I might not be good at photoshop, but I'm also bad at predictions!
I may not be good at photoshop, but I’m also bad at predictions!

I suppose it’s prediction time now that preseason is wrapping up. Before I get to my predictions for the 2012-13 Toronto Raptors, let’s take a look around the internet and see what others are projecting.

John Hollinger, ESPN
33-49, 12th in East
“If everything goes perfectly fine, maybe Toronto will sneak into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. But things rarely go perfectly fine.”

Marc Stein, ESPN
23rd in Power Rankings
“There’s quiet optimism north of the border that the Raps can scrap for the East’s No. 8 spot. I’ll just stop at saying that Valanciunas’ unhappy Olympics (and likely slow NBA start) won’t discourage me at all about his promise.”

ESPN The Magazine
40-42, 9th in East
“Deeper isn’t enough. Lock up Bargnani and new point guard Kyle Lowry and who puts the ball in the hole? Toronto was 29th in offensive rating last year. There is, of course, vague hope in youth.”

Bradford Doolittle, Basketball Prospectus
(note: from August, September update behind paywall)
42-40, 9th in East
“Head coach Dwayne Casey’s team will stress defense, and if DeMar DeRozan’s productivity starts to match his raw talent, the Raptors might be poised for a playoff run.”

39-42, 10th in East (with only 81 games, apparently)

Wages of Wins
45-37, 4th in East
“hahaha” – everyone

ESPN Conglomerated Rankings (100 people surveyed)
32-50, 11th in East
“Toronto’s a team that could threaten with the 8 spot. Addition of Lowry, Ross and Valanciunas adds much-needed defensive help.”

Zach Lowe, Grantland
9th/10th in East
“Bonus Raptors prediction: The Raptors will make a push for a top-10 ranking in points allowed per possession, a remarkable potential turnaround for a team that was an embarrassing dead last — with a bullet — just two seasons ago.”

Eric Koreen, National Post
31-37 wins
“I’d say the Raps’ sweet spot is between 31-37 wins, in relation to the@johnhollinger prediction.”
(Note from Blake: C’mon E-Ko, narrow it down!)

Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun
“I might be a bit high with that prediction, as injuries likely will happen. But 34-38 is the range I see for the Raptors.”

And now, for the most important prediction of all…mine. Put it on the record and file it away for constant harassment later…

The Toronto Raptors will finish 38-44 to place 9th in the Eastern Conference.

I think the team is going to be a top-10 unit defensively based on the personnel additions and continued improvement under coach Dwane Casey.

I think the team’s 29th-ranked offense will get into the low-20s or high teens thanks to the addition of Lowry, a full season of Bargnani, and DeRozan committing full-time to getting to the line.

I think Jonas Valanciunas will finish tied for second in Rookie of the Year voting with Damian Lillard, who will be the top rookie scorer but will also lose out to Anthony Davis.

I don’t think any Raptor makes the All-Star team, but Kyle Lowry will be listed among the top snubs (or possibly get a nod as an injury replacement).

I think Jose Calderon will remain a Raptor for the whole season.

I think Linas Kleiza will not. Jonas will be just fine.

I think Terrence Ross will struggle to earn playing time in the first half of the season before figuring out his role and settling in as an adequate three-point shooter and above-average wing defender.

I think DeMar DeRozan will continue to drive me mad with long-twos but will crack the top-10 with 6.5 free throw attempts per game, replacing some of those mid-range jumpers.

I think Ed Davis and Amir Johnson will morph into one super-big named Amed Davison who will average 15-and-12 with two blocks a game. He/it will still lose minutes to Aaron Gray against centers over 250lbs.

John Lucas will play well in a limited role and be the subject of trade rumors that won’t come to fruition. He’ll be the unquestioned PG2 heading into next season.

Quincy Acy, Alan Anderson, Dominic McGuire and Landry Fields will also all exist, though I have no predictions for them.

Overall, I couldn’t be more excited for the season. It seems silly after years of ineptitude and when the team’s upside appears to be first round playoff fodder, but it’s basketball, and there are actual things to look forward to. I’ve loved watching Kyle Lowry in preseason games so I can only imagine how much I’ll enjoy it when the games matter; Jonas Valanciunas might be up and down, but his intensity and potential will be reason enough to tune in for every game; And despite their polarity among the Republic, the whole season will be a chance to pass “final” judgment on DeRozan and Bargnani and the type of players they’ll settle in as.

