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 22ppg with 6.5rpg, 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 2apg, were looking at a team on the rise! Like the Thunder in the 2010 season, but letís not be too optimistic here.
2. Jonas Valunciunas, Terrence Ross, and Quincy Acy
JV has finally arrived with all the anticipated hype around him! During the pre-season he put up stellar numbers for a rookie, similar to D12 in his first campaign. He was doing all the dirty work, setting tough screens, ripping down rebounds, blocking shots, and showed some polish in his offensive game with a nasty sky hook. If JV can put up stellar numbers such as 12ppg, 10rpg, and 1bpg, he could very well be considered for the ROY award. He may not be the D12 we want him to be in his first season, but as time progresses we could see something even more dangerous than Howard.
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 8th 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 presence 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 JL3
Bringing in Kyle Lowry was first time in a long 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. All I need to say about JL3 is that he is instant offence, great addition by BC.
2013/2014 Season Predictions
Record: 41 and 41
Standings: 8th seed
Raptors Most Improved Player: Derozan (20ppg/4rpg/2apg/85%FT/45%FG/30%3FG)
Other Predictions: Dwane Casey wins Coach of the Year and BC gets an extension.