Up, down, or approximately where they are right now

With last night’s 16th loss of the season …

Toronto Raptors 95
MIAMI HEAT 115
Game Summary

the most important question for the Toronto Raptors is:

Q1. Should this team, as constructed, be expected to improve substantially over the course of the next 55 games, or not?

A1. Well …

PART ONE

This is what the Eastern Conference standings look like today:

Eastern W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Boston1 20 4 0.833 0.0 13-3 5-0 8-3 12-1 10-0 W 11
Orlando2 18 6 0.750 2.0 14-3 3-1 8-2 10-4 7-3 W 1
Atlanta3 17 6 0.739 2.5 10-4 2-2 10-2 7-4 6-4 W 4
Cleveland4 18 7 0.720 2.5 11-5 4-1 10-2 8-5 7-3 W 3
Miami5 12 11 0.522 7.5 8-5 3-2 7-7 5-4 4-6 W 1
Milwaukee6 11 11 0.500 8.0 6-7 2-3 9-3 2-8 3-7 W 2
Detroit7 11 13 0.458 9.0 8-5 1-3 8-4 3-9 6-4 L 1
Charlotte8 10 13 0.435 9.5 9-10 2-2 9-3 1-10 6-4 W 1
Toronto 11 16 0.407 10.5 7-9 0-1 7-5 4-11 4-6 L 1
Indiana 8 14 0.364 11.0 6-7 0-1 5-6 3-8 3-7 L 1
Chicago 8 15 0.348 11.5 5-9 3-2 6-5 2-10 2-8 L 2
New York 8 16 0.333 12.0 4-11 2-2 4-8 4-8 5-5 L 1
Washington 7 15 0.318 12.0 6-11 1-4 4-7 3-8 4-6 L 5
Philadelphia 6 18 0.250 14.0 5-10 3-2 4-8 2-10 1-9 W 1
New Jersey 2 23 0.080 18.5 2-15 0-5 1-8 1-15 2-8 L 4

PART TWO

As of Fri Dec 11 2009, this is what the Strength Of Schedule [SOS] looked like for the teams in the East:

Team

SOS Rk

Boston 1

28

Orlando 2

22

Atlanta 3

15

Cleveland 4

27

Miami 5

9

Milwaukee 6

26

Detroit 7

4

Charlotte 8

17

Toronto

16

Indiana

20

Chicago

3

New York

5

Washington

10

Philadelphia

6

New Jersey

18

PART THREE

Looking at the injury situation for the Raptors and the other teams around them in the standings:

Team

Significant Player Loss To Injury

Milwaukee 6

M-Redd [A]

Detroit 7

R-Hamilton [A]; T-Prince [C]; B-Gordon [B]; W-Bynum [B]

Charlotte 8

None

Toronto

J-Calderon [B]; R-Evans [C]

Indiana

M-Dunleavy [A]; D-Granger [C]

Chicago

T-Thomas [C]

New York

None

Washington

A-Jamison [A]

Philadelphia

L-Williams [C]

Legend: A – Missed games earlier in the season; B – Missed recent games; C – On-going absence.

PART FOUR

For all practical intents and purposes:

Team

Expectations Moving Forward, Relative To The Raptors

Milwaukee 6

Struggle to maintain present position

Detroit 7

Maintain present position

Charlotte 8

Maintain present position, if remain injury-free

Toronto

 

Indiana

Improve upon present position, if D-Granger returns

Chicago

Improve upon present position, if T-Thomas returns

New York

Improve upon present position, if remain injury-free

Washington

Improve upon present position, if remain injury-free

Philadelphia

Improve upon present position, if L-Williams returns

PART FIVE

As has been said in this corner, since the 2009 NBA Draft took place …

when the Raptors chose not to trade down from the No. 9 position [overall], in an effort to re-invigorate their squad with:

* An additional NBA-calibre player obtained in a trade down

* The lower 1st Round pick they could have obtained in a trade down, which could have been used to acquire an in-coming player like Brandon Jennings, or Terrence Williams, or Earl Clark, or Rodrigue Beaubois, or Taj Gibson

* The lower 1st Round pick they could have bought with their $3.0 M ‘draft voucher’ obtained in their trade with the Miami Heat, which they could have used to acquire a player like Taj Gibson, or DeJuan Blair, or Derrick Brown, or Dante Cunningham, or Sam Young, or Marcus Thornton, or Nando De Colo

or

The upper 2nd Round pick they could have obtained in a trade down, if a lower 1st Round Pick was not available, with which they could have acquired an in-coming player like DeJaun Blair, or Derrick Brown, or Dante Cunningham, or Marcus Thornton, or Nando De Colo

and the decisons were made by Bryan Colangelo:

1 To not re-sign Shawn Marion for the dollar amount required to retain his services;

2 To not re-sign their own unrestricted free agents [i.e. Anthony Parker and Joey Graham];

3 To sign Jay Triano [then, interim head coach] to a 3-yr contract extension;

4 To complete the series of trades which then ensued with Orlando, Dallas, Golden State and Milwaukee, in effect, exchanging the following players on the team’s 2008-2009 roster with their corresponding counterparts [i.e. coded by colour] on the current version:

2008-2009

2009-2010

Calderon

Calderon

Parker

DeRozan

Marion

Turkoglu

Bosh

Bosh

Bargnani

Bargnani

Ukic

Jack

Kapono

Belinelli

Graham

Wright

Humphries

Johnson

Voskuhl

Nesterovic

Banks

Banks

Douby

Weems

M-Bonsu

M-Bonsu

Jawai

Evans

O’Bryant

O’Bryant

… that actually did little overall to substantially improve the Quality Depth on their team, despite what the fanbase was originally led to believe by the Raptors’ Management Team and assorted NBA “observers” who extolled the influx of supposed “talent” associated with these new additions to the roster …

this year’s Raptors team is no better than a number of other middle-of-the- pack outfits in the Eastern Conference and, in fact, should be expected to struggle to make the playoffs this season.

