Don’t let the length of this series fool you. Chicago gave Cleveland a fight, a fight the Cavs were happy to endure. Wary of easy early-round foes after last year’s first- and second-round sweeps went for naught, they want to thank the Bulls for testing them.
James actually said the Cavs were hoping to meet Chicago in the first round rather than the hapless Toronto Raptors, precisely because the Bulls would battle them.
"We knew this team would push us,” James said. "That’s not taking anything away from Toronto but with (Chris) Bosh being out for the rest of the season and all those injuries, it just didn’t seem like they even wanted to make the playoffs at the end of the season. So it probably would’ve ended up in that same way if we had played Toronto like it was last year.
"But when Chicago made the eighth seed, we were excited about that because we knew we had to be in tune every possession and every game because that team plays hard no matter the score, no matter the time and no matter what the series is.”
Yeah, I know that Chris Bosh isn’t listed as a free agent – because he technically has a player option. He’ll be opting out and chasing the money. The question is whether it will end up being in Toronto or elsewhere. Toronto might end up being a hard sell, because this year was just so disappointing for them. Calderon and Jarrett Jack went back and forth in the starting PG slot, Bargnani didn’t really get any better, and Hedo had a pretty bad season (though he’s due to bounce back in my opinion…he could use a few more minutes for starters). Does Bosh really want to come back to that? I doubt it. Obviously he’s priority #1, but I’m going to guess he bolts, leaving Toronto with a big hole in the post, and not a lot of cap space to fill it (I estimated their cap number based on Bosh opting out). They should try to birng back Amir Johnson, but that #13 pick will likely give them a shot at a post player as well – I’ll put Ekpe Udoh or Daniel Orton in there for now, with Hassan Whiteside a failsafe (and long-term project) if those guys are off the board. But why do I get the idea that Al Harrington is going to end up a Canadian this offseason
Today’s player review will be focused upon the Raptors 9th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Entry Draft, ‘Heir Canada’ DeMar DeRozan. Coming into his rookie campaign the expectations were high for the youngster, and in a Raptors organization desperate for a swing-guard the opportunity was even greater. From opening night, DeMar found himself thrust into the starting line-up, a role he managed to hold onto for the greater portion of the season. Although receiving starters attention, DeMar struggled to find consistency at any point in the season, which can accredited to being the 5th option on the starting unit. Let’s take a look at DeMar’s numbers:
As I detailed in my last post, I think there’s still a chance Bosh will re-sign with Toronto. If he does decide to go, nearly a third of the league will be under the salary cap this summer. That’s astounding. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. Of course, just because you’re under the cap, doesn’t mean you’re going to have a shot at Bosh. I don’t see a team like Minnesota high on Bosh’s list. I also can’t see Washington being a likely destination. And then there are teams that have cap room, but simply don’t need a power forward like Bosh (Clippers). A team doesn’t necessarily have to have cap room to compete for Bosh, though. If someone like Houston has the right pieces, they could put together a sign-and-trade deal that could bring Bosh. All in all, I see 8 teams, other than Toronto, as having a shot at having Bosh on their roster next season.