Written By: Gobi Naren
For the last couple seasons the Raptors have fell short of entering the post season. Bryan Colangelo and Dwane Casey are looking for change this upcoming season while entering the playoffs and making some noise. With how things are looking in Toronto, we could see the Raptors finally playing in the playoffs.
How will the Raptors make the playoffs?
1. Andrea Bargnani and Demar Derozan
If Bargnani stay healthy and gives us 25ppg with 7rpg, he will definitely bring our hopes up. All Derozan needs to do is expand his range, become a consistent 3point shooter, and attack the basket. If Derozan can do this and average 20ppg while ripping down 4rpg and dishing out 4apg, were looking at a team on the rise! Like the Thunder in the 2010 season.
2. Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy
The number 8th pick Ross, is consistent shooter with range and agility. He also brings some defensive skills which will be retooled by coach Casey. If Ross is our 6th man and ends up putting up numbers like James Harden we could be well on our way to a 7th seed playoff team. On the other side, there's 37th pick Quicy Acy. He's a better version of Reggie Evan, the former Raptor. Acy brings lots of defensive skills and a little range for a PF. If these two can become consistent players off the bench, we're going to have a well rounded bench who can match up with elite teams like the Lakers and Spurs.
3. Lowry, Fields, and Other Trades and Free Agent Signings
Bringing in Kyle Lowry was first time in a long in BC made a good trade. Lowry brings us stellar defensive skills with allstar calliber offensive skills. He can shoot the 3, hit clutch freethrows, and drive to the basket. Lowry also brings shut down defense which coach Casey favours. He should be averaging a near double-double; 18ppg and 8apg. Fields will be probably play the starting 3. He's an excellent rebounder with size and range. He will be able to spread the floor helping Lowry get a couple assists. Its only been a couple days into free agency and the Raptors are in numerous talks of signing key position players. The Raptors also seem to be shopping for starting 3. Bringing in a player like Gay, Iguodala, or even Ilyasova would be an immediate boost to the lineup.
2013/2014 Season Predictions/Projections
PF: Bargnani/Davis or Johnson/Acy
Record: 42 and 40
Standings: 7th or 8th seed
Raptors Most Improved Player: Derozan (20ppg/4rpg/4apg/85% FT/50% FG/35%3FG)
Dwane Casey wins Coach of the Year and BC gets an extension.