Toronto was the surprise team in the East last season. Their corps of young talent blossomed. They even traded Rudy Gay mid-season, which shed considerable cap space. Toronto GM Masai Ujiri helped turn Denver’s franchise around when he was in charge. He has quickly done the same in Toronto.
Can Toronto upset Cleveland and win the East?
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Toronto Raptors.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 48-34
Key Additions: PF James Johnson, SG Louis Williams, C Lucas Nogueira, C Greg Stiemsma & SF Bruno Caboclo
Key Losses: SF John Salmons, SF Steven Novak, PG Dwight Buycks, & SG Julyan Stone
Projected Starters: Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross & Kyle Lowry
Fantasy Sleeper: PF Patrick Patterson – Amir Johnson gets into foul trouble a lot and Toronto needs an adequate backup power forward (not named Tyler Hansbrough). Patterson will get you a little of everything. He won’t wow you with his numbers every night, but if you needed to take a shot on a guy on the Raptors, he would be my sleeper.
Team Analysis: The Raptors have a lot going for them. Kyle Lowry turned into one of the best five point guards in the NBA and their young talent is developing at a nice pace. Toronto wasn’t sure what they had with DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross going into last season. DeRozan was going into his fifth season and they needed him to be a leader. He did just that. He averaged 22.7 points per game and helped lead Toronto to a nice seed in the Eastern Conference.
We assume Indiana and Miami won’t be at the top of the East this season. Cleveland and Chicago are predicted to end the season there, but Toronto is right there on their heels. If they stay healthy, I see them having about the same win-loss record as last season. They will be a tough ‘out’ in the playoffs.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 49.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 48-34 (4th in Eastern Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.