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Thread: ESPN Insider Projection: 37-45, 7th East, 2nd Atlantic

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default ESPN Insider Projection: 37-45, 7th East, 2nd Atlantic

    Stolen from main page:

    With that said,¬ SCHOENE¬ sees the Raptors just squeezing their way into the playoffs with a 37-45 record, which signifies a slight improvement from last season. But that projection is contingent on Gay staying with the Raptors for the entirety of next season, which is far from guaranteed with Ujiri at the steering wheel. If the Raptors can find a taker in win-now mode (Milwaukee or Detroit?), Gay’s stay in Toronto could be short-lived.

    The biggest obstacle to the Raptors’ .500 quest is their underwhelming defense, which SCHOENE believes will rank 25th next season thanks in part to the exceedingly-high foul rates of Lowry, Johnson and Valanciunas. If Casey can somehow keep that trio out of foul trouble, the Raptors could put together an athletic defensive force that produces a DeRozan-and-Gay dunk factory. That’s the best-case scenario, and it might be the most unlikely as well.

    The Raptors should keep a close eye on Valanciunas, who has been played nonstop in 5-on-5 hoops this summer. After crushing the competition at the Las Vegas Summer League in July, the 21-year-old big man then starred for the Lithuanian national team at the EuroBasket in September. All the while, Valanciunas looked like he beefed up considerably since last season, which should help him bang against NBA frontlines, but the added weight could make him more susceptible to injury. Valanciunas might be a leading candidate for most improved player next season, but there’s a chance he burns out on the way there and the Raptors will have to shut him down.
    There is a bigger snip on main page who took a snip from ESPN Insider.... so original sounds pretty long.


    As an aside, seems they have Knicks also at 37-45. If that happens you can bet Melo is on the way out of town and one of Denver or Toronto is going to have a sweet Knicks pick.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
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    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    I can't see JV, Amir and Lowry having higher or even as high foul rates as they did last year. Amir has improved his foul rate every year for the last 4, moving from a foul every 5 minutes to a foul every 7.7. No reason to expect that to get worse now that he doesn't have to make up for Andre's lousy help D. And JV really improved from the start of the season to the end.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Fully's Avatar
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    Not sure if this is considered good or bad news.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Rapstor4Life's Avatar
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    I worry about JVs foul rate IF we gotta give Aron Gray burn we are doomed. Kyle and Amir are not issues.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar TRex's Avatar
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    6th-7th in the east.
    Follow me on Twitter - @11_RRyan

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    Raptors Republic Rookie MoscowRussia's Avatar
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    don't think 37-45 will be 7th seed, hardly 8th
    I would call it a bad result for the Raps. If we are on the way to 37-45 - trade Rudy...
    No new friends (c)

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Seems ESPN believes the east got significantly worse over this offseason - would almost have to be the worst its ever been.

    Very difficult to finish 7th with only 37 wins. Hasn't happened atleast in the last decade anyways (two lowest wins total at 7th is 39 games in 2003(?) and 40 a few years ago).

    I think there are enough .500 calibre teams in the east that even if 8th isn't .500, they are real close to it.

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    ESPN Insider is really off the mark with the comment that Valanciunas "starred with the Lithuanian national team at Eurobasket." JV was on the bench for the most part at Eurobasket.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Jclaw's Avatar
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    i would love to disagree with this...but usually when I have optimism to start a season, espn comes along with a cold bucket of water prediction. Last year they guessed 32-50...not too far off from 34-48. I can't find what they predicted two years ago but I think they were close as well. So, 37 wins it is, unless....

    #clown

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    The biggest obstacle to the Raptors’ .500 quest is their underwhelming defense, which SCHOENE believes will rank 25th next season thanks in part to the exceedingly-high foul rates of Lowry, Johnson and Valanciunas.
    This is the main part of their argument, and it is just wrong. No reason to expect those three to continue to fouls at high rates. As to how the Raps season progresses, who knows, but if it doesn't go well, it won't be because of those three fouling.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Puffer wrote: View Post
    This is the main part of their argument, and it is just wrong. No reason to expect those three to continue to fouls at high rates. As to how the Raps season progresses, who knows, but if it doesn't go well, it won't be because of those three fouling.
    picking those three individual players might not be correct. However, the team as a whole might be a solid point. The Raptors have led the league the last 2 seasons in personal fouls. For all the talk about efficiency and DD being a solid contributor at the foul line (which is true), it goes both ways. Teams are getting a lot of easy point against Toronto because of the fouling. If the defense does not improve, and a big part of that is limiting the fouling, I'm not hopeful for this season - especially when players think they can score at will with long 2s and my turn your turn offense.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    Seems ESPN believes the east got significantly worse over this offseason - would almost have to be the worst its ever been.

    Very difficult to finish 7th with only 37 wins. Hasn't happened atleast in the last decade anyways (two lowest wins total at 7th is 39 games in 2003(?) and 40 a few years ago).

    I think there are enough .500 calibre teams in the east that even if 8th isn't .500, they are real close to it.
    I'm not sure if that's 100% accurate. Maybe they just think the top 4 (Indy, MIA, Chi, BKY) are gonna be handing out beatings to everyone, lowering their records. Also there's not much difference between ATL, WAS, CLE, TOR, DET (maybe CHA), so it'll be hard for one of them to break away from the rest which means they could all finish below .500 with 3 still making the playoffs.

