Toronto Raptors Season In Review

The Raptors have improved upon last season finishing with a franchise record 56-26  season. before the season i had these guys finishing either 1st of 2nd in the eastern conference and i hit it right on the head. unlike last year the raptors have improved drastically. In this piece i will discuss those changes here is video i did early on in the season on my views.

 

Last Year

DD injury back in the day

DeMar Derozan Tears His Quad mid way through the 2014 season

Last Year the Raptors opened up the season strong as well as Kyle Lowry was proving that his was worth the Huge contract he has signed in the Offseason. But trouble came when DeMar Derozan was his with in Injury that would keep him sidelined for more then a month. he had suffered a torn Quad. When Derozan came back the Raptors shook off some losses and went a a little streak of wins.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately the raptors had a losing record after the All star break mostly from poor play from Kyle Lowry who was fighting through some injuries. Even though He fought through the injuries,  it ended up hurting the Raptors. his numbers in every category fell off by a huge margin and could not shoot a good percentage from the field. he could not shake off His bad play the whole half after the All Star Break. All that being said they did get a franchise record in wins with 49 wins

 

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A frustrated Kyle Lowry on the bench watching as the Wizards complete their sweep of the Raptors last year

Playoffs 

On paper even though the Raptors were limping into the playoffs they were to face a team that they had swept in the regular season series 4-0. That Team was the Washington Wizards, but what happened next would shock Toronto. The Raptors were swept in a non close affair in all 4 games. everything the Raptors had accomplished during the regular season was diminished by a wizards team that was not playing well coming down the end of the stretch of that year.

 

 

Improvements Made This Year

Are these Raptors Legit

            (from left to Right)                       Demarre Carroll (5), Kyle Lowry (7), Jonas Valanciunas (17) and DeMar Derozan (10). The New and improved Core of the Raptors.

 

Although they lost 6th man of the year Lou Williams they got immensely better. The biggest pick up the Raptors have made this past summer was Demarre Carroll.  Someone that could go down and play the 4 spot which was a need for the Raptors. Also brought in was home town boy Corey Joseph  who gained alot of experience and a NBA Ring to go with it with the Spurs.  they also brought in Bigs Luis Scola and the gem who turned heads in Toronto  Bismack Biyombo who played well when when Jonas Valanciunas want  down with a wrist injury.

 

 

The Raptors showed Resilience early on and did not turn back beating some of the best teams in the league with defense or dominating them the entire game. Their was no huge drop off from anyone this year. Did the Raptors Drop some easy games sometimes ? Yes they did, but they picked themselves back up and kept on going and they earned a franchise best 56-26. The most staggering stat that the Raptors have done is winning the season series against each team in the eastern conference playoffs.

 

xwethenorthbanner-1024x620.jpg.pagespeed.ic.bOiLPUV2xfPlayoff Predictions 

I truly Believe the Raptors have learned from last year. they know public humility and do not want to suffer the same fate as last year. i think they will beat the Pacers in 5 games and the rest is up to them. I think they can come out of the eastern conference. They have shown they can beat the Cavs at full health and play with the toughest west teams which the Cavs have struggled to do. If you’re a Raptor fan right now, you have a lot to be happy about.

 

 

 

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OKC Squad In The Early part of the season

The Oklahoma City Thunder has been through a lot in a short time. Elite guard Russell Westbrook went down with a knee injury which led to a earlier than expected exit from the western conference finals. Now instead of having him back and ready  to play he will miss the first 6-8 weeks of the season. They were ranked 6th in the NBA coming into the season and now face the biggest challenge ahead. All of a sudden it seems that they aren’t the favourites to win the west. Everyone has them behind the Clippers and Spurs. The Thunder did not make any big moves this summer as they still have there core group of players but lost Kevin Martin but have now place the role on Jeremy Lamb to step in and be that type of player. I think OKC will struggle at first but when Westbrook gets back I think that all of this will vanish as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will take the Thunder strait to the NBA finals.

starting 5

PG: Reggie Jackson (until Westbrook comes back)

SG: Sefo 

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Serge Ibaka 

C: Kendrick Perkins

6th man: Jeremy Lamb 

Record: 50+ wins 

Seed: 1st in the west. 