Strap in for what should be a long, arduous and exciting season that maybe, just maybe, will have us all discussing some playoff basketball in the end.

  • Daniel

    Why do grown-ups prefer to live in the world of make-believe than the real world? Why the mass hysteria about a career back-up PG? Why projecting dreams than forecasting likelihood probabilities?

    • 2damkule

      sweet jeebus, just fuck off if you don’t want to participate.  i wasn’t aware that reading RR was something foisted upon you.

      • Nilanka15


        Jose for prez…

        • What the

          is he traded yet?

        • what the

          i thought it was your boy gary forbes


      Same questions we ask ourselves when you post your Jose Is My Jesus rants. Do you need me to copy and paste some of your wonderful dreams and forcasting about Jose?

      And Daniel, get a f clue.  Yes, this may be (in the end) a lateral move, winning wise, at the PG spot.  But it’s time to change the show from one dimensional tennis ball machine, who takes no risks, endlessly dribbles, is allergic to the paint and cant’s speak any English well enough for his team mates to understand, to something else.

      You have been entertained for 6 years, now it’s time for the rest of us to enjoy anything but the Efficient Pig Farmer show.

      • FAQ

        Fear not FLUX… for our saviour BC intends to purge the Rats by trading Jose to some desperate playoff-seeking team with injured PGs… and BC may even throw in DD, ED, others.

        I’m surprised you haven’t recognized BC’s devious strategy of assembling a smorgasbord of development players to feed the rest of the NBA.  MLSE will make a shitload of money with this strategy …. while tribal honking Morontonians keep on getting screwed by NBA carpetbaggers like BC and Stern … while fans obliviously proclaim “we love our Raps”!!!!

        Same old ..same old ….. btw are you now eligible for CPP???

        • p00ka


          You mean like a moron that would include English language skills in his assessment of a player, even though there’s no such evidence that it’s a problem, except in his head? Or a moron that would childishly, and endlessly, call fans that don’t agree with him “tribal honking fans” ? Class acts, you two arrogant pricks are.

          • FLUXLAND


            Sheriff p00ka reporting for duty!

            Running around here asking: “Colonel Raptor Fan! Did you order the Code Red???!!”  and then unleashing because you don’t like what you read.  Why is it so hard for you to ignore comments you don’t like? Do you put on a cape before you post and feel like one of the Mystery Men? Saving the world one comment at a time, hey p00pie?

            Once again, the rest of us don’t live in p00kavillage with the BC appeasing peasants.

            Class act. That’s rich coming from you, son. You are embodiment of a troll.

            • p00ka

              Still relying upon the whiney cop/sheriff comeback hey. Don’t like my comment about your imbecilic post, “ignore comments you don’t like”.

              You must talk to someone about this issue you have with authority figures (cop, sheriff). Maybe it’s just that you’re a minion at work and need to act out and be a big shot against those on the internet, where it’s safe. I hope it’s not because you’ve been abused by an authority figure, but get some help either way.

              In the meantime, since you’ve been around here so long, and go on pretty much the same rant about my posts all the time, perhaps you can clue me in to the rules of the board that I’m not following to your satisfaction. I’d also be interested in seeing rules that may pertain to your posts.

              • FLUXLAND

                You know all about whining don’t you? It is all you do around here. Whine about people’s opinions that do not match yours.

                You live in this vacuum where the past never happened and one is not entitled to speculate about the future, because again, it doesn’t fit your script.

                The only person on here that needs help is you, clearly. Is that what you are doing p00pie? Crying out for help? Talk to us, p00.

                The only rule is don’t be a blatant hypocrite.. which is precisely what you are. No one responds to your comments or address you, you interject you questioning persona, not to promote discussion, but to object to an opinion that is not in line with yours. It is all you have ever done around here.

                I’m guessing you are still having flashback to high school, where you sat at the L table trying to figure how to fit in with the rest. Still working on that, I see.

                I don’t have an issue with authority at all. I got an issue with oppressing MF that think accepting what is given is being a “true fan” Fuck you very much, no thanks. And you act like a soldier in that quest, running around here talking about “hope and faith” “working on flaws” and generally trying to cover up shit with sugar and calling it ice cream. 

                You cup of tea, maybe. But stay in your own sandbox with the rest of the optimists, unless you are prepared to have a discussion that doesn’t involve wearing pink glasses and circle jerks.

