Thank God for Shortened Seasons: Toronto Raptors season preview
As a fan of the Toronto Raptors, there are two ways you can approach the 2011/2012 season – blind love or reality. If you’re the type of person that follows based on blind love, you’ll probably believe with a young athletic team, a new defensive minded coach, and the acquisition of some new pieces [DAVID GRAY?] this team may play 500 basketball. Otherwise, if you’re a realist like me, from day one you’re screaming “lottery balls” every time the Raptors step on the court.
All that to say, I am glad it’s a short campaign because it pains me to watch my beloved Toronto Raptors struggle EVERY YEAR! Like many of you I have been waiting for the promises of potential from numerous high draft picks. I have been waiting for trades that were intended to improve our team to pan out. Last year the Raps finished 28 of 30 teams, and not surprisingly the NBA has ranked them to finish in the same spot this year. The reality is this team is not that different and our expectations shouldn’t be either. The most positive change heading into the year was the signing of Head Coach Dwayne Casey. Smarter men than I have suggested Casey will help improve the Raps from being the WORST defensive team for the third straight year. But again, the reality is “Toronto will need more than a coaching change to escape the basement”. So where does that leave us?
We have a team of potential and signings that are five years too late [Magloire]. I don’t think anyone would disagree that Magloire would have been a great signing a number of years ago. At this point he is a journeyman at best, a locker room voice, and a cheerleader who almost won a championship. Reports out of Toronto are that this team is going to field a starting roster based on the matchups. Folks, let me tell you what that really means, “we have no clue what we’re going to do because our talent level isn’t good enough to compete”. I’m not going to go through the entire roster and rip on decent ball players. Truth is I like a number of players on this team. Reality is, collectively they just aren’t good enough in today’s NBA to help the Raptors out of the basement.
With attendance at the ACC has falling for the past three years, the real question on everyone’s mind should be how long we are going to tolerate a general manager still being credited with the skill of his father. Thinking back to his tenure with Toronto, I find it hard to remember a good deal BC has made. His best attribute has been his ability to pull the trigger on the “fix”. The Toronto Raptors will NOT win 30 games this year, they will NOT finish higher than 25th, and we will have another lottery year ahead.
…And that is the last word. goodHOP