Those who thought/think that this edition of the Toronto Raptors has UNDER-ACHIEVED, to this point, this season …

Play Audio

Now

were/are fundamentally INCORRECT.

This is precisely WHO and WHAT the Raptors are, and approximately WHERE the 2009-2010 version of their team SHOULD BE expected to finish this season, based on the personnel [i.e. players and coaches] on its roster.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to “Up, down, or approximately where they are right now”

  1. Raps Fan Says:

    Khandor, I think it is fair to expect this team to improve over the course of the season, but not substantially. Of those 4 points you made (about Colangelo’s decisions), had they signed a high calibre coach with nba credentials, and not triano, the moves he made might have started to bear fruit by this point in the season, and the raptors outlook could have been brighter. The combination of the players brought in, with the coaching staff assembled is what has been haunting this team imho.

  2. brothersteve Says:

    Look at the Raptors wins and losses and this team makes no sense.

    Statistically – the variances are so big between games as to be meaningless.

    We still don’t know who the “real” Raptors are.

    8-0 defensive team. (giving up less than 100 points)

    0-10 defensively incompetent team (giving up more than 115)

    Lack of identity, leadership, coaching leaves much in the dark.

  3. Scott G Says:

    BS – I 100% agree that a lack of leadership is a BIG problem for the raps. Among Jose, CB4, Hedo, and Bargs (arguably our 4 most talented guys), there’s not a vocal leader among them. That’s one of the areas where I think Jack could help us, but he’s a bad fit in the role he currently plays.

    RF – I don’t think the team’s performances can be blamed on Triano. The squad is essentially the same as last year’s, as shown on the chart above. Lots of lateral moves that bring new hope, but similar talent levels and ultimately the same results. Look at, for example, Mike Woodson in ATL — a few years back people were questioning his ability as a coach. But now, with a more talented group, he’s got them humming at a high level. While I don’t think JT is a GREAT coach, I don’t think he’s the real problem here. The real problem is the horses we have…

    Last night was hard to watch… We just need more tough-minded athletes to compete in the paint (both wings and bigs).

  4. Brain Colangelo Says:

    “* The lower 1st Round pick they could have obtained in a trade down, which could have been used to acquire an in-coming player like Brandon Jennings, or Terrence Williams, or Earl Clark, or Rodrigue Beaubois, or Taj Gibson.”

    When did you say trade down and take Jennings? Please point me to that comment.

  5. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    In basketball … as in life … it is [almost?] always a combination of factors that converge to make something happen properly, or not.

    Is there usually a “Tipping Point“?

    Yes, there is.

    But, without the presence of ALL the factors, in the first place, there is no way to truly know how a situation would/might have turned out differently [either, For Better Or For Worse].

    The specific person in Raptorville who needs to be taking the heat, right now, isn’t Chris Bosh, or Jose Calderon, or Andrea Bargnani, or Hedo Turkoglu, or Marc Iavaroni, or Jay Triano.

    I think you know exactly who it is that I’m thinking of.

    [PS. Hint: In actual fact, there's actually a pecking order of specific names that I have, at-present, which can ALL be found in the Raptors' "Organizational Flow Chart" above that of the current head coach and any of the players.]

  6. khandor Says:

    brothersteve,

    I disagree with your observation.

    By this point, you should know exactly who these Raptors are … as, in fact, the numbers to which you’ve alluded make perfect sense, given the current personnel [i.e. admin, coaches and support staff, players, etc.] within this organization.

  7. khandor Says:

    Scott G.,

    Please read, “The Man Who Listens To Horses.”

    The real problem is never, ever “just with the horses”.

    THE REAL PROBLEM lies with …

    #1. The owner of the horses.

    #2. The men [and women] who are responsible for “cutting the horses out of the pool”, in the first place.

    #3. The men [and women] who are responsible for “the proper training of the horses”, in order to accomplish what’s needed of them.

  8. khandor Says:

    Brain,

    I have never written that the Raptors SHOULD have taken Brandon Jennings in the 2009 NBA Draft.

    In the past, I have written that the Raptors SHOULD have traded down to take one of several in-coming players other than DeMar DeRozan, in the No. 9 position, e.g. Terrence Williams, Earl Clark, Taj Gibson, Dante Cunningham, Marcus Thornton, Nando De Colo, etc.

    What I wrote yesterday, acknowledged that, in addition to the players which I’ve listed previously, the Raptors COULD [not should :-) ] have even included the name of Brandon Jennings amongst those on the list which I’ve supplied in the past.

    The reason I included Rodrigue Beaubois’s name on this list is because …

    if the Raptors did happen to want to use a draft pick last summer on a Point Guard, then, HE is, in fact, the one which I would have recommended ahead of Brandon Jennings. :-)

    PS. So, too, could I have included the name of Darren Collison, as well, in the 2nd Round; as he is a player who I’ve liked since his sophmore year at UCLA, when he teammed up with Luc Richard Mbah A Moute and Arron Afflalo, etc., for a very nice run through the March Madness Tournament.

  9. Brain Colangelo Says:

    Appreciate the clarification but what you wrote implied that you had advocated a trade down by 1 spot, which you didn’t. Anyway, you’ve fixed it now.

Leave a Reply