2007 Toronto Raptors Season Preview
Last season, former Phoenix Suns’ front office guru Bryan Colangelo traveled north to Canada and made a huge difference for the Raptors. The team improved by 20-wins over the season before, took their division and earned their first post-season appearance in five years. So, what can he do for an encore? Actually, the real question is “what can the team do for an encore?”
In the frontcourt for his fifth season at forward is Chris Bosh ( .496 FG%, .434 3P%, .785 FT%, 10.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 22.6 PPG) who led the Raptors in rebounds, points per game and chutzpah. In his short career, he has captured the all-time Toronto record for defensive rebbies—1,888. Inside, the guy is tough to beat. He may be the best power forward in the league. Returning for their respective second seasons are forwards Andrea Bargnani (.427 FG%, .373 3P%, .824 FT%, 3.9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 11.6 PPG) and Jorge Garbajosa (.420 FG%, .342 3P%, .731 FT%, 4.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, 8.5 PPG). This triumvirate is one of the best and the greenest in the NBA.
Third-year point guard T.J. Ford (.436 FG%, .304 3P%, .819 FT%, 3.1 RPG, 7.9 APG, 14.0 PPG) and fourth-year swingman Anthony Parker (.477 FG%, .441 3P%, .835 FT%, 3.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 12.4 PPG) were a fantastic tandem last season. Ford is one of the best playmakers in the league, dishing out assists with aplomb, and Parker is deadly from downtown as he tied for fourth in the league in that area last year. At guard, Carlos Delfino (.415 FG%, .333 3P%, .787 FT%, 3.2 RPG, 1.1 APG, 5.2 PPG) offers fine experience and five-year man Juan Dixon (.425 FG%, .350 3P%, .871 FT%, 2.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 9.6 PPG) provides depth.
The Raptors have youth, Chris Bosh (yes, more youth there) and a whole lot of potential. Toronto with Boston and New Jersey make the East a very interesting place to be. Coach Sam Mitchell has a great bench and that means he’ll need all of the management skills that he cam muster to find the right mix of players for the long run.