Toronto Raptors Midseason Report: Awards, Analysis, and Predictions

Chase RuttigCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2009

Well the first half of the NBA's regular season schedule is coming to a close and after coming into the season with high hopes for playoff success the Raptors may not even make it that far.

Head coach Sam Mitchell is gone, and was replaced with interim head coach Jay Triano.

Foward Jermaine O'Neal and guard Jose Calderon are injured.

Guard Roko Ukic and foward Andrea Bargnani are proving that the European invasion still has hope.

Also, foward Chris Bosh is still doing his thing as the Raptors are slumping to a dismal 16-24 record.

I will break down the season so far, give out awards, and predict the hopefully bright future in the second half of the '08-'09 campaign.


The Raptors came into the season looking to get past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since the Vince Carter era, with a new post presence in often injured O'Neal coming to Toronto from the Pacers in exchange for TJ Ford. 

It was looking as that might just happen.  Things were looking up as the Raptors performed wonderfully in the first five games of the season, and then the losing began.

They sputtered, and seemed like they couldn't play defence at all as rumours of infighting and the pending dismissal of  Mitchell loomed.

Then after a horrible performance in Denver Mitchell was dismissed and assistant coach Jay Triano was named the interim head coach.

The Raptors have showed life under his direction and have had close games with many of the league's top teams.

Only time will tell if the Raptors will get back to their winning ways, or will be lottery bound once by the end of April.


MVP: Bosh

No contest here as CB4 has done his best to try to steer the Raptors back on track.

Most Improved: Bargnani

He has been on a tear of late and his performances against Boston recently have given me new hope in the future for the Toronto Raptors

Best Off-Season Addition: Guard Roko Ukic

Rockin Roko has been a bright spot on this Raptors roster giving the Raps a player that can break down defenders and drive to the hoop, which was something they were lacking after the TJ ford trade.

Best Moment: Bargnani's game tying three point shot against the Boston Celtics

This was the moment where the aging of Bargnani came upon us.

He elevated his game in both games of the home and home, and with his game tying three that sent the game into overtime at the Garden, we saw him mature before our very own eyes.  The critics were then duly silenced.

Heart Breaker: Carter's Alley-Oop Winner At The ACC

Don't want to get into it but let's put it this way, if VC played like that every night he would be in Toronto still.

He shot a ridiculous three pointer to send the game into OT, then in the dying seconds of the extra period he threw down a nasty reverse alley-oop of the inbounds that silenced the rabid crowd, and it seemed that the Raptors will never ever forget VC.

Best Game:  At Boston January 12, 2009

The Raptors showed us that they can hang with the big dogs with a terrific performance in sending the champs into OT, but they just ran out of gas in one of the few bright spots of the season.


Place: 10th in East, third in Atlantic

Departures: O'Neal and center Jake Voskhul

Arrivals: Guard Steve Nash (fingers crossed)