                • p00ka

                  Do these delusional, over the top angry rants get you anywhere in real life? Geez, you’ve gone over the edge like this, with almost the exact verbal diarrhea of a chant a few times now. It obviously isn’t working too well for you, so you may want to try something else to get a bloody grip.

                  To quote yourself again, in trying to give me advice (hahahaha), “ignore comments you don’t like”, if the best defense of jackass lies is this predictable kind of shyet of a snit. I guess you’ve gotten people running in circles before with this shyt, but I’m not going to bite again.

                  I’ll just let you know that I’ll maintain my resolve to respond to posts with as much/little respect as is contained in them, toward whatever comment I choose, however many times you deliver your repetitive little snotty snit. The bent side of me looks forward to the next post of yours that contains jackass delusions/lies like you laid on Jose above. Opinions are to be shared, but stupidity should be kept to yourself, or it’s open to correction, or often more apt in your case, mockery.

        • RapthoseLeafs

          I’ll go with Door #1


        • FLUXLAND

          Am I privy to BC’s continuation of Farm Team GM for the NBA? 

          I think some of wrote the Farm Team Commission Report, no?

          ; )

      • Dcoghina

        Please do.

        • FLUXLAND

          Let’s warm up with this:

           “In 1 or 2 years he will be the undisputed best
          pure PG in NBA.”


          “There are two such
          “truths” floating around among Raptors’ fanbase: Jose is not
          part of the future plans for this team and he should be happy to get a 4-5
          million deal from us at the end of this contract.”

          Let’s recall all of this is coming from the guy that proclaimed: 

          “There is a reason
          why never in the history of NBA PG’s as first or second scoring option have won
          a championship.” 

  • Statement

    Hey dude, you stole my idea from the comments thread in the Bucks recap post.  I demand reparations. 

    Rice Crispy Squares, ala Peter Griffin, will do fine.

    • BlakeMurphy

      Ahh sorry man, I sometimes only scan the comments and don’t read them all because I can’t handle some of it haha. If we ever meet I will give you a marshmallow rice treat.

  • Theswirsky

    ” the whole season will be a chance to pass “final” judgment on DeRozan and Bargnani and the type of players they’ll settle in as.”

    I’ll believe that when i see it. 

    • FAQ

      Notice how “scaird” DD is playing now… all because BC refuses to negotiate a juicy contract extension.  Jose will most likely be traded to a wounded playoff team come February trade deadline, while DD is just trade bait in some package.

      Bargs stays unless somebody makes him an offer he can’t refuse….!!!

      • hater

        dumb fuck

        • FAQ

          If you disagree, read this from hoopshype:

          Raptors like DeMar and believe in him, but sources say the idea of
          overpaying DeMar isn’t something the team is willing to do and that
          letting the market set his price as a restricted free agent is more
          likely. The Raptors are looking for a big leap from DeRozan this
          season before they are willing to really engage on what his future value
          really is. HoopsWorld””

          As for your “dumb fuck” comment, that is something your daddy might have said about your conception.

          • p00ka

            Your imaginary world interpretation of that quote smells of troll (we know), or in keeping with the theme, dumb fuck

          • hater

            dumb fuck

            • Derozan dunk on yo mama

              you’re all dumb fucks

    • what the

      AB13 and DD are HOFers

  • AnthonyF

    From the Grantland article referenced above and the author’s 26 bold predictions:

    Bonus Raptors prediction: The Raptors will make a push for a
    top-10 ranking in points allowed per possession, a remarkable potential
    turnaround for a team that was an embarrassing dead last — with a bullet
    — just two seasons ago. Dwane Casey got this crew up to no. 14 last
    season, and with Kyle Lowry onboard to hound opposing point guards as
    the young bigs get more experience under Casey, another jump is
    possible. Integrating Jonas Valanciunas and reintegrating Andrea
    Bargnani will present some early challenges, and the Raptors might give
    up some more easy points if they remain committed to pushing the pace
    and shooting 3s. But this is a team to watch.

    He has the Raps battling for the playoffs….  Look anytime someone outside Toronto actually has something to say about Toronto, that is a big deal.

    • Theswirsky

      “anytime someone outside Toronto actually has something to say about Toronto, that is a big deal”

      except when its negative, then they are either bias or don’t know what they are talking about ofcourse.

