Thursday, November 29, 2012

Report: Raptors consider signing Mickael Pietrus and improving Wing Position

       The Raptors have been struggling as they have now lost 6 straight there recent loss was last night against the Grizzlies 103-82. The Raptors are currently sitting at a 3-13 record and are in the 2nd last position of the Eastern Conference. At the same time, the Raptors are dealing with injuries to Landry Fields and Alan Anderson who are out for a month or so and also play at the small forward position.

        There have also been report according to Sportsnet that the Raptors are interested in signing Mickael Pietrus as they have been looking for a small forward due to the injuries to Fields and Anderson. It might be true because a reporter for the National Post spoke to Bryan Colangelo and said that he is interested in improving production at the wing position. (

        Mickael Pietrus was in Toronto yesterday and was probably there because if he were to play for the Raptors, he would have to do a physical and do a workout before officially being signed. However, if Pietrus were to be signed by the Raptors, they would have to waive a player in order to make room for him as the Raptors currently have 15 players with guaranteed contracts. If the signing were to happen, the Raptors would likely waive a player with a one year contract such as Alan Anderson or Dominic McGuire. Who would you guys want the Raptors to waive if the Raptors were to sign Pietrus?

       I think that it might be a realistic possibility that the Raptors could sign Pietrus but it depends on Pietrus whether or not he would want to sign in Toronto as the Raptors have not been playing well. There are also other teams such as the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers who are doing much better than the Raptors and has opportunity for more playing time that are interested in signing Mickael Pietrus.

       Do you think that the Raptors should acquire Pietrus as the Raptors have been struggling and are currently lacking players at the small forward position? Or do you guys think that the Raptors should wait for Anderson and Fields to come back from their injuries? I feel that the Raptors should sign Pietrus who is a veteran as hopefully he can help improve our record and maybe get us a playoff push late into the season. Feel free to post your opinion on whether or not Mickael Pietrus would be a good signing for the Raptors.

About Mickael Pietrus: 

- 30 years old

- Would be able to provide veteran help to Terrence Ross, Demar Derozan and etc 

- Played for Golden State, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and just recently with the Boston Celtics in the 2011-2012 season

- Has a career average of 8.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and playing time of 21 minutes

- Good 3 point shooter as he has a career average of 36 percent from the 3 point line

- Stellar perimeter defender

- Tremendous athleticism and quickness on defensive end along with great hands

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Raptors Basketball: Canada's Raptors just can't seem to find a way to win, Raptors vs Spurs and much more!


       This blog post will talk about the Toronto Raptors losing woes, their 3rd loss of the season, how are they doing 13 games into the season, tomorrow's preview against the Spurs at home and much more. The Raptors currently sit 3-10 and are 2nd last in the Eastern Conference.

       The Toronto Raptors faced the Detroit Pistons who were 2-10 last night and ended up losing 90-91 as Kyle Lowry missed the final shot in the dying seconds of the 4th quarter. Looks like Bargnani heard everyone that he had been playing like crap lately and finished with 34 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Kyle Lowry also came out big with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists along with a 14 point explosion. As a result, the Raptors have now dropped 8-10 of their games and have also lost 3 straight games.

       So what's the problem? Why have the Raptors lost 3 straight games? It's all about being able to hold a lead and not playing "catch up". For example, yesterday, the Pistons put a 11-2 run in the beginning of the 3rd quarter and the Raptors were outscored 18-9 in first five minutes of the the 3rd quarter. For the second straight game, the game had to be decided on the final shot. If the Raptors cannot be clutch in the last final seconds of the quarter, they shouldn't be putting themselves in the position that they have been for the last two games. The Toronto Raptors need to come out stronger every game and need to have a lead, hold on it and even prevent themselves from getting into a hole and then playing "catch up".

      In case you did not know, the NBA officials have announced a couple days ago that in the final possession in the Charlotte game, the officials missed a foul by Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist against Toronto's Andrea Bargnani on a jump shot and that Bargnani should have been given two free throws. In my opinion, this is not right. The NBA officials should have not announced it because it's too late and we cannot go back and fix the game. As we all knew that there should have been a foul on MKG when he created contact with Bargnani, the officials deserve to be suspended for missing a obvious call just like how NBA players are suspended when they violate the league's rules.

       Today, the Toronto Raptors (3-10) are hosting the San Antonio Spurs (10-3) and are 2nd in the Western Conference in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. The game will start at 1 and you can also catch it in Sportsnet if you are not going to the game. Let's see if they can get the W!

