A new NBA season is almost upon us.
And in a tradition as charmingly Torontonian as bidding for (and losing) the Olympics, sports writers here are bursting with optimism at the prospect of a new campaign of Raptors basketball.
Well, maybe not bursting. But for the Raptor faithful, there are some good reasons to be hopeful this fall. Don’t laugh. It’s true.
Reason for optimism #1: Jonas is coming.
In a headline straight outta 2006, the Raptors are hoping that a big man from Europe with loads of talent will have a positive effect on the team in the coming years. The anticipation around Valanca…Valcan……Valanaci…big V has grown all the larger since he missed what would have been his rookie season last year in Europe. The anticipation bubble will probably deflate quickly as he adjusts to the NBA game, but the consensus seems to be that this guy is (will be) good.
Reason for optimism #2: A legit point guard.
Okay, so we didn’t manage to bribe Nash into playing here. But Kyle Lowry is solid, and after the parade of clowns we saw at PG last season, he might as well be Chris Paul. His perimeter defense, his scoring, his the-fact-that-he’s-not-Gary-Forbes-ness will all help.
Reason for optimism #3: We like Coach Casey.
Reason for optimism #4: We’re not the worst franchise in North America.
Me? Well, I tend to stay conservative with my predictions. With that in mind, I’m forecasting the following:
- The Raptors will finish 62-20, first place in the east. Bosh will be begging to come back, but Colangelo won’t return his phone calls.
- Valanciunas will be the unanimous Rookie of the Year. He will pull down 18 rebounds per night and will be the toast of Toronto. He will get all the ladies, Bargnani will be jealous, and the two will come to fisticuffs in the middle of a game, prompting Bargnani’s trade to the Timberwolves.
- Derozan will have a breakout season and put up 34.1 ppg through the all-star break, before a surprise marriage to a Kardashian and a subsequent messy divorce and downward spiral that will see him balloon to 270 pounds and disappear for a week-long bender in Niagara Falls.
- Jose Calderon will win the dunk contest with a spectacular throw-down in which he does a backflip, followed by a barrel roll, followed by a mid-air high-five from Jerome Williams, who showed up because he thought he was still playing for the Raptors.