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Toronto Raptors

2010-11 Record: 22-60
(14th in East, 5th Atlantic)

Playoffs: N/A

Points Per Game: 99.1 (17th)
Points Allowed: 105.4 (26th)
Rebounds: 40.3 (22nd)
Assists: 21.9 (14th)
Leading Scorer: Andrea Bargnani 21.4ppg

Additions: C Jamaal Magloire, G/F Rasual Butler, G Anthony Carter, C Aaron Gray

Subtractions: G Sonny Weems

Synopsis: Defence, defence, defence.

Not something we've seen much of in Toronto over the last couple years. The Raptors were one of, if not the worst defensive team in the NBA last season and gave up over 105 points per game.

Losing their biggest star Chris Bosh to Miami didn't help matters either. While Bosh wasn't exactly a defensive force in Toronto, his offence helped mitigate the damage.

With no Bosh, and opponents virtually scoring at will on the porous Raptors defence it's no wonder the team only managed to win 22 games.


Coach's Corner

Dwane Casey | 2 seasons
Record: 53-69
Playoffs: N/A
NBA Titles: 0

To help turn things around the team brought in new head coach Dwane Casey who has a solid reputation as a defensive coach. Casey has vowed to change the mentality and make this team better at stopping the ball.

And the early signs are good that this young team is buying into what their new coach is saying.

Unfortunately a better showing defensively is about all Raptors fans should reasonably expect from the team this year. They are basically rolling out the same roster as they did last year so there is not a lot of reason to expect big things.



1st F/C Jonas Valanciunas
(5th overall)

The Raptors have high hopes on the big man making an impact - just not this season, as he will remain in Lithuania with his club team to further his development.

They do look like they have a plan in place going forward though.

The team has some solid young pieces in DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson to build around.

While the team’s top pick from this year's draft Jonas Valanciunas won’t join the Raptors until 2012, he along with Davis, may actually mean the team has a front-line for the future.

DeRozan also showed imrovement lsat seasoned as is blossoming into a legitimate scoring threat. He upped his production from 8.6 points per as a rookie to 17.2 last season.

The team's two highest paid players this season once again are Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon.

Bargnani has definite skills on the offensive end but has been a liability defensively throughout his NBA career. If Casey can get him to improve into even a mediocre defensive player, the former first-overall pick suddenly becomes a very big asset to have. Bargnani's rebounding also took a hit last season going from bad to worse and must improve.

Calderon is an efficient point guard on offence who limits his turnovers, passes the ball well and hits a good percentage of his shots. He's also terrible defensively but you could definitely do worse at the point.

The team's biggest acquisitions are exactly that, a pair of big men in Jamaal Magloire and Aaron Gray. Magaal is the first Canadian born player to suit up for the Raptors, unfortunately he's about seven years past his prime.

Neither Magloire, nor Gray are stars but they are big bodies that can bang and pick up fouls. They'll also allow the Raptors to use Bargnani and Davis more at the power forward spot.

This year is definitely an early part of the Raptors building process so it will likely be another long year for the fans that ends up in a seat at the lottery table.

But hey, the 2012 draft is going to be very strong so it's actually a good time to be bad.


Conversation Starters


1) Draft Day What ifs: Every year when the draft comes up I have the same conversation with my buddies. What if the Raptors didn't take... Bargnani, Villanueva, Araujo. Even Chris Bosh's name always comes up in the form of what if the Raptors took Dwyane Wade instead? And while Bosh wasn't a terrible pick by any means some of those other ones were. Just look at the talent that was still on the board in some of those years.

2) Most Imrproved: DeMar DeRozan actually suprised me by how much he improved last year. In fact only Dorrell Wright and Nick Young upped their scoring more than DeRozan. What he really needs to do this year is make his scoring more efficient and knock down a better percentage of his shots. If he can do that the Raptors have a real player on their hands.

3) "I love to Spend Time in the Paint": I probably shouldn't rip on one of our own TSN promos but this beauty from a few years ago still slays me -Il Mago talking about how he loves to play in the paint for a Sportscentre commercial! High comedy. Just watch.

Chisholm's 3 in the Key basketball blogger Tim Chisholm's takes a look at three players in different stages of their career from the Thunder that will make a difference (good or bad) this season. You can read more from Tim in his weekly blog: '3 in the Key'.


Jeff Teague

Ed Davis: Already one of the best rebounding power forwards in the NBA, if Davis can round out his post skills he could be in for a huge sophomore campaign.

Prime Time

Al Horford

DeMar DeRozan: DeRozan was a 20 ppg scorer after the All-Star break last year, but Raptors need him to up his defensive and playmaking game for him to get to the next level this season.

Last Legs

Tim Duncan Leandro Barbosa: While still a potent bench scorer, his efficiency is dipping and his body is breaking down. This shortened season could wreck havoc with his fragile frame.

Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.

1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets

2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
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Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!


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