This hasn’t been the most pleasurable of seasons for the Raptors and their fans (15-41 seasons rarely are), but fans can take solace that there is some hope for the future.
Without further ado, heres a look at our takes on the performance of the current Raptors squad up till now.
|PLAYER||Brownie Grade||Comments||Kingcy grade||Comments|
|Alexis Ajinca||C-||Good looking player, saw him hit a few jumpers in the last game against the Miami Heat. Seems like he has a lot of defensive awareness.||N/A||Has a good toolbox, with a nice looking jumper and overall mobility. He’s had a few chances to prove himself, so I’m not holding my breath here, but there is talent.|
|Solomon Alabi||N/A||You tell me. I don’t know whats up. He seems like a clone of Thabeet so far.||N/A||Wasn’t getting any time in the big show. Glad they sent him down to the D-league. Decent stats in the D, 9ppg 6.5rbs. Lacks mobility and offensive awareness.|
|Leandro Barbosa||C||Has been injured a lot this season. I think he could really help on a winning team as a good scorer off the bench don’t know if that’s what the Raptors need right now.||B-||An up and down season for the Blur. He’s been playing with a sore wrist for the entire year and has had to change his shot to adapt. He had a great stretch of games before his latest leg injury. A consistently dangerous offensive force who gives the bench some much needed pop when in the lineup, but may be the odd man out come deadline.|
|Andrea Bargnani||C+||Slumped during the middle of the season. Doesn’t grab boards but the team also isn’t using him like Dirk (which is why he was drafted). If he is the face of the franchise then he needs help because he is getting destroyed out in the media.||B-||Has stepped up nicely in Bosh’s departure and given the Raps a career high in points at over 21ppg. Rebounding and defense continue to be an issue with him. A terrible dilemma when you best scorer can’t help you get stops on the other end of the floor. Ideally he would be the 2nd offensive option in order to limit his minutes and maximize matchups.|
|Jerryd Bayless||B-||I like this guy. I think he has the tools to be a good PG but I don’t know if he can run a team. He can break down the defence and get to the rim at will but will he pass it out to the open shooters and slashers. I think he can learn.||B-||He’s showing me a lot of potential. Really impressive as a starter creating his own shot and getting others involved. Needs to accept his bench role better. Struggles to find his rhythm quickly coming off the bench unlike Barbosa.|
|Jose Calderon||C||Got his break with Jarret Jack being shipped out. I really don’t know how he fits as a player. He is solid PG without any defense but should that not make him a good bench player. I don’t know.||C+||Is slowly regaining the hype he had in the ’08-’09 season. A rock solid pass first PG if I ever saw one. He defense is a liability but atleast he tries. A good role model for the kids and one of the better leaders on the team. Don’t want to trade him come deadline, but it may be a necessity.|
|Ed Davis||B+||Showing a lot of potential as a PF. He could be a solid player in this league. His offensive skills still need some developing along with his free-throws but his defensive awareness and rebounding are great assets to build upon.||A-||The new old Chris Bosh? His game looks mighty familiar to that of the former face of the franchise as a rookie. Great knack for the ball around the rim and a good finisher in general. If he adds some bulk in the off season and a 16 footer, look out.|
|DeMar DeRozan||A||Really started coming on after a “slow” start at the beginning of the season. His shot and mid-rage has developed quite a bit. Triano knows how to use him (giving him a lot of screens). We are just waiting for him to take his game to the next level.||A-||Big step forward from Demar. Has really worked hard on his jumper. Now possesses a good step back fade and off screen pop. Playing with a lot more confidence and it really shows. Starting to be become a consistent #2 scoring threat on the team. Nice showing in the rookie/soph game too.|
|Joey Dorsey||C-||Rugged power-forward. I like him. He gives the team toughness||B-||I wanted the Raps to trade/sign for him or Amundsen since I saw them in summer league in ’08. Great rebounding instincts, brings toughness and moderate skill. Opened some eyes with his performance as a starter. Hopes he gets a few more chances down the road.|
|Reggie Evans||B||Hear and soul of this team but setback with his injuries. Where will he be next season?||A||I’ll admit I wasn’t on board with having Evans on the team even though I was a huge fan of him in Seattle. What a story this guy is. Easily the least offensively skilled player in the league and yet heart and desire conquers all. Robin to Bargnani’s batman.|
|Trey Johnson||N/A||Haven’t seen him play.||N/A||Good basketball name.|
|Amir Johnson||B-||Needs to become more consistent but has been playing out of foul-trouble last week or so but latest injury is not good news.||B-||Where has this jumper come from recently? I love Amir’s game. Not sure how its gonna work out with him and Ed though. Maybe Amir can play center at some point. A Mr. Everything player that any coach would love if he could just stay on the court for more than 2 minutes without getting a foul.|
|Linas Kleiza||C-||Disappointment to say the least. I saw him in Denver, thought he was a really good player but just hasn’t been able to put it together yet. Injuries have derailed any effort to get into a flow.||C-||Can’t blame Colangelo for this one. Everyone thought it was good signing but it’s been nothing but a rocky road so far. Inconsistent shooting mixed with terrible dribbling skills is bad combination. He is effective in the post, but his game is a total rollercoaster at this point.|
|Sonny Weems||C||Injuries have hurt him quite a bit as well. It seemed like him and DeMar had equal opportunities at blowing up but Sonny just hadn’t had the chance with his injuries. He also needs to carve out a role on this team. It seems like he doesn’t really have that yet.||C||I had really high hopes for Sonny this year. He has a really smooth game, smoother than Demar’s, but his shot is not as good. He reminds me of rookie DeMar right now. A lot of peaks and valleys for him this season (noticing a trend with this team?) but luckily for him he doesn’t have a lot of competition at his position. Don’t be another Joey Graham please.|
|Julian Wright||C||Don’t quite know his role but he seems like a glue guy that does a little bit of everything but no one thing great.||C||Wasn’t a fan of his game for most of the season as he looked like a deer in the headlight on the court. Has great length and gets in the passing lanes well. Is proving to be a decent all-round asset for the team.|
I am sorry, but the truth has to come out. Jordan was not the only rookie in the NBA All-Star Game but I do agree with the rest of your article. He is a beast and he should be showcased for the rest of the world to understand how exciting a player is. He is on the Clippers, what Vince Carter was for the Raptors when he started (If I may say so without getting crucified for mentioning the evil one’s name). He is that big star that every team looks for him and for that he should be starting.
On another note, The 4 muskets and Timmmmmeyy (south park voice) are not stars of this league anymore, they’ve been there before many times, let some players come in, who can actually dunk in the game, none of this bank-shot garbage please.
YEAR PLAYERS TEAM STARTER 1951 Bob Cousy Boston Celtics Yes 1954 Ray Felix Baltimore Bullets Yes 1957 Tom Heinsohn Boston Celtics Yes 1960 Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia Warriors Yes 1961 Oscar Robertson Cincinnati Royals Yes 1962 Walt Bellamy Chicago Packers Yes 1964 Jerry Lucas Cincinnati Royals Yes 1965 Luke Jackson Philadelphia 76ers Yes 1966 Rick Barry San Francisco Warriors Yes 1969 Elvin Hayes San Diego Rockets Yes 1980 Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers Yes 1982 Isiah Thomas Detroit Pistons Yes 1985 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Yes 1993 Shaquille O’Neal Orlando Magic Yes 1995 Grant Hill Detroit Pistons Yes 2003 Yao Ming Houston Rockets Yes