If you’re like me, which I doubt because I’m 9 feet tall and made of stainless steel, you have no idea of how this team will fair next season. No idea whether they’ll finish 7th or 4th, whether they get ousted in the first round or make it to the conference finals. No idea. All I know is that whatever the hell was going on last year wasn’t right and we made some moves which on paper look pretty good. I don’t know if the moves were very calculated ones or whether they were just made for the sake of shaking things up or for the sake of impressing Bosh. All I know is that there was high turnover on the roster and some quality pieces were added which proved to work fairly well elsewhere. I don’t know how those pieces will fit here, whether we’ll only see those players’ weaknesses or whether they’ll shine like they’ve never done before. I really don’t know much.
I know that Turkoglu is an intelligent 6’10” guy who can handle the ball and score when called upon, but I also know he’s 30 and his best years are behind him. I know Jarrett Jack is a bullish player who’s only 25, but he’s also someone who was traded for not much and then his offersheet wasn’t matched. I know he’s a vast upgrade on anything we had last year at the backup PG but I also get a feeling we’re expecting too much of a bench player. I know DeMar DeRozan had a great summer league and has tons of potential as a slasher and scorer, but I also know he hasn’t played a real game yet and that the SG is the toughest position to defend and excel at in the NBA.
I know Chris Bosh is good, but I don’t know if he’s great and I fear that he still needs to be great for us to be good. I know Jose Calderon was injured last year and we didn’t see his best, but I also know what his limitations are and that he failed us as a starter. I trust Jarrett Jack to be a solid player but in the case of one of Calderon or him going down for an extended period of time, we’ll be relying on Quincy Douby to carry the load. I know Marco Belinelli has potential as the first wing off the bench but he’s also someone who couldn’t crack the rotation in Golden State. I know Antoine Wright is a good defender, but I also know that he’s a terrible offensive player and has been traded twice.
I know Reggie Evans is a tenacious rebounder, but I also know that his one-on-one defending is terrible. I know Rasho Nesterovic is a good ‘ol reliable fella, but I also know he’s 33 years old, slow and can’t jump. I know Andrea Bargnani had a great finish to the season, but I also know half his time in the NBA has been absolutely miserable. I know Bargnani has great offensive potential, but I also know that he’s a huge liability on the boards. I know Bosh has the skills to be a great player, but I also fear that he’s reached his ceiling.
I have dreams where Turkoglu runs the high pick ‘n roll to perfection just like he did with Howard, but I also have nightmares where Bosh just stands 19 feet out and launches jumpers off the pass. I know Calderon can turn on any high screen and become an instant scoring and passing threat, but I also know he can be neutralized by a quick point guard. I know Amir Johnson has the tools to be great, but I also know he has the tools to be a total bust. I know the bench can be good with Jack leading the pack, but I also fear that Jack and Rasho are the only proven NBA players on the bench.
I know that the potential for team chemistry is there and that in a perfect world Turkoglu, Calderon, Bosh and DeRozan feed off each other like in a dirty foursome, but there’s a chance that they play like total strangers, just how O’Neal, Bosh and Calderon did. I always read about how Triano’s a coach who fires up a team and has intense practices, but I also look at the way the squad played last year. I say he to myself he didn’t have a training camp, but then I say to myself he had 65 games.
I know we have weaknesses, but I also know that so does everyone else. And it appears that nobody in the Eastern Conference is head and shoulders above anyone else – the Celtics are a year older, the Magic have the variable known as Vince, the Cavaliers have a 400 year old Shaq and then there’s the likes of Atlanta, Chicago and New York which aren’t anything to be scared off but are teams with potential – just like us. So yeah, I have no idea.Follow @raptorsrepublic