    • FAQ

      The Rats will collapse on defense because some players want to pad their shooting stats… notably, DD who is frantically playing for a contract extension or a trade by padding his scoring.  DD will sacrifice defense for scoring regardless of what Casey wants.  DD may be riding the bench..!!!

      • Herman

        not every player on the raps gets big money like AB13 before they do any thing… DD is not EYEtalian

        • cesco

          If he could have played defense one on one or shoot the threes like the “eyetalian” did in his third year then yes he would have good an extension by now . He will have to score 20+ ppg and show some defense to get an offer at the end of the year as a RFA .

      • FLUXLAND

        Casey wants what BC wants.  Did you see the preseason game interview with Sam? I suspect all talk of defense will die quickly, (it’s already dead anyway) we’ll be back to RnG in no time disguised as “creating points off our defense”. 

        “Pound The Rock”…into the rim.

        • p00ka

          Are you questioning coach Casey’s character and saying he’s just a puppet of BC? You truly do have an authority figure issue and need some help, but please enlighten us to how the defense is “dead already”, because I don’t see evidence from the preseason games that would indicate anything of the kind. Or is this opinion based upon your interpretation that if he’s talking about offense, he must be throwing defense out the window?

          • FLUXLAND

            Perhaps to you an actual effort on defense is acceptable But let’s not pretend this a defensive team, first and foremost. That’s the Bulls, that’s the Celtics. The conversation regarding this team went from changing culture and defensive team to…. crickets.

            As per the puppet comment….BC’s history suggests as such, but you conveniently, like many others around here ignore that and pretend every year is a new leaf for the guy. You know “he finally gets it”

            You are the only poster that seems to draw conclusions about peoples personal lives based on what they type, to the degree you do. Get a hold of yourself and stop playing the amateur resident therapist. 

            • p00ka

              “As per the puppet comment….BC’s history suggests as such, but you conveniently, like many others around here ignore that”

              Yes, most people ignore, as serious commentary anyway, delusions that some people tell themselves enough that they believe in them as truth. Just what is this “BC’s history” that “suggests as such”? Media attention getting “opinion” crap that you’ve read? Delusional fans’ imaginary internet rants repeated until it’s “truth” that others ignore?

              Or reality? Seriously. Has any former coach ever been quoted that BC was simply pulling their strings? Anything real, or just imagination? If so, please share your actual knowledge and it’s source (generally at least), so that the rest of us humble souls can conveniently remember and stop conveniently ignoring, as you say.

  • Babcock

    I like your predictions, except for the part on Ross being an above average wing defender. He looked awfullll in the preseason (defensively). 

  • Bendit

    The first 10 games or so will be a good predictor. Some strong teams in there beginning with opening night …Indiana. In spite of the decent preseason showing I am nervous about the start. No let ups on defense.

    • FAQ

      The first quarter of play will be the “good predictor”… and that’s what is concerning Casey when he is interviewed. 

      Why can’t Rats score in the first quarter … while letting the opponents score bunches… is their defense shiittyy..??!!!

    • what the

      raps don’t fear PACERS …we will beat them 3 out of 4  true story

  • minks77

    Amed Davison for 1st team all NBA, all NBA D, DPOY, MVP and Finals MVP! Where do I get a jersey in every colourway???

  • http://twitter.com/lgsshedden L. Graham Smith

    might as well go on the record now and say I think not only will the Raptors make the playoffs but I think it will be as #6 or #7 seed.  There, the official glass half full, blind optimist projection. 
    Raptors do have more depth, will play as a team and execute what Casey wants and the team needs to close out the close games they lost last year and that will be the difference.  Also we assume all the other teams will meet or exceed last years performance and be injury free — clearly not going to happen.  There will be some regression by teams like Milwaukee, Atlanta and Indiana and others such as New York and Brooklyn will not be last the season without the usual drama and issues.  A team that stays focused,plays well and within themselves can quietly get the job done without much fanfare or notice: that’s this year’s Raptors.

    • unknown guest

      Injuries in the East will very well determine the Raps ranking for sure.

      • Copywryter

        Our injuries will determine our ranking just as much. Lowry has not been durable, Jose is definitely not. I’d mention Bargs but last year might have been an anomaly. 

        • p00ka

          “Lowry has not been durable”

          This is an unfair fallacy being spread here. Take away his first year, when he broke his wrist (hasn’t had a problem with it since, and played 82 the following year) and last years’ “sinus infection” (not an injury, can happen to a couch potato), and he’s only missed 30 games over 5 years.

