HoopsHype.com Season Previews

US Presswire

2012/13 SEASON ROSTER
NUM
PLAYER
POS
HT
 4
F
6-7
 6
F-G
6-6
 7
F
6-11
 8
G
6-3
 32
F
6-9
 10
G-F
6-7
 2
F
6-7
 34
C
7-0
 15
C-F
6-11
 11
F
6-8
 3
G
6-0
 5
G
5-11
C
6-11
F
6-9
 31
G
6-6
 17
C
6-11

Toronto Raptors      

ADDITIONS:
Quincy Acy (Baylor), Landry Fields (New York), Kyle Lowry (Houston), John Lucas (Chicago), Dominic McGuire (Golden State), Terrence Ross (University of Washington) and Jonas Valanciunas (Lietuvas Rytas).

SUBTRACTIONS:
Solomon Alabi (New Orleans), Jerryd Bayless (Memphis), Gary Forbes (Houston), James Johnson (Sacramento) and Ben Uzoh.

STRENGTHS:
Long known as a weak defensive team, coach Dwane Casey changed the Raptors, who finished in the Top 10 in the NBA in points allowed and have the potential to keep improving, especially with the addition of point guard Kyle Lowry and the signing of 2011 first-round pick Jonas Valanciunas ... Lowry gives the Raptors an intangible that is greatly needed – toughness ... Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan are a solid scoring tandem and both are excellent foul shooters ... If Jose Calderon isn’t traded, then he will team with Lowry and John Lucas III to give the Raptors great play at the point guard position ... Valanciunas brings much needed frontcourt depth and should help improve what was a middle-of-the-pack rebounding team.

WEAKNESSES:
Scoring ... Besides Bargnani, DeRozan and Lowry, this team will be looking for players to provide consistent offense … Bargnani must show he's recovered from a calf injury that cost him more than half the season ... Two of the team’s top perimeter threats, Bargnani and DeRozan, have to improve from last season when they shot .296 and .261 respectively from beyond the arc ... Perimeter shooting is weak ... Even with Calderon annually having one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios, the Raptors are careless with the ball and averaged 15.2 turnovers, tied for the eighth highest in the league ... Second unit doesn't bring much to the table offensively either.

PROJECTION:
5th in the Atlantic Division / 9th in the Eastern Conference

PROJECTED STARTERS
PG: Kyle Lowry Jason Richardson SG: DeMar DeRozan Andrei Kirilenko SF: Landry Fields
Great two-way point guard. Has excelled when given the chance to be a full-time starter. Some All-Star potential. Athletic swingman that has yet to develop a decent outside shot. Contract year for him, so he won't lack motivation. Solid defender and rebounder. The former Knick has high basketball IQ, but will not help solve the Raptors' offensive woes.
Yi Jianlian PF: Andrea Bargnani C: Jonas Valanciunas Sixth: Jose Calderon
Struggled from three last season, but there's no question he's one of the best shooting big men we've seen in the NBA. Athletic and skilled center that should be a key piece for many years to come. Subpar performance at the Olympics. Toronto added Lowry and Lucas this offseason. The writing is on the wall for Calderon, but he will stay professional.