So, now that the roster is set in stone at least until the season begins, I've heard and seen throughout this long offseason that most Raptors fans are like, "oh, we can win a good 46-47 games this year."
But, I continue to be unimpressed when the majority of you aren't expecting 50 wins or more.
I've been debating to write this article every time I see someone saying, "oh, 46-47 wins should be the range, maybe a game or two less."
So, after hearing that the GM (Bryan Colangelo) has the same expectations as I, allow me to maybe explain why we have those "high" expectations. You see paper or no paper this year's team is better than the 2006 team.
No offence to those players, but come on. Let's have a look at this year's roster compared to the 2006-07 one.
C:Rasho Nesterovic, Pape Sow, Uros Slokar, Andrea Bargnani, Kris Humphries
PF: Chris Bosh, Jorge Garbajosa,Kris Humphries
SF: Joey Graham, P.J. Tucker, Morris Peterson, *Fred Jones, Luke Jackson
SG: Anthony Parker, ^Juan Dixon
PG: Jose Calderone., T.J. Ford
^imported during season
* exported during season
C: Andrea Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic
PF: Chris Bosh, Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson,
SF:Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright, Sonny Weems, Marco Bellinelli
SG: Demar Derozan,Quincy Douby, Marco Bellinelli
PG: Jose Calderone, Jarrett Jack, Marcus Banks
I don't know about you, but I'd rather have this year’s team.
Because simply put, they are better. More people can play more positions, they are better in almost every category, younger, better, faster, stronger.
Yet, that team in 2006 won us our first ever division title. We finished third in the Eastern Conference (our best placement yet). Coach Sam Mitchell and General Manager Bryan Colangelo were praised for their efforts winning coach and executive of the year awards respectively. Hell, we even tied our franchise win-loss record at 47-35.
The only negative thing you could put on that team was that they got kicked out the first round of the playoffs. How they did all that remain a mystery to this day? Some say it was chemistry, some say luck, others say the East was too easy. The true answer is, "I don't know."
Regardless, this is a new year and we've got a better team. Which means more should be expected. You have to take full advantage of your opportunities. That faithful year in 2006 nobody expected anything going in, there was no goal, it was just go play and see the outcome.
This year, we have expectations and we should have a goal set which should be to break every freakin' franchise record, or as many as we can. Bosh wants to get to superstar status, Derozan wants to blow people out of their seats, Turkoglu wants to become an all-star, Bargnani wants to show he is worth every penny of that $50 million.
Every one is ready to turn it up a notch and you're only expecting, or would be happy with, getting 45 wins.
NO, because you know what that means, it means that Bryan and company, all their hard work goes to waste.
If all they wanted was a 45 win team than they should have gone and acquired all the guys from the 2006-07 roster.
Now, I agree the East has gotten tougher, but nonetheless, the time is now. You think all the Raptors critics will be put to rest with a 45 or 47 win season? No. You think that this team is only capable of 45 wins? No.
So, then why are you only wanting that much? I don't know.
We were disappointed last year as we underachieved. We underachieve almost every year. Well, the time for change is now. We need to overachieve!
I admit, I'm excited for this season and I’m going to be excited throughout the season. But, 45 wins is not going to cut all the years of heartbreak.
Forty-five wins is like saying sorry when you accidentally chop some one's arm off with a chainsaw. Okay, maybe a bit extreme of an example. But, I mean come on. Forty-five wins, or less than 50, means that we’re no better than all the years before this.
The Raptors are better than this, and we all know that.
So, it's time for them to show everyone else. Besides, you can't brag about 45 wins. That's only 4 games above .500. And although 50 wins may only be 9 games above .500, it looks a heck of a lot better than 41-41, or 47-35 for that matter.
So, once again I ask you are you going to be happy either 45 or 47 wins?