Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 at 10:30 am  |  59 responses

Can the Raptors Win 50?

After all of the money he spent this summer, GM Bryan Colangelo certainly hopes so: “The happiest day of the year (media day) came and went yesterday with an optimistic Colangelo announcing that not only does he expect the Raptors to qualify for the playoff this season, he expects his rebuilt squad to actually make a run in the post-season. ‘And that means probably putting yourself in a position (to be) the fourth or fifth seed (in the Eastern Conference),’ the always-dapper GM said, while adding that the Raptors likely will have to win more games than the previous club record of 47 to accomplish that goal. ‘Are (we) shooting for a target of 50 games? Yeah, I think that’s what we should be realistically looking at.”‘

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  • Jake

    If he can win 50 games with that team and that coach at the helm I will be very surprised.Can Hedo really make that much of a difference?

  • Jake

    I suppose they do have Derozan too..however you spell that.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Its actually quite possible.
    @ Jake: Its not just Hedo, although yes, Hedo does make that much of a difference. Just look at Orlando last season.
    Anyways, the Raptors have made some major moves this year, just after I was starting to doubt Brian Colangelo. They signed Marco Belinelli, Jarret Jack, Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson, Rasho Nesterovic… I mean this year’s squad is an ENTIRELY different team.
    Then of course, the two best moves they made over the offseason: Drafting Demar DeRozan and signing Hedo Turkoglu; who should both start. DeRozan has major potential and I think he actually has the highest ceiling in this year’s draft. And of course, Hedo is one of the most underrated players in the league and a bonafide All-Star caliber player. Orlando is going to miss him like crazy. Now, since I am excited, I must digress.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla


  • Jake

    I mean,it’s possible but you’ve got to look at what the other teams in the east have done to improve this year.The balance of power has shifted to the East.Phoenix didn’t even win 50 games last year and they had one of the most star studded lineups in the NBA even if 2 of them were on the downsides of their career.I just can’t see them displacing Detroit,Chicago or even Philadelphia to make the playoffs after having 1 regular season to make a team that has 11 new players the kind of synergy to win a playoff spot.I would be really happy if it DID happen though,I’ve got a weak spot for the dinosaurs from the north.

  • Jake

    develop the kind*

  • Migs

    +1 to Teddy-The-Bear’s comments.

    The additions of Hedo and DeRozan are all well and good, but everyone’s sleeping on the rest of the acquisitions. Jack is a HUGE upgrade over whoever we had at backup PG last year (Solomon, Ukic); Compared to last year, we have a SG who isn’t afraid to shoot (Belineli), a guy that has some balls (Evans), and some athletic prospects (Amir & DeRozan). You’re also sleeping on the most important pickup this season: Rasho Nesterovic! Let’s NBA!!

  • kevb

    The Boston Celtics were able to pull off a championship in one year with an entirely different team. If the Raptors can create that same team concept and winning attitude before the season starts, I’m sure they win around 50 games.

  • Damon

    As a Raptors fan I don’t know if this team can pull off a 50 win season. I think Colangelo was saying “Look the team that got 4th in the East last year had 47 wins. This means for us to not face the big three of the East we have to win 50 games to avoid them.” That what i got from it. Also Triano wants this team to be a top 6 defensive team. If they can attain that goal and be a top offensive team 50 wins isn’t so unrealistic. That is if the players buy into Triano’s defensive system.

  • Dagomar

    The team still has too many jumpshooters, not enough defenders and a starting C who can’t rebound. That said there is so much talent on the roster that 50 wins is a very real possibility. Don’t sleep on Jay Triano either; he’s a good coach even if he isn’t a big name.

  • SWIFTboy

    If they have a dream season, it is fathomable that they win 50 games. So I think making a GOAL of 50 wins, which would equate to everything going just right, is reasonable.

    I think the more LIKELY win total would be around 45 or so. That would be a solid season for the team. Anything under 41 would be a dissapointment.

    In terms of ranking, the GOAL is 4th or 5th. Most likely is 6-8. Out of the playoffs is dissapointment.

    There are pretty much 6 teams vying for 4 playoff spots, the way I see it.

  • Orlando Green

    I have a bet with a friend, that if they win 45 I will buy him a six pack. So my bet is no.

  • Clark

    Does anyone else remember some hype about the Raptors just before last season started, about how they were going to be a better and different team? I know they made even more changes this off-season, but I am predicting another vastly underachieving Raptors team. To me this seems like a team where the individuals seem like they would be able to get 50, but as a team they probably will be lucky to be over 40. So, I vote no.

  • http://sportzin.com Joey E.

    not this year

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    LET’S GET IT!!!

  • Jake

    @kevb.You’re also talking about a Celtics team that had 3 future Hall of Famers,all of which had been deep into the playoffs before.They also had Sam Cassell who won two rings with Houston and knew what it took to win.I don’t see any resemblance of a hall of fame player on the Raptors(sorry CB4) and they are 80% jump shooters.I’m calling 42-40 and another trip to the lotto in june.The bottom line is this happens every year with raptors nation,there’s so much optimism and then the bubble is burst 3 weeks into the season.