Projected starting line-up: 


Kyle Lowry
Demar Derozan
Dominic McGuire
Andrea Bargnani
Jonas Valanciunas


Tony Parker
Gary Neal
Danny Green
Tim Duncan
Dejuan Blair

Other notes for the game: 

- Jonas Valanciunas was banged up yesterday as he injured his ankle. He showed a lot of toughness as he played through the injury and often was limping on one leg and then was taken out of the game

- Spurs are missing Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson with injuries

- Raptors have lost two straight games by 1 point

- Grey cup will be going down in Toronto

- After that the Raptors will be facing the Houston Rockets at 8PM on Tuesday

       Stay tuned for more blog posts next week. If you like what I'm posting feel free to follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook. Just click on the icons on the top right corner and the links are also posted below.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Is it time for the Toronto Raptors to make a trade?

       As the Toronto Raptors have not lived up to their expectations at least early in the season with a 3-7 record in 10 games, is it time for a change? Toronto Raptors are currently sitting 12th in the Eastern Conference and things won't be looking any better as they are about to face a brutal stretch of games because 10 of those 13 games will come on the road. They will only play 3 games at home in that stretch which are against the Spurs, Nets and Suns. Out of the 13 games and as of right now, the Raptors play against 7 teams who are .500 and above. The 10 games that Raptors will play away out of the next 13 games, the Raptors play 7 of those games against Western Conference teams.

      The Raptors have been dealing with a lot of injuries because Alan Anderson is out for 3-6 weeks, Kyle Lowry possibly out this week as he was expected to miss an additional 1-2 weeks and Landry Fields out for at least two weeks perhaps longer. With the tough stretch coming, the Raptors might not be at full strength this week which could also affect the outcome of the games they are about to face. The Raptors have also been struggling as they came out with a victory on Sunday against a team who is struggling. They've also been struggling to close out games or tend to fall behind early. For example, the game against Indiana, the Raptors scored only 5 points in the 4th quarter but luckily won 74-72 and same with the game against the Jazz as they went into triple over time. When the Raptors played the Celtics, they almost caught up when they were down 3 points at one point but then Celtics pulled away and won 107-89.

      If you look at Bryan Colangelo, his contract is about to end soon. With the way that the team is performing currently and if they continue to perform this way, Colangelo's job is no doubt on the line and especially because of the new ownership who are serious about winning. Therefore, Colangelo should pursue a trade to show that the Raptors are winners and he deserves to stay long term in Toronto. If the Raptors cannot rebuild and draft gems, they will get no where especially under Colangelo as he is  not a fan of rebuilding. My guess is that if the Raptors do not make the playoffs this season, Bryan Colangelo probably won't be the Raptors General Manager next year. Colangelo can spend money and make moves like he did with Turkoglu and therefore he should make a trade that will get the Raptors to the playoffs which could even secure his job in Toronto in the long term.

       Currently we have a good nucleus with Kyle Lowry, Demar Derozan, Andrea Bargnani and future star Jonas Valanciunas. All that remains is a big time impact player that can push the team to the playoffs and perhaps further. If the ownership believes in Colangelo, he needs to make sure that Kyle Lowry is going to be with the Raptors as his contract is expiring. Colangelo also needs to convince Lowry who is winner and contender that the Raptors can make the playoffs and become winners. However, if the Raptors cannot do that, Lowry definitely will not stay in Toronto and sign somewhere else.

       In my opinion, I think that the Raptors should acquire Rudy Gay and I'm pretty sure that most fans would agree with me as the Raptors have been interested in him for a while. Rudy Gay really addresses a lot of the Raptors needs. It might seem impossible to get Gay as the Memphis Grizzlies have been on a roll early in the season and are looking like they might make noise in the playoffs. However, with the Grizzlies financial issues, it might be possible that Raptors can snatch Rudy Gay.

