$3,153,860*RFA
*Team Option

11-12 Stats
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
66(9)23.26.3.513.000.670.96.60.950.6114.2

Player Breakdown
Strengths: Davis' domain is under the basket, where he can rebound, block shots, and score from the post. He's not a great shooter, but he can face up and stick jumpers when necessary, and has good size to be able to handle the league's power forwards.

Flaws: While he's tall enough, Davis needs to add bulk to his frame in order to defend better and push around the opposition while on offence. He's also raw on offence, as his post game and jumper are still undeveloped and in need of refinement. He also at times displays what appears to be a lackadaisical attitude and doesn't assert himself when he has an advantage, or allows himself to be pushed around by players he should be able to stand up to.

Role Expectation: Unless he badly falters in training camp, Davis would seem to be the primary offensive option off the bench at PF. Though he will still likely split that bench PF time with Amir Johnson if Johnson is not needed as much at center. This will be an important year for Davis to show he can make some leaps forward in his effort level and offensive skill, especially if Bargnani struggles or gets hurt, as Davis would likely be the player tabbed to replace Bargs if he were out of the picture (via injury or trade)

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Contract
12-1313-14
$3,344,250RFA

11-12 Stats
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
63(63)35.016.7.422.261.812.03.30.270.7612.9

Player Breakdown
Strengths: An athletic swingman with good height to match up at both the 2 and the 3 positions. DeRozan is an explosive leaper who can sky over defenders and attack the basket, and has shown an ability to hit jumpers from mid-range. When he's on his game, he is a capable scorer who can carry the offence for stretches.

Flaws: For all his athletic gifts, DeRozan is very unpolished and unfocused defensively, as he is not particularly strong guarding his man or grabbing rebounds. He also has limited shooting range past 15-20 feet, and struggles to hit shots from behind the 3-point line. This is exacerbated by the fact that he doesn't act like he has trouble from range, as he will freely jack up threes if he has trouble breaking down his man or if the D backs off when he's behind the line. He's also not much of a ball-handler for someone of his skill-set and play style, so he isn't able to break down his man in one-on-one situations as easily as you might hope. He's also prone to cold streaks and becomes passive and a non-factor in games if his shot isn't falling and he can't get to the rim. He's also quite skinny and could use a bit more muscle to be able to power through interior defences.

Role Expectation: DeRozan will once again be the primary option at SG for the Raptors, and must prove that he can be more consistent and adapt his play style more to suit his skills instead of firing bad shots from deep and settling for jumpers because he can't beat his man off the dribble. Especially with Ross in the fold (who is in many ways similar to DeRozan) he has to either show he can be better at what he does, or do more across the board in terms of defending and rebounding.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-1515-16
$6,250,000$6,250,000$6,250,000UFA

11-12 Stats (With New York)
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
66(62)28.78.8.460.256.562.64.20.31.212.7

Player Breakdown
Strengths: Fields' biggest asset is his legitimate SF size and his high basketball IQ. He is able to knife through defences and score in a variety of ways by exploiting weaknesses in the defence. He's also a very capable rebounder, especially for someone who played a lot of SG the past couple years, and doesn't foul often, which allows him to stay in the game.

Flaws: His jumper is inconsistent and a little awkward, and though he showed good 3-point shooting in his rookie year, those numbers regressed last season and it was that lower percentage that is more in line with his college shooting stats. He's also not much of a ball-handler and though he's tall enough for a 2/3 role, he's undersized in terms of mass. He's also not a great defender.

Role Expectation: Fields will almost assuredly never live up to the big contract he signed as part of the Raptors' gamble to get Steve Nash, but he will likely start the season as the starting SF and will be counted on to rebound well and be a 3rd/4th option on offence for that starting unit while not allowing himself to be exploited defensively.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-15
$2,575,000$2,690,875*UFA
*Player Option
NOTE: Gray was signed with one of the mid-level exceptions in order to avoid normal salary cap restrictions. This MLE contract must be worth the amount that Gray received. So before anyone complains about how much money he got, if the Raptors wanted to keep him, they had to pay him this much, and they wouldn't likely have found a suitable upgrade/replacement on the open market with that same deal.

