Let the games begin in Raptorville

Since the Jermaine O’Neal trade was first consumated, and no other major acquisitions made by the Raptors during the summer signing period, it has been apparent to the keen observer that this year’s version of the Dinos is going to struggle mightily against the authentic high-end teams in the NBA. What SHOULD be alarming to others now, is just how much this group is going to struggle this season versus the other middling teams in the NBA, as well, that are in a similar boat to the good ship Raptor but, each of which improved their roster substantially heading into this new campaign.

As is, the Raptors are over the Salary Cap and only $1,100 [or so] below the Luxury Tax Threshold … which their GM/President [Bryan Colangelo] has stated they have no intention of exceeding this year … with a bare-bones roster of 14 players still with the team, several of whom have little to no experience in the NBA.

Unlike other middling teams, however, the Raptors do not have only 1 key player who they can absolutely not afford to lose through injury, they have 3 of them, i.e. Chris Bosh [franchise player], Jose Calderon [only legit PG] & Jermaine O’Neal [$21 mil/yr], each of whom has, in fact, missed time over the last 2 seasons due to injury.

There are worse things in the NBA than being a league-wide laughingstock for a few years, but with the pieces it takes to re-build your franchise down-the-road, as a legitimate contender for an NBA title with a comprehensive plan of attack extending over a number of years.

Instead … you could be a team that has made consecutive playoff appearances, been eliminated both times in the 1st Round, and now has a limited number of highly marketable assets on its roster … but, which is Over the Salary Cap already and just shy of the Luxury Tax Threshold – with no intention of exceeding it, this season or down-the-road – that is in serious danger of slipping into Treadmill Territory, fast, in comparison with the other Top Flight & Middling outfits in the NBA.

Yes-sir-ree, Bob … it is going to be an interesting season ahead in Raptorville.

As 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 season schedule and then the key stretch of games at the beginning of December, because there are going to be a lot of 2nd [and 3rd] tier teams in the NBA this season and there’s a date in the middle of that month where at least 1 or 2 of those, with designs on challenging for a top four playoff spot this season [however false that might have been to begin with] are going to think long and hard about replacing their head coach and taking their team in a different direction altogether.

As always …

“The Proof of the pudding is in the eating.”Anonymous [whose overall level of intelligence never ceases to amaze]

———————————–

Game Review: Nuggets at Raptors [Oct 21 2008]

FINAL SCORE: Denver 105, Toronto 94  
Game Summary

NOTE 1: The only pertinent information you need to know is contained in this quote, released from the Raptors’ communication department mid-way through the 3rd Quarter, “Jermaine O’Neal will not be returning to the game with a sore right leg.”

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