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Mile High Champ
09-29-2009, 12:39 PM
It’s starting, but where to start?

The Toronto Raptors haven’t had an official practice yet and their two best players are either hurt (Chris Bosh) or just plain tired (Hedo Turkoglu), and both are likely unavailable for the hard part of training camp that starts in Ottawa today.

Still, it was as if someone set off a sunshine bomb when the team’s key figures came out to meet the media before boarding their Air Happy Times charter yesterday afternoon on their way to a week of two-a-days at Carleton University.

“It’s perfect,” Jay Triano said at the prospect of starting his first training camp as an NBA head coach with his two primary offensive weapons on light duties, Bosh with hamstring woes, Turkoglu fatigued after the European championship.

Seriously?

“It is. We have so many more guys who can play, they’re going to get a lot more reps and more time to play,” Triano said. “Until we get to the 28th [opening night against the Cleveland Cavaliers], the games in October don’t mean a whole lot. They’ll still be there watching and they’ll be ready to jump in when they’re ready, but it will give other guys a chance to showcase what they can do.”

Triano’s new, so he can be excused, but the coach was hardly alone in his bursting-at-the-seams optimism.

Team president Bryan Colangelo is coming off one of the busiest summers of his career so is understandably eager to see how his handiwork comes together – just three players of the 14 on the roster were in training camp a year ago – but the man enjoys eggs sunny-side up with a bottomless pot of coffee.

This time last year, Colangelo dented his credibility for the first time in his Toronto tenure when he said the roster he’d pulled together was the best team he’d had since joining the Raptors. A 33-win season and the square peg status of Jermaine O’Neal, his shiny acquisition from the previous summer, came back to haunt him when the team sputtered out of the gate and never established any lasting forward momentum.

But Colangelo was undeterred yesterday, standing on his tippy toes to place the bar for a team that has yet to play a game together. He had the day’s best line – “I’m not saying we’ve got all the answers and the roster’s complete, I just ran out of players to trade” – but also the boldest predictions.

“What’s the target, what are we shooting for?” he asked before he was asked. “What I’d really like to do is put us in position to advance in the playoffs, make it to the second round. … That’s a goal. How many wins does that take? Well, if you look at what it takes to be a fourth or fifth seed, I think you’ve got to be at a minimum of 50 games. Are [we] shooting for 50 games?

“Yeah, I think that’s what we should realistically be shooting for.”

So much for underpromising and overdelivering, but at the other end of the new atrium at the Air Canada Centre where Colangelo was holding court stood Bosh, who will have to make Colangelo’s goal-setting come to life as he enters his seventh NBA season headed straight for unrestricted free agency.

His hamstring, twinged while running sprints in Dallas this month and tweaked again last week in Toronto while scrimmaging, is going to be fine, he thinks. It’s not as bad as the problem that dogged Jose Calderon most of last season, but watching his friend struggle with a gimpy leg most of the season made it easy for Bosh to shut it down until his own leg is 100 per cent in a week’s time, he hopes.

Perhaps it’s the benefit of a little distance provided by the injury, but as anything-is-possible predictions came bursting forth yesterday, it was the 25-year-old Bosh who was sounding like the old head, shading himself from the sunny glare with his hand.

A year ago he nodded when O’Neal thought the 2008-09 Raptors had enough on the roster to win 60 games. Yesterday, talk of 50 wins and deep playoff runs was put it in proper perspective by the person most required to make it true.

“I’ll let him do a lot of predicting, that’s part of his job,” Bosh said of Colangelo’s forecast while looking noticeably bulkier after adding about 20 pounds during his off-season lifting program. “[But] some things just don’t work out. If you looked at our team last year coming out of training camp and the first week of the seasons, we had very high expectations and they stayed there, it just didn’t work out.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/having-stars-on-light-duties-perfect/article1304844/

You think the raps can pull down and win 50 games?

Nexus
09-29-2009, 12:54 PM
I think it's possible. It's always good to aim a little high and then maybe, in this case, end up with around 45-46 wins.

Either one of DeRozan or Belli breaking out would be a huge help.

clutchski
09-29-2009, 01:03 PM
I hope we can and it's possible but it seems like it will be tough, very different outlook from Hollinger's isn't it.

JermanJaysFan
09-29-2009, 01:31 PM
Bosh said of Colangelo’s forecast while looking noticeably bulkier after adding about 20 pounds during his off-season lifting program.
:drool:

I am pumped beyond belief for this season. I like our starting squad, and I really think that Bellinelli can be a gunner off the bench. This should be a fun season to be a Raptors fan!

Bob_at_york
09-29-2009, 02:17 PM
I don't think they will win 50 but they could get close. They need to stay healthy for any of this to be possible.

SA5195
09-29-2009, 04:26 PM
That would be nice!

lorenz00
09-29-2009, 05:12 PM
its possible but it would be difficult

SA5195
09-29-2009, 05:25 PM
its possible but it would be difficult

Ya, especially with the tough scheduale we have.

yungballah15
09-29-2009, 06:50 PM
2 me, if team chemsitrey is good, 50 wins is realstic, but at this point with the chemsitrey a unknown, 45-49 is where they should be.