Here are the things that Rudy Gay strenghts:

- Top 5 small forward
- Can score
- Versatile
- Perimeter defender and defend any position on court
- Snatches steals
- Has length and strength
- Averaging 19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists this season

       Rudy Gay will definitely not come cheap but he is worth it for the long run. If I were Bryan Colangelo, I would throw in Jose Calderon, Terrence Ross who has barely gotten any minutes this season but looks a promising player and Ed Davis. I would even throw in a couple first rounders if the Grizzlies would ask. With Rudy Gay acquired, the Raptors would look like:

Kyle Lowry/ John Lucas III
Demar Derozan/Alan Anderson
Rudy Gay/ Landry Fields
Andrea Bargnani/ Amir Johnson
Jonas Valanciunas/ Aaron Gray

       All five positions would look solid and would definitely get the Raptors into the playoffs and even save Bryan Colangelo's job. Depending on the cap situation of the Raptors by the end of the season and into 2013 free agency, the Raptors can sign a couple players to make their even more solid. Would you guys make this trade for Rudy Gay or would you guys want to acquire someone else than Rudy Gay? Post your thoughts.

       If you guys liked this article, feel free to share it amongst others. If you like what I'm posting, feel free to subscribe to this blog or you can follow The Raptors Turf on Twitter and even Like us on Facebook (links are on the top right and posted below). Stay tuned as I will have another post coming this week. Happy reading!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Raptors Basketball: Raptors related news, Injury woes, Raptors vs. Celtics preview and more!

       This week post will talk about the latest on the Raptors, all there latest injury woes and oday's game against the Celtics.
       So far, the Toronto Raptors have played 8 games and have a disappointing 2-6 record and currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference. The last time we talked about the Toronto Raptors was there next game at the 76ers. They played another game against Utah Jazz where they lost 140-333 in TRIPLE OT. The last time that the Toronto Raptors played TRIPLE OT was in 2001 in February. Then they played the Pacers where they won 74-72 and won even when they scored only 5 points in the  4th quarter and they were very close to losing.

That's where Derozan had 37 points, 8 rebounds in 60 minutes. Insane right?

Raptors injuries

       So far, Anderson, Kleiza, Lowry and Fields are dealing with various injuries. Lowry is expected to miss 1-2 weeks as he is dealing with a bruised cuboid in his ankle. At the same time, he has been patient and frustrated as has he wants to return on the court and play with this teammates. Alan Anderson is out for 3-6 weeks with a partially torn plantar fascia and Landry Feilds is out for a awhile as he had surgery on a nercie in his left elbow. Many people thought he was just flat out horrible, however Fields has said that he felt twitches whenever he took a shot even during preseason. He should have diagnosed that problem then, right? Linas Kleiza is dealing with a sore ankle and could be suited up for today's game.

       Dwayne Casey feels that this is an opportunity for other players to step up and I agree with him as the Raptors want to see whether or not they can do there job they were told to do

Raptors vs. Celtics Preview

       The Toronto Raptors who are 2-6 on the season, play away versing the Boston Celtics today in a afternoon game at 12:30PM. If you live in Toronto, you can catch the game on Sportsnet or on radio at FAN590. It's going to be interesting to watch Valanciunas toughness and grit as a rookie go against Kevin Garnett who seems to pick on rookies. Point guard Rajon Rondo is questionable for today's game as he is dealing with a sprained ankle and Toronto's Linas Kleiza is dealing with a sore ankle. It's going to be a tough and difficult game because the Raptors have a lost 8 straight at the TD Centre in Boston and Raptors start a stretch of 4 games in 5 nights. They will be facing the Orlando Magic on Sunday at 1PM. Who will win the game? I think it will be Boston 87-7

Please stay turn early next week  as I will make a new post on  the Raptors should acquire and why with all their recent struggles. This blog talked about the latest news on the Raptors, provided an injury report and also a preview for tonight's game.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Raptors Basketball: Toronto Raptors regular season process, other Canada Raptors related news, Vince Carter and more!

      This blog post will talk about Raptors progress into the regular season as they've already played 5 games. This post will also talk the latest Raptors important news, Vince Carter truth and etc.

      So far, the Toronto Raptors have played about 5 games into the regular season and have a compiled record of 1-4 (maybe we should fire Dwayne Casey?), just kidding. The Lakers fired Mike Brown so early into the season as the team had a 1-4 record even with all the big pieces they acquired in the summer. Anyways, going back to the Raptors, they have been dealing with a couple injuries and have lost two straight. We all know the season is young and the Raptors have fresh faces, so here's hoping that they will get out of this slump and will get there game straightened out soon.

