By last season’s end, the Toronto Raptors had much to celebrate. Despite the gut-wrenching loss to the Nets, the Raptors certainly surpassed even the most optimistic pre-season expectations.
Great chemistry? Check.
Heck, even the ambassadorship of lint-rolling singer Drake seemed mostly spot-on, right? Sure. Check.
Everything in Rapsville pointed to the first-round loss as a learning experience, sure to help this group improve for next season.
But that’s where my fear started. I bet I’m not alone.
Put your hand up if you’ve worried that…
a) Kyle Lowry’s physical style can’t be repeated year after year
b) DeMar DeRozan’s shooting touch could evaporate
c) Jonas Valanciunas may have peaked
d) Drake may forget his lint roller some night, leading to general “lintyness”
Hand still up? Don’t worry. So’s mine.
Believe, Raps Fans!
I’m here to quell those fears. At least, I’m here to quell fears a), b), and c). A look at last season’s win shares with next season’s roster in mind shows that the Raptors faithful have much to look forward to next season.
Looking at next season’s Eastern Conference rosters for teams that matter (sorry Milwaukee, Detroit, etc.) brings hope. Let’s check out win shares for the likely 8-man rotations of the upper crust of the East.
*note: sorry Miami. You’re not upper crust. In Toronto, we have a real good sense of where Chris Bosh-led teams wind up in the standings.
Washington –> total = 40.9
Cleveland –> total =43.7
Indiana –> total = 43.3
Chicago –> total = 44.8
*note: Derrick Rose, if healthy, will obviously out produce the negative score but McDermott will be in tough to produce a 7.7 WS. Let’s call it square.
Toronto –>total = 48.1
*note: Lou Williams not included…WS of 2.6
*note part 2: all stats (except college) courtesy of basketball-reference.com. Check this chart.
Sure, there are a lot of ifs and buts. But, as a rough guide, if players perform similarly from one year to the next, Raptors fans can expect our team to be right in the mix with the best of the East next season. Heck, if these numbers hold true, we should expect the Raptors to be the class of the East.
Now how’s that for quelling your fears?
Tags: Toronto Raptors