Poor Toronto. They went to the 2012 Steve Nash sweepstakes, and all they got were these two lousy t-shirts. At this point, whenever “O, Canada!” plays before NBA games, it should be sung (“O, Canada…”) the same way you’d say it if you were talking about your pothead cousin named Canada who keeps losing his job because he doesn’t show up to work on time.

At least Toronto is trying though, unlike this year’s crop of fellow bottom-feeders like Charlotte and Orlando. They have a young roster full of average to above-average NBA players (some with potential for good-ness), many of whom would make great 4th or 5th options on good NBA teams. If they could just find or develop a reliable first, second, and third option, then watch out NBA!

Last year’s Raptor’s team led the league in fouls, which could indicate a little bit of spunk.  It could also mean they were completely overmatched and had to rely on grabbing and hacking to slow the game down. The hack-a-everybody strategy seemed to work though, as defense was the team’s (relative) strength last year, a blatant middle-finger in the face of all those stereotypes about Toronto’s offense-only teams. 

The fact that the Raptor’s offense was one of the three worst in the league was the second middle-finger to those stereotypes.

Hey guys! I’m here the save the franchise. Who’s my homeroom teacher again?

There are plenty of issues we could talk about with this team.  We could highlight the fact that the two players who took the most shot attempts last year (DeRozan and Bargnani) shot below 43.6%.  We could talk about Bargnani’s injury-riddled inconsistency and Antoine Walker-esque three point shooting percentage.  We could lament over Jonas Valanciunas’ 11.6-minutes-a-game Olympic performance, which prompted articles that included the words “tamp down expectations” and “operating without know-how.” 

There’s also the fact that the team leader in steals AND blocks from last year (James Johnson) is gone, and that the team added a new co-point guard (Lowry) who is notoriously foul-tempered about sharing time at point guard (to be fair, though, Calderon’s expiring contract will likely be dealt at some point in the year). 

We could discuss all of that, but I think that Toronto’s been through enough.  For God’s sake, it’s only been a couple years since they lost the face of the franchise (by which I mean, of course, that Chris Bosh literally looks like a raptor).  So instead, here’s a pick-me-up for Toronto fans, a little bit of sunshine to illuminate your otherwise gloomy prospects for this year.

1) FamJuice. Kyle Lowry’s latest business venture, in partnership with an old AAU coach (those guys are never shady, right?) is a new brand of drinks designed to meet the need for “a high quality, flavorful, reasonably priced beverage.”  No doubt Kyle Lowry is giddy over the chance to expand his juice line into the international market.  Perhaps Toronto can be on the forefront of the juice revolution…the only question is, as the FamJuice marketing campaign asks, “Are you a gulper or a sipper?”

2) Quincy Acy. That’s the answer. The question is, “What do you call the child of Rick Ross and Kimbo Slice, if that child recently went on ‘Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition'?”

3) Ok, fine, here’s a legitimate reason for hope.  The team is young, has a couple of intriguing-potential guys (Bargnani, Valanciunas), and is in good shape as far as cap flexibility is concerned.  Other than Bargnani, no Raptors player is scheduled to make more than $10 million after this season.
And who knows? Maybe Lowry’s FamJuice is actually Michael Jordan’s special drink from Space Jam.  If that’s true, the sky’s the limit on the 2012-13 Raptors.  If it’s not, then winning 30 games is probably the limit.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
keep it up paul!

Blogger jen said...
Great read from a girl in Toronto!
Big season ahead - expectations relatively low but hopes high since the acquisition of Casey.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
The problem with the Raps has been and remains Bryan Colangelo.

Never mind that Bargnani and DeRozan are both 4th options being played as first and second options, the guy keeps giving fat, multi-year contracts to scrubs. He's just good enough yo keep us 8th-9th pick hell.

Anonymous Fat Bob said...
lol nicely done paul.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
the problem with the Toronto Raptors is the fact they play in Toronto

Blogger Raza said...
Living in Toronto myself, I gotta say I love this post. Hilarious!

Homeroom comment was gold. Keep it up guys *thumbs up*

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wish you would post more frequently paul! Great job

Anonymous AK Dave said...
"Famjuice- Reflavor your taste!"

Rad slogan. This company is coming up. Watch for an IPO announcement and have your wallets on stand-by.

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