You know that old stereotype about foreigners and how they can't play defense? Well, the Raptors aren't exactly shattering that perception. Team United Nations is giving up points at a rate that's embarrassing for a playoff-contending team, and yes, despite the losing start, the Raptors will still be playoff contenders. Notice we didn't say "championship contenders" because, in addition to their lack of a certified A-list franchise player (Chris Bosh hasn't led his team anywhere special, unlike Kobe and LeBron and D-Wade), the Raptors will not go far without issuing a little more D. It's not that they haven't applied themselves on defense. They can't play defense.
But, please. Toronto will not finish under .500. There's too much variety on offense, too many decent veteran players to prevent a disaster from happening. Plus, Toronto will play the Knicks and Nets eight times. That helps.
Losing on the road to Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix, Denver and Utah is no shame. Toronto will turn it around. No such guarantees for the defense, though.