      The Raptors have not been playing well and I think the reason to that is there defence. There defence has been worse this year than last year when Casey adapted the defence first philosophy. As Casey has said, the Raptors have not been controlling the paint and getting back into transition. You could see that in the game as the Toronto Raptors were out rebounded 31-13 in the first quarter against the Mavericks. Another problem with the Raptors are bad starts because they dig themselves deep in the first quarter as they allowed the Mavericks to score 36 points on 60 percent shooting. Then the Raptors tried to make a come back at the 4th quarter but fell short like they always do.

Other notes  

       Dwayne Casey should be looking at shaking up the line up as the Raptors have been struggling. He should definitely be giving Terrence Ross extra minutes to show case the rookie and see what he can do. Terrence Ross played about 14 minutes against the Thunder and had 10 points. By the way, do any of you guys have NBA 2K13 and have used Terrence Ross? I've used him many times and he is such a CLUTCH player because its so easy to knock down 3 pointers with him and scoring from the perimeter.

       Remember how I said earlier in one of my blog posts that John Lucas III was playing so well that he could have easily placed Calderon if he got traded? I take that back because he has been a different guy into the regular season. He's been struggling with his shooting and I also noticed that he was chucking a lot of shots when the Raptors played the Thunder.

Vince Carter wanted to stay put in Toronto

       I'm pretty sure that you guys have probably heard about this that Carter wanted to stay in Toronto the day before he got traded. I find this kind of shocking and makes me hate former Raptors GM Rob Babcock(worst GM ever) even more because he traded Vince Carter the day before he said he wanted to stay and acquired two scrubs, Alonzo Mourning who didn't even want to stay in Toronto and a couple 1st round picks which wasn't even going to help our future. Babcock shouldn't had even pulled the deal because we would have been an all-star team back then with Bosh, Carter and who else at that time.

       What makes me even more mad and stupid and has probably made other fans feel that way is that we booed at Vince Carter when he was with the Nets because we thought he requested a trade to be out of Toronto when he clearly wanted to stay. Vince Carter has done many things to the Toronto Raptors that made them recognized in the league. Therefore, I  think that the management should be open to make Vince Carter a Raptor again (hopefully retires as a Raptor) but that all depends on if he still has the same feelings that he did before the sour goodbye. 

Philadelphia 76ers v.s Toronto Raptors preview

       The Toronto Raptors will play against the 76ers on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre at 7PM and you can watch it on TSN if you live in the GTA. If you're going to the game tomorrow, the Raptors will be wearing there camouflage jerseys to honor Canada's veterans. This is going to be a critical game for the Toronto Raptors as they are 1-4 and it is a game time decision for Kyle Lowry as he is dealing with a sprained ankle that he sprained in the OKC game. However, Kyle Lowry was not wearing a walking boot or had a limp in yesterdays practice and that might be a good thing. This team needs Kyle Lowry back as he has been averaging astonishing 23 points and 7 rebounds per game and has just been a machine. Andrew Bynum won't be playing for the 76ers as he's been dealing with his knee injury and that will hopefully make it a easier night for rookie Jonas Valanciunas.

      Landry Fields is also questionable for tomorrow's game as he has been dealing with discomfort with his right hand and he saw a hand specialist to diagnose his hand. Most likely, Alan Anderson or Dominic McGuire will start for Fields. Perhaps Fields injury is to blame for his poor performance with the Raptors as he has been unable to hit open shots and missing easy layups.

      After this game, the Raptors will be off to face Utah Jazz on Sunday and then they will have more tough games as they will be facing the Celtics and Pacers.

       In conclusion, this blog post talked about how the Raptors have been struggling in the beginning of the season, how Vince Carter wanted to stay put in Toronto and also a preview of the Raptors game against Philadelphia 76ers tonight. If you like what I'm posting on my blog page, please check out and like my Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest and links are posted below or you can click my the gadgets on the side. Feel free to subscribe to receive daily updates of my blog! I've also posted videos below for convenience Thanks and stay tuned!

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Raptors basketball: Toronto Raptors first game at the Air Canada Centre, Demar Derozans contract extension and more!

       In this blog post, I will provide my thoughts and review about the Toronto Raptors first regular season home opener game against the Indiana Pacers. The Toronto Raptors lost to the Indiana Pacers 88-90 as Andrea Bargnani missed a jumper in the final seconds to push the game to over-time. In this post, I will also provide my thoughts on Demar Derozan's new contract extension and I will also provide a preview of the Toronto Raptors game tonight against the Brooklyn Nets.