  • WCR

    Clark, the hype last year still was based on one move, but everyone was aware of JO being injury-prone. Raps fans were disappointed, but no one was surprised that it didnt work out the way they would have liked. But now the roster is completely change and the top move is a guy in the prime of his career. Along with all the other moves colangelo has made revolved around his core, the hype is merited. They just have to stay healthy.

  • TADOne

    Sure they can. Will they? No.

  • Flight

    Flight likes this

  • http://www.myspace.com/weezyleezy337 Gametime Weezy

    they are about to blow up like drake reppin the t dot..

  • http://oller.weebly.com The Growl

    I think this is a definite possibility.
    I have them finishing number 5 in the Eastern Conference behind CLE, BOST, ORL, and WASH.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    The Cavs, Celtics, and Magic are all but guaranteed to win more games than the Raptors. The 76ers, Bulls, Wizards, Pistons, Bobcats, Heat, Hawks, and Pacers all have a good chance of having a better record than the Raptors. 50 wins ain’t gonna happen.

  • MeloMan2.0

    Yes they can.. Lets go Raptors!!

  • la huey

    With all the changes, they’ll get off to a slow start, so it’ll really depend how tough their schedule is after the New Year. I wouldn’t bet too much either way.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    i would be suprised if a team that has 1 shooting guard on its entire roster (who is a rookie), andrea baragini starting at center (when he was orginally a power forward/small forward), and Chris Bosh injured could win 30 games…

  • Chris

    I don’t know if they can but that should definitely be the goal. Training camp is when every team in the league talks about making the playoffs or winning 50+ games, and every player talks about making the all star team. Most of them will fall way short, but you can’t fault their swag.

  • Zee

    They have the potential to win 50 games. I think that with the rookie (Derozan) and new acquisitions we won’t see the Raptors being a a force in the East until next season when Derozan is more developed and the talent and player’s games are better meshed together. All I’m really expecting is to see a Raptors team that is exciting, full of potential, and can win more than lose this year.

  • http://www.cp3.com Chris Paul

    The raptors are going to be absolutely studly this year – Jack is probably the most underrated signing this year, that is one guy I am sure can guard me. IF they can win 50 games? That all depends on how much better the top 3 teams are, I can see them winning 50 if they can win a few games against the big 3 of the East. They definitely got the talent on offence.. now its just about defence.. aiight, im out.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Isn’t Belinelli a shooting guard? And I’m pretty sure Jarret Jack and Antoine Wright can play that position as well.

  • http://www.garrettelliott.com Garrett

    The Raptors always seem to have a lot of hype going into the season, but they also always seem to under-achieve. I think this year will be different, though. I doubt they can reach 50, but I think they’ll be a competitive team that can be a scary underdog match-up in the playoffs.

  • black pinoy

    their roster is stacked with alot of good players .. and yeah, itll all depend on team chemistry .. i dont think turkoglu would be able to contribute here as much as he did in orlando.. i hope derozan would slash and attack the basket every time he gets the ball and kick it out to any of their shooters.. this team loves to shoot j’s which sometimes suck.. cmon bosh.. do that pretty jump hook that you did on garnet.. dont settle for three’s.. you skinny snoop dogg look alike

  • JoeMaMa

    If Bargnani takes another step. If Derozan begins to meet his vast potential. If Bosh stays healthy. If Belinelli plays the way folks say he can. If Evans grabs enough nuts. If Jose breaks Garnett’s finger next time. IF!!!

    I HOPE SO!!!!!

  • iamse7en

    No way in hell the Raptors are winning 50.

    There should be talk of the Wizards winning 50 before the Raptors. Give me a break. Two years ago, the Wiz won 43 WITHOUT Gilbert Arenas. This year, they’ve added Arenas, Mike Miller, Randy Foye, and Flip Sanders. Winning 7 more games? More than doable.

    The Raptors won 33 games last year. All the Raptors did was add Hedo.


  • Jake

    I don’t even think the Raptors make the playoffs after reading over their roster just now.Earlier in the day I was a little more optimistic.The East goes like this.

    After that it’s a toss up.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    Jake: if your if you had the Heat at #6, the Bobcats at #8 and the Pistons at #10 while the Sixers were #9 i would agree with you

  • http://mbenga-mblog.blogspot.com/ vmcb

    BETcats spitting a lot of trash. Although, considering he’s a Charlotte fan he must have an eye for terrible basketball.

  • Exile

    Raps will make the Playoffs, but don’t expect the guard situation to become stable until half-way through the season.

  • MAC

    Jake you punk. “With that coach at the helm?” He’s one of the smartest coaches in the NBA, coaches the younger USA nat team, and is brought in to the USA training camps to help coach. “Can Hedo make that much of a difference?” No, but Hedo, Derozan, Evans, Bellinili, Wright, and Jack can. Its a whole new team, fool.

  • Shem

    We got sonny weems, demar derozan, antoine wright, marco belinelli all at the 2 guard . We have a much solid back up guard in jack. Hedo is a very big upgrade. Also amir johnson, reggie evans are very solid big men. Calderon and Bargnani are about to break out and our only competition is the Wizards.. Chicago and Detroit and Phili dont even stand a chance this year so we almost for sure have a 5 spot if we dont catch the injury bug, play the wiz make the second round and have a chance at orlando.. very big year to look forward too as a raptors fan!

