Well there is only three short days until the NBA kicks off its season and I am officially starting what was my trademark when I frequented Fannation, my notorious NBA blog.
Well since I am Canadian and the Raptors are my favorite team, I took it upon myself to break down the Toronto Raptors and most importantly the frontcourt and will come up with a prediction on how they will do this year, so here goes:
Well this has always been Toronto's forte since its inception and should stay to the form it was at last year. The departure of T.J. Ford shouldn't hurt the Raptors since he was a cancer in the locker room and is even more injury prone than the player the got for him, Jermaine O' Neal.
What worries me the most is how Carlos Delfino's decision to take a European vacation will affect their three point shooting, Delfino showed signs of brilliance and I thought he would be a huge role player this year.
I am not completely sold on Anthony Parker, who's biggest claim to fame in the NBA is that he is Candace Parker's brother. But Jason Kapono should thrive in extended minutes this year and has really shown me he is more than a three-point shooter in his first year in T.O.
The major factor in Toronto's success this year is not in Jermaine O'Neal and his health, but in Jose Calderon and how he reacts to becoming the starter and seeing the effect that the lack of rest caused by the Olympics has on him.
Players on the rise: Jason Kapono, Jose Calderon
Players on the slide: Anthony Parker
Additions: Hassan Adams, Will Solomon, Roko Ukic
X-Factor: Jamario Moon, he has received garbage minutes throughout the pre-season and it may look like he was a one-year wonder, let's hope it is just an oversight by Sam Mitchell and Apollo 33 is ready for liftoff.
Overall Rating: B
The thorn in the Raptors side that caused yet another first-round exit in the playoffs, just may be the Raptors strength this year. Jermaine O'Neal comes to the Great White North after years of holding it down in the Hoosier state for the Pacers.
We all know about the injury problems, but after deciding not to play hurt last year, I assume that O'Neal will be good to go for the 08-09 campaign, give or take five games.
Well the rest of the frontcourt is back including the Raptors' golden boy, Chris Bosh. Once again the question is how his Beijing adventure will affect his play later on in the season. He will once again gain more fans and respect as he dominates the Eastern Conference.
Andrea Bargnani experienced the sophomore slump last year, but has concentrated on getting into shape and should be adjusted to NBA speed after two years in the league. Look for him to fill the shoes Carlos Delfino left in the outside game.
Players on the rise: Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani
Players on the slide: None
Additions: Jermaine O Neal, Nathan Jawai
X Factor: Kris Humphries, provides rebounding on the bench and is a solid option when needed for a defensive matchup when Bargnani is experience difficulties in the post.
Division: Second in Atlantic
Playoffs: Second Round