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Old 08-14-2012, 03:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NBA.com: Summer report card

Frontcourt B: Jonas Valanciunas arrives with much fanfare, but the Raptors and their fans will need to stay patient. The Lithuanian big man is still just 20 years old and somewhat raw on both ends of the floor.
Backcourt B: Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields aren't All-Stars, but they will both help this team right away, adding perimeter defense. It will be up to rookie Terrence Ross to provide some much-needed shooting.
Defense B: Dwane Casey performed a minor miracle last season, turning the worst defensive team in the league into a squad that could actually get some consistent stops. Next project: Valanciunas' pick-and-roll D.
Bench C:There's potential for the Raptors to have a decent bench, but it will depend on the development of Ross and Ed Davis, who was a disappointment in his second season last year.
Coaching B: Casey's success with the Raptors' defense trumps his team's offensive struggles last season. But if the Raptors are going to move forward this year, they need to find a way to score.
Overall Rating: B

The Raptors changed their culture and were the most improved defensive team in the league last season. Now, it's time to add some talent to the roster.
It's a slow process though. Valanciunas was drafted last year and is still just 20 years old. Lowry and Fields will help, but aren't going to make huge impacts. Ross and Davis need time. More moves will have to wait until next summer, when Jose Calderon comes off the books, unless another team is interested in his expiring deal.
For now, the Raptors are looking to take another step forward. Playoffs are probably a stretch, but it's not necessarily about the results. Player development is still priority No. 1, and this summer's moves aren't going to get in the way of that.
-- John Schuhmann
Raptors Summer Report Card | NBA.com

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