Toronto Raptors Season Preview: Game 3

Continuing the series which was started here on Monday … 

re: How an astute NBA observer might expect the first part of the schedule to unfold for the Raptors this year

Game 3 – vs Orlando [Sun Nov 01]

 

RAPTORS

ADV

MAGIC

PG

Calderon

ß

PG

Nelson

OG

DeRozan *

à

OG

Carter ^

SF

Turkoglu $^

=

SF

Pietrus

PF

Bosh

ß

PF

Bass $

C

Bargnani

à

C

Howard

 

 

 

PG

Jack #

=

PG

Johnson

OG

Belinelli ^

=

OG

Redick

SF

Wright ^

=

SF

Barnes $

PF

Evans ^

=

PF

Anderson ^

C

Nesterovic $

à

C

Gortat #R

 

 

 

G/F

Douby

=

G/F

Williams $

PF

Johnson ^

=

F

Foyle $R

 

 

 

HC

Triano

à

HC

Van Gundy

 

 

 

+2

OUTCOME

+4

Legend: ADV – Individual match-up advantage; * - 2009 NBA Draftee; ^ - Acquired via trade; # – Restricted free agent; #M – Restricted free agent, matched offer; $ – Unrestricted free agent; $R – Unrestricted free agent, re-signed;  $^ – Acquired via Sign & Trade; Italics – Returning player.

Coming off an 0-2 start to the new season, this is a 2nd key early game for the Raptors. If Toronto is actually going to re-assert itself this season, as a legit team in the EC playoff race, the Dinos will need to win this Sunday afternoon tilt against a Magic squad that will be without the services of Rashard Lewis [i.e. absent due to league-imposed suspension]. With the support of a typically raucous home crowd, the off day in-between road games for Orlando [whose players will be spending Saturday evening experiencing the nightlife in T.O.], and this being Hedo Turkoglu’s first home game in his new digs vs the squad that declined the opportunity to pay him the $$$ he felt he deserved this summer, as an important UFA for a team that advanced to the NBA Finals last season … the Raptors should be able to win this match-up. If not … it might be a really long year ahead for the Dinos.  

[PLEASE NOTE: Should the Magic start their season 2-0 before arriving in Toronto, and Vince Carter decides that he is really going to "bring it" vs his old team, and a defender like Turk ... who cannot check him 1-on-1 if his life depended on it ... and the ridiculous chorus of revengeful boos that repeatedly rain down upon him at the Air Canada Centre ... then it should come as no surprise, whatsoever, if the Magic can actually pull this one out of the fire, at the last second, on a terrific set play drawn up by SVG. As such, this could be a real hum-dinger ... and a critical swing game for the Raptors!]

Raptors expected W-L Record: W, 1-2

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10 Responses to “Toronto Raptors Season Preview: Game 3”

  1. Raps Fan Says:

    Khandor,

    The Magic look good to come into this game 2-0 (the season opener will be an interesting one), so your scenario has merit. Even without Lewis, I don’t see a loss in this particular game to be a precursor for the season being a disaster. Can’t count losses to the Eastern elite (sans Lewis) as huge blows to this team.

  2. Dave Says:

    Khandor, Why do you have Calderon having a matchup advantage over Jameer Nelson but not Mo Williams?

  3. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    An astute catch on your part, in light of the discussion taking place in the other thread, re: Mo vs Jose.

    IMO, Mo’s quickness at the PG position tends to balance out the fact that overall Jose might be a better basketball player.

    Jameer, on the other hand, has no such decided advantage in terms of sheer quickness vs Calderon.

    Since Jose is a bigger player he can frequently seem to others to be “less quick” than Jameer, and vice versa; although, neither of these perceptions is really accurate, in my book. Without a quickness advantage over Calderon then the fact that Nelson might just be a touch below him on the overall ability scale creates an individual edge for Jose, in this type of 1-v-1 evaluation scenario.

    Those with a sincere interest might find value in going back to the individual player ratings, by position, which I published earlier to cross-reference if I had Calderon rated as being more or less talented than Nelson and/or Mo Williams … which is something that I have yet to do myself.

    If I actually rated Williams or Nelson above Calderon, at the time, that would be an interesting fact, at least for me it would be interesting, and I’d re-visit whether or not my impressions, either, here or there would need to be re-evaluated while keeping that in mind.

  4. Raps Fan Says:

    Heads up, I believe Jameer Nelson has always outplayed Calderon over the last couple seasons, no? While Calderon might be a better point guard, Nelson seems to win the matchup at every turn.

  5. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    A loss to the Magic in this spot, if the Raptors are in fact sitting at 0-2, will be a ominous sign.

    This is precisely the sort of early season toss-up game that a team striving for a #4 slot in the EC needs to place in the W column, to get the ball rolling downhill … if it wants to be taken seriously down the road.

    While others are expecting easier victims to appear later on the schedule I, for one, think that there are going to be a gaggle of very tough opponents in the East this season against whom no game can be pencilled in at this point as a certain W.

  6. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    Although Nelson’s individual scoring stats may well have been better than Calderon’s in some of those games … I would nevertheless contend that he did not have a superior game overall.

  7. doublet23 Says:

    you guys are crazy jameer nelson is way better than calderon im not even sure if calderon is a starting point guard in any of the elite teams except the lakers…. Calderon is a average point guard but nothing more than that….

  8. Reply Says:

    wow a guy has one sub-par year due mostly to injury and everyone is hating on him. give calderon a break.
    remember hes improved his game every year since hes come into this league except for last year.
    at 100% health he’ll prove you haters what hes capable of as a starter.

  9. khandor Says:

    Reply,

    FWIW … I am someone who thinks Jose Calderon is a very good PG.

  10. khandor Says:

    doublet23,

    Welcome aboard!

    IMO, Nelson and Calderon are both solid PGs; although, personally, I prefer Jose over Jameer.

    Both are plenty good enough to with on a consistent basis.

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