          That’s far from “not durable”, as PGs go. For examples:

          Rondo missed 27 games, last 2 yrs
          Parker missed 59 games the same 5 years
          Paul missed  49 games the same 5 yrs
          D-Will missed 48 games the same 5 yrs
          shall we include Rose, Rubio, Curry ?

          • Theswirsky

            Sinus infection?  It was a groin injury that led to a bacterial infection.  Just so you know thats the difference between your nose and your vagina.

            Way to pick and choose your time frames while talking about unfair fallacies

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    As I said in another thread, the optimistic fan in me is fighting with the logical pragmatist in me…

    On one hand, I would love to see this team claw its way into the 8th seed, even if it means an embarassing sweep at the hands of the defending champion Heat.

    On the other hand, finishing 9th place (13-14th worst overall) and narrowly missing the playoffs, might be the best possible long-term outcome.

    If the latter happens:
    – the Raptors’ 1st round pick goes to Houston to complete the Lowry deal (Lowry for the #10-14 pick in a shallow 2014 draft would be an absolute steal)
    – the uncertainty around the TBD draft pick would be eliminated and BC would once again be able to plan around future 1st round picks (ie: they could also once again be included in potential trades, starting with the 2016 1st round pick)
    – I assume that there would be good individual player development (especially Valanciunas, Davis & Ross), development of team chemistry, ‘final judgement’ regarding Bargnani and DeRozan (either legit starters or trade bait to be acted on), establishment of rotation/roles, etc… all of which would be extremely beneficial for this team long-term, even if it means missing the playoffs one more season

    Having said that, I could realistically see the Raptors finishing anywhere in the #5-11 range in the East and will be rooting for them 100%!

    • Miska Vlasics

      Some good points in there but I never really see why anyone should view missing the playoffs as a good thing. Yes there are the pros/cons of drafts and trades and all that but the one negative that trumps them all is:

      No one wants to play on a team that never makes the playoffs. 

      Lets say a really really good player is available and Toronto is one of his possible destinations via trade or sign. Is it more reasonable to think that they would rather sign with a go nowhere squad….or be the piece to make first round become second round.

      Winning begets winners. (and is more likely to be able to sign them)

      • Copywryter

        Similarly, I never really see why making it as the 8th seed is a good thing. I’d be interested to see how many 8th seed teams climbed the playoff ladder in following seasons. 

        • Dan

           I think it’s because the players get to experience the intensity of the playoffs that just can’t be matched in a regular season game. It’s one of those things you can be told a million times but until you are there you don’t fully believe it.

          • Copywryter

            Shouldn’t veteran teams who’ve made the playoffs for several years running do better then? 

        • Matt52

           Denver w/ Mutumbo vs. Seattle w/Payton and Kemp
          Golden State w/ Baron Davis vs. Dallas
          Memphis vs. San Antonio (2 years ago?)

          • Matt52

             Anymore?  All I can think of.

            I think Denver was best of five as well.

            • Lorenzo

               The sixers last year?

              • Matt52

                 lol – yup.  Funny how the most obvious is least remembered.  That definitely deserves an asterisk though with Rose’s injury. 

          • Nilanka15

            If memory serves correctly, weren’t the 1999 Knicks an 8th seed that made it to the finals?

            • Tim Holmes

              Yep the last shortened lockout season, with an injured Ewing no less, My boy Sprewell was a beast that finals.

        • p00ka

          You don’t have to go very far to see big jumps.

          Indiana 2010-11 – 8th, 2011-12- 3rd
          Memphis 2010-11 – 8th, 2011-12-4th

          Chicago 2009-10 – 8th, 2010-11- 1st
          OKC 2009- 10 – 8th, 2010- 11- 4th

    • FAQ

      If you were a “logical pragmatist”, you would prefer a tanking strategy for high draft picks and future development.  As an “optimistic fan” you demand instant gratification screaming your face off when the orange ball go in the hole.

      Can’t you be a “pragmatic observant fan” who knows that clawing for the 8th playoff spot is a prescription for future failure, frustration and pain??!!!!

      • FLUXLAND


        But wait FAQ. What about all that playoff experience? We know 1st round doormat is a stepping stone toward contender. Right?

