Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011-2012 NBA Preview #2: Toronto Raptors

Greetings everyone... if you missed it, check out preview #1 on Charlotte... here we go...

Roster Breakdown (Starters in Bold)
  • PG - Jose Calderon, Jerryd Bayless
  • SG - DeMar Derozan, Leandro Barbosa
  • SF - James Johnson, Rasual Butler, Linas Kleiza
  • PF - Amir Johnson, Ed Davis
  • C - Andrea Bargnani, Solomon Alabi, Jamaal Magloire

General Thoughts

Oh, the Raptors. I'm not even really sure where to go with this, simply because this team isn't interesting. At. All. DeMar Derozan is a budding semi-star with freakish athleticism, and the ability to improve on a really nice sophomore season where he averaged 17 a game on 47% shooting despite shooting a hilariously bad 9 for 68 from 3-point land (what!?!?). He's quietly the best player on this team right now, and with apologies to Calderon and Bargnani, it'll likely stay that way. I've always been a Calderon guy in that he is wildly efficient offensively and is capable of throwing up double-digit assists on any night. After that, it's a bit dicey to be honest. Bargnani is immensely talented, but he's one of the worst rebounding/defending bigs in the entire league (5 boards a game in 36 minutes, jeez) and that's an issue that isn't going away. They have young/energetic power forwards in Johnson and Davis but neither is above-average at his position, and there seems to be a glass ceiling there. A full year of Barbosa, Bayless, James Johnson, and Kleiza would be an upgrade over what they had depth-wise in 2010, but it's certainly nothing to write home about unless Bayless can capitalize on his talent in a way he hasn't managed to in any stop thus far. It's kind of a "blah" situation, and this franchise seems to be in a holding pattern while destined for the lottery again, and the infusion of Jonas Valenciunas in 2012-2013.


James Johnson. The 3rd year small forward started all 25 games he played in Toronto last season and is a former 1st-round pick of the Bulls. He threw up career highs in points and rebounds last year (9 and 5) but will be asked to take on a larger role this season. There's limited upside, but if he's solid, that will help them be more respectable, as you pretty much know what you're getting from Bargnani, Johnson, and Calderon at this point.

Predicted Finish

14th in the East

No comments: