Posts Tagged ‘TJ Ford’

Symptoms or Cause for the Raptors’ illness

November 25, 2008

[Part One] When the Raptors trade away three of their most marketable assets in a single transaction …

* TJ Ford [back-up PG]
* Rasho Nesterovic [back-up C]
* No. 17 [overall] Draft Pick/2008

in return for an oft-injured player with a $21 million/yr price-tag …

* Jermaine O’Neal

and a 2008 No. 41 [overall] Draft Pick, with an existing heart condition …

* Nathan Jawai

and, then …

[Part Two] Orchestrate a non-essential contract buyout for a player like Jorge Garbajosa, who was their starting PF/SF during the bulk of their wins in the 2006-2007 season, when they won the Atlantic Division and finished 47-35

and, then …

[Part Three] Make the decision not to sign a reliable, veteran PG, as one of their 15 Players Alottment, for the 2008-2009 season … because they are $1,100 under the League’s Luxury Tax Threshold at-present, with only 13 players under contract, and would like to remain in this position, as long as they can also field a ‘competitive’ team, in the NBA,  

it can create all sorts of interesting and unexpected deficiencies/vacancies in their everyday 12-man line-up …

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The Raptors need a shooting guard. Now.
The average PER of the opponents shooting guards is 19.9. The Raptors’ shooting guard PER is 11.0. There are only two teams who are at that much of a deficit at any position: The Washingto Wizards, who are down 11.2 at point guard and the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are down 9.0 at centre. Combined they are 2-23 and have fired two coaches. Oh, one other team is worse off, sorry. That’s San Antonio, who are down 12.4 at small forward, thanks to injuries, and they’re a potential Finals team struggling to stay in the playoff race out west.

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the Domino Effect of which can lead to a rampant mis-diagnosis of what actually ails their team, treating only the symptoms … which are readily visible … but not the ILLNESS itself.

Yes, overall PER at the #2 position is down for the Raptors, thus far, this season … but, according to this corner of the internet, THIS is NOT the PRIMARY CAUSE of the Raptors current set of problems.

Q1. What is?
A1. Part One, Part Two and Part Three … in combination with one another.

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One of the Professionals, in the NBA

November 21, 2008

Mike Wells has a solid article today on what it means to be Rasho Nesterovic, hard at-work, in the NBA.

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Litte-known Nesterovic plays key role in offense

[from a teammate]

“He’s what you call a good pro,” said point guard T.J. Ford, who is in his third season as Nesterovic’s teammate. He’s been in the league for a long time. He carries himself the way a professional should. He’s a hard worker. He’s just a smart player. He doesn’t have a big name. He never has. But if you ask around the NBA, they know he’s a solid player.”

[from his coach]

[Jim] O’Brien stopped a practice during the first week of training camp and told his team, “Get the ball to Rasho and good things will happen.”

“I would say his basketball IQ,” O’Brien said when asked to name Nesterovic’s best attribute. “I think he understands the game of basketball. He understands in particular what we’re trying to accomplish offensively. He understands the strengths of his teammates. He understands the weaknesses of his teammates. He’s a very, very good communicator.”

[from the man, himself]

He doesn’t waste time breaking down the box score. You won’t catch him patting himself on the back for what he did right or grimacing after a woeful shooting night.

“I don’t like it,” he said. “There are a lot of guys that play for just stats. You don’t want to play for just box scores.”

“During the game, you just try to make every pass good, every shot good, every defense good,” he said. “You are just in the flow of the game.”

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Tells you all you need to know about a player whose team has never missed the playoffs, over the course of his 10-year career, and what it takes to develop a Reputation for Success, in the best basketball League in the World.

To one of the Good Guys: Peace, Brother.

Rebounding Differential Rankings in the NBA [Nov 6]

November 7, 2008

When this corner of the sports blogosphere told you earlier this fall/summer that the Raptors trade for Jermaine O’Neal was not going to be enough, by itself, to fundamentally improve Toronto’s Rebounding Deficiency from the last few seasons there were boatloads of delusional fans some who did not want to believe this specific assessment of this team, in advance of actually seeing real live NBA games this season with their own two eyes.