MackSnackWrap
09-29-2009, 06:57 PM
50- 52 is what theyll get im optimistic we have a solid team and hopefully they click

j-mart
09-29-2009, 08:53 PM
50 wins may be optimistic but it's good to have stretch targets.

thomas1
09-29-2009, 09:44 PM
I can comment on that by saying; they (The Raptors Brass) said the same thing last year at the training camp. But then again I guess their job dictates to be positive and to instill hope in others including players (as well as themselves) otherwise there is no point in all the trades and signings they did in the off-season.

Appreciate the positive attitude and sense of hope however, would've preferred it to be a bit more qualified.

FlakeyFool
09-29-2009, 10:30 PM
I think this team will be like that of the one who won 47 games. Alot of these wins being very close and down to the last possession.

SA5195
09-29-2009, 10:33 PM
We'll all see soon, but love the attitude, BC has a aim. Last year we were just overreacting cause we had JO, but not a very good cast, this year we're stacked! So I think its more legit saying that we'll be winning more games this season.

canzano55
09-29-2009, 11:41 PM
I don't think they'll win 50 games, I EXPECT them to. For all of our supposed defensive frailties and below average rebounding, we easily have one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive rosters in the NBA.

Triano is an underrated coach by all accounts and so if given the time I expect him to make a formidable team out of these already very talented batch of players. The enthusiasm is there, the collective is there, and the talent is obvious; add that all up and you have consistent basketball team.

For Toronto fans who have already endured probably what seems like the worst decade in this city's sports history, I reckon the Raptors will be the saving grace to cap off a very forgettable 10 year period.

Rego247
09-30-2009, 12:38 PM
I don't think they'll win 50 games, I EXPECT them to. For all of our supposed defensive frailties and below average rebounding, we easily have one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive rosters in the NBA.

Triano is an underrated coach by all accounts and so if given the time I expect him to make a formidable team out of these already very talented batch of players. The enthusiasm is there, the collective is there, and the talent is obvious; add that all up and you have consistent basketball team.

For Toronto fans who have already endured probably what seems like the worst decade in this city's sports history, I reckon the Raptors will be the saving grace to cap off a very forgettable 10 year period.

God I hope ur right dude

Big Game Son
09-30-2009, 08:40 PM
Two important things to point. We are ALWAYS bad in November. But after that we seem to do much better. Last season just sucked. But honestly.....this is it fans. We got ourselves a team. 50 wins is pushin it but hey...when you look at our roster....it certainly is not out of the question.

On a side note I said this last year. I am very optimistic about what Jay Triano (+Iavaroni) can do with this squad over the training camp. He didnt have this chance before. Now he does and his true value will be determined (I'm optimistic)!

SA5195
09-30-2009, 08:49 PM
Lets just hope for the best!

MackSnackWrap
09-30-2009, 09:00 PM
Two important things to point. We are ALWAYS bad in November. But after that we seem to do much better. Last season just sucked. But honestly.....this is it fans. We got ourselves a team. 50 wins is pushin it but hey...when you look at our roster....it certainly is not out of the question.

On a side note I said this last year. I am very optimistic about what Jay Triano (+Iavaroni) can do with this squad over the training camp. He didnt have this chance before. Now he does and his true value will be determined (I'm optimistic)!

last year was the opposite we had a good november if im not mistakened, but ye agreed for sure 50 2ins not out of the question

deaner
09-30-2009, 09:09 PM
Two important things to point. We are ALWAYS bad in November. But after that we seem to do much better. Last season just sucked. But honestly.....this is it fans. We got ourselves a team. 50 wins is pushin it but hey...when you look at our roster....it certainly is not out of the question.

On a side note I said this last year. I am very optimistic about what Jay Triano (+Iavaroni) can do with this squad over the training camp. He didnt have this chance before. Now he does and his true value will be determined (I'm optimistic)!

we have 3 players from november of last year... add to that the coaching staff is overhauled. I don't think you can judge this years november team with the same ol' cookie cutter. There is a buzz around the team... I say they come out really strong if healthy.

ink
09-30-2009, 10:50 PM
50 games is the threshold you have to cross if you want to be considered a contender. Colangelo has been there before so I'm not surprised he wants -- expects even -- to return.

katman
10-01-2009, 11:12 AM
Let's not lose the context here, Colangelo set that as the goal..not his prediction of the season. Big difference! High goals are a good thing.

Mile High Champ
10-01-2009, 01:17 PM
The regular season cannot come soon enough, I need my raptors fix. The first 15-20 games should really tell us what to expect from this year. We need a good start if we want to win anywhere near 50 games.

B2B
10-01-2009, 01:27 PM
I don't think they will win 50 but they could get close. They need to stay healthy for any of this to be possible.

Health, with our depth. An injury could turn out to be a positive, not a negative can't predict either.

B2B
10-01-2009, 01:37 PM
Let's not lose the context here, Colangelo set that as the goal..not his prediction of the season. Big difference! High goals are a good thing.

Exactly, people think that I expect too much by saying this but u can only reach what u shoot for.

There should be a heirarchy of goals the #1 goal of every season has & should be to win it all any other goal in my opinion is pointless. U can set target goals but there's only one goal that matters and thats to be NBA champs.

Low expectations don't challenge u, it makes u think u r not capable of better. (Mindset) comes before production. U have to think u can before u do.