  • Brandon

    If Ross is an average 3-point shooter and above-average wing defender he should be starting ahead of Derozan, because that  a lot more than DDR gives them.

    • Destro

      Why do comments like this get made still ? If Ross cannot put up 20 pts on any given he shouldnt and ISNT going to start over DeRozan….stop being stupid…

      An unproven rookie isnt going to supplant a legit 17-18 PPG scorer,even in your dreams you should be slapped…

      • Gary Beeser

        Agreed, it’s so stupid…It’s like saying Ed Davis should be starting ahead of Andrea Bargnani. Can you imagine the idiocy?

        • A Zotti


          • Gary Beeser

            Glad you liked it!

            • Destro

              0 all star games

          • Destro

            Last name !

        • Destro

          Ed Davis is a better defender and rebounder tho….thats not a stretch…..or an equal comparison to a rookie starting over a legit NBA starter…

          • Gary Beeser

            Both Bargnani and DeRozan should be starting, until the Raps have better players as alternatives and as of right now, it’s not even close for either of them. Do they both have flaws – hell yes – but the guys supposedly pushing them are nowhere close.

  • ad

    Ive said all along that 35 wins sounds about right. I know everyone is excited and dreaming of the 8th spot but 9th-11th in the east is more realistic for this group. Only way that changes is if Colangelo makes a shrewd acquisition for a top wing player. Unfortunately, I don’t have any faith in him to deliver on that whatsoever.

    • ad

      Relating to my point. This article is bang on. Makes some great points about
      derozan. Harsh but 100% true.

      • BlakeMurphy

        Great piece. Arnovitz is good stuff, and makes all salient points here. I do see DD having “semi-efficient wing scorer” in him though, but it has everything to do with shot selection and getting to the stripe.

      • AnthonyF

        Love being at a crossroads in a positive light going the right direction.  Bang on with DD.  Of course the AB detractors will be upset that he didn’t ride him too.  I think many still are under-rating JV (at least I hope they are). 

        • Destro

          Nah but when do you declare the team doesnt work because of the teams 2nd or 3rd option and NOT the teams #1 option ? Especially when ur criticism of that player are the EXACT very things the teams SUPPOSED #1 player lacks as well….

          Doesnt surprise when seeing who the writer is…

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            Exactly, this team is being built around AB so he should shoulder the load but we all know he is a half ass lazy mofo’er that came into training camp out of shape plus needs 20 shots for 20 points- some toy boy leader!!!!

            Demar is an easy target for some but he is far better a player than when he came into the league as well as no one had him rated as a future NBA superstar one to build a team around when he was drafted as he was drafted as a piece not a center piece of a team.

            The faster AB is traded away the faster the Raptors can move forward- how long before AB’s calf acts up again? smh

            Andrea Bargnani aka The Pope aka Golden Child aka Pasta! aka King Bargs aka Spoiled Brat aka The Italian Cancer aka Lazy Mofo’er aka Half Ass aka I’m Not A Center I’m A PF aka Enigma Of Enigmas aka No Star aka Mr 20 Shots For 20 Points aka Toy Boy

            ‘Rebounding and defense is for peasants’ (Bargnani voice)

            • Lorenzo

              Lol, *boy toy

            • KaioKev

              That last paragraph! I liked that that was good!

          • cesco

            The writer perceives the Raps main weakness at the wing . That is were we need to get stronger if we want to move forward thus he criticizes DD as the main culprit . The writer could have said that the lack of a quality SF is the problem which would have been more true .

            • Destro

              Lack of efficiency,defense and rebounding from our perceived top player gets no mention tho ?

              *voids writers opinion*

      • Destro

        Its not harsh all,some of those criticisms are legit but this hasnt been and isnt DeRozans team….Writer appears to have a bias and that of itself is a problem with alot of NBA writers..they arent consistant in there criticism…again im not glossing over his defense inefficient shooting last year or lack of range but he wasnt the teams #1 and hasnt been…If you cant call that same criticism on what he states as the teams go to player then how can you put the blame on his teammates underneath him,its not logical….

        I bet he didnt blame miami not winning a title in 2010-2011 on Bosh not coming up big in the playoffs now did he…

        • p00ka

          “I bet he didnt blame miami not winning a title in 2010-2011 on Bosh not coming up big in the playoffs now did he…”

          That would be pretty dumb to even mention, because he did come up big, doh.

