Toronto finished the season with a five-game winning streak.
The Toronto Raptors finished this season 10th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 34-48. Though the team didn’t make the playoffs this year, their roster boasts a few potential stars and many young players. This is promising for next season.
With the Raptors at season’s end, let’s examine each one of these players and determine exactly how well they played over the last several months.
Anderson proved his scoring ability this season.
Anderson had a solid season, playing in 65 games and improving his scoring considerably. He averaged 10.7 points per game in 23.0 minutes for 2012-13, over two points higher than his points per game average for his career.
Toronto’s final game of the season against Boston on April 17 provided Anderson with a chance to demonstrate his ability to be a solid scorer. He totaled 16 points along with four rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes. He also impressed on March 22 when he scored 35 points in 36 minutes against the New York Knicks.
Anderson does need to become more consistently effective, though. While he had a great final game against Boston, he was less impressive the day before against Atlanta. He scored only four points in 19 minutes for a field-goal percentage of .111.
Final Grade: B
Acy is a rookie at small forward.
The 22-year-old Acy made his NBA debut with the Raptors this year, and he did pretty well for a rookie. For the season, Acy averaged 4.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11.8 minutes of game play.
Moreover, when given more minutes, Acy proved to be a force at small forward. Against Chicago on April 12, Acy played 35 minutes, scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds. If he continues to acclimate to the professional game, Acy will be a solid backup for star forward Rudy Gay next season.
Final Grade: B
Bargnani failed to finish the season because of an elbow injury.
Bargnani was a huge disappointment for the Raptors this season. The power forward registered a career-worst 3.7 rebounds per game. Additionally, his points-per-game average dropped nearly three points below his career average to 12.7 points. Bargnani averaged a meager field-goal percentage of .399.
Not only did his play suffer this season, but Bargnani also only played in a total of 35 games. The power forward endured a season-ending elbow injury during the month of March, as The Toronto Star reported on March 13.
Fans are angered by his unimpressive play. He is weakened by injury. Rookie big man Jonas Valanciunas is making more of a name for himself on the low post. Alas, the Raptors may not even need the mediocre Bargnani next season.
Final Grade: D-
DeRozan played very well at season's end.
The 23-year-old shooting guard stepped up, especially at the end of the season. With his help, the Raptors sailed to a five-game winning streak to end 2012-13. He scored 36 points against Brooklyn on April 14, 30 points against Atlanta on April 16 and 24 points against Boston on April 17.
For the season, DeRozan averaged 18.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 36.7 minutes of play. He needs to grow more consistent shooting-wise, yet he will be a great outlet for point guard Kyle Lowry next season if he mimics his end-of-season play.
Final Grade: A-
Fields had some injury problems this season.
There isn’t too much to say about Fields this season. He battled a few injuries and played in only 51 games. When he did play, the small forward didn’t make much of an impact in comparison to star forward Rudy Gay.
Fields averaged 4.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game this season. He did have a shining moment against Boston during the final game of the season, when he scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.
Hopefully, Fields will overcome his tendency toward injury and show more improvement next season. If he has a chance to get more minutes, the 24-year-old will probably develop more at the forward position. For now, though, he is mediocre.
Final Grade: C
Gay flourished during his half-season with the Raptors.
The Raptors did their team good when they finalized a mid-season trade for small forward Rudy Gay who was previously with the Memphis Grizzlies. For his half-season in Toronto, Gay averaged 19.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He was a go-to scorer and led the team in points pretty consistently.
Gay was on fire at the end of the season. Seven of the nine games played in April saw Gay scoring in high double figures, and he even totaled 34 points against Detroit on April 1.
The 26-year-old will likely be even more powerful next season with more time to mesh with the Raptors squad. He will continue to be at the center of Toronto’s offense.
Final Grade: A
Gray didn't see too much playing time this season with Valanciunas stepping up at center.
Unfortunately, the 28-year-old Gray was overshadowed by rookie center Jonas Valanciunas this season and didn’t see too much court time. He played in only 42 games this season.