11-12 Stats
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
49(40)16.63.9.516.000.530.65.70.350.4511.1

Player Breakdown
Strengths: Gray is a big body who stays under the basket and can rebound and block shots. He's not terribly agile, but is still more mobile than one might expect for someone of his size. His size and strength allow him to stand up to opposing big men and avoid being pushed around. While hie doesn't have much of an offensive game, he can occasionally get points on putbacks and interior post moves.

Flaws: His offensive game is simplistic and limited as he has no shot to speak of, including from the free throw line. While his size allows him to hang with other burly centers, he doesn't use it actively to push around the opposition.

Role Expectation: Gray will likely start the year as the Raptors' starting center and will be expected to help mentor Jonas Valanciunas in his transition to the NBA. It might not be out of the question for him to be relegated to a bench role by season's end with Valanciunas starting, and if that is the case it will allow him to settle into a reserve role that is more suited to his skill set.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-15
$6,000,000$6,500,000$7,050,000*
*Non-Guaranteed year

11-12 Stats
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
64(43)24.37.1.576.400.691.26.41.080.5214.4

Player Breakdown
Strengths: Possesses exceptional athleticism for his size and is capable of attacking the basket or aggressively defending, as well as grabbing rebounds. Is at his best as a "sparkplug" type player who can come into the game and infuse the team with his energy. While not a high-flyer, he has enough jumping ability to get past defenders and get baskets in tight, while also hitting shots from a respectable range.

Flaws: His defence is almost entirely based on his athleticism and energetic, aggressive style of play, which can be exploited by smarter offensive players. It also gets him into trouble with fouls as he can easily get caught out of position and goaded into contact. While he has played some center out of necessity, he is undersized for both the C and PF positions at just 6'9.

Role Expectation: Amir will likely continue to be the energy guy off the bench, with more of his minutes coming at the PF now that Gray and Valanciunas are firmly entrenched as the team's centers. If he can cut down on his foul rate, he could find himself as the second unit PF, but until then it's likely that he will more consistently split time with Davis and it will be Davis that gets in for key offensive situations.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-15
$4,600,000$4,600,000*UFA
*Player Option

11-12 Stats
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
49(3)21.69.7.402.346.810.94.10.080.4712.5

Player Breakdown
Strengths: A surprising athlete, Kleiza has a well-rounded game offensively with scoring range stretching all the way from underneath the hoop out to beyond the arc. He's also smart enough to operate down low as a defender and grab some rebounds. When he gets hot, he can hit shots in bunches from all over the court and provide a lot of offence off the bench.

Flaws: He has had microfracture knee surgery which has robbed him of some of his athleticism and necessitated a shift into a slightly more perimeter-oriented game that cuts his rebounding totals and interior scoring. He's also not great as a defender and not a passer, which means that the offence can often stop with him if the ball gets into his hands and he's not locked in on his shot. His wonky knees could fail him at any time and effectively end his career.

Role Expectation: Kleiza is likely to come off the bench as the primary backup SF and on occasion shoot his way into an offensive outburst to lead the second unit in scoring. There's also some expectation that his Lithuanian heritage might mean he would be somewhat of a mentor for Valanciunas to adapt to North American life (something Kleiza has done successfully, as he has been away from Europe since he played NCAA ball, save for one year spent in Greece before joining the Raptors)

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Contract
12-1313-1414-15
$5,750,000$6,210,000*UFA
*Non-Guaranteed year

11-12 Stats (with Houston)
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
47(38)32.114.3.409.374.866.64.50.31.618.9

Player Breakdown
Strengths: Blazing fast and able to blow by defenders and penetrate to the basket to score. Can also shoot from behind the arc. In spite of his athleticism and scoring prowess, he's still a pass-first point guard who is very good at finding the open man. Is solidly built, an elite defender at his position, and displays a surprising knack for getting rebounds for such a small guard. Shows excellent instincts for steals.

