Hoopsworld: Toronto Raptors 2008-09 Preview
Old 09-11-2008, 10:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Hoopsworld: Toronto Raptors 2008-09 Preview

Good read

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Five Guys Think...

Travis Heath - There's no better person in the league today than Jermaine O'Neal. How much he has left in the tank as a basketball player remains to be seen, though. HOOPSWORLD caught up with him this summer in Las Vegas and he looked ready to go. If he is, a frontline of O'Neal and Bosh will be very formidable. With T.J. Ford now gone, Jose Calderon will also have to continue his solid play and show he was worth all that jack the Raptors gave him. The Raptors will be better this season than they were a season ago but still aren't a championship-caliber team. 3rd Place, Atlantic Division

Jason Fleming - With new stability at point guard and former All-Star Jermaine O'Neal in the middle, the Raptors are going to be a very good team. But wait what happened to Andrea Bargnani? This is the year when he has to step up or be prepared to step out. 2nd Place, Atlantic Division

Tommy Beer - After capturing the Atlantic Division title in '06-'07, the Raps took a step backwards last season. But with Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon, and new addition Jermaine O'Neal leading the way, Toronto is ready to climb back towards the top of the heap. 3rd Place, Atlantic Division

Wendell Maxey - Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal will gel, but Jose Calderon is the key to the Raptors season. Although they'll finish behind Boston in the Atlantic, the Raptors have enough talent to sneak into the second round, but only if O'Neal can remain healthy. 2nd Place, Atlantic Division

Yannis Koutroupis - The Raptors have never won more than 47 games in their franchise's history and with the Atlantic Division getting tougher this summer, they will need their key pieces to stay healthy to approach that number. 3rd Place, Atlantic Division
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Strengths

This will not be Shaq's favorite team to play against. If you're not ready to run, don't bother taking off your warm-ups. With steady point play and Bosh's insane athleticism, Toronto has their one-two punch. What they need is a supporting cast. Jason Kapono can hit threes, O'Neal patrols the paint and Moon plays defense. The good news is this was a second place team a season ago . . .

Weaknesses

but the bad news is they were 25 games out of first. There are so many holes to fill on the Raptor's roster. Any off guard would be an improvement on what they already have. They lack depth at every position and are one major injury away from landing an early lottery pick.
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The Burning Question

Will Toronto be able to add a perimeter scorer by the trade deadline?

Their starting five seems more like a starting four right now. Kapono can hit threes but not much else. For Toronto to take the next step in the playoffs, they will have to trade for an athletic two who can fill it up and play defense. Too often last year the Raptors were beaten by more athletic shooting guards. Another important question: Will the real Andrea Bargnani please stand up?
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice hopefully they can do good and come first
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh yeah the Raptors need more 3 point shooting. UM.... NOOOOOOO!!!! How bout a slasher that drives to the net. I agree with the Andrea Bargnani point.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's so tough to make predictions this year because of the O'Neal and Bargnani question marks. Not to mention how Jose will react to being a full-time PG and not playing from behind. I think we can finish anywhere from 2nd to 4th depending if things go very wrong or very right. We'll be better than the Knicks and worse than the Celtics, that's all one can say.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One can say that about every team in the league
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Atlantic division:


1)Celtics
2)76ers
3)Raptors

Unless we can add that scorer at the 2 or 3 spot that can play D.If the Raptors could somehow pull off a good deal by the trade deadline then we can maybe capture 2nd and challenge for first.But it's doubtful.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yea very doubtful
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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you can make a case for either us or the 76ers, they have more glaring weaknesses than us imo, but have better depth. However, if they really intend to play igoudala at the 2 and young at the 3, then that will be a quick and horrible experiment. Between Miller, AI, Young, Brand and Dalembert, they could smash the record for the fewest 3pter made in one season. When a team is so uni-dimensional, it must be extremely good in other areas to make up for it. And they're not that good.

Funny how everybody expect Miller and Igoudala to play the same or better as they did last year, even though one is an aging PG who can't shoot and is coming off a career year, and the other was in a contract season ... And don't forget that Miller usually takes a couple of months or so to get into the groove, which could be fatal in a much improved eastern conference. If you though AP starts seasons slow, Miller is even worse ...
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