Predictions

Every year around September, there are tonnes of basketball magazines websites coming out to predict how many wins each team will get. Usually, it’s a pointless exercise since no one can predict what will happen, but obviously the basketball experts in the media has to say something since it’s part of their job description. For the most part, they will give a definite yay or nay plus the win total in their prediction. Until now….

I come across an article John Hollinger of ESPN who is doing a training camp preview, and this is some of what he wrote about the Raptors:

The Raptors are going to space the floor with shooters, run high pick-and-rolls with Calderon and one of the big guys, find an open man spotting up and rain in jump shots. That’s the entire plan, borrowing from the Suns’ playbook circa 2006, and it’s beautiful when it works. With Calderon, Jack and Turkoglu, they have three guards who can orchestrate, and the offensive skill of their frontcourt may provide enough matchup problems to offset their defensive shortcomings.

On the other hand, nobody besides Bosh draws fouls, they won’t get any offensive rebounds and the lack of depth on the wings leaves them relying on some seriously unskilled offensive players (Wright, DeRozan, Evans, Johnson) to make their strategy work.

And then there’s the defense. Jack and Bosh are the only starters who play any D, and Jack will be giving up inches as a starting shooting guard. The backups are better at that end, but the Raps may finish last in the league in free throw differential and will struggle to contain good post players.

This is either going to work out spectacularly well or it’s going to be spectacularly awful. That is, if they win 50 games, it won’t be shocking, and if they win only 25, that won’t raise eyebrows, either.

Right now, it’s safe to aim for the middle of the two; not necessarily the most likely outcome, but the median outcome. Toronto has one All-Star, limited depth, a couple of obvious strengths and a couple of equally clear weaknesses. That spells mediocre to me, so I’m projecting them to land in the lower middle of the Eastern Conference’s huddled mass of contenders. That’s just a guess, though — nobody really knows whether this mishmash will work or not until the balls go up.

His prediction is that the Raptors will win 35 games, but if you read the above you would have no idea. I like Hollinger’s articles, and I think very highly on his PER and other methods. But I really don’t like what he wrote, not the content but the wishy-washy way of handling it. 25 wins – 50 wins, way to go out of a limb here.

Other than that, I agree with some of what he wrote, we have question marks on defense and lots on rebounding. I disagree about the depth since the Raptors are much deeper than he gives credit for. I have them winning around 45-47 wins, but if the Raptors ends up winning 35 wins then it’s a truly disaster and someone (BC) will get fired for sure.

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4 Responses to “Predictions”

  1. Morning Coffee Sept 29 | The AltRaps Blog Says:

    […] New Leisure Blog His prediction is that the Raptors will win 35 games, but if you read the above you would have no idea. I like Hollinger’s articles, and I think very highly on his PER and other methods. But I really don’t like what he wrote, not the content but the wishy-washy way of handling it. 25 wins – 50 wins, way to go out of a limb here. […]

  2. Brothersteve Says:

    I think I’ll stand out on the ledge and say for the Raps will win between 24 and 68 games this year! Absolutely no question about it! And finish somewhere between 1st and 14th! lol

  3. j Says:

    uhh, how did the “great” john hollinger miss the fact that Evans and Amir will not be looked upon to score what-so-ever and that Jack isn’t a starter nor is he going to play the 2 primarily. This is just another case of US based “experts” giving Tdot the short shrift while backing it up with little to no actual evidence (shocking for a stats guy like JH actually)

  4. EarthJuice Says:

    I think Brothersteve is way off-base here.

    I predict 23-68 wins. 1st-15th in the standings.

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