1. The expected starting lineup you posted? They don't even make 82games.com's list of top-20 5-man units for playing time. That means they've played less than 35 minutes together as a group. Davis has only played about half a season with Bargs and DeRozan, as have Bayless and Johnson. In other words, they're starting off with very little chemistry and they're already a pretty inexperienced group of individuals to begin with.
2. And that's important because this is a shortened season, with next to zero training camp and next to zero time for practice throughout the season. Oh and they've got yet another new coach, with a new defensive philosophy and at least some new offence to work in. The shortened schedule favours teams with continuity, which is pretty much the opposite of what the Raps will have.
3. You mentioned that the Raps were bit by the injury bug last year. Guess what? Those same injury prone players are still on the team. Barbosa has played 70, 44 and 58 games his last 3 seasons. Calderon has played exactly 68 in his previous 3. Kleiza is coming off of surgery and so is Alabi. The Raps are a couple of injuries at the 5, 3 or 1 away from being right back in the same position they were last year. Very rarely does a team go through the year without injuries, especially one where there's a lot less recovery time during the season.
4. We don't yet know who the Raps might add by the time the season starts, but one ting is for sure: they'll be trying to dump certain players as the season goes on. Barbosa is all but guaranteed to be gone at the deadline if the Raps can get someone younger or some sort of pick back in return. I'm not going to speculate on Bargs and Calderon, but their names will come up. Point is, it's pretty unlikely the Raps are going to see an infusion of talent during the season; the opposite is likely true.
Point is, a lot has to break right for the Raps to see the kind of turnaround you're hoping for, including big steps forward from the majority of the players. Problem is, as much can go wrong as can go right. So continue to be optimistic if you like, just be aware that you're pinning your hopes to something very fragile.
Agree with Lark. For the Raps to come close to .500 ball, pretty much everything needs to go right for a full season. And I don't remember that ever happening to any team (in any sport).
I should have written Nowitzski was not the closest man to the rim on much more than 50% of the Miami possessions to eliminate the potential confusion.
The Bulls averaged 98.6 points during the regular season. The points came from taking an average of 80.3 shots and 24.5 free throws per game.
The Bulls averaged 87.2 points in the Heat series. The Bulls took 82.6 shots (including 19.8 3-shot attempts) and 23.2 free throws a game. The Bulls would have scored 100.8 points per game in the Miami series if they had converted their shots and free throws at the same rate they converted them during the season. But they did not. Their percentages for the season were 46.2% (FG), 36.1% (3-PT) and 74.5% (FT) during the season and 39.1%, 31.3%, and 69.8% in the Heat series. A combination of the good effort by the Miami defenders and a poor showing by the Chicago shooters.
But it's hard to argue the pace was the main reason for the low scoring output when the Bulls averaged more shots in the Heat series than they did in the regular season.
if the bulls got a player like mayo who can shoot/handle/drive they'll make the championship. i like that guy they drafted (name fails me) but he needs some serious polish. if i'm them i straight up amnesty boozer and start gibson. boozer gives up more on the defensive end than he puts up on offense. they could really use a guy like barbosa/lou williams to score off the bench when rose is off, too.
what are we talking about again?
What I am trying to say is: address the defense, address that one issue, and other things including wins fall into place. Its easy to look at last years record and say "this team sucks" that is the popular point of view, and the safer one, which is why so many people buy into it. But I am a very passionate fan, and I believe in this team.
People think we have no talent, thats not true. What we dont have is defense. We can score the ball, we have athleticism, we have play making, we have youth, we have energy. Figure out the defense and you will see a HUGE improvement in the standings simple as that.
Arguing about it, is a waste of time for me, lets remember we had this conversation and then reflect back on it once the season starts, one of us will be right we know that much for sure.
And the reason the Raptors won only 22 games last year was mostly due to the fact that they simply weren't very good. ALL teams struggle with injuries. The Bulls lost Boozer for half the season but still managed to finish on top of the standings. Injuries are a part of the game and happen every year to every team. Besides, it's not as if any of the injured players would have really made that big a difference in the win column. Maybe a few games. I predicted 26 wins last year, which is probably around what they would have achieved with fewer injuries.
And while the Raptors have some potential, they really don't have a lot of talent. There isn't an All-Star on the roster and most of the players really don't know how to win. Youth actually counts against a team, not in it's favour. In the NBA, experience counts for A LOT. The Raptors could win right now by trading away for veterans, but I don't think any of us wants that. They have some scoring, but every team has that. They have athleticism, but every team has that. Playmaking? Well, that's one area they don't have a lot of. Calderon is the only player on the roster who knows how to run an offense, and really only Barbosa is capable of consistently creating for himself, at this point.
I think it's great that you believe in this team, and every single person in this forum is passionate enough to spend time posting here. I think there's a difference between believing in a team and having unrealistic expectations. You look at the Raptors as compared to other teams and they simply don't look like a playoff team. Too many other team have more talent and experience.
Once the Roster is set we'll get a poll up for predicting the number of wins this year. With a four month season, it won't take long for predictions to be proven.... or not.
all those teams are in terrible positions like tim said. We are on the rise with extremely good lottery picks these last few drafts. With the next 2 picks we make(hopefully BC aquires another 1st rounder) we'll be over the top. probably be competing with teams like the heat and bulls and knock the old ass celtics on their ass's and win the atlantic division every season. We are going to be the OKC Thunder of the East.
No. Those teams were better than the raptors last year cause they played defense. They do not have much more talent than we do, they do however have much better defense. Why do they have better defense? Because they have coaches that focus on it (atleast charlotte, milwaukee, and philadelphia do), which is something we now have (Casey). Lack of defense is the single greatest obstacle to our success, we have talent already.
I honestly think that you believe that even if this team didn't add a single player and was to somehow make the playoffs, I think you believe that will be taking a step back ... because we need to get off the "Treadmill of mediocrity". This is the fundamental difference in opinion that you and I have, I actually think the raptors making the playoffs would be a good thing for the franchise, and you would rather have us be last in the league so we can get a good chance at a top 5 pick. There is more than one way to build a championship team Tim. Like I said before if we are as bad as you say we are, then you have nothing to worry about, the fact remains that we have alteast 3 spots to fill on our roster just to make the min. roster. This team is going to get better whether you like it or not.
And you think Casey is going to make THAT much of a difference? You realize that these are the same players as last year, right? I've never seen a coach have THAT much of an affect. We might as well put Casey in the Hall of Fame if he can turn the worst defensive team in the league that only won 22 games last year to a middle of the road defensive team vying for the playoffs. That would be almost unheard of.
Second, if the roster as presently contructed were to make the playoffs this year, I think most would be pleasantly surprised. It wouldn't be considered a continuation of mediocrity because of the way we reached the playoffs. Signing expensive, mediocre free agents weren't required to do so, and thus a .500 ceiling wouldn't be implemented. Instead, it would mean that this team has the talent to win games, is capable of incredible growth from year to year, and a 50-win season is likely in the future with some minor roster tweaks.
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