Flaws: at 6'0 he's somewhat small even for a PG. He can also sometimes get overconfident, which leads to bad shots when he looks for his offence, and a tendency to play out of control and force bad passes when he's looking for other players. Can be turnover-prone at times.

Role Expectation: With the trade that brings him in from the Rockets, Lowry has basically been handed the keys to the Raptors and will be the starting PG and a primary offensive focal point for Coach Casey. The defensive minded Raptors coach will also likely love Lowry's defensive prowess and he will anchor Toronto's continued defensive evolution. While he has big shoes to fill replacing Calderon as the team's starting PG, he should win over fans with his aggressive, active play style and two-way play.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-15
$1,500,000$1,567,000*UFA
*Team Option

11-12 Stats (with Chicago)
GP(GS)MPGPPGFG%3P%FT%APGRPGBPGSPGPER
49(2)14.87.5.399.393.882.21.50.00.416.4

Player Breakdown
Strengths: A solid ball-handler and capable distributor who can come off the bench and run the offence as well as score points in bunches. Has good shooting range. Can provide short runs as a capable backup in case of injuries.

Flaws: Severely undersized and not an explosive enough athlete to overcome it. Those traits limit his defensive effectiveness. While he's a good distributor, he's not a great one, and good defenders can shut him down fairly easily if given the chance. Is pretty much relegated entirely to a depth PG role, as he isn't a long-term starter or primary backup.

Role Expectation: Is firmly set as the 3rd point guard, and will likely not see the floor much unless one of the primary two PGs get hurt or if/when Calderon gets traded and another point doesn't come back in return.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-1515-1616-17
$2,563,320$2,678,640$2,793,960*$3,553,917*RFA
*Team Option

11-12 Stats
None, this will be his rookie year

Player Breakdown
Strengths: An excellent athlete who can slash and attack the basket, but also has a 3-point shot to space the floor. Has an excellent motor and competes hard on defence and for rebounds. A capable passer.

Flaws: Has never been an alpha-type player who takes charge and demands the ball. Not a great ball-handler and not experienced at creating his own shot on a regular basis. Needs to bulk up to handle the rigours of the NBA

Role Expectation: Will start the season as the probable second unit SG, but given that his skill set largely overlaps with DeMar DeRozan (and that Ross does several things that DeRozan doesn't), it might not be long before Ross challenges DeRozan for the starting SG job unless DeMar shows some appreciable improvements this year.

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Contract
12-1313-1414-1515-1616-17
$3,374,640$3,526,440$3,678,360*$4,660,482*RFA
*Team Option

11-12 Stats
None, this will be his rookie year

Player Breakdown
Strengths: An aggressive, energetic player around the basket. Shows excellent offensive potential. Is a solid rebounder and shot-blocker, and shows the makings of a very good interior defender. A good offensive player facing the basket.

Flaws: His game is still raw overall and he will have to refine his post play to be a complete NBA center. While he possess excellent size, he could stand to bulk up somewhat.

Role Expectation: He will start the season as the backup center most likely, which should help curtail the hype machine a little bit. However, his improvement over the course of the year will likely be one of the biggest storylines for the team.

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Probable Depth Chart
Here's how the Raptors depth chart for the upcoming season will likely look, barring any trades or moves between now and then.

POSSTARTER2ND UNITRESERVERESERVE #2
PGLowryCalderonLucas 
SGDeRozanRossAnderson 
SFFieldsKleizaAnderson 
PFBargnaniDavisJohnsonAcy
CGrayValanciunasJohnson 

In spite of being listed as the #3 PF and C, Johnson will likely get a lot of minutes at both positions in order to spell the starters and not over-work Valanciunas. Also I've got 14 guys listed and you can only dress 12 per game, which likely means that Acy and Lucas sit on the sidelines in suits when no one is injured.

I might add more stuff if I feel like it later. We'll see.