          • Destro

            Not surprised you didnt understand…

        • CJT

          It was last year.

          • Destro

            Irrelevant….they didnt win a championship because of there top player…that matters a year 2 years 5 years later….

      • 511

        It’s only 100% true if we’re talking about the DeRozan that we knew up to the end of last year. To me, DeRozan has gotten bigger and stronger and he attacks the basket with less hesitation than he once did. Which would make him a better player than the guy that ESPN writer Kevin Arnovitz is talking about. How much better, we’ll see as the season goes along. But he is, imo, better. 

        • Nilanka15

          He’s almost being aggressive to a fault, not really looking to pass the ball when he draws extra defenders, and too many times getting called for charges. 

          Hopefully it’s just preseason rust, as opposed to an innate inability to see the floor properly.

    • Herman

      have a seat ain’t nobody getting traded here.

  • 2damkule

    all i know for certain is that there will be a group of assholes who are going to proclaim – at the end of the year – that ‘everyone’ thought the raps would win 50 games & finish 3rd in the conf…

  • 511

    Ya never know what’s gonna happen, but … the depth of the team, Jonas being a way above average rookie big-man (as I almost think of as a given if healthy all season), DeRozan looking like he’s figured out a couple things, Lowry, who will be tough to live with if/when they lose games they could’ve won (and who will singlehandedly win games on occasion if the few preseason games we’ve seen him in are any indication), along with what might be among the biggest factors, Dwane Casey, who will undoubtedly continue the defensive growth of the team as he also keeps them all where they mostly need to be (physically and mentally) throughout the course of the long season, and I see the playoffs as definitely attainable. And not even necessarily as the last team in, which could set up a more interesting first round. Things will have to go right but if so, this team could be one of the surprises of the league this year. As I think in my Go-Raps brain, anyway. (Go Raps.) 

  • vino







    San Antonio

    Golden State

    New Orleans

    • Lucas

      I would put Brooklyn and NY in the third tier. That doesn’t guarantee they’ll make the playoffs (either of them), but their potential is higher than the Raptors (but not as high as Indiana and Boston).
      I might even put Charlotte and Orlando in a class of their own (at the bottom of the conference, obviously).
      For the West, Denver is DEFINITELY tier-2. They were the 6th seed last year (2 games ahead of 7th, and only 2 games behind the Clippers), and they got better this year.
      Also, Portland, Phoenix and Houston should be in a tier of their own (IMO), between where you have them and the last tier in the West. If New Orleans was healthy, I’d put them there too, but it’s a close call.
      Overall, nice list, though. I think Toronto and Milwaukee have a shot at the playoffs is things go mostly well for them (chemistry and health-wise), and things fall below expectations for one or more of: NY, Philadelphia, Atlanta, or Brooklyn (in order of most to least likely to miss the playoffs, IMO).
      For the record, here are my Top-10 from each conference (below that no one is fighting for a playoff spot, realistically):

      EASTMiamiBostonIndianaChicagoBrooklynAtlantaPhiladelphiaNew YorkTorontoMilwaukeeWESTOklahoma CitySan AntonioLA ClippersLA LakersDenverMemphisDallasMinnesotaUtahGolden State

      • Lucas

        Well, that showed up all shitty. This should be better (teams below the game will likely be in a fight for a playoff spot):
        EAST—–1.  Miami2.  Boston3.  Indiana4.  Chicago5.  Brooklyn6.  Atlanta7.  Philadelphia8.  New York9.  Toronto10.  Milwaukee  WEST—–1.  Oklahoma City2.  San Antonio3.  LA Clippers4.  LA Lakers5.  Denver6.  Memphis7.  Dallas8.  Minnesota9.  Utah10.  Golden State

        • Lucas

          Where’s the edit button when you need it?? No idea why that’s happening, but I attached it as an image instead, to be safe. Because I’m sure you guys are all DYING to know my opinion!
          Teams in italics are fighting for a spot, teams in bold are safe bets to make it into the playoffs.

  • Roarque

    42 wins because Landry Fields and Andreas Bargnani will average 30 points a night combined with 10 rebounds combined. Lowry will have a career year and stay healthy so he can stare down the GM who traded him because he grabbed Lin.

    Fields and Lowry will bleed the glue needed to morph the Craptors of 2011 into the Raptors of 2013.

    You heard here first.

    BTW JV will be at the All Star event as a rookie.

