Saturday, November 21, 2009

Toronto Raptors - Early Season Review

I am huge Toronto Raptors fan, sometimes I feel this is quite unfortunate.

But enough dwelling in the past, let us think of the 2009/2010 season!

The Raptors are currently have 6 wins and 7 loses and sit in 9th place in the eastern conference. They have had possibly the most difficult schedule in the NBA to start the season, because of this I am relatively happy with our record. Obviously you cannot be content with being below .500, but realistically this is where most thought we would be.

The Raptors are currently touting one of lethal offenses in the NBA, actually in NBA history. Since the inclusion of the 3 point line, the Raptors are averaging one of the highest PPGs of all time. This stat really means very little however. Sadly the Raptors also have an embarrassing Opponent's PPG of 106.44 points. On top of that, they are among the worst in the league in rebounding at a disheartening 39.4 RPG.

The last 2 points, have Raptor's fans thinking same old Raptors, and I have to agree. Although the team is much better then last year, I see no chance for us to be a great team, ever with the current make up of the team. The same problems have existed with this team for oh so long continue, even with the overhaul of the roster.

The reason for this is although we added many new pieces the problem came from the very core of this team. Bosh is sometimes a good defender, sometimes a great defender (see team USA, but to be honest his defensive effort lacks the consistency that this team needs. On any other team Bosh's D would be just fine, but this team has a starting line up that contains Jose Calderon (and to a lesser extent Andrea Bargnani)

Jose Calderon is the root of all evil. On the one hand, I absolutely love his attitude and passion. On the other end of the spectrum, I cannot stand his game. I remember during the 2007/2008 season TJ. Ford got off to a blazing start, I cannot recall exactly but he was putting up Chris Paul, Deron Williams numbers on a per minute basis. Then he was injured by Al Horford in a frightening injury. He was never the same after this injury.

During TJ's injury Calderon put up nice numbers. Colangelo, with his infatuation for soft euros and sparkling blue eyes was easily convinced that Calderon would make TJ. expendable. This attitude trickled down to the coaching and players and led to feelings of alienation for Ford. Bosh replaced Ford with Calderon as his BFF. on the Raptors.

Ford's fate was set in stone and he was traded to Indiana (Calderon had higher trade value, it is a shame....) and Calderon was the new number 1 point guard of Toronto.

I reminisced about the time Calderon thrived in Ford's absence, I thought to myself, Wow he is playing well, but we are so damn boring.

And the raptors are now one of, by far the most boring teams I have ever seen. We have no fast break, 75% of Jose Calderon's fast breaks lead in transitions 3's, not dunks or layups. Jose also leads the league in needlessly halting transition opportunities. I am all for pulling the ball out when the fast break is not there but Calderon's lack of creativity and ability to run a fast break is just painful to watch.

But, this is not the problem. Being boring really does not matter if you are winning, sadly we are not really winning. Our problems are almost entirely coming from a lack of perimeter defense from the point guard spot. Day after day, we watch Calderon get broken down with ease by anyone and anything. I cannot think of a slower point guard in the league to be honest. Can anyone? He just cannot keep himself in front of people laterally, and it leads to so many problems. His inability to semi contain the point guard spot leaves the team out of position often leading to easy scores or offensive rebounds.

At this point, I will cease in my bashing of Jose. The reason for this is I feel bad about it, he honestly seems like a great person.

All and all, this team I feel will placed 6-9 with the current make up. We will never be great by going in this direction however. Somehow we must become better defensively, the most obvious choice for this is to package Calderon somehow.

On a side note, Hedo Turkoglu has been fairly average on the court thus far, however his moves, swagger, and overall sex appeal have somehow enchanted my girlfriend. This rampaging lust has led me to feel quite discontent with my own personal appearance. I had, in the past, seen Hedo as, not necessarily ugly, but not attractive either. The recent turn of events have forced me change this attitude in a defeated coping method.

Anyways lol, until next time.

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