  • Jeff

    PG- Calderon/Jack
    SG- Derozan/Belinelli/Wright/Jack
    SF- Turkoglu/Wright
    PF- Bosh/Evans/Amir Johnson
    C- Bargnani/Nesterovic/POB

    = 45-48 wins (5th in the East)

    Especially if Bargnani can continue to improve from last season, when he was the third highest scoring Centre in the league in the final 50 games of the season, Numbers- 19.2PPG-6RPG- 1.7BPG

  • http://www.garrettelliott.com Garrett

    As a Pistons fan, I can tell the Raptors fans now: don’t get your hopes up for Amir. That is all.

  • Jeff

    Garrett the thing is i don’t see him getting a ton of minutes behind Bosh (36MPG) and Reggie Evans. So i don’t think it matters.

  • Jeff

    1. Boston
    2. Orlando
    3. Cleveland
    4. Atlanta
    5. Toronto
    6. Washington
    7. Philly
    8. Chicago

    Detroit -9th
    They overpayed for a one dimensional Gordon who can score but can’t play D to save his life. And Charlie V is as inconsistent as they come (great one game invisible the next), and Ben Wallace has sucked for years now.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The Bulls got worse (except D Rose), but Bobcats made no changes, well they got worse (no Okafur? What?), the Heat have done nothing AND they lost Jemario Moon, the Sixers have gotten worse (no Andre Miller), and Detroit is on a huge downslide. Raptors are top 6 at least.

  • Jeff

    Atlanta-Toronto-Washinton will fight for the 4-6th seeds. IMO it’s a toss up.

    Raptors added- Turkoglu, Jack, Belinelli, Wright,Derozan, Nesterovic, Evans, Johnson (very solid summer)
    Washington added- Foye, Miller and if Arenas can stay healthy (huge if imo) they should get 4th.
    Atlanta didn’t really add much but didn’t really have to, solid young team.

  • lawlow

    detroit is on a downside? more like nonexistent anymore.. they went from one of the top teams in the east 2 years ago and now im sure theyll just flat out suck..gordon and hamilton in the same floor.. gotta love it

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    This is my playoff predictions.
    Yea, I said it Washington or Toronto arent going to make the playoffs.

  • dma

    can they? yes. will they? no

  • ENDS

    Slam ur Slacking! Why is there no story about DeShawn Stevenson’s new Abe Linclon and Crackhead Tattoo

  • yao’s foot

    Jacob J the only playoffs being watched in detroit this winter will be the red wings

  • Rob

    No, but they can get 50 comments.

  • al

    Of course Toronto is going to make it to the playoffs, and will be close to 50 W too.
    Last year they did not have Calderon fit due to injuries and he is really good. Did not have Derozan nor Belinelli at the SG, both are going to play very good this season. Turk is better than Marion nowadays and for that kind of game. Bosh and Bargnani will keep improving plus they have real backups in Evans and Nesterovic. Backup PG last year was Ukic, inexperienced and selfish, now they have Jack.
    Great leap, it is going to be a good session for the Raptors

  • Buschfire

    50 is a long shot, but its a good goal for the Raptors to aim for, (aim for the stars if you miss at least you will land on the moon) I would estimate the Raptors have a 40-45 win season. The team has been completley overhauled, and Triano is instilling a great defensive mindset along with Reggie Evans play which i hope rubs off on the rest of the players. Don’t forget about Sonny Weems too, but with the lineup we have and IF Calderon and Bargnani have the breakout season that is expected of them, I really think the Raptors will make it into the post Season. and Jake, you have changed you opinion about the Raptors way too many times, make up your mind already.

    Raptors are in a playoff position, they will be competing with Wizards, and Hawks and Miami…the rest don’t stand a chance.

  • http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    They can win 50 games over two seasons, sure.

  • Shem


  • B

    The 06-07 Raptors, the one with the rookie Bargani, TJ Ford and Garbajosa, won 47 games.

    Compare the 09 Raptors to that team and you can probably see where all the optimism is coming from.

  • Buschfiya

    B I like your thinking, I agree with your optimism…but after last years high expectations before the season started, I’m still a little nervous. yet hoping for the best.

  • Buschfiya

    P.S. screw all you ignant Americans who think we blow just coz we’re from Canada…like seriously wake up we’re in the new millenium… biased basterds

  • http://donut.com joshua

    I live in America and LOVE the raps. I love Canada too. I always root for the Raps to do good and show up all the haters here in America, but they always dissapoint. I know it’s early in the season, but they’re about 7-11 right now. I just don’t see how that’s possibly when you have three guys over 6-10 in your starting lineup who are all playing such great offense. They have a DECENT bench, but I think that the coach has GOT TO GO. If you can’t turn a team with that much height into at least a mediocre defensive team, then it’s time to go. PLEASE turn it around Raps, before it’s too late and Chris Bosh wants out for sure next offseason..