Even when Jose Calderon isn’t a Raptor he helps them miss the playoffs. The Raptors thanks to a loss to Detroit are officially done and will watch the playoffs for a fifth season. Watching the Raptors of late is about as fun as going to the dentist with maybe one exception.
Jonas Valanciunas is really starting to emerge and be the player that fans were hopeful he would become. He has scored in double figures for 8 straight games. He is coming into tonight’s game vs. Washington with back to back double-doubles. He also has 7 blocks in the last 3 games. There really is not much to dislike in what you’re seeing. This is all happening on a team that at times you wonder if they have a pulse at this point. Losers of 5 of their last 6 games including an embarrassing loss to tonight’s opponent the Wizards. You might take note of those Wizards as they could be a team feeling they can make the playoffs next year as well. They had a better excuse than Raptors for starting the season badly with no John Wall or Nene.
The Raptors I have to say for whatever you might say about them have tremendous balls in some respects. How else do you run an add campaign for season tickets with 17 reasons that you should get season tickets. I mean honestly it is not like the Raptors are going to become the Blue Jays this off-season. They first and foremost have restriction with a salary cap system. A system that gets a lot tougher on those who choose to spend big bucks. Not that the Raptors have ever been on of those teams. Yes they pay big contracts and overvalued ones but they always make it fit under the NBA tax threshold and avoid being a tax payer. Which next year as you likely know will cost 3 dollars for every dollar you go above the tax threshold?
I feel the need to respond with 17 reasons why there is no need to buy Raptors’ Season Tickets. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I am to tempted not to so would be wrong....So.... if your ready let’s roll. These are not in any order of importance.
1. Andrea Bargnani could still be here: Everyone assumes he will be gone and swears you can trade him. I seem to remember this same song and dance with Jose Calderon who honestly had more value than Bargnani currently. Still the Raptors could not trade him until finally this season with his over priced contract set to expire. If Bargnani is not gone the boos will rain down like Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh were doing a rock concert at halftime with the Raptors down 25.
2. No Draft Pick: Bryan Colangelo traded away the Raptors picks and who will you watch when hope is lost with no rookies on the roster? It becomes a problem at this time of year.
3. Bryan Colangelo is back: Where is the accountability in this organization? How many years do you get to screw up as a player, coach or a G.M? Clearly the G.M falls just above this draft pick from Italy. The reality is Bryan Colangelo has made the Raptors a less desirable job than when he arrived here. He was taken this team and through many bad contracts pushed them to the limit of where Ownership is willing to spend historically at the tax threshold.
4 -19 is good enough for anyone to take pause before spending their money on the Raptors. The Raptors traditionally have a pretty lousy schedule in terms of finding wins early in the season. Combine that with a team that has trouble holding leads in the fourth quarter and you have problems.
5. Maybe people in Memphis are right about Rudy Gay? He came in like a lion and is going out like a lamb with a bad back. It has to be concerning moving forward given the huge percentage of your cap that you are committing to him.
6. Kyle Lowry hasn’t been all that….and oh yeah who exactly is going be his back-up if he has an injury filled season like this next year. Oh and how exactly are we going to pay him when his contract runs out after next season even if he is better than this year? ....Problems and lots of them.
7. If the Leafs make the playoffs and Blue Jays go retro like it is 1993 where would you have the money for a down payment on season tickets anyway?
8. Andrew Wiggins is not walking through that door. The Raptors even if they are bad will likely not be bad enough to have a serious chance at drafting Andrew Wiggins and even if they did you would just wait till next year to get tickets.
9. The Miami Heat will still be playing in the Eastern Conference even if the Raptors exceed all expectations the Heat are a major problem for all teams in the East.
10. What will be new? Not much and have you looked how things have been going lately?
11. DeMar DeRozan likely will not return has the 9 Million Dollar man. Along with many other folks that will be earning far more than what they are capable of producing. It is a problem and a major one.
12. Depth of bigs? The Raptors are pretty much lacking quality after you get past Jonas and Amir. Speaking of Amir how long can he keep playing through injures like he has? You hope he can be healthy but you realistically know that is not likely. At some point the body gives no matter how strong the will.
13. Casey’s Rock is not being pounded as hard as it was last year. The Raptors’ defense with more talent on the roster has actually gone south this season. Not back to the epic poor levels before Casey arrived but still pretty bad.
14. Raptors might be better and still not a playoff team. You could build a strong case that both the Cavs and Wizards could potentially be better than the Raptors next year. You could also see Philly improve with all that money they will get with Andrew Bynum off their books. Raptors are no lock to make the post season next year.
15. No Vince Carter Number Retirement.
16 The Raptors had a losing record at home this season.
17 + 2 is the number of years this franchise has existed with only one playoff series win and one division title.
That was some depressing fun reality wasn’t it. I do seriously want to apologize for things being a bit sloppy and messed up that last month of so with the DNB. It is a combination of circumstances combined with lack any real news at this time of year. I take pride in being hard working and have been that for 5 years. This last month or so you have deserved better from me. This being said I was sick and currently my mom has the flu so it is been a rough month all around.
Next season I am determined to build a loyal and hard working writing staff and am working on some pretty cool ideas that I want to be doing next year with the blog. It is tough at this time of year. As a fan you can always check out when you like. It doesn’t work that way when you cover the team. You often wonder if anyone is listing or reading at this time of year. People are of course but you still wonder how much they are paying attention.
I am always grateful for your support and hope you understand that it has been a difficult month both physically and mentally to be doing the blog. I have done my best to muddle through. No one demands more of me than me at that end of the day.