|2012-13 Team Ratings|
|12th Overall||25th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
Because of injuries and matchups, 10 different players have started at forward and center positions for the Raptors. But those injuries have allowed Ed Davis to prove that he's a real building block for the future.
When Kyle Lowry got hurt, Jose Calderon stepped right in, led the Raptors on an 8-1 stretch and made it difficult for Dwane Casey to go back to Lowry. DeMar DeRozan continues to improve in his fourth season.
In Casey's first season on the bench, the Raptors were the most improved defensive team in the league. This year, they've gone in the opposite direction. They don't defend the paint very well and they foul too much.
The Raptors' best reserves -- Calderon, Davis and Amir Johnson -- have become starters. But they now have Lowry providing some punch off the bench. Alan Anderson has been a pleasant surprise.
Casey has had to deal with injuries to five key players, as well as an ongoing point guard controversy. He deserves credit for the way he's handled both, but the Raptors' defensive regression is a disappointment.
In addition to their injuries, the Raptors were dealt a rough early schedule. And they compounded that with some brutal, heartbreaking losses.
They still have an outside shot at the postseason, but no general manager will be more ready to make a deal as the trade deadline approaches than Bryan Colangelo. Andrea Bargnani has clearly worn out his welcome and has got to go. And even though Calderon has performed well as a starter, Lowry still appears to be the long-term solution at point guard.
There are several young and solid complementary players already in place. And Raptors fans will need to remain patient regarding 20-year-old big man Jonas Valanciunas, who has been out since Christmas with a broken finger. But ultimately, at least one more impact player is needed before the Raptors can get serious about making noise in the Eastern Conference.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|