Who would have thought that after a 2-8 start to the season the Toronto Raptors would win the NBA's Atlantic division? Way to go Raptors! Congratulations! Big up! Respect!
What can I say! I doubted that the Raptors would be any good this season. Yea they made moves in the off-season but I thought way too many moves. I mean how does a team with 9 new players, including a bunch who had never played NBA ball, coming in win? Guys have to become comfortable with their roles, they have to learn to trust each other, they have to bond as a team so I figured any improvement this year would just be a step towards actually competing next year.
I thought yea that Bargnani draft pick is a definite bust and why trade Charlie Villenueva for TJ Ford. Well what do you know Coangelo's moves seemed to have worked well for us this year. Actually only bad move he has made so far seems to be picking up Fred Jones in the off-season and he managed to trade him away for Juan Dixon who has fit in quite nicely with the team in the second half.
So yea we did compete this year. Who would have thought?
Ok well yea the Atlantic division is bar none the worse division in professional basketball and there were a couple of nights where we actually led the division while still having a record that was under .500. But still look at us now 44 wins and 33 loses (including tonight's victory over the Bulls), 10 games over 500, a guaranteed playoff spot and right now the fourth best record in the Leastern ummm Eastern conference.
Pretty nice turn around for a team that only won 27 games last season.
Still I cant say I'm an ultra fan like Chuck and Leo who bring the play by play or like a few of my friends are. I like the team, even though I'll admit that they've screwed up my love of the NBA since I seem to watch very few non-Raptor games these days.
I wont pretend like I think they have more than a passing shot of making it past round one of the playoffs either unless they somehow end up playing a hobbling Washington Wizards team cause I just see too many deficiencies despite their record and improvement this year. I still say they are still too green for the playoffs and their lack of a consistent inside game and rebounding will hurt when the rough and tumble playoffs start. But who knows, I've been wrong before maybe they'll surprise me again.
All I can say now though is they've done the city proud even if when they won the division they were still only the second biggest sports story here, the biggest being the Maple Leafs having to play the Habs to keep their NHL playoff hopes alive. Got to love this city its definitely a hockey town. But hockey town or not got to give props to the Raps. Good looking out guys. Bosh, Ford,Parker, Graham and the boys thanks for making us proud of Toronto basketball once more.