Last edited by The Nemesis: 11-03-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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08-30-2012, 03:34 AM
  #2
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Can the Raptors be any worse than last year? I see them finishing in the top 8 and making the playoffs this year. Even with "bad" signing in Fields Raps are a better overall team. Our PG position is as strong as any in the league at the moment. Bargs was putting up big numbers until he went down with an injury so he'll be back. DD will have competition in his position and will be pushed to be better every game and than there are Val, Ross, Acy etc. I think from last year our roster looks a lot better, still no where close to championship material but good enough to contend for the playoffs in the East.

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08-30-2012, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by D3ADLY View Post
Can the Raptors be any worse than last year? I see them finishing in the top 8 and making the playoffs this year. Even with "bad" signing in Fields Raps are a better overall team. Our PG position is as strong as any in the league at the moment. Bargs was putting up big numbers until he went down with an injury so he'll be back. DD will have competition in his position and will be pushed to be better every game and than there are Val, Ross, Acy etc. I think from last year our roster looks a lot better, still no where close to championship material but good enough to contend for the playoffs in the East.
The Raptors will definetly be a much more exciting team to watch and they should contend for a playoff spot this coming season

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08-30-2012, 06:10 PM
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i actually like the fields signing. think he`ll provide solid energy and shooting. he showed promise but derailed in NYC. I actually think he`ll blossom in Toronto under Casey.

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08-30-2012, 06:10 PM
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Continuing my watching ESPN's top 500 NBA player rankings, there are more Raptors this time out. Remember that last time I updated, we were in to the 281-300 range and had these Raptors players on the board:

469: Alan Anderson
449: Quincy Acy
308: Terrence Ross
287: Aaron Gray

Today they're up around the 220s and have more players popping up:

278: John Lucas III
234: Jonas Valanciunas
233: Ed Davis

Considering 500 players means there's more than enough space for every roster in teh league to appear in full (15 deep) and some FAs, we have to assume that anyone not yet shown from the Raptors will still place above 225 or whereabouts it stopped. That leaves Calderon, DeRozan, Amir, Bargs, Fields, Lowry, and Kleiza to all show up somewhere from here on out. That's actually pretty good when you consider that there would only be 150 or so spots for "starter" quality players (obviously ignoring positional depth)

EDIT: My bad. I missed Ross at 308.

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Last edited by The Nemesis: 08-30-2012 at 06:22 PM.
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08-30-2012, 06:13 PM
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Just waiting for Calderon to be traded.

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08-30-2012, 06:54 PM
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Just waiting for Calderon to be traded.

Gonna be waiting a long time.


BC is gonna say he will wait till the trade deadline then when the deadline comes he will say that we are contending for a playoff spot and he will hold on to him and the Calderon will walk next offseason for nothing.

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08-30-2012, 07:26 PM
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Gonna be waiting a long time.

BC is gonna say he will wait till the trade deadline then when the deadline comes he will say that we are contending for a playoff spot and he will hold on to him and the Calderon will walk next offseason for nothing.
Or he accepts that he's not really starter material on a contending team, and agrees to an extension to be a terrific 6th man.

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08-30-2012, 07:44 PM
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Or he accepts that he's not really starter material on a contending team, and agrees to an extension to be a terrific 6th man.
I like Calderon, but I have to believe the value we get for him in trade might be better for this team in the long run than the value we get out of him for a couple more years as an overqualified backup PG.

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08-30-2012, 08:44 PM
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I think Fields will actually do good. Not great, but good. He may surprise a couple of people.

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08-30-2012, 08:49 PM
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I think Fields will actually do good. Not great, but good. He may surprise a couple of people.
Hopefully the whole team does.

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08-30-2012, 08:58 PM
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The Raptors actually have two rotations now that they can roll with. They're still inconsistent and many lack experience but they should definitely challenge for the 8th spot.

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08-31-2012, 05:19 PM
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Linas Kleiza checks in at #217 on ESPN's NBA player rankings. A little higher up was Amir Johnson at 207

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08-31-2012, 05:41 PM
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Is it wrong that i'm more excited to watch the new lakers than our raptors?

The only thing i'm looking forward to as a raptors fan this year is how Valanciunas turns out.

