16. Toronto Raptors- The Raptors spent a lot of money this off-season acquiring Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett jack, and resigning Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors are looking to space the floor with great shooters opening up the middle for Chris Bosh. They did draft DeMar DeRozan, a strong scorer at USC, but will this team have enough offensive weapons and, take pride in playing defense?
The team from the "Great White North," known for being notoriously soft, have gone on a toughness spending spree this offseason.
GM Bryan Colangelo brought back center Rasho Nesterovic’ large body to eat up space, and rebounding machine Reggie Evans. He also got some help on the wing with the tough, young combo of Antoine Wright and Jarret Jack.
With that influx of toughness, Toronto won’t be gashed on the boards and on the defensive end so easily; and they won’t be physically overmatched in so many areas.
Rebounding remains a concern with this team likely matching recent previous season totals in the 39.5 to 40.5 boards per game range. Any improvements to AB’s rebounding numbers and gains from the addition of Evans being offset by fewer boards from the wing positions. But rebounding differential should be the team’s real concern and this equals team defence. Last season 7 teams held opponents to under 40 boards per game. The leading rebounding differential team was Portland at +5.4, who held opponents to under 37 boards per game. New York and Golden State each averaged more than 42 boards per game but had differentials of -3.95 and higher.
This team will succeed or fail on the ability of their coaches and veterans to implement an effective team defence in order to take advantage of their superior scoring ability. Otherwise, the Raptors risk turning into an exciting team like the Warriors and Suns that never achieves their full potential.
Are the Raptors better, they should be.
As a starting point, Chris Bosh’s site seems to be focused on a mixture of promoting himself and connecting with fans. You are immediately hit with information about his new recording contract, and an invite to download his iPhone app (yes, you read that correctly). Follow through to his site and you find access to his blog, photos, tv channel, links to his presence on other social media sites, some exclusive events, and “locker nerd” (supposed to be a haven for techies and sports geeks, but it’s a dead link). You can also send him a question directly if you want. Interestingly, some Google ads are present – featured prominently at the top of the page. Most of them are Raptors related, including some peculiar ones (”talk basketball sports and more with Kapono fans” – noting Kapono wasn’t good enough to have many fans, and isn’t a Raptor anymore. Bad Google ad targeting strikes again).
The first Jarrett Jack Basketball Camp began Monday and will end Friday at the Southern Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Temple Hills. Jack, who signed a four-year $20 million contract with the Raptors last month, said it was time for him to give back to the community where he grew up.
"I think it’s just something all of us around the league do as far as our opportunity to give back to the community," said Jack, a graduate of National Christian Academy in Fort Washington. "I just want to give to the kids in an outreach situation when they are not in school. They have so much free time at this point in their lives that we just want to give them something positive or something so they can be active and won’t be out in the streets getting into trouble or being innocent bystanders to trouble."
Dubbed as the next Nowitzki, he has failed to establish any semblance of a low-post game and has instead slowly drifted out to the 3-point line, morphing into an overgrown Eric Piatkowski (burn!).
The clear choice for the “new” #1 overall selection for the Toronto Raptors would be Brandon Roy. If Roy continues to develop, he is a potential hall of famer. He is a great team leader with elite skills and has a great young team around him, assembled by Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard.