Raptors summary: January
Team Record: 10-5
Road Record: 4-4
Home Record 6-1
Winning two-thirds of the games is always impressive. The Raptors did it in style. They scored 100 points in 14 straight games, the only time they scored less than 100 points was the first game of the month against Boston.
Best Win: Lakers. My friend said this is the best regular season game since the Vince Carter era.
Worst game: January 2 against Boston. Though the road loss to Indiana is quite painful too, since they had a 23 point lead. I go with the Boston game because the Celtics were missing 3 starters to their lineup.
Best player of the month: CB4. Really, it’s no contest. Bosh is averaging 24.7 points 11.7 boards while shooting 53% from the field. He has been averaging over 20 points and 10 boards each month.
Best player (other than Bosh) of the month: I was going to go with Bargnani, who did have a good January (18.2 points 6.7 boards, 1.8 blocks) despite a couple of setbacks. But Jarrett Jack got my vote here. Did anyone look at his January numbers? It’s insane. He shot 54% from the field, 40% from the 3 point line, averaging 12.7 points and 4.6 assists in 29.5 minutes. Jack did win some games for the Raptors with his performance. His numbers as a starter: 12.6 points, 5.3 assists 3.1 rebounds, 53.5% FG, 42.9% 3pt. He is the best acquisition by Colangelo in the off-season.
Worst player of the month: Ball. This one is easy. Hedo shot 33.6% from the field, and was pretty horrible in January.
Why 10-5? The offense. It’s true that they have improved their defense (they did regress a little in the last couple of games), but it’s their offense that’s running the show right now. Currently the Raptors are ranked 2nd in the league in terms of offensive efficiency, behind Phoenix (oddly enough, the Suns are ranked 29th in defense and the Raptors rank dead last in that category). They have proven that they can score against any team. If they have an average defense, they would be a contender. At times, they do look like a pretty darn good team. For the most part, most players had a real good month in January. The second unit led by Calderon has been a spark in almost every game.
Looking ahead: The Raptors’ schedule is pretty favorable in Feb. If they can win tomorrow’s game, they have a chance at breaking the franchise most wins in a row at 9. Tomorrow’s game could be tough since it’s the second of a home and home, they will be on the road and they will be playing without Turkoglu + DeRozan. Guys like Bargnani, Calderon, and Belinelli has to step up. Anyway, the Raptors won’t face a winning team until Feb 17 vs the Grizzlies. Portland and Cleveland will be tough but the Raptors will face them in the ACC.
4th place: It’s nice to have a goal and all, but I just don’t see how they could get there. In my estimation, the fourth place team will probably have 53 wins or so. The Raptors would need a 27-7 record to get there. Mission improbable.
Trade Deadline: Feb 18 will be the trade deadline. I expect Colangelo to make one more move. I am not sure if it’s a big move, but I am sure he will try to do something. We will see if I am correct with this prediction or not.
Tags: Toronto Raptors