9/10/12

Raptors Playoffs? Not If These 10 Things Don't Happen

Most people seem so optimistic about the Toronto Raptors. I feel it would take a number of things to go right for them to make the post-season. A perfect storm of things going right:


1.  Andrea Bargnani must (A) Stay healthy and grind through minor injuries (B) Play like he did prior to his calf injury last season. 

2. Demar DeRozan needs to prove he can play at the small forward position and defend that position at times. 

3. Kyle Lowry needs to have a career high in assists per game. If he is going to replace Jose Calderon, he needs to come close to the assist numbers he produces something around 7 a game. 

4. Jose Calderon needs to be traded or a happy camper until he is. If you get a Jose Calderon that is not happy with his new found back up roll that could be an issue. People just assume Jose will be the guy he has always been in terms of accepting his role. I don't and think that he has had enough of this organization making it clear to him that he is not their guy. 

5. Ed Davis needs to step up and play like a 6th man coming off the bench. We need to see rebounds, blocks and for his rebuilt shot to be reliable. 

6. Terrance Ross needs to play like a guy that belongs in the rotation. If your goal is really the playoffs you can't be doing to much developing players and giving them minutes they don't deserve. 

7. Jonas Valanciunas needs to stay on the floor. That is step one and it needs to happen quickly. After that he needs to be a defensive presence and get on the glass. I am not nearly as concerned about his offense at this point. Year one it is or shouldn't be about his point totals. Have him earn garbage points. 

8.Landry Fields needs to play more like the rookie Landry Fields then the guy from last year. If we get that guy, people will bring up his contract less and the reason he got it less as well. 

9. Dwane Casey must expand on what he established last season. Accountability and defensive mindset must continue. He also must do a better job in getting this team rolling on the other end of the floor. The additions made should bring an end to some of the ugly performances on offense in the 60's we were subjected too.

10. In general this team has to stay healthy. The Raptors can not afford any kind of injuries to players in the rotation. The margin if the Raptors were to be a playoff team,  would be very slim. 

If all of these things happen we could be talking post-season for the Toronto Raptors. That said, those were a lot of things to happen. Not quite the odds to win the lottery but still a lot of things need to break right for the Raptors.

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