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08-31-2012, 06:30 PM
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Is it wrong that i'm more excited to watch the new lakers than our raptors?

The only thing i'm looking forward to as a raptors fan this year is how Valanciunas turns out.
That's certainly what the Lakers, and the NBA, are hoping for in making/allowing these moves.

I'll be interested to watch Valanciunas too, but I'm not expecting him to "turn out" (i.e. fully develop) for 3 or 4 years.

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09-01-2012, 03:56 AM
  #16
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Is it wrong that i'm more excited to watch the new lakers than our raptors?

The only thing i'm looking forward to as a raptors fan this year is how Valanciunas turns out.
It's going to be a learning curve for Val and probably take th better part of 15-20 games before he even gets the feel for the NBA. After that he's still raw and will need quite a bit of patience from the fans only sad thing is most fans will probably write him off after the first hand full of games and say how much he sucks.

For me the player I am most looking forward to seeing is Kyle Lowry. I see him really stepping his game up to the next level this year and being that offensive catalyst the teams been lacking for some time.

Terrance Ross is a guy I can see stepping right in and being extremely effective. I don't expect him to be starting but he will look good off the bench and for the first time in a while the bench looks like it could be pretty good so the talent in the second unit should be pretty decent.

Quincy Acy is kinda intriguing I don't think he's ever gonna be a star or even a starter in the NBA. What I do think he will be is something similar to what JYD was on the old school raptors. A guy who never stops will fight for every inch of the court and give his all every time on the floor. He's gonna be loved in Toronto.

Landry Fields is another of the guys I see having career numbers this year. He's only just completed his second season in the NBA so he's still learning. He is definitely not as bad as some people on here have been making him out to be bad contract of not. That being said I do see him having a bounce back season and gaining the respect of the fans through that process.

If the team can stay healthy I do see them having a more the reasonable season. They should be fighting for the 8th seed but there are quite a bit of question marks surrounding the team this season and several new faces so there is going to be a natural breaking in period. A lot if going to depend on Bargs and if he can (A) Stay healthy (B) keep improving offensively
I think BC made some steps in the right direction this season and if everything falls into place this team should be exciting to watch. I don't think the playoffs are out of the question but realistically just a showing of the team making improvements and moving in the right direction should be the only real expectation this season. I am excited to see the Raptors and can't wait for the season to get underway and with the potential of no NHL this season the Raptors could be in for a bit of an influx of fans this season.


Last edited by Joey24: 09-01-2012 at 04:03 AM.
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09-01-2012, 08:16 PM
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The Raptors aren't making the playoffs lol

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09-01-2012, 08:33 PM
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The Raptors aren't making the playoffs lol
you make a convincing argument.

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09-01-2012, 10:37 PM
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The only problem I see is that our division is tops in the (weak) East. It'd be amazing if Boston, NY, Brooklyn, Philly and Toronto make the playoffs.

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09-01-2012, 10:45 PM
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The only problem I see is that our division is tops in the (weak) East. It'd be amazing if Boston, NY, Brooklyn, Philly and Toronto make the playoffs.
If all 5 of them make the playoffs, it shows how bad the Eastern Conference is. But Toronto would have to win a lot of games they aren't suppose to do that..

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09-01-2012, 11:46 PM
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finally fleshed out post #1 with a look at the roster. Admittedly a lot of it is copied wholesale from earlier work I've done, but it's been reconstituted for the new assortment of players we have.

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09-02-2012, 03:17 PM
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If all 5 of them make the playoffs, it shows how bad the Eastern Conference is. But Toronto would have to win a lot of games they aren't suppose to do that..
Toronto is gonna win some games, alot more than most people and experts think. For a couple of reasons....

1- Defence wins championships.

Our defence is gonna be rock solid, and will be a top 10, maybe even higher. With Lowry not allowing players to blow by him at will, and another year of Coach Casey getting his players to buy in, and getting used to his defence, I see an improvement on the defensive end and that will be the teams calling card

2- Calderon running the 2nd unit.

