In the Paint
Join Date: Dec 2007
mid-season grades - Koreen & Chisholm
Here is the midterm Toronto Raptors
report card | NBA | Sports | National Post
Chisholm: Are Raptors
Quincy Acy, power forward
3.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 55% FG, 15 games
Grade | C
It is hard to judge Acy based on his limited action. So far, he has done what has been expected of a second-round pick: played in the D-League, played hard when given the opportunity in the NBA, and he has been a willing learner.
Alan Anderson, guard/forward
12.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 38% FG, 24 games
Grade | B-
It is difficult to get past Anderson’s accuracy from the field. However, the journeyman has been a calming influence when he has been healthy, can get hot from the field on occasion and is one of the team’s best defenders.
Andrea Bargnani, forward/centre
16.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 40% FG, 21 games
Grade | F
This grade is an acknowledgement that Bargnani can and should be able to bring so much more to the table. But before his injury, he was ineffective offensively and regressed defensively. His amazing stretch to start last year is a distant memory.
Jose Calderon, point guard
11.0 PPG, 7.6 APG, 47% FG, 41 games
Grade | B-
He struggled badly in his 15 games as Kyle Lowry’s backup, but performed up to his usual standard as a starter, helping to turn around a lost season. A vintage Calderon season in possibly his last as a Raptor.
Ed Davis, power forward
9.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 55% FG, 41 games
Grade | B+
Davis must work on his right hand, as most of his offence currently comes from his dominant left hand. But he has been a revelation offensively, and his defensive chemistry with Amir Johnson is very real.
DeMar DeRozan, guard/forward
17.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 43% FG, 41 games
Grade | C+
He has tailed off a bit after an impressive start to the year, and his defence remains a mystifying negative. But DeRozan’s post-up game and ball distribution have improved in the wake of his four-year contract extension.
Landry Fields, guard/forward
5.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 43% FG, 17 games
Grade | C-
Fields is still digging out of an early-season hole. He had five terrible games to start the year, before having surgery to repair a nerve in his elbow. Since returning, he has shown signs of being the utility player the Raptors envisioned.
Aaron Gray, centre
2.2 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 49% FG, 20 games
Grade | D+
Gray has been particularly ineffective setting screens — he has drawn many whistles for offensive fouls — and shooting free throws this year. Beyond his six fouls against dominant centres, Gray has not been of much use.
Amir Johnson, forward/centre
9.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 55% FG, 40 games
Grade | B+
Johnson’s ceiling is limited, but he has maximized his ability. He is a tremendous help as a defender, scores efficiently, sets the best screens on the team and plays through more pain than most. A wonderful teammate and a solid player.
Linas Kleiza, forward
7.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 33% FG, 20 games
Grade | D
There are mitigating circumstances here, as Kleiza has been battling a knee injury all year, and might continue to do so for the rest of his career. But aside from the odd game, he has been totally ineffective.
Kyle Lowry, point guard
14.2 PPG, 5.9 APG, 43% FG, 28 games
Grade | C
Lowry has been feeling out the Raptors, and the Raptors have been feeling out Lowry all year long. They have not meshed yet. He was acquired to be the best player on this team, but Lowry’s play has varied wildly.
John Lucas, guard
4.2 PPG, 1.7 APG, 34% FG, 30 games
Grade | C-
He started off the year on a tremendous cold streak, and has not been able to force his way into the lineup on a consistent basis. However, it is tough to be too critical when Lucas plays so infrequently.
Mickael Pietrus, guard/forward
5.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 35% FG, 18 games
Grade | C-
Pietrus has been terrible offensively but one of the Raptors’ best one-on-one defenders since he was signed. Knee troubles plus the Raptors’ return to health on the wing will limit his contributions in the second half.
Terrence Ross, guard
6.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 40% FG, 38 games
Grade | C
The explosive swingman is having a typical rookie season: There have been flashes of brilliance from Ross to go along with complete no-shows. He has shown enough to indicate he could be a starter in the NBA down the road.
Jonas Valanciunas, centre
7.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 28 games
Grade | C
There is no reason to panic, but Valanciunas was perhaps the Raptors’ worst defensive player before suffering a broken finger. On the plus side, his injury should give him ample opportunity to improve his left hand. Still a franchise building block.
Dwane Casey, coach
Grade | C
The Raptors had a terrible start to the year on both ends, and the coach has to wear that. He has relied a little too much on his veterans, especially Bargnani, when he was healthy. But the players continue to like him, and the defence has been coming along positively.
making the grade at halfway point?