My thoughts about the Toronto Raptors home opener against Indiana Pacers

       The Toronto Raptors had a pretty good first game against the Indiana Pacers, however there were a lot of flaws in the game like when the Toronto Raptors blew a 10 point lead when there were six minutes left in the 4th quarter and also went scoreless in the last 4 minutes 4th quarter. Overall, the  Toronto Raptors shot 36 percent from the line and were out rebounded 42-46. Dwayne Casey had positive things to say about the Raptors after the game at the Air Canada Centre and thought that the Toronto Raptors showed "grit and funk" which I also agree with him because the team did play hard, however little mistakes cost them the game.

      Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry who are the newest editions to the team played well as rookie Jonas Valanciunas was nervous in the beginning in his first game did have trouble guarding Roy Hibbert. 12 points and 10 rebounds and shows that he has the capability of being a double double every night.

      Point guard Kyle Lowry nearly had a triple double with 21 points assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Kyle Lowry is what the Toronto Raptors need as he can pick up the scoring load, make plays for his team and plays defence.

      Landry Fields who looked promising during preseason who I preached will be a important piece to the Toronto Raptors had a disappointing night with 0 points in 24 minutes.

      Andrea Bargnani in the first quarter seemed to look like he was coming to grip to be the player he was last year before he got injured as he had 11 points. However, he finished the game with 16 points, just 3 rebounds (more than Kyle Lowry), 3 assists with 4-16 shooting.

Demar Derozan contract extension

       I'm pretty sure that many of you have heard that Demar Derozan was granted a contract extension 4 years, 38 million dollars. Some people are happy and some are disappointed with the deal. In my opinion, I think it is fair for what Demar Derozan received because say if he will have a breakout season this year? We would probably end up having to pay him more than around 10 million per year.

       Bryan Colangelo also said that the Toronto Raptors may have lost Demar Derozan in free agency because as he would have been a restricted free agent where the Raptors would have had the rights to match any contract offered by another team. However, other teams would have overpaid Demar Derozan by offering him a poison pill contract which the Raptors would not want to match because they would feel he would not be worth the money and would have to lose him and a core piece. The other choice would have been that they would have matched the poison pill contract that the other teams offered which would ruin their Raptors cap flexibility and future plans. However, both choices are not a win situation.

       Demar Derozan is still 23 years old and has the work ethic to be sucessful. He still has loads of potential because in 222 games, he has averaged 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 30.3 minutes in 222 career games with the Raptors and has made 743 free-throws out of 927. He also had the biggest scoring increase in his second year from 8.6 points to 17.2 points. Demar Derozan is a fan favourite in Toronto and he also has lots of love for Toronto. However, I hope that newly awarded contract will make him more motivated and will eventually improve his game that he is not fully developed like being efficient in scoring, passing and defending.

Toronto Raptors v.s Brooklyn Nets preview

       The Toronto Raptors will face Brooklyn Nets today at the new Barclays Centre in Brooklyn 7:30PM. If you live in Toronto you can also catch the game on television on Sportsnet. Brooklyn Nets will also make their season debut after being affected by Hurricane Sandy and also moving from Newark which they were previously known as the New Jersey Nets.

       It's going to be challenging to handle the duo back court combination of elite point guard Deron Williams and guard Joe Johnson because the Toronto Raptors mostly used the back court combination of Jose Calderon and Kyle Lowry against the Pacers. However, let's see how Brooklyn's bench will last against the Toronto Raptors.

       This blog post provided a review about the Toronto Raptors first regular season home opener game against the Indiana Pacers which the Toronto Raptors lost 88-90. I also provided my thoughts on Demar Derozan's new contract extension and a preview of the Toronto Raptors game tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. The Toronto Raptors will play there next game against Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, November 4th at 6PM.

       If you missed the first Raptors game of the season, check out the highlights! It was a tight and very exciting game.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Raptors Turf: 2012-2013 Raptors season preview

       Today is the last preseason game for the Toronto Raptors as they will play the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis, Tennessee. In this blog post, I will talk about my predictions and thoughts for Toronto Raptors 2012-2013 regular season.

2012-2013 Toronto Raptors Win/Loss record

       The Toronto Raptors have had a great preseason as so far, they've compiled a record of 5-1, one of the best records in this years NBA preseason. With the way that the Toronto Raptors have played, I expect the Toronto Raptors to carry that momentum into the regular season. If they continue that momentum, I expect the Toronto Raptors to have a record of at least 43-39 and make it to the playoffs as a 7th or 8th seed if Raptors key players remain healthy.

