#13: Toronto Raptors
For the Toronto Raptors it will be another long season without making the playoffs. The other teams in their division got better while they spent their off-season doing nothing. The Raptors have been an average team every season, with the exception of a couple of years, and that is exactly what kind of team they will be this year.
Surrounded by the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks, it will be very hard for Toronto to get many wins in their division. All four of those teams are projected to make the playoffs, making the Raptors schedule even more difficult this season.
According to ESPN, the Raptors’ starting lineup is:
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Terrence Ross
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: Andrea Bargnani
C: Jonas Valanciunas
Like the previous two teams in my projected standings, I do not see where Toronto is going to get scoring from with this group. Yes, they will get their wins against teams like Orlando and Charlotte, but I do not see them competing with the rest of the teams in their division. Andrea Bargnani was their leading scorer last year and he didn’t average more than 20 points per game. I do not see that changing much this season. Meanwhile, Jonas Valanciunas has yet to play a game in the NBA, so who even knows how good of a center he’ll be for the Raptors.
One thing the city of Toronto and the Raptors have to look forward to though is that their core group is very young, for the most part. Not only will experience help them tremendously, but they will get better as the season goes on. DeRozan is also one of the best dunkers in the NBA, so that’ll be at least entertaining.
Josh Poloha is a Senior at The Ohio State University and our newest contributor here at StepienRules.com. Follow Josh on Twitter: @JorshP or email him at poloha.1 [at] osu.edu.