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How could the acquisition of a former 6-time NBA All-Star …

in exchange for a smallish, erractic [but talented] Point Guard [i.e. TJ Ford], an over-the-hill, lumbering, strictly speaking part-time Center [i.e. Rasho Nesterovic], the 15th player from their roster last season [i.e. Maceo Baston], and a flip-flop of the No. 17 [overall] and No. 41 Draft Picks from the 2008 NBA Draft, who turned out to be Roy Hibbert [C] and Nathan Jawai [C], respectively …

possibly NOT improve the Raptors decidely mediocre rebounding numbers from the last few years in any significant way, shape or form?

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Well … as of Thursday, November 6, 2008 the Basketball Acumen of this specific correspondent seems to be as sharp [and accurate] as ever:

[Statistics from NBA.com]

NBA

Rebounding Differential

Per Game

2008-2009

[as of Thu Nov 6]

Rank

Team

+/-

1

L.A. Lakers

+12.25

2

Detroit

+11.00

 

Philadelphia

+11.00

4

Cleveland

+9.00

5

Phoenix

+5.20

6

Utah

+5.00

7

Atlanta

+3.66

8

Boston

+2.40

 

Milwaukee

+2.40

10

Golden State

+0.40

 

Portland

+0.40

12

Orlando

+0.20

13

Charlotte

-0.25

14

Chicago

-0.60

15

Houston

-1.40

16

New Jersey

-1.66

17

Sacramento

-1.80

18

Memphis

-2.00

19

Oklahoma City

-2.25

20

New Orleans

-3.00

21

Denver

-3.50

 

Minnesota

-3.50

23

Dallas

-3.75

24

Miami

-4.00

25

San Antonio

-4.25

26

Indiana

-4.66

27

Washington

-7.33

28

New York

-8.75

29

L.A. Clippers

-9.00

30

Toronto

-10.50

When a certain NBA observer tells you something about ‘How the Game actually Works in this League’, in advance … it might well be in your best interests to believe what this person has to say, even though you are not able to fully comprehend it, at that point in time.

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“The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”Anonymous

Pacers have their ‘Man’

November 4, 2008

In the aftermath of their trade with the Raptors, Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations, Larry Bird, expressed his feelings about the type of Leadership he is looking for with his current team.

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Bird says team poised to fill leadership void
“Just because you make the most money doesn’t mean you’re the leader,” Bird said last month. “A lot of guys didn’t want to step on toes. Not only here, but other places I’ve been at. They’d say, the guy makes the most money, that means he’s the leader. That’s not the case. The leader comes from the guy doing the right thing, the guy that’s going to be there every day at practice, the guy that plays through pain without complaining. They do the necessary things to prepare themselves.

“I think the situation you have here, you had one guy making a lot of money and everybody just took it as he’s going to be leading us, and in some instances that was true. But I think more now that since it has opened you’ll see a number of guys stepping up.

“Really, you just need one voice. Usually your best leaders are ones that don’t say anything, they just play, prepare and do the right things.”

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Well, today … it says here that Larry Legend has now got his man …

Broken teeth, not broken spirit
“As professional athletes, we’ve bled throughout our careers,” he said. “We’ve broken bones, torn ligaments, busted teeth. It’s part of the game. It’s kind of fun when you do it, and you actually win.”

Granger’s refusal to leave the game after the collision impressed his teammates and coaches.

He made the play with the Pacers ahead by 16 in the fourth quarter. He stayed in the game.

“That one play epitomized what we want from our leaders — toughness, refusing to get knocked out of the game because you’ve lost your choppers,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “That was just great.”

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After a period of significant upheaval, the Pacers have now righted their ship … at last … and will be in playoff contention this season.

Rolling the dice on an oft-injured player

October 23, 2008

The sort of quotes which make a keen NBA Observer scratch his head and say, “Hmmmmmmm.”

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Star dimming, O’Neal sees brighter days in Toronto

1. re: Jermaine O’Neal’s physical condition

O’Neal admits as much, directing most of the blame at his left knee. He had surgery to repair a cartilage tear the summer before last season, and was on the floor for opening night. By mid-January, however, O’Neal felt like he was playing on one leg. Tired of crunching Advil – “12 a day,” he claims – he sought the advice of a couple specialists and shut down for the next 2½ months. He returned for the final two weeks, and the Pacers finished one win shy of claiming the Eastern Conference’s last playoff berth.

Because neither O’Neal nor the Pacers wanted to further diminish his trade value, “we didn’t really want to speak much about my injuries,” he said. “Whenever it got to the point where I had to sit out, we just had to call it something else. But over the last 2½ years, that knee was the issue.”

i.e. O’Neal had surgery on his injured left knee 2 summers ago, not this past season or during this current off-season.

2. Jermaine O’Neal’s mind-set

There were other issues, not all of them external.

“Mentally, I was just worn out,” he said. “When you get to that point, you just kind of lose that fire.”

3. re: probability & what to worry about

“Bryan Colangelo isn’t dumb; he didn’t trade for an injured player,” said one Eastern Conference scout. “Jermaine will probably dedicate himself this season. He quit on Indiana. I guess if there’s anything to worry about, it’s that he could always do the same in Toronto.”

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Based on the following observations:

* Jermaine O’Neal is not coming back from an injury he sustained this past season
* Once a NBA player ‘loses his fire’, rarely does he ever get it back
* Jermaine O’Neal is perceived to have ‘quit’ on the Indiana Pacers

it is simply not a given that the Raptors are actually going to get their money’s worth this season, and next, from the trade which brought them Jermaine O’Neal and cost them TJ Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Baston & the No. 17 Selection [overall] from the 2008 NBA Draft, which the Pacers used to choose Roy Hibbert [C, Georgetown], in exchange for the #41 Pick, Nathan Jawai [C/PF, Australia] who is still inactive at this point with a suspected heart condition.

[Note 1: O’Neal missed his first ‘in-game’ action with the Raptors this season, on Tuesday, sitting out the 2nd Half of their exhibition loss vs the Nuggets, due to a ‘sore right leg’.]

Cold, harsh dose of reality for Raptors fans

October 20, 2008

In general, David Aldridge’s review is an unbiased evaluation of the transactions made by all 30 teams in the NBA, since the end of the 2007-2008 season, when the Boston Celtics were crowned League Champions.

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Ranking the off season moves
PROJECTION: If you think the oft-injured O’Neal has a lot left, the Raptors made a great trade. Pairing O’Neal and Chris Bosh down low gives Sam Mitchell a lethal inside presence, one that will pay off with open looks for the likes of Jason Kopono and Anthony Parker and Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, and make Toronto a force in the Eastern Conference.

If you don’t think O’Neal has much left, the Raptors aren’t going to do much better next season than they have the previous two-going out early in the playoffs-even though Calderon is ready to take over the point full-time and Toronto has shooters that many other teams would love to have.

The guess here is that O’Neal isn’t the player he once was, but may not have to be playing alongside Olympian Bosh. And if Bargnani, the former first pick who took a noticeable and decided step backward in his second pro season, doesn’t get back on track, whatever O’Neal has to give won’t matter much anyway.

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Although this corner does not agree with a number of Mr. Aldridge’s specific assessments … this ↑↑↑ entry is a ruthless slap in the face for mis-guided Raptors faithful who may think their team’s acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal, in isolation, was amongst the most substantial moves made this off season across the NBA.

Unlike the Boston Celtics [28] , San Antonio Spurs [27], Cleveland Cavaliers [23], Phoenix Suns [22] and LA Lakers [21] … generally considered to be included in the top tier of teams in the NBA … the Toronto Raptors finished last season with a .500 record and have been eliminated swiftly from the playoffs each of the past two years.

Given the quality of moves made by other outfits in the Eastern Conference this summer, in relation to the Raptors, it is simply not a given that the Dinos are going to make the playoffs this season, and be able to maintain their present status as one of the up-and-coming teams in the NBA.

Game Review: Raptors vs Minnesota, Oct 16 2008

October 17, 2008

FINAL SCORE: Raptors 90, Timberwolves 86
Game Summary

POSITIVES

Joey Graham – As good as advertised, in advance, by this corner. 🙂 Will need to play a lot, and play well, if this team is going to earn at least 45 W’s this season. If he doesn’t … their goose is cooked.

Andrea Bargnani – As good as advertised, in advance, by this corner. Can flat out score the ball in the NBA … if he gets a Lot of shots AND the PT that was once being designated to Jermaine O’Neal, the Raptors’ superfluous off-season acquisition. One dimensional. Remains a liability on Defense, for the most part, and is still a non-factor on the Boards, when playing against superior NBA athletes.

Kris Humphries – As good as advertised, in advance, from this corner. Energy. Rebounds. Shots. What you see is what you get. That’s who Hump is. Get use to it, cause it’s going to get a LOT of play this season. At this stage of his career, might well be a better investment than Jermaine O’Neal.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Will Solomon – Turnovers. Poor decisions with the ball. Struggling with the re-adjustment to the NBA game. More than athletic enough to succeed in back-up role. Difficult to change the spots on a full-grown leopard.

Jason Kapono – Was a little used ‘back-up’ in Miami for a sound reason. ‘Game stroke’ is still not ‘wet enough’ to overcome defensive and rebounding liabilities, as a PrimeTime Player, in the NBA. Game-to-game performance will be a barometer for the Raptors this season. When he’s good, they’ll have a solid chance for a W. When he’s not, look out … there’s probably an L coming their way.

Jermaine O’Neal – Right now, nowhere close to being the player he was 5 years ago. At $21 million per season for the next two years? Hmmmm …

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In general, not a good sign of things ahead when the Raptors struggle mightily in three consecutive pre-season tussles at home against non upper echelon teams in the NBA … i.e. Philadelphia [an athletic squad this year], CSKA Moscow [Euroleague] and Minnesota [an improved athletic squad].

[Note 1: FWIW … Rodney Carney (6-7, G/F) showed last night some of the reasons he would have been a solid acquisition for the Raptors, this off-season, in a straight-up trade for TJ Ford, as advocated by this corner. Not a great player, by any means, but precisely the type of young 2/3 that the Dinos NEEDED to add.]

Next One from Georgetown

October 14, 2008

As the NBA’s pre-season continues to move forward, it becomes increasingly interesting to evaluate some of the Draft Night transactions which involved young men who had yet to play a single game in the NBA and were deemed by certain GM’s to be valuable building blocks for their respective franchises, or not.

Such is the case for Roy Hibbert [C, 7-2, 278, 2008 NBA Draft, No. 17 (overall) Selection].

——————————————-

Hibbert shows he can score
Hibbert, the No. 17 pick in last summer’s draft, had his best offensive game of the preseason, scoring 17 points against the Grizzlies on Monday.Quantcast

“We really like Roy,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “He works his heart out. He knows how to put the ball in the basket around the basket. We couldn’t be happier with Roy right now.”

Hibbert came out of Georgetown labeled as being primarily a defensive player. Hibbert will help the Pacers defensively — he had three blocked shots against the Grizzlies — but he’ll also offer more. He had nine rebounds in 23 minutes.

——————————————-

Time will tell just how effective Roy Hibbert is eventually going to be, in the NBA … but if this corner’s assessment proves to be correct, he is destined to have a long and productive career, as a ‘Robert Parrish-esque’ player, i.e. no fuss-no muss, consistent on both ends of the floor, plays within himself at all times, Rock Solid Big … following in the grand tradition of Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutumbo, Alonzo Mourning and [to a far lesser extent] Othella Harrington.

Of further intrigue, at least, to this corner, is the fact that he was acquired on Draft Night by a GM like Larry Legend [of all people 🙂 ], as part of the Pacers’ trade with the Raptors … i.e. Jermaine O’Neal + the 2008 NBA Draft No. 41 (overall) Selection [Nathan Jawai], in exchange for TJ Ford [PG] + Rasho Nesterovic [PF/C] + Maceo Baston [PF].

5 years from today … it is going to be very interesting to assess where the Raptors have gone, in the interim, with the front-court players they have right now … i.e. Chris Bosh, O’Neal, Andrea Bargnani, Kris Humphries, Nathan Jawai & Jamal Sampson … in comparison with the Pacers [i.e. Rasho Nesterovic, Jeff Foster, Troy Murphy, Austin Croshere, Josh McRoberts, Maceo Baston & Roy Hibbert].

It says here … that Larry Bird has his Center for the next 10-15 years, and the Pacers are but one or two more moves away from returning to the EC playoffs on a consistent basis.

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UPDATE:
* A 2nd set of solid numbers for Roy Hibbert
Box Score: Pacers 100, Mavericks 93 [Wed Oct 15 2008].

To those in Raptorville who might be more inclined to listen now

October 13, 2008

Since the Jermaine O’Neal trade was first announced, this corner has said repeatedly that this move alone was NOT going to solve the Raptors’ REBOUNDING problem … which occurs when they play against a high calibre opponent with as much or more ‘athleticism’ at the 5 positions on the floor, in comparison with Toronto’s line-up.

When this current collection of Raptors matches-up with a team like this current group of 76ers … what you’re going to get, more often than not, is a ‘Board Deficit’ like you saw in yesterday’s encounter:

Box Score: Philadelphia 85, Toronto 79

There are specific ways to effectively address a team’s REBOUNDING problem … when it’s the type of problem the Raptors have had for the last two years … but, one of them is NOT:

* To trade your team’s 2nd best Rebounder [who is also your best Low Post Defender, i.e. Nesterovic]
* To include a flip-flop of 1st & 2nd Round Draft Picks [which turns out to be … THEY get Roy Hibbert; YOU get Nathan Jawai!!!]
* To include your back-up PG in the deal [Ford]
* To include a throw-away Big from the end of the bench [Baston]
* Plus, decide to let another throw-away Big from the end of the bench to walk for nothing [Brezec]
* Plus, decide to let a useful player like Carlos Delfino walk away for nothing
* Plus, decide to let a VERY useful player like Jorge Garbajosa do the same

… in exchange for adding:

* Either inexperienced and/or marginal players like Jawai, Roko Ukic, Hassan Adams, and Will Solomon
* Plus, a veteran player like Jermaine O’Neal, who is returning from a series of leg injuries.

That ^^^, right there, is like making a 7 for 4 deal, where …

Toronto Loses: Nesterovic + Ford + Hibbert + Baston + Brezec + Delfino + Garbajosa

and

Toronto Adds: O’Neal + Jawai + Adams + Solomon

[strictly speaking Ukic cannot be included amongst the additions since his rights already belonged to the Raptors]

in which 5 of the 6 players who you know already can play effectively in the NBA, in some capacity, are going the other way … while you are getting ‘the best player’, overall … but, who you can only HOPE is going to regain his effectiveness coming off his most recent injury.

THAT ^^^, right there, is a BAD TRADE.

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By trying to make a ‘blockbuster’ trade this summer … instead of simply moving TJ Ford for a back-up, serviceable, Wing player like Rodney Carney … and promoting Calderon to the starter’s position … and, THEN, holding onto Nesterovic, Delfino & Garbajosa, until further notice … what the Raptors have done now is, in fact, ROLL THE DICE big time that they do not pick up any sort of serious injury to Bosh, O’Neal or Calderon, and can survive these next two years with their current line-up intact, while not dropping down into the #9-12 spots in the EC, where they would be a DEFINITE ‘treadmill’ team … i.e not good enough to make the playoffs and not bad enough to get a high NBA DRAFT Lottery Pick anytime soon … waiting for the 2010-2011 season when they will once again have some wiggle room under the Salary Cap/Luxury Tax Threshold to add/subtract players to/from their roster.

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Which, in turn … given the Raptors’ current player roster … is part of the reason they SHOULD think long and hard, right now, about:

* Removing Anthony Parker from their starting line-up
* Shifting Jamario Moon to the #2-spot
* Inserting Joey Graham into the starting line-up
* Using AP as the primary back-up PG/OG, coming off the bench
* Removing Jermaine O’Neal from the starting line-up
* Inserting Kris Humphries into the starting line-up, as the partner for CB4
* Using O’Neal [PF] and Bargnani [C] together, as the Bigs with their 2nd Unit
* Using Jason Kapono for instant offense off the bench, as a spot player on the Wing with either the 1st or 2nd Units, at a later point in the game when the situation dictates
* Using a system of higly structured set plays which would allow limited offensive players like Graham, Moon, Humphries, and Bargnani to function at their maximum level of efficiency by only shooting ‘designated’ shots …

and, thereby, create a better balanced rotation for this Raptors’ team, which accounts for and integrates the areas of Rebounding, Defense and Team Offense.