       Now, I don't know if you guys heard, but John Hollinger of ESPN predicts only 33 wins for the Toronto Raptors and many other media outlets expect between a range of 33-39 wins for the Raptors. Demar Derozan and Dwayne Casey fired back about Hollinger's thoughts as they felt that the team can win more than 33 games and I've post those videos to my Facebook page. It might be true that the Raptors might win only 33 games as these media outlets did their calculations and such. However, I, like many of the Toronto Raptors players and staff, feel that the Raptors can win more than 33 games if players remain healthy throughout the season and put in work. I also think that the Toronto Raptors can win more than 33 games because of the off-season moves that the team made and you can check them out on my earlier post in case you forgot what moves the Raptors made.

       It actually might be the year that the Raptors make the playoffs because TSN's blogger Jack Armstrong said that the last time time the Raptors made the playoffs were when they had winning records in preseason which was in 2006 and 2007. It just might happen with their current 5-1 record.

Line up for Toronto Raptors 2012-2013 (bold are the players that will be starting)

Kyle Lowry/ José Calderón/ John Lucas III
Demar DeRozan/ Terrence Ross/ Alan Anderson
Landry Fields/ Linas Kleiza/ Dominic McGuire
Andrea Bargnani/ Amir Johnson/ Ed Davis/ Quincy Acy
Aaron Gray/ Jonas Valančiūnas/ Jamal Magloire

       I think this is a pretty accurate line up that we can expect on opening night. I'm pretty sure that all you are thinking why would Valančiūnas back up Aaron Gray. I think this sounds reasonable and I'm pretty sure coach Casey would make this decision maybe for the first couple of months to get Valančiūnas accustomed to the NBA playing style. As the season progresses and if Jonas Valančiūnas plays well, I think coach Casey might put him into the starting line up. Also, this line up might even change because of injuries and any trades. 

2012-2013 Toronto Raptors Player statistics

       Below are my statistics for each Toronto Raptors player for the 2012-2013 season and that's if players remain healthy. (PPG= points per game, RPG= rebounds per game, APG= assists per game, BPG= blocks per game SPG= steals per game)

Starting line-up 

Kyle Lowry - 15.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 7.5 APG 1.9 SPG
Demar Derozan - 19.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.2 SPG
Landry Fields - 6.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG 3.2 APG
Andrea Bargnani - 21.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.7 BPG
Jonas Valančiūnas - 10.5 PPG, 10 RPG, 2.5 BPG


José Calderón - 12 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 7.2 APG
Aaron Gray- 6.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG
Terrence Ross - 10 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.1 SPG
Amir Johnson - 8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.5 APG
Linas Kleiza -  3 PPG, 2 RPG, 0.5 APG
John Lucas III - 4.0 PPG, 2 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.3 SPG
Alan Anderson - 3.5 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.4 APG

Other notes

- I think we can expect Andrea Bargnani to make it to the All-star game if he can remain healthy

- I expect Jonas Valančiūnas to be in the race for the Rookie of the Year

- I expect José Calderón to be traded as he is an expiring and might not be satisfied with being a back up

- I expect John Lucas III to give the team a much needed boost on the bench

- I expect Demar Derozan to attack the free throw line this season and get most of his points from there

- I could possibly see JLIII backing up to Kyle Lowry

- I expect Toronto Raptors offence to be improved than last season with the acquisition of Kyle Lowry running and making plays for the team, John Lucas III, Landry Fields and Terrence Ross

- Toronto Raptors play 16 games in November, 10 games away and six back to back games

       After tonight's game, the Toronto Raptors will open the regular season at the Air Canada Centre on Halloween against Indiana Pacers. Please feel free to comment on my post, talk about you're expectations on the Raptors season, who you guys think will start on opening night and whether or not you guys agree or disagree about what I wrote! I will have a new post next week on my thoughts about the Raptors first regular season game. Stay tuned!

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This is a video that will probably get you PUMPED for opening night. Take a look!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Preseason thoughts Part 2

       My apologies for the late post as I wanted this post to include last nights game when the Toronto Taptors faced the New York Knicks.  Toronto Maple Leafs fans should be prepared to watch Toronto Raptors games this season everywhere as there is no sight to an end to the NHL lockout. However, let's get to business as I should have posted this blog earlier in the day.

