Found October 04, 2012 on Fox Sports Ohio:
Its not like the Toronto Raptors need to pine for the days of Chris Bosh. They were never really that big of a threat even when they had him. What should be of greater concern is the fact the Raptors seem to still be spinning their wheels, struck in the mud as they just keep traveling back to the NBA draft lottery. Theyve become a large-market franchise with small-market problems. Whats the plan? Where are the major reasons for hope? Who will lead this team into the next decade? Will the Raptors ever make a splash again? Or will the Vince Carter era be viewed as their one shining moment? These are the pressing questions as the Raptors enter yet another year that is expected to end anywhere but the postseason. Thats not to say theyre a terrible outfit because theyre not. They actually showed some progress (albeit minor) last season, and appear poised to make a smidgen more this year. But they are infant steps, the kind that can sometimes result in falling down before latching to something against which you can lean. And that remains the story of the Raptors. Theyre still in search of a concrete solution. Last season: 23-43, did not make playoffs. Coach: Dwane Casey (76-112, fourth year). Top returnees: PF Andrea Bargnani, SF DeMar DeRozen, PG Jose Calderon. Key additions: C Jonas Valanciunas-r, PG Kyle Lowry, SG Terrence Ross-r, SG Landry Fields. X-Factor: Valanciunas. Honestly, there might not be a bigger wild card in the league, as Valanciunas was drafted with the Raptors first pick in 2011 (No. 5 overall), the idea being that they found a throwback 7-footer with actual post moves and agility. Some experts predicted hell eventually be the best player to come out of that draft. Others caution he has a long way to go. Either way, hes the only true center on the roster, so hed better at the very least be competent. Odds are, hell get plenty of minutes. Strengths: Bargnani is the Dirk Nowitzki of the East, a tall and long marksman who flourishes by floating on the perimeter and knocking down shots. At 7-0, hes practically unguardable. Others, such as DeRozen, Calderon and Kleiza are capable of having moments as well, should opponents place too much focus on Bargnani. Perhaps best of all will be Lowry, plucked away from Houston in a mid-summer trade. Lowry adds another dimension to the offense as a set-up guy who can score, as well as a reputation for an adroit defender -- something that had previously been lacking. Weaknesses: The Raptors are a mostly soft team that has too often treated defense like a mere suggestion, an area that could potentially be shored up with the additions of Lowry and Landry. Still, the frontcourt is shaky, if not downright atrocious. On top of that, theyve lacked consistency in all areas, particularly when it comes to diving for loose balls, chasing down rebounds and doing all those little tricks that win games. Outlook: If Valanciunas and Ross -- both likely to move into the starting lineup right away -- can give the Raptors anything more than the usual dose of rookie unpredictability, they may have something here, and just might ascend quicker than a lot of forecasters envision. If not, it will likely continue to be more frustration for the underrated Casey, and more of Bargnani against the universe, with the occasional chip-in from someone else. Thats no way to survive in the NBA. Prediction: 27-55. 2012-13 schedule: Link FOX Sports: Raptors home Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO

Hoops Talk with Ed Davis at Toronto Raptors Training Camp 2012 (Halifax,NS)

Raptors Training Camp is now in full effect as the Raptors finished up Day 2 of camp on Wednesday in Halifax.  A returning face to this year's roster is big man, Ed Davis.  Davis will be putting work at this year's camp in order to earn some playing time in the frontcourt with the likes of Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas, Aaron Gray and Amir Johnson all battling for...

Hoops Talk with Terrence Ross at Toronto Raptors Training Camp 2012 (Halifax,NS)

Here is some more training camp day #1 video with the Raptors first round selection out of Washington, Terrence Ross aka T_DotFlight31 on Twitter.  The rookie who had a monster season in his sophomore year at Washington is getting used to his new teammates at this week's camp.....and trying to avoid those rookie duties. Stay tuned for more interviews from Raptors training camp...

Hoops Talk out of Halifax with Jamaal Magloire at Toronto Raptors Training Camp 2012 (Halifax,NS)

As promised, we continue to have more video from Raptors Camp here at the Canada Games Centre here in Halifax. We caught up with The Big Cat himself, Jamaal Magloire.  Magloire was brought into the team last season for veteran leadership and will help develop some of the younger players including big men Jonas Valanciunas and Ed Davis this year. Check out our interview with Toronto...

