2005 Toronto Raptors Preview
At the time of publish the NBA regular season is around the corner. What better way to get you locked and loaded for a winning season than a free season preview from Maddux Sports. We remind you that MadduxSports.com is an expert NBA handicapper and offers NBA Picks against the point spread. For more information on this years basketball package click here. Onto the individual team preview for this years Toronto Raptors.
2005 Toronto Raptors Team Preview
In the NBA some teams have improved and others remain unchanged and then there are the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are a young team who are counting on their latest draft picks, power forward Charlie Villanueva and small forward Joey Graham, to make a difference immediately.
Last year Raptor’s GM Rob Babcock made a terrible deal when he sent star Vince Carter to the Nets, getting basically nothing in return. Additionally last season’s draft pick Rafael Araujo was a non-factor all season. So what is there to be optimistic about in Toronto, the only Canadian city with a NBA franchise?
This year’s draft picks look like they can make a difference. Connecticut’s Charlie Villanueva, a 6’11” power forward, offers the Raptors instant athleticism and toughness. He’ll give the team depth in the frontcourt. Small forward Joey Graham, drafted out of Oklahoma State, should be a big improvement on defense, giving the team needed intensity in that area.
Shooters Jalen Rose and Chris Bosh return at small forward and center respectively. Rose drained a team best 18.5 points per game last season, while Bosh led the club in rebounds (8.9 per game) and was second in scoring (16.8 per game). Last year they helped the Raptors average 99.7 points per game, placing them 7th in NBA scoring and giving them a 14.3 point increase over the previous season!
But there’s a lot of doubt about the team’s ability to make up for the loss of Carter. And there’s the nagging question-- Can the new guys really make a difference? Plus GM Babcock has put Sam Mitchell-- who last season remade the club into a high-scoring, court-running team-- on the spot. Babcock expects Mitchell to insure that this year’s raptors will show substantial progress, which is ironic considering the terrible moves the GM has made over the past two seasons.
The experience and verve of Carter will be difficult to replace, and it’s unlikely that Toronto will do much to improve upon their 33-49 record. But if Mitchell can push his defense to be successful and the rookies can come through, the team that is expected by many to perform worse this year than they did last may surprise the NBA.
For more information on the 2005 Toronto Raptors Team, click here to visit their official team website.