Key early season games for the Raptors

This is the first two months of the schedule for the Dinos:




Expected Outcome

Wed 29

 @ Philadelphia  

L [1]

 Fri 31

 vs Golden State

W [1]




 Sat 01

 @ Milwaukee  


 Wed 05

 vs Detroit

L [2]

 Fri 07

 @ Atlanta  


 Sun 09

 @ Charlotte  


 Mon 10

 @ Boston  

L [3]

 Wed 12

 vs Philadelphia

W [2]

 Sun 16

 vs Miami

W [3]

 Tue 18

 @ Orlando  

L [4]

 Wed 19

 @ Miami  


 Fri 21

 vs New Jersey

W [4]

 Sun 23

 vs Boston

L [5]

 Wed 26

 vs Charlotte

W [5]

 Fri 28

 vs Atlanta

W [6]

 Sun 30

 @ LA Lakers  

L [6]




 Tue 02

 @ Denver  

L [7]

 Fri 05

 @ Utah  

L [8]

 Sun 07

 vs Portland

L [9]

 Tue 09

 @ Cleveland  

L [10]

 Wed 10

 vs Indiana

L [11]

 Fri 12

 @ New Jersey  

L [12]

 Sun 14

 vs New Orleans

L [13]

 Mon 15

 vs New Jersey

W [7]

 Wed 17

 vs Dallas

L [14]

 Fri 19

 @ Oklahoma City  

L [15]

 Sat 20

 @ San Antonio  

L [16]

 Mon 22

 @ LA Clippers  

L [17]

 Fri 26

 @ Sacramento  

L [18]

 Sat 27

 @ Portland  

L [19]

 Mon 29

 @ Golden State  

W [8]

W – Expected Win; L – Expected Loss; ? – Undetermined; [#] – W/L Number


With possible expected outcomes of …

8 W’s,
19 L’s, and
4 Undetermined’s

which would generate five possible W-L records for this team by January 1, 2009:

i) 0-4 on Undetermined’s = 8 W, 23 L;
ii) 1-3 on Undetermined’s = 9 W, 22 L;
iii) 2-2 on Undetermined’s = 10 W, 21 L;
iv) 3-1 on Undetermined’s = 11 W, 20 L; and, 
v) 4-0 on Undetermined’s = 12 W, 19 L.

None of which is very good.


Q1. Is it possible that a team could trade for a 6-time NBA All-Star; line him up beside two other solid NBA players, like Chris Bosh & Jose Calderon … and, then, somehow still finish the 2008 portion of its schedule with a W-L record like one of those five options above?

A1. You bet it is.


Each of the L‘s listed above is a very losable game for this Raptors team, this season, given (I) the losses of Rasho Nesterovic, Carlos Delfino and TJ Ford from last year’s squad, and (II) the expected improvement from other teams in the League that have re-tooled their rosters heading into this campaign … BY INCREASING their Quality Depth, e.g Philadelphia, Indiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma City, LA Clippers & Sacramento.

If the Raptors are going to avoid this type of backwards step this season … keep a close watch on how they do in their first 6 games AND the 15 games from Nov 30 to Dec 27.

Struggle early, like they did two years ago, and the temperature is going to rise significantly in Raptorville.

Successfully navigate these two stretches … with, say, a .400 mark [or better] … then it should be clear sailing from there, as one of the 8 teams in the East to eventually qualify for the Playoffs this season.

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13 Responses to “Key early season games for the Raptors”

  1. Dan H Says:

    Well, yes those games are loseable.

    Re: is it possible…?

    Anything’s possible.

    Probable? I say no. You’ve got them expected to lose EVERY game they play against a superior opponent and MOST games against teams I would consider in the same tier or worse than the Raptors (Orlando, Sacramento, OKC), and uncertain against bottom feeders such as Milwaukee, Charlotte, Atlanta.

    I wouldn’t exactly die of shock if those results were to occur. However even you have to admit that the results listed above are extremely pessimistic. Not quite ‘worst case’, but awfully close.

  2. Dan H Says:

    My ‘luck’ basis: a team will win those games against teams it is better than, lose those games against superior teams, and split the games against those teams considered approximately similar in talent level.

    Basic ‘karma’ concept: any results that differ from the above suggestion in a negative fashion will be countered by results that differ in a positive fashion. i.e. a loss to an inferior team will be balanced by a win against a superior team.

    This balance is the only way to PREDICT results without skewing to a PESSIMISTIC or OPTIMISTIC view, which by definition are either MORE negative or positive than a REALISTIC view.

    As such: Weaker teams on above list – Milwaukee, Atlanta (2), Charlotte (2), NJ (3), Indiana, Sacramento, OKC = 10 expected wins

    Similar teams – Miami (2), Philly (2), GS (2), Denver, Portland (2), Dallas, LAC = 11 toss-ups = 5.5 W + 5.5 L

    Superior teams – Detroit, Boston (2), Orlando, LAL, Utah, Cleveland, NO, SAS = 9 losses

    So: my expected record: 15.5 – 14.5 (W-L)

    Personally, I even feel this is a SLIGHTLY pessimistic view, as I felt Miami, Orlando, Cleveland, and LAC were between tiers and I placed them in the UPPER of those two tiers.

    Obviously these won’t be the actual results, but I see no reason to believe (leaving injuries aside) that the actual results should be closer to your PESSIMISTIC predictions than to my ATTEMPTED realistic predictions.

    And by attempted, I obviously mean that it is based largerly on my perception of the quality of teams relative to each other and not on statistics or another measure of team quality.

    Of course, if injuries are GUARANTEED to occur to EACH and EVERY team, then the argument of ‘added quality depth’ carries more weight and I would expect the Raptors to indeed have a record similar to your above predictions.

  3. Dan H Says:

    Apologies for using your blog as a soapbox.

  4. khandor Says:

    Dan H,

    There’s no apology necessary.

    IMO … part of what a blog’s about is sharing information & ideas with others who might have a similar interest.


    That said … I happen to disagree with much of what you just tried to say in those three ^^^ comments right there, re: pessimism, optimism, realism, guarantees, hypothetical projections, etc. 🙂

    If I have enough time later today, I’ll try and explain myself further. 😉

    [sorta busy right now with a couple of other time-sensitive items on my plate]

  5. Dan H Says:

    Many Thanks

  6. toronto raptors linkage – oct 4 Says:

    […] – Khandor’s Sports Blog […]

  7. Johnn19 Says:

    If you feel that your expertise tells you the Rap’s are going to win 2 and lose 13 in Dec then you better stick to forcasting dog show results and forget about a sports blog.

  8. khandor Says:

    Dan H & Johnn19,

    Sorry for the delay. 😦


    Are you familiar with the following information … from David Sparks’ “Operationalizing Interestingness” in the NBA.

    If not, I suggest you read it, first … digest it, second … and then, third, we can talk further about what a pessimistic, optimistic and/or realistic viewpoint might be toward the Raptors’ projected W-L record for the up-coming season.

    Hit me back with another comment here … at that point. 🙂


    PS. Also, as you’re keeping an open mind, please remember that:

    i) I have not prognosticated that the Raptors will go 2-13 in December; and,

    ii) I am firmly in the camp which believes that statistical analyses of basketball, in isolation … almost always … proves very little of anything.

  9. Let the games begin in Raptorville « Khandor’s Sports Blog Says:

    […] was said in this space previously [several weeks & months ago] … Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the first 6 or 7 games of the regular […]

  10. Oh, Thunder Road « Khandor’s Sports Blog Says:

    […] Key early season games for the Raptors Key early season games for the Raptors: Part II […]

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