       The Toronto Raptors have played 5 games into preseason are currently have a record of 4-1 tied with the Philadelphia 76ers with the best preseason record in the Eastern Conference and both teams are tied with the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the league. The Toronto Raptors currently have a 4-0 record at home (Air Canada Centre) and 0-1 on the road. Preseason is looking very good and many fans are going to expect the team to play good as the regular season begins.

      Last night, the Toronto Raptors won against the New York Knicks in Montreal at the Bell Centre with a score of 107-88 in front of 22,114 fans and there were many things that I liked and probably you guys liked many things as well. I've also posted highlights at the end of the post if you missed the game!

Thoughts about the game:

- It seems that Andrea Bargnani who left the game when Raptors were facing the Washington Wizards with a calf contusion, seems to have woken up from his slump as he scored his preseason best 20 points. He also played good defence as he posted two blocks and 7 rebounds. Hopefully, there will be more good news in sight for Bargnani as there are two games remaining and the regular season a week and a half away.

 - Jonas Valančiūnas is showing fans and the Raptors management that he is able to adapt to various situations as he was in foul trouble early in the game against the Knicks. He is showing that he is a competitor as he was preventing himself being fouled out in the 4th quarter. Valančiūnas finished with 4 points and 10 rebounds.

- Kyle Lowry seems to be getting into shape after dealing with his injury as he had 17 points(5-6 from 3 point range), 4 assists and 5 rebounds. He also had a couple fiesty moves where he crossed over Raymond Felton and got a three pointer which is in the video at the end of the post if you missed it. He also took it hard to the paint with a point and a foul. Now I know why people call Kyle Lowry a bulldog as I saw that mentality in him last night.

Thoughts of Raptors preseason as it progresses:

        There is going to be competition in the point guard position and I could see José Calderón
being traded as he is good expiring asset because John Lucas III has been performing coming off the bench especially against the Knicks where scored 12 points in 9 minutes. With the previous game against the Wizards with Lowry's return, him and Jose Calderón combined for 26 points, 14 assists and five steals while John Lucas III added 5 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds.

Jonas Valančiūnas: There were many people who grilled Valančiūnas as I mentioned in my other post that he didn't play well in his first game. However, I think these people probably have changed there mind. Although he does have rookie moments as he commits turnovers and fouls, Jonas Valančiūnas has definetly impressed me as he's been playing aggressive in the post as well as protecting the post. He's also made to the highlight reel a couple times including his pump fake dunk that he had against the Washington Wizards and he's probably averaging a double double or near that line.

Landry Fields: I hope my opinion doesn't change about him, but I think Fields has been playing well especially when Lowry returned as he scored 15 points. Fields is also doing the little things that are unnoticed such as his hard-nosed play and agressiveness.

Other notes:

Ed Davis: Injured because of a sore hip and the Raptors want to make sure he is fully healed
Terrence Ross: Sore knee but was back in the line up againist the New York Knicks

       The Raptors have two more preseason games left as they have play once again at home on Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks and then play their last game on Friday away from the Air Canada Centre facing the Memphis Grizzlies. These two games are going to be crucial for the Toronto Raptors players as coach Casey is going to determine the roles for each player as well as the starting line up for at least the early part of the regular season.

       I will have one more blog on preseason thoughts and will also post my predictions for the starting line up on Toronto Raptors opening night on Halloween sometime next week. Also, if you like what I post about, please check out my social media websites with the links above on the side. Feel free to share this article with others by using the share buttons at the end of the blog and also suscribe to my blog to recieve updates on my blog. Happy reading!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Preseason thoughts

Raptors preseason is here and it is kicking. They've already played two teams where one was against Real Madrid at Air Canada Centre October 8th which they won  and Detroit Pistons in Detroit October 10th which they lost. I saw a lot of interesting things in the two games which I liked and disliked about the Toronto Raptors.

What I've liked:

Demar Derozan: So far in two games, Demar Derozan has been consistent and I've liked his effort he has put in scoring as he lead the team in scoring against Detroit with 17 points and 18 points against Real Madrid. He also made a lot of free throws against Detroit making 9 out of 10 in 27 minutes by being aggressive and attacking the paint. Altogether, he's made 19  free throw attempts in 2 games.

John Lucas III: I'm surprised with how good he has been in two games. I expected Lucas III to be a scrub and wouldn't get any playing time unless there were injuries at the point guard position. With the way he is playing, I think he could definitely back up Kyle Lowry if Jose Calderon gets traded. I've been surprised as he had 16 points in each of the two games and also has the ability to make 3 pointers reminding of Mike James.

