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Thread: ESPN Insider East Rankings: Raptors 13th out of 15

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    Administrator Arsenalist's Avatar
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    Default ESPN Insider East Rankings: Raptors 13th out of 15

    Toronto has finally come to grips with reality. No longer are the Raps delusional about loading up on mediocre veterans with long-term deals, nor about winning games without bothering to play defense. With Toronto again last in defensive efficiency in 2010-11, the overmatched Jay Triano was finally shown the door. Replacing him is former Dallas zone defense maestro Dwane Casey, who now must upgrade one of the most pathetic defensive outfits in league annals.

    Central to Casey's cause is center Andrea Bargnani, who is offensively gifted but remains one of the most clueless off-ball defenders in the game. He's mobile for his size, though, and the Raps might experiment with playing him at power forward periodically now that they have some genuine size. Don't be surprised if 7-footers Solomon Alabi and Aaron Gray get a fair amount of run.

    Alas, they also have to clear minutes for Ed Davis, a revelation as a high-percentage finisher last season, but one who needs to add strength to battle NBA big men. Ditto for Amir Johnson, who quietly had a strong season in 2010-11 but, like his frontcourt mates, suffers from a lack of lower-body strength at the defensive end.

    In fact, Toronto's frontcourt looks pretty darn good going forward. First-round pick Jonas Valanciunas won't be coming over this season, but at only 19 years of age, he ranks among the best players in Europe and looks like a star in the making. He and Davis could be a fearsome combo in five years; Bargnani, whatever you think of him, would make for a pretty potent sixth man in that arrangement.

    On the wing, DeMar DeRozan flashed some star potential as a scorer, but the rest of his game lies dormant; he needs to pass the ball once in a while and play some defense. Small forward looms as a huge weakness, although the talented but ridiculously mistake-prone James Johnson remains intriguing. And at the point, Jose Calderon is a flawless offensive operator and a traffic cone for opposing point guards.

    Big picture, there are a lot of problems here beyond Casey's control -- team president Bryan Colangelo invested almost entirely in offensive players, so the result is again likely to be a decent offense paired with a hopeless defense. But if Casey can persuade his charges -- particularly Bargnani -- to compete and at least use their length as a deterrent, the Raptors' D should be less of an embarrassment.
    Rankings are:

    1. Miami
    2. Chicago
    3. Boston
    4. Orlando,
    5. Philly
    6. Indiana,
    7. New York
    8. Milwaukee
    9. Atlanta
    10. NJ
    11. Washington
    12. Detroit
    13. Toronto
    14. Cleveland
    15. Charlotte

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    That is actually a very good write up. I find it tough to find anything in there to disagree with.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Great read. Thanks for posting Ars.

    I'd say they were very fair in their evaluation of the Raptors.
    "I just dunked. Got a little dunk. Thatís nice." Terrence Ross

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    New York in 7th is a bit too low. I'm surprised that they have Atlanta out of the playoff picture.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star yertu damkule's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    That is actually a very good write up. I find it tough to find anything in there to disagree with.
    agree with the assessment. not sure i agree with the standings prediction. not that i don't think the raps won't be somewhere in the 13th spot (give or take a spot or two in either direction), but rather, i see the c**tics having a bit of a slide & going with the spurs' approach of resting their older guys, sacrificing games (and placement in the standings) in an attempt to stay healthy enough to make what may be the last *real* push in the playoffs with the big-4.

    i'd re-order it thusly:

    1. Chicago
    2. Miami
    3. Indiana
    4. Philly
    5. Orlando
    6. Boston
    7. New York
    8. Atlanta
    9. Milwaukee
    10. Washington
    11. Detroit
    12. Cleveland
    13. NJ
    14. Toronto
    15. Charlotte

    i'm crazy for putting philly & indy so high, right?
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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote yertu damkule wrote: View Post
    i'm crazy for putting philly & indy so high, right?
    I'm really digging Paul George. He could very well be the best player on the Pacers.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    That is actually a very good write up. I find it tough to find anything in there to disagree with.
    The only part that raised an eyebrow for me was Alabi [potentially] getting minutes. I just don't see it happening.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Good writeup. Here is my prediction on how the East will look:

    1. Miami
    2. Chicago
    3. Indiana
    4. New York
    5. Orlando
    6. Boston
    7. Atlanta
    8. Philly
    9. Milwaukee
    10. NJ
    11. Washington
    12. Detroit
    13. Cleveland
    14. Toronto
    15. Charlotte


    Orlando will become dysfunctional because of Howard and will drop. Indiana will be a surprising team, and Boston will fall due to what Yurtu was saying. NY will win the division over Boston this year.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Jordan sure did gut the Bobcats. It's going to be tough to do less than them.