What are your thoughts? how do you think OKC will do this season? Let me know your thoughts.

Toronto Raptors Squad Overview

 Toronto is going into the Season with a improved roster and some hype which they have not had in a long time. Defensively, The Raptors have shown flashes of what they can really do. There two developing players in Terrence Ross And Jonas Valanciunas have really been working hard this past offseason JV one summer league MVP in Los Vegas and Terrence Ross has shown development in consistent shooting and being more aggressive going to the rack. Toronto has three major players for this year in Demar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Jonas Valanciunas. Lets not get ahead of our selves, The Raptors still have a long way to go before getting through to the finals and need to grow there team to have a team that can beat the Bulls and the Heat before they think about going to a title game.   

Projected starting line up 

PG: Kyle Lowry

SG: Demar DeRozan 

SF: Rudy Gay 

PF: Amir Johnson 

C: Jonas Valanciunas 

Six man 

SG: Terrence Ross

Record (yet to be seen) 

Seed: 6th in the East  (maybe second round in the playoffs) 

Where do you see Toronto going the Season? Let me know what you think ! #cyrusreports 

Miami will not be crowned champions this year

I have nothing against the Miami Heat but that match up against the spurs showed every weakness Miami has and only adding more problems with Michael Beasley and Greg Oden to your lineup. losing Mike Miller the only other player outside the the three on the bench that saves this team time and time again. this is the end of the road for Miami championship run. They made an effort to finally get a C  but it was Greg Oden, a player that has not played a even a Half of an NBA season yet he was originally drafted in 2008 and has been rigged with injuries such as back to back ACL Tears and then with all that time off he became over weight. Recently reports say that he is looking good . on a side note i am happy for Oden and getting back to the league. He has a  love for this game and was determined to get back to this league. But this does bring questions to everyone to see how Oden will play . the coaches have said he will have limited minutes to start and see how he does. The heat still have a chance to make it to the finals but I think with the Return of Derrick Rose to the Bull and a Indiana Pacers squad that forced them into  7 without Danny Granger Theres two teams that i think have a chance to upset the Heat. Lets remember that D Wade is getting older and his Stats continue to decline which means more pressure on Lebron James and Chris Bosh. 

With all of this said how do you think the Heat will do this year ? do you think that they can get pasted these teams and finish first? Let me know your thoughts. #cyrusreports

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The LA Lakers will be okay

When Dwight Howard took his talents to the Rockets this pass offseason, The Lakers were not looking to good. Kobe was recovering from a torn achilles, Pau was banged up and playing horrible and the rest of the Lakers were player below the bar on most outings. But if you really look at them from these past couple games, I have a solid feeling that they will be okay. The 3 people they need to be effective this season is Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Nick Young. Kobe Bryant needs to be 100% for this team to do anything this year. They will live by Kobe and die by him which most of time means they will live. Pau has shown this offseason that he is ready to go back to being an all-star. looking confident with what he’s doing and complaining less. Nick Young will be the X factor for this team. He is the Next best scoring player on this team and will have to be consistent to give the lakers a chance. With all this said they still have Steve Nash and Chris Kaman to work with. The lakers have a decent roster and should not be underestimated coming in this season. When Projected starting lineup PG: Steve Nash SG: Kobe Bryant SF: Nick Young PF: Pau Gasol C: Jordan Hill  6th man: Chirs Kaman . Record: Cant say yet. Seed: 7-6 in the west. So sorry to say to the Lakers fans but you guys will not get Andrew Wiggins this coming year. not only do you have Kobe Bryant , you have a decent team.