Jonas Valanciunas: As Valanciunas made his preseason debut, a 5th pick in the first round of the NBA draft in 2011, many people thought that he would put a double double. I didn't expect it and nor was I going to expect much from him against Detroit as he just came back from an injury and is still learning to adapt to the NBA playing style. However, Valanciunas did make a presence on the court and did the little things that people should have noticed who posted two points and 2 blocks in almost 13 minutes.

His size and length could be seen on the court and which allowed him to set up picks for Jose Calderon twice and even for struggling Andrea Bargnani who made two 3 pointers in the corner. He block Greg Monroe twice, who is an up and coming offensive centre.

What I've disliked:

Defence: With all the attention of focusing on offence and playing more uptempo this season, Raptors defence has been horrible at times and even coach Casey knows it. During there game against Real Madrid, Raptors allowed Real Madrid to shoot 44 free throws and 42 percent from the field. The Raptors also allowed the Detroit Pistons to shoot 70 percent from the field during the 1st quarter. Raptors also allowed Pistons to allow 60 points in the paint. I think that Raptors big men have to do a better job to protect the post.

Free throw shooting: Raptors free throw shooting hasn't been good at all. Raptors went 18/28 from the free throw line and 35/57 two games combined. Players to notice are Andrea Bargnani who is 4/11 from the free throw line in two games. On the other hand, Derozan has been attacking the free throw line making 19 attempts.

Andrea Bargnani: Bargnani has been lazy, looks uninterested on the court and hasn't really made a splash in preseason. Perhaps, he might be a little rusty from not playing in the summer and recovering from his calf injury. However, I hope he'll be much different when the season begins because he will be a part of Toronto Raptors success. What he's done for the Raptors in two games is not good as he only grabbed 5 rebounds in two games(only 1 rebound against Detroit). He's made only two 3 pointers in 8 attempts and only 4 free throws in 11 attempts. I hope he can step his game up and be the player he was last year before getting injured.

Other notes:

- Kyle Lowry won't be playing any preseason games because of a strained muscle in his thigh

- The Toronto Raptors next game will be tonight against the Detroit Pistons at the Air Canada Centre. After this game, the Raptors will have 5 days off and play on Wednesday October 17th against Washington Wizards.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Training Camp

The Raptors training camp has begun in Halifax and have been practicing to prepare for preseason. I have been watching and reading stuff about the first couple days about the Raptors and found some interesting stuff which I want to talk about in this post and express my opinion.

Andrea Bargnani:

       Andrea Bargnani, who missed a good chunk of games dealt with a troublesome calf injury last season says that he's 100 percent healthy after spending his summer in Italy to recover from his injury. It seems to me that he is serious about this season because he never played for his national team either. Not only did he recover from his injury, he also came to training 15 pounds heavier which is very good news.

I think his gained weight is crucial this season because coach Casey and the team will heavily rely on Bargnani to carry majority of the scoring load score each night. The team cannot afford Bargnani to be out of the line up because it would definitely decrease the chances of the Raptors making the playoffs. Andrea Bargnani is also going to be the main anchor for this team and this young team will need presence each game to not only be a scorer, but be a mentor and leader to the younger players. I hope that his gained weight will allow him to be consistent throughout this long season, be a better rebounder and be that same player he was last year before his injury.


       Last season, coach Casey made the team focus more on defense rather than offence and "pounding the rock". However, last year, Raptors were 28th overall in points per game(90.7) which was horrible and Bargnani being out was a factor.  It's also important that coach Casey utilizes the teams potential in offense such as scoring and running for players like Ross, Lowry, Derozan, Bargnani and such.

Therefore, coach Casey is making the team focus on offense in training camp to make the team play more uptempo, attacking the paint and making three pointers. In my opinion, I think it's a good approach for the 2nd year raptors coach because last year, the team was 9th overall in points allowed per game, whereas the offense was not great. This team will need to be consistent both sides of the floor (offence and defense) in order to win games and perhaps making the play-offs this season.

Stay tuned, I will be talking more about Raptors preseason as it progresses and I will also make a post about my thoughts on the Raptors first preseason game. Please feel free to comment and talk about how you guys feel about the Raptors preseason so far.

Also, to find out more about the Raptors preseason and media day, you can find it all on the Toronto Raptors website at