    • Herman

      RAPS 3rd in the east.

    • Copywryter

      Plus they’ll win the Stanley Cup and save hundreds of puppies and kitten from a fire at the SPCA. 

  • Voshon Lenard

    Raptors will be 2nd or 3 rd in Atlantic breaking down

    1. Philadelphia
    2. Boston
    3. Toronto
    4. New york
    5. Brooklyn

    I think all teams make playoffs.

    Book it!

    • Phat AlberG

      Man it’s going to be a War in the Atlantic this year

      • nba_socrates

        A war which we get annihilated because BC is a boneheaded GM and cant draft or make the trades of the players we need

  • Observant

    I predict… the Raptors will suprise us this season…….

    • Brain Colangelo

      Late.  FAQ (Antoine) predicted that weeks ago.  And with the above predictions being anything from 6th place to 30 wins, unless they completely poop it this year surprise is impossible.

  • A Zotti

    demar is the weakest link in the starting 5…if we could package jose,demar and ed for a legit sg/sf we’d be fiyah……even with demar we still make the playoffs….but jose has to be moved.lucas needs to back up lowry.

    • Destro

      *sees last name*

      0 all star games.

      • Lorenzo

        So the one with bias is him, not you?

      • A Zotti

         …because my parents are swiss?….i dont get it.

        • Destro

          I know you dont….

    • golden

      Add Bargs & a 1st rounder to that package and that could be enough to get Harden if OKC can’t sign him.

      • Nilanka15

        Signing Harden to a max contract will be as regrettable as Joe Johnson’s contract.  He’s a good player playing with 2 elite teammates.  He’ll be exposed if promoted to the “Alpha Male” role.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    30-35 Ws.

  • Ryan

    Interesting how the league is predicted in general. You have some that think 42-40 is 9th in the East, and then you have those that think 45-37 is a 4th seed … granted, that site also predicted the Raptors would be fourth…

  • Dan

    Interesting article on truehoop. Here is why the writer thinks the Raptors will still struggle on offense.
    DeRozan, the Raptors’ leader in minutes played each of the past two
    seasons, has never posted a player efficiency rating (PER) above the
    league average and it’s not as if he’s making up for it as a defender.
    He’s not a proficient outside shooter, makes iffy reads on the
    pick-and-roll and is a ball-stopper in isolation with a
    less-than-stellar track record of converting those opportunities into
    anything — a creator without much creativity.

    • A Zotti

       destro…where you at bitch…explain this boy.

    • A Zotti

       wow,dude goes on to say this

      If the Raptors let DeRozan walk, they’d have some dough to find someone
      — anyone — who can score efficiently at the wing. Once that happens,
      the ball will start to move again in Toronto, this time with a stalwart
      defense to complement it.

  • frankthetank

    Raptors 7th -10h place  with a win record of between 38-42 wins.   New york and brooklyn will struggle in the first half of the season  and one of those teams will miss the playoffs.  Philly and Boston both look strong but not great and the same can be said for most of the east besides miami.  Miami is the ownly elite team in the east still.   Should be a fun year with a lot east teams being very competitive.   

  • FAQ

    No Jell-O… no Team-O… no Play-O(ff) …..!!!!!

  • Ecrapsfan

    Ahmed Davison has me intrigued.   That may be one of your best works. 

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    Here’s a bold prediction for you: the Raptors will finish no higher than second place and no lower than third place in the Atlantic Division.  What’s my reasoning?  It’s Simple.  Considering how stacked the division is with four teams capable of winning 45 to 50 wins win, there will either be a four way tie for first place or a three way tie for second.

    • Nilanka15

      Isn’t it far more likely that each of the 5 Atlantic Division teams finish with different win totals?

  • nba_socrates

    23-59 is an accurate prediction for this upcoming season. If we had drafted the player that we should have, we would be pushing for a top 4 seed. Never mind BC has his agenda, only he knows what the benefits are from keeping the raptors irrelevant.

    • Nilanka15

      Drummond is the difference between 23 wins and 50 wins???  Seriously guy, have you ever watched basketball before last year?

      Bonus question:  Do you honestly think this year’s team is worse than last year’s?  Your 23-win prediction certainly says so, considering we won the equivalent of 28 games last year.

  • Adriiian

    Dwayne Casey, coach of the year.
    Raptors above .500, BOOK IT. I’m hoping 6-8 seed.