Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Raptors Early Season Q & A

And here we go with the highs and lows that accompany an early, heavily hyped season...

The first game against Miami was a game where Will Solomon erased many doubts that there were issues with the depth at the Point Guard position, that maybe there is a chance they could squeak this season out if and when Jose Calderon goes down with an injury. Last night Solomon reinstated all of those concerns and Roko Ukic helped to provide the much needed assistance. One of the greatest showings of Chris Bosh's career (40 pts, 18 rebs, 4 ast) went to waste with turnover after turnover (24 to be exact in total) and unfortunate early foul trouble for Jermaine O'Neal - who was doing an excellent job of shutting down Superman Dwight Howard early on - lead to the demise of Toronto's team in Orlando.

The reports are beginning to become bleak as people begin to see this team as one not lacking depth this season, but struggling with it.

So through 10 games the Raptors are 5-5, but they have a 3-7 feel, you know? But maybe that's just me.
-Michael Grange, Globe & Mail

I don’t think anyone can look at this team right now and optimistically suggest it’s a second-round playoff team, let alone a conference title contender. Sure, given the right matchup and if everyone’s playing great, they could squeeze out a first round win and make a lot of people happy.

The likelihood of that happening is Slim and None and Slim’s just about left town.
-Doug Smith, Toronto Star

I was worried earlier when reactions coming out of the Toronto camp, following their 2 game losing skid to the Pistons and Hawks, had players making mention of not losing their confidence yet. There are even more concerns now coming from all angles and that can't help the players confidence any more.

I will continue to say that the big 3 remain (Bosh-O'Neal-Calderon) a force to be reckoned with that's no question! And watching O'Neal starting to come into his own lately (based on recent games and last night's early game play anyways), Raptors fans may be in a place we've never been before - even better than those Marcus Camby days! However the rest of the team just does not appear to be up to the standard they need to be, or at least not consistently.

The calls are going out constantly right now on how to improve the team in a hurry - who to sign (who is there, btw?), who to trade (once again, who can they trade?), apparently Bryan Colangelo wasn't actually with the team last night but out scouting. We'll see what BC comes up with to help this team, he's brought in talent before perhaps he can still make something happen. But with the up and down start to the season Doug Smith may have hit the nail on the head with a quick analysis of tonight's game:

The good news? A game Wednesday. The bad news? If they lose that one, there may
be people jumping in Lake Ontario.
It's still too early in the season in my opinion to be buying the farm on this team (as if anyone could in this market anyways), there have been some glimmers of greatness - most especially from Bosh. But there have also been signs, with injury concerns and inconsistent play already glarring, that perhaps correcting it now would suit better than staying the course. Tonight, a win over the Miami Heat would help a lot!

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