2010-11 NBA Picks: Toronto Raptors Futures Odds and Betting Predictions
by Christopher G. Shepard - 10/8/2010
The Toronto Raptors missed the playoffs by one game last year, traded their franchise player, Chris Bosh, to the Miami Heat, and brought in seven new players to start their 2010-11 season. Without the marquee star power of Bosh the Raptors have compensated with young players, and extra cap-space, in a developmental/rebuilding year.
Toronto has not made the playoffs in the last two seasons. Head Coach Jay Triano is as responsible for last year's meltdown after the all-star break as Chris Bosh. The Raptors were a fifth seed at the break, but then Bosh got hurt and Toronto went 5-7 in his absence. However, when Bosh returned the Raptors did even worse, winning only six of the next 18 games and failing to make the playoffs. The last thing Triano needs is another rebuilding year when he is on the hot seat in Toronto.
Triano's teams will never be characterized by their defense, and last year was no exception. A bright spot for the Raptors is Amir Johnson's defensive potential. Johnson was brought in to help shore up the defense that gave up 105.85 points per game. Only New York, Golden State and Minnesota gave up more ppg than Toronto. While the Raptors this year are predicated upon speed and offense, playing defense never hurts either. If Johnson can reduce his tendency to foul (six fouls per 36.5 minutes), then he could be effective on defense for the Raptors this year.
The Toronto Raptors schedule starts by hosting the New York Knicks on Oct. 27. Then they play one more home game against Cleveland before heading out for a four-game West Coast road trip from Nov. 1-6. The Raptors have a brutal end-of-season schedule with nine road contests in 14 games including five games in seven-days stretch from March 20-26. This will be the Raptors second five-game road-trip of the season. The playoffs will be a reach for the Raptors this year.
Toronto Raptors Offseason Moves
GM Bryan Colangelo had to deal with the loss of the talented, but unhappy Bosh. The loss leaves a huge hole in the lineup for the Raptors, who will need some one to step up and anchor the team. Colangelo also dealt another headache, the ever-widening Hedo Turkoglu, to the Suns for Leandro Barbosa and Dwyane Jones. Colangelo sent Mario Belinelli to the Hornets for Julian Wright. On the surface Toronto might have gotten the better of both deals. The Raptors also brought in one of the stars from the FIBA World Championships, Linas Kleiza. Kleiza will start at small forward. However, the best long-term acquisition might be the 13th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Ed Davis from the University of North Carolina. Wait a few years and Davis will be a stud in the NBA. Triano needs re-signed shooting guard DeMar DeRozan to recover from a poor 2009-10 campaign.
Toronto Raptors Predictions: Outlook
Love him or hate him, Bosh's exit will have a profound impact on the team in the first half of the season as the squad adjusts to the new players while struggling to find an identity. Fans and experts think that the Raptors will be bad -- as in New Jersey bad -- this season.
Toronto Raptors NBA Futures Odds
The Raptors odds to win the Eastern Conference are +15000 and the odds to win the NBA Championship for Toronto is also +15000. The oddsmakers obviously do not expect the Chris Bosh-less Raptors to make a lot of noise in the Eastern Conference as the total season wins has been set at 28.5, good for the third lowest win total in the NBA. The Raptors won 40 games in the 2009-10 and finished second in the Atlantic Division. NBA odds are courtesy of BetUS.
NBA Picks for Toronto Raptors
The prognosis for the Raptors' 2010-11 season is full of uncertainty due to the high turnover of players, youth and inexperience. One thing is for sure, Toronto will lose more games than they will win. The drop off could be huge this year in terms of wins now that Bosh has flown south. The Raptors lack proven NBA talent. Johnson alone won't fix the Raptors most glaring weakness, defense. Bet the Toronto Raptors to go ‘under’ 28.5 total wins this season.
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