    I just love hearing all these analysts call JV a star in the making.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    Orlando is way too high
    @jerboat

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    Raptors Republic All-Star e2thed's Avatar
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    My Rankings are;

    1. Miami
    2. Chicago
    3. New York
    4. Indiana
    5. Boston
    6. Orlando
    7. Atlanta
    8. Philadelphia
    9. Milwaukee
    10. New Jersey
    11. Washington
    12. Detroit
    13. Cleveland
    14. Toronto
    15. Charlotte

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote yertu damkule wrote: View Post
    agree with the assessment. not sure i agree with the standings prediction. not that i don't think the raps won't be somewhere in the 13th spot (give or take a spot or two in either direction), but rather, i see the c**tics having a bit of a slide & going with the spurs' approach of resting their older guys, sacrificing games (and placement in the standings) in an attempt to stay healthy enough to make what may be the last *real* push in the playoffs with the big-4.

    i'd re-order it thusly:

    1. Chicago
    2. Miami
    3. Indiana
    4. Philly
    5. Orlando
    6. Boston
    7. New York
    8. Atlanta
    9. Milwaukee
    10. Washington
    11. Detroit
    12. Cleveland
    13. NJ
    14. Toronto
    15. Charlotte

    i'm crazy for putting philly & indy so high, right?
    Actually, I didn't consider the rankings - just the Raptors write up.


    Here are my rankings:

    1. Chicago
    2. Miami
    3. New York
    4. Boston
    5. Indiana
    6. Atlanta
    7. Philadelphia
    8. New Jersey
    9. Milwaukee
    10. Detroit
    11. Orlando*
    12. Washington
    13. Cleveland
    14. Toronto
    15. Charlotte


    *Howard will be traded sooner than later to New Jersey (if this doesn't happen, put Orlando at 7, New Jersey at 11, and drop everyone from Philly to to NJ down one spot ---- clear?)

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    boston is gonna be a 7 or 8 seed. that team is just too old and doesn't have any quality depth. the only team i can see them beating in the playoffs is new york. orlando maybe.
    @jerboat

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    if/when howard gets traded orlando instantly becomes the worst team in the league
    @jerboat

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    Quote ceez wrote: View Post
    boston is gonna be a 7 or 8 seed. that team is just too old and doesn't have any quality depth. the only team i can see them beating in the playoffs is new york. orlando maybe.
    Yeah and Bargs is gonna have a quadruple double this season.

  16. #16
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    Quote ceez wrote: View Post
    if/when howard gets traded orlando instantly becomes the worst team in the league
    I see them going 14-9 before the trade and 11-32 after it.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    I see them going 14-9 before the trade and 11-32 after it.
    Quote ceez wrote: View Post
    if/when howard gets traded orlando instantly becomes the worst team in the league
    Sorta hard to say this, considering we don't know who he'll be traded for..? No?
    "I just dunked. Got a little dunk. Thatís nice." Terrence Ross

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote ceez wrote: View Post
    Orlando is way too high
    I don't know. I mean they have a starting lineup of D12, Glen Davis, Hedont, Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson. Then they have Hughes, Redick, Duhon and Clark coming off the bench. That's good for 8th seed in the east for sure if Howard isn't distracted.

  19. #19
    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    It's so hard to gauge due to the shortened season, and all the back to backs... but if Howard does get traded to NJ.. I would love to see Miami play NJ in the first round.

    Talk about complete opposites.. Miami has no center or PG, and NJ has no wing or PF (assuming NJ pillages their team to get Howard). I'd think Miami wins due to their depth and chemistry... but it would be an interesting match up.

  20. #20
    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    Sorta hard to say this, considering we don't know who he'll be traded for..? No?

    The team is average with the best C in the league. Take the best C of the league out of that team and replace him with an average one and the team is crap..... in my opinion. I'm only giving an opinion much as ESPN did.

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