Gray averaged an unimpressive 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per 12.2 minutes of action, both of which are down from his career statistics. With Valanciunas playing so well and showing great improvement, Gray wasn’t a huge asset for the Raptors in 2012-13.
Final Grade: C-
Johnson showed improvement at the power forward position this season.
The 25-year-old power forward definitely saw some improvement this season. He averaged 10.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, both of which are steps up from his career numbers.
The last few games gave Johnson even more of an opportunity to show his stuff. He played more minutes and averaged close to 10 rebounds per game during four of the last five games of the season. He was also reliable, playing in 81 games this season.
With Bargnani looking less noteworthy than ever, Johnson certainly proved himself worthy of a starting position over Bargnani at power forward.
Final Grade: A
Kleiza barely played this season due to injury.
Kleiza was pretty much devastated by injury this season. He only played in 20 games for 2012-13, mostly because of knee problems that took him off the court at the end of December.
For the season, the small forward averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and a meager field-goal percentage of .333 in 18.8 minutes per game. These statistics are all lower than those of his career. With six years in the league under his belt, Kleiza is obviously starting to feel the wear-and-tear of the court.
Final Grade: C-
Fans and critics had high hopes for the point guard this season.
Kyle Lowry struggled a bit in scoring at the end of the season. He registered a field-goal percentage of .200 and scored only seven points against Brooklyn on April 14. He didn’t do much better against Atlanta on April 16 and Boston on April 17, finishing with a field-goal percentage of .333 in both games.
Lowry had a decent season at point guard, although more was expected of his first season in Toronto. He averaged 6.4 assists per game, an improvement on his career average of 5.0. He also averaged 11.6 points and a field-goal percentage of .401 per game.
Nevertheless, Lowry needs to pick his offense up. He needs to shoot more and better for the Raptors to be more dominant offensively.
Lucas can be a good choice off the bench at the guard position.
Lucas is a decent guard coming off the bench. For 2012-13, he averaged 5.3 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 13.1 minutes per game, which are consistent with his career averages. He also played in a career-high 63 games.
With Lowry a bit of a disappointment, Lucas played some key minutes, especially toward the season’s end. He registered seven points and four assists in 26 minutes against Boston on April 17, and he recorded 11 points, three rebounds and four assists against Atlanta on April 16.
Final Grade: B
Pietrus' season statistics were much lower than those of his career.
With nine years in the NBA behind him, 31-year-old Mickael Pietrus is old and weathered compared to many of the youngsters on the Raptors squad. He was signed as a free agent at the beginning of the season after his contract ended with the Boston Celtics.
With the Raptors, Pietrus registered a career-worst 5.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game. He only played in 19 games and filled in primarily when the Raptors were down players as a result of injury.
Final Grade: C-
Ross was a good rookie for the Raptors at shooting guard this season.
22-year-old Ross played his rookie season in Toronto, and he did pretty well considering he battled an ankle injury for some time. He played in a total of 73 games and averaged 6.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and a field-goal percentage of .407 in 17.0 minutes.
He played notably well against Chicago on April 9, contributing 13 points to the Raptors' 101-98 win over the Bulls.
When Ross recovers from his ankle problems and gains more experience on the court, he will be a solid backup for DeMar DeRozan at the shooting guard position.
Final Grade: B+
Telfair came to the Raptors mid-season from the Suns.
Telfair joined the Raptors mid-season, but he made little impact. He averaged 5.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 16.6 minutes per game, which are all down from his career statistics. Between his time with the Suns and the Raptors, the point guard only played in 59 games.
The 27-year-old also did nothing to contribute to the five-game winning streak that the Raptors built at the end of the season. He didn’t play in any of the five games.
Final Grade: D+
Valanciunas earned the Eastern Conference rookie honor for the month of March.
Undoubtedly the most impressive rookie on the Raptors this season was Jonas Valanciunas, who was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March. For the 2012-13 season, Valanciunas averaged 8.9 points and 6.0 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game.
In many games later on in the season, the 20-year-old center grabbed close to or more than 10 rebounds. He improved consistently and became a dependable force under the basket, especially in Bargnani’s absence.
Valanciunas will likely be a huge asset for the Raptors next season.
Final Grade: A