Davis has been a revelation this season. He came into the 2012-13 campaign struggling to get minutes in Dwane Casey's rotation, but an injury to Andrea Bargnani forced him into the starting lineup and it now looks like he's there to stay. He's averaged 14.2 ppg and 8.3 rpg in the month of January and has shot a sterling .552 from the floor during that time. While the team is better defensively when he is on the court, Davis himself is still allowing an opposing 21.0 PER at the power forward spot, so he still has room to improve, but the organization has to be thrilled with the quantum leap Davis has made on the floor so far this season. -- Grade: A
Without trying to lean too hard on hyperbole, Calderon basically saved this season for the Toronto Raptors. His insertion into the starting lineup brought a tremendous calm to the team's offence without being a drain on the team's defence. His leadership has been invaluable and his play has been so effective that prized off-season acquisition Kyle Lowry has had to make do with an unanticipated reserve role during the team's turnaround. -- Grade: A
There is no player on this Raptors' team that better exemplifies the kind of club the Raptors want to be. He's tough, active and willing to do anything his coaches ask of him. His offensive repertoire has expanded greatly around the basket to include some fundamental footwork and a surprisingly effective sweeping hook. He still struggles to guard his position one-on-one, which leads to a lot of cheap fouls, but his play alongside Davis has made Toronto's frontcourt surprisingly difficult to deal with. -- Grade: A-
Anthony Parker 2.0 has been another under-the-radar gem, and his microscopic salary belies his effectiveness off the bench this season. He averaging 12.3 ppg off of the bench for Toronto this season and he's already had multiple game-altering performances. -- Grade: B+
DeRozan started the season strong, suggesting that he might have it in him to live up to his lucrative four-year, $38-million contract extension. However, his play has fallen off dramatically since then, he's shot below 40 per cent over the last 12 games, and he's frequently invalidated by aggressive single coverage. He continues to struggle at living up to Toronto's (potentially outsized) expectations. -- Grade: C+
Unlike DeRozan, Ross has steadily improved as the season has worn on. His defence has been typically reliable, he's shot 37.5 per cent from three this month and he's offered several highlight-worthy finishes at the rim. Overall, he needs to shoot much better and learn to pass more often, but for now, he's quieted those 'reach' talks that surrounded him on draft night. -- Grade: C+
Valanciunas is right around where he should be as a rookie big man, which is inconsistent but showing flashes of his great potential. His offensive game has been stronger than expected, but his defence has been slightly weaker and he fouls far too much for a starting centre. His rebounding has also fallen short of expectations and we'll see if he can have more of an impact on the boards when he returns from his broken finger next month. -- Grade: C+
Lowry has probably been the biggest disappointment of the season so far. While his stats have been solid (he's currently sporting a very fine 22.3 PER), his actual on-court performance has left a lot to be desired. He's struggled at balancing his role as a scorer with his role as a distributor, constantly leaving his teammates high-and-dry after defensive gambles and he has not demonstrated the kind of leadership the club had expected of him as a six-year veteran. He's still a big part of the team's future, and he's still supremely talented, so everyone just has to work harder to make this relationship more functional the rest of the way. -- Grade: C
Fields started the season about as poorly as one can, but he's been on an upswing since returning from surgery and is coming off his best game as a Raptor against L.A. on Sunday. He was billed as a 'glue guy' and that's what he's been of late. His defence on Kobe Bryant was stellar, his rebounding has been tremendous and, now that his teammates are looking for him on those backdoor cuts, he's having a scoring impact, too. It's just unfortunate that his jump shot has remained horrendous. -- Grade: C
Acy sure is active, and he's learning from exactly the right mentor in Johnson, but he has to cut down on the blown defensive assignments if he wants to earn minutes in a healthy Raptors rotation. -- Grade: C-
John Lucas III
He's been fine as a fill-in, but his jump shot disappeared once preseason ended and doesn't offer enough elsewhere to offset his lack of scoring. -- Grade: C-
Gray's rebounding, his one great strength, has been missing this year, making it hard to justify playing him in anything but situational matchups. -- Grade: C-
He played better than Rasual Butler did in this role last season, but his body is breaking down and he doesn't have it in him to contribute to an NBA team like he used to. -- Grade: D+
For whatever reason, Kleiza cannot replicate (or even approximate) his international effectiveness in the NBA. Not even extended minutes at his natural power forward spot could jumpstart his game this season. -- Grade: D
What's there left to say? One of the best things to happen to this team's record this season was losing Bargnani to injury. His laconic play has finally soured the front office on him and he's now firmly entrenched on the trading block. -- Grade: D-