When the Raptors won the Atlantic division a few years ago, it wasn't the extreme talent we had that did it. It was the fact that , yes, some of the teams in our division sucked at that point, but more of the fact that we had 2 great point guards (Calderon and T.J Ford) which most teams couldnt handle. Having someone like Calderon run the 2nd unit is something most teams don't have, and the fact that he is one of the best passers around, players like T. Ross, A.Johnson, E.Davis and J. Valancuinas will only get better that much faster having an experienced pass first point guard to lead against other teams 2nd units. Calderon also wont be guarding guys D.Rose, K.Irving, and other starting point guards who can make him look silly.

3- The bench is deep.

For the first time in a long time the Raptors have a deep 2nd unit and one of the better benches in the league. When the starters need a break, there will not be much of a drop off in skill. Ross IMO has more talent than Derozan, Valancuinas has more talent than Gray, Fields and Kleiza are interchangable even though they do a couple of things better than each other and Calderon has proved he can be a starting point guard in this league. The bench is gonna be where we have an advantage over other teams, and while other teams might have the lead when the bench comes out, our bench players will cut those leads down on most nights IMO.

4- Coach Casey.

People dont understand, but we have one of the best coaches in the league even though he coaches the Raptors. With what he did with the group we had last year, and turn them into a top 10 defence, was crazy. having a point guard who takes pride on the defensive end, and other wings players who can play defence, I think the raptors should be a top 10 defence, maybe even top 5. he has had a summer to get used to the new parts and what roles he plans for them, and I think he will get better on the offence end with better options. With a healthy Bargnani, Lowry running the point, Derozan and Fields on the wings and Valancuinas eventually taking over the starting spot, the offence should be good.

The Raptors are not as bad as people think, they are actually very good if things come together, and with Coach Casey, I think they will. Playoffs are very realistic and should be obtainable.

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09-04-2012, 09:43 PM
  #23
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2- Calderon running the 2nd unit.

When the Raptors won the Atlantic division a few years ago, it wasn't the extreme talent we had that did it. It was the fact that , yes, some of the teams in our division sucked at that point, but more of the fact that we had 2 great point guards (Calderon and T.J Ford) which most teams couldnt handle. Having someone like Calderon run the 2nd unit is something most teams don't have, and the fact that he is one of the best passers around, players like T. Ross, A.Johnson, E.Davis and J. Valancuinas will only get better that much faster having an experienced pass first point guard to lead against other teams 2nd units. Calderon also wont be guarding guys D.Rose, K.Irving, and other starting point guards who can make him look silly.
I like and agree with all of your points, this is the one that stands out to me. I just read about the "inevitable" calderon trade, and it had me thinking back to our double PG days. I think most of the times in the past when the raptors have had success it's been when there is a "point guard controversy" and we've had two good point guards.

It gives you someone confidently running the offense for 48 minutes a game, and hopefully a good front line defense. It also means that when someone inevitably goes down to injury, you still have someone capabale of playing the position for more than 30 minutes a game, rather than trying to get a rookie or bench player just trying to plug the hole.

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09-04-2012, 09:46 PM
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I don't expect a playoff finish (I see something like 10-12) but it will be nice to see some young fresh faces, and I'm looking forward to seeing Lowry in action.

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09-04-2012, 10:38 PM
  #25
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I like and agree with all of your points, this is the one that stands out to me. I just read about the "inevitable" calderon trade, and it had me thinking back to our double PG days. I think most of the times in the past when the raptors have had success it's been when there is a "point guard controversy" and we've had two good point guards.

It gives you someone confidently running the offense for 48 minutes a game, and hopefully a good front line defense. It also means that when someone inevitably goes down to injury, you still have someone capabale of playing the position for more than 30 minutes a game, rather than trying to get a rookie or bench player just trying to plug the hole.
the problem in this situation is that a) Calderon's likely to be quite unhappy about unceremoniously losing the starting gig, and b) he's a FA at season's end, so if we run the whole year with him and don't make a trade, he walks for nothing after this season.

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