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    I'm not sure if that's 100% accurate. Maybe they just think the top 4 (Indy, MIA, Chi, BKY) are gonna be handing out beatings to everyone, lowering their records. Also there's not much difference between ATL, WAS, CLE, TOR, DET (maybe CHA), so it'll be hard for one of them to break away from the rest which means they could all finish below .500 with 3 still making the playoffs.
    I would also add maybe Milwaukee to that list of teams. They are 0-4 in preseason but so is Indiana.

    To get the scenario ESPN is predicting:

    • top 4 teams you listed steamroll rest of east competition and NYK stinks it up big time coming in way lower than expectations.
    • the list of teams you mention essentially go about .500 against each other.
    • the east bottom feeders get their wins versus the list of teams mentioned,
    • the west layeth the smacketh downeth on the east - which might not be out of the question considering, barring major injuries, only Utah and Phoenix look dreadful... even Sacramento is looking like they are getting some stability


    2004 and 2008 were the years with 39 (Philly) and 40 (NYK) win team 7th seeds.

    For the record, finishing the year at 37 wins and making the playoffs as the 7th seed would be my absolute worst nightmare.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Shrub's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    Seems ESPN believes the east got significantly worse over this offseason - would almost have to be the worst its ever been.
    It doesn't necessarily mean the East is worse, it could just mean more wins for the teams at the bottom.
    Less teams with 10-20 wins.
    I can see that.

    Philly are rubbish, but most other teams are competitive(ish) compared to years prior.
    I'm not even ready to say that Orlando are rubbish (though I probably should and I just think they will be fun to watch).

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    Raptors Republic Starter AJ360's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    For the record, finishing the year at 37 wins and making the playoffs as the 7th seed would be my absolute worst nightmare.
    Better 37-45 and finishing 7th than 37-45 and finishing 9th.

    Finishing 9th is my absolute worst nightmare.

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    I have to admit, I agree with ESPN that the Raptors will get 7th, but it won't be with a sub-.500 record! The East didn't get worse over the summer - there are some wild cards out there - the brittle Knicks, will the Cavs have a healthy Bynum & Varejao, etc... but 37 wins isn't landing in 7th.

    "7. Toronto Raptors – 34-48 last season, projected 44-38

    The Raptors have brought back the core of last season’s roster that played .500 ball after the Rudy Gay trade and have upgraded the Andrea Bargnani anchor that had been holding them back last year with three-point shooting specialist Steve Novak and the physical play of Tyler Hansbrough."

    Predicting the NBA East and West Standings - Pro Bball Report

    Ujiri has said he was running with Lowry & Gay to see where it goes and the Raptors new GM just tells it like it is. You don't have to read between the lines with this guy. If the Raptors are playing well, both of these players will be with the team at the end of the year - if not, he expects they'll be gone or leave on their own. There won't be a trade to tank the season - unless the season was tanking beforehand already. (ESPN doesn't exactly show up at the press conferences and scrums to listen to Ujiri talk and Ujiri is worth listening to)
    The best Raptors discussion board is at Raptors Republic.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote brothersteve wrote: View Post
    I have to admit, I agree with ESPN that the Raptors will get 7th, but it won't be with a sub-.500 record! The East didn't get worse over the summer - there are some wild cards out there - the brittle Knicks, will the Cavs have a healthy Bynum & Varejao, etc... but 37 wins isn't landing in 7th.

    "7. Toronto Raptors – 34-48 last season, projected 44-38

    The Raptors have brought back the core of last season’s roster that played .500 ball after the Rudy Gay trade and have upgraded the Andrea Bargnani anchor that had been holding them back last year with three-point shooting specialist Steve Novak and the physical play of Tyler Hansbrough."

    Predicting the NBA East and West Standings - Pro Bball Report

    Ujiri has said he was running with Lowry & Gay to see where it goes and the Raptors new GM just tells it like it is. You don't have to read between the lines with this guy. If the Raptors are playing well, both of these players will be with the team at the end of the year - if not, he expects they'll be gone or leave on their own. There won't be a trade to tank the season - unless the season was tanking beforehand already. (ESPN doesn't exactly show up at the press conferences and scrums to listen to Ujiri talk and Ujiri is worth listening to)
    Exactly.

    He was asked specifically about tanking by a fan last night and his reply was, "We'll take it as it comes."

    He was asked how do the Raptors go about bringing in free agents and his reply was, "We have to put the right basketball players and the right talent on the court."

    Both Masai and Leiweke are talking about championships. It is probably because I'm a bitter, jaded Raptor fan (I joke - ever so slightly) and I am not in the 'circle' of the league, but outside of a few role players and a blossoming JV, I don't see the right basketball players or talent currently on the floor in Toronto to build when you consider the CBA. Leiweke said they are prepared to be tax payers but even with that desire you still need to send salary out to take more back and after that it is just exceptions (mini-MLE for taxpayers at just $3M) and minimum contracts. If the desire is to be a tax payer and compete at all costs, it makes sense to get your talent through the draft and then extend them when the time comes with no worries of breaking up a team a la OKC/Harden.

    One thing that gives me great hope if the plan is to build while competing is the draft history of the Bucks while Weltman was there and of Masai's two picks in Denver (10-22 draft picks).
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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