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Then, again … this corner could always be proven wrong about this … over the course of time. 😉

Pacers and Raptors … moving forward from here

October 7, 2008

There’s an interesting interview with Larry Bird on NBA.com today which gives his interpretation of the Pacers’ situation looking forward to this season and their future in the next few years ahead.

———————————–

NBA.com: What do you see as the No. 1 area of improvement for the Pacers this season?
Larry Bird: Obviously we have to get better on the defensive end. Last year we committed too many fouls and we didn’t defend the three-point shot. So overall our defense has to get better to win games. Offensively, we’ll score a lot of points. Defense was the problem last year. As far as the team goes, I think we did something in the draft to help us overall, and I think we solidified our point guard position with
Travis [Diener],T.J., and Jarrett Jack so we’re very strong in that area right now.

NBA.com: How big of an impact will rookie Roy Hibbert have on the defensive end in the role of shot blocker, overall defensive presence?
Larry Bird: It’s always good to have a big guy in there. Without Jermaine last year we didn’t have that potential to block shots. With Roy in there he takes up a lot of space and even if we don’t block a lot of shots, you can get guys to shoot up over him and maybe distract them a little bit. I think it’s going to be a major plus for us. Obviously he’s a rookie and he’s got a lot of learning to do, but in the long run he’ll be fine.

NBA.com: Who is the team leader?
Larry Bird: I think it can be a couple guys. We’ve had some players around here just waiting for the opportunity to step in and I think now they’ll look at the training camp and go through and you’ll sort of see after a while who the players gravitate to.

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What’s of most interest to this corner is:

(1) The possible location of two former Raptors on Indiana’s current depth chart, i.e. TJ Ford and Rasho Nesterovic; and,

(2) The overall level of optimism Larry Legend has for the likes of Mike Dunleavy, Danny Granger, Troy Murphy, Roy Hibbert, et al., as a core group of players which the Pacers can build around over the next few seasons …

specifically, in comparison with the current roster of the Pacers’ trading partner in the deal they made this summer for Jermaine O’Neal.

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2008-2009

 

 

A) Raptors’ Current Roster

B) Pacers’ Current Roster

 

 

1 PG – Jose Calderon *

1 PG – Travis Diener *

2 OG – Anthony Parker

2 OG/SF – Mike Dunleavy 

3 SF – Jamarion Moon

3 SF – Danny Granger 

4 PF – Chris Bosh *

4 PF – Troy Murphy *

5 C – Jermaine O’Neal **

5 C – Rasho Nesterovic **

 

 

6 PG – Will Solomon **

6 PG – TJ Ford **

7 OG – Jason Kapono

7 OG – Brandon Rush **

8 SF – Joey Graham

8 SF – Marquis Daniels

9 PF – Kris Humphries

9 PF – Austin Croshere **

10 C – Andrea Bargnani

10 C – Jeff Foster 

 

 

11 PG/OG – Roko Ukic **

11 PG/OG – Jarrett Jack **

12 OG/SF – Hassan Adams **

12 PG – Roy Hibbert **

 

 

 

 

13 PF/C – Nathan Jawai **

13 SF – Stephen Graham

14 ? PF – Jamal Sampson **

14 SF/PF – Shawne Williams 

15 ?

15 PF – Josh McRoberts **


LEGEND:
* New Role this season; ** New Player Added

While most of the ‘2008-2009 NBA Season Forecasts’ these eyes have read, thus far, see the Pacers finishing toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference; and, the Raptors with a solid chance to finish in the top third of the EC … looking strictly at the rosters of these two teams, paints a very different picture in the mind of this NBA connoisseur.

Is it possible that the Raptors manage to navigate the entire NBA season without a significant injury to one [or more] of their key players [i.e. Bosh, O’Neal or Calderon]?

Yes it is.

If so … then, it is certainly possible to see how the Raptors might finish this campaign higher in the EC standings than the Pacers.

However, on the flip side … even if Toronto goes injury-free this year …

Is it also possible to see how this Pacers’ roster … with the Quality Depth it has … might, in fact, be able to generate just as many W’s this season as the Toronto Raptors?

Yes it is … if Larry legend is correct and the players he’s mentioned are indeed capable of stepping up their games to assume Leadership Roles with their team this season.

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From the perspective of this corner, these are just two of many teams in the EC that could realistically finish anywhere from #6-14 this season should the breaks go their way or not.