Storytime with Jalen Rose via Grantland, Part Two

Yes! More of this now! I demanded more when we posted the first installment which featured Vince Carter performing a well executed fireman's carry of Sam Mitchell (then, head coach of the Toronto Raptors).  Well Jalen is at it again, this time detailing the time Kobe dropped 81 points on his team, the Toronto Raptors.   Grantland has been killing it with these videos/cartoons...

Welcome to Raptors Day

Believe it or not, the NBA's regular season is six weeks away. To get you ready, Crossover Chronicles will be profiling a team each day for the next six weeks. This week is the Atlantic Division. Today is the Toronto Raptors. 2011-12 Record: 23-43 Key Losses:  Jerryd Bayless (signed with Milwaukee), James Johnson (traded to Sacramento), Gary Forbes (traded to...

McGuire Sees Raptors' System As Perfect Fit

Duane Casey believes Dominic McGuire will improve several of the Raptors' defensive holes.

Raptors 2012 Training Camp - Halifax - Day 3 recap (Videos)

Day 3 of Toronto Raptors 2012 Training Camp in Halifax ended with a long morning practice on Thursday. Head coach Dwane Casey wanted to ensure that he got as much work in with the team as possible with only having the one practice. Without an evening practice, the players got out to do some Halifax sight seeing, learning about the history of the city, and to enjoy some Maritime cuisine...

First practice in the books as the Raptors Camp kicks off

Practice #1 is in the books.The Raptors squad took the court for the first time today in Halifax.  In a big facility like the Canada Game Centre, the were enough baskets to go around for this 18-man training camp roster. The rookie, Terrence Ross, was out shooting jumpers....Jose Calderon was working out with John Lucas III and Alan Anderson while Jonas Valanciunas was taking part...

Raptors 2012 Training Camp - Halifax - Day 1/Practice 2 (Videos)

Day 1 of Toronto Raptors 2012 Training Camp is officially in the books. Coach Dwane Casey and the coaching staff were putting the players through their paces in the day's 2 practices. With the partial access we had to the practices in session there were shooting drills, free throws, wind sprints, and working on set plays from inbound passes (baseline & sideline). The players...

Raptors Waiting For Valanciunas To Get 'Naturally Healthy'

The Raptors are being patient in letting Jonas Valanciunas' strained calf heal.

Jalen Rose tells us how it felt to have Kobe Bryant drop 81 points on his team

Storytelling is starting to become one of Jalen Rose’s new hobbies. As we all know on January 22, 2006 Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. Jalen Rose, who was on that Raptors team discussed that historic night and had many interesting things to say. He also makes a couple of jokes about Smush Parker, Luke Walton and Sam Mitchell who was coaching Rose at that...

Hoops Talk out of Halifax with Aaron Gray at Toronto Raptors Training Camp 2012 (Halifax,NS)

Aaron Gray is a natural centre in every sense of the word.  He's a 7-foot, 270 pound body that is going to cause problems in the paint.  The Tarzana, California native (home of Selena Gomez, Lisa Kudrow and Jim case you were wondering) will be a valuable coaching resource for the young big men Quincy Acy and Jonas Valanciunas.  The combination of Gray and Valanciunas...

Landry Fields NBA

The NBA, where improvisation happens! #icebath #Raptors #trainingcamp

Check out HHJ/HHN on the Dino Nation Blog: The Starting 5 Podcast with James Borbath

Today, Sean Francois and myself joined The Starting 5 podcast with James Borbath recapping our experience at the Toronto Raptors training camp so far here in our hometown of Halifax.  James has had previous experience with Raptors training camp when he attended camp in Ottawa.In today's podcast, we talk about the Raptors' point guard situation, Landry Fields, Jonas Valunciunas...

Raptors Day Video: Vince Carter's greatest dunks

There has not been many great moments in Raptors' history. They have seen Chris Bosh leave for South Beach, rarely seen the post season, and even had Kobe Bryant drop 81 points on them. However, during their time in the NBA, for a while they had the most electrifying dunker in this recent era of the NBA -- Vince Carter. "Air Canada" provided fans to pack arenas...
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