Raptors 27th in Basketball Prospectus "Sim Season" Power Rankings


As we wait for the decision regarding the latest NBA owners' proposal, the HQ takes a look at the Raptors' results in "weekend Sim action..."

It's not exactly a sunny day here at the HQ.

For starters, we've got this huge vote looming regarding the future of the 2011-12 NBA season, one that we could know the result of in the next hour or so.

If you've seen what was tabled in terms of a proposal, you know it's not pretty.

Kelly Dwyer's from Yahoo! Sports' breaks some of it down, including some discussion on the ridiculous terms the NBA owners' group is looking to instill, from further cuts to rookie scale contracts, to the idea of contracting two NBA teams entirely.

The New York Times' Howard Beck goes into it some more, and looks at what a future NBA may be like. Most of the details of the proposal mean that owners will have a lot more protection from themselves, but it may mean that the annual free-agent frenzy, and player movement in general, grinds to a halt.

Both of these last two points of course are things that NBA fans look forward to each season.

So with such a gloomy outlook, what are NBA players' to do?

ESPN.com's Larry Coon breaks down their options, while Michael Grange provides some insight from the players' perspective, via former NHLer Bill Guerin.

But it gets worse.

(Or better, depending on your stance.)

Basketball Prospectus released it's first set of fake power rankings regarding its simulated NBA season, and Toronto, as many probably would expect, finished near the bottom of the barrel.

The Raps finished 27th in fact, in no small part to 1 and 6 start to their fake season, losing Saturday night to the Memphis Grizzlies, 124 to 96, and then last night to fake Kevin Durant and the fake OKC Thunder, 113 to 91.

From the Grizz recap:

GRIZZLIES 124, RAPTORS 96: The Grizzlies were looking for their third straight win but again were missing Zach Randolphfrom the lineup, while the Raptors were trying to snap a three-game skid. Jerryd Bayless' three put Toronto up four early in the second, but Shane Battier and Rudy Gay led a 13-2 burst to give Memphis the upper hand. The second half was all Grizzlies. Gay led the way with 33 points. O.J. Mayo added 19 and shot 9-of-11. Andrea Bargnani had another nice outing for Toronto but got little help. James Johnson shot 2-of-10 and put up a diabolical stat line: six points, six rebounds, six assists. Woe to you oh Earth and sea ...    

And from the OKC recap:

THUNDER 113, RAPTORS 91: Oklahoma City began the process of digging out of its early hole with a win at Chicago on Thursday and looked to get even healthier with the 1-5 Raptors coming to town on a four-game losing streak. Sure enough, the Thunder jumped out to a 15-4 lead, lead by 15 after one quarter, 20 at halftime and led by at least 13 for the entire second half.Kevin Durant scored 29 to lead OKC and was aided by 21 points from rookie Reggie Jackson, who added seven assists and a couple of steals. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 29 points.    

There's not a lot new here to recap to be honest.

In the first game, Andrea Bargnani was on fire (10 of 14 from the field) but in the second game, he regressed closer to the mean, hitting 6 of 14 shots.

DeMar DeRozan went off in the second game against the Thunder with 29 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, but he didn't get a lot of help.

If you pan through the box scores for these two matches you see the same types of trends as the fake games we've broken down already.  Terrible 3-point shooting by TO, woeful D despite solid rebounding performances (Memphis and OKC shot a combined 55% from the field), and very little in the way of offensive contributions from anyone outside of DeMar and Andrea.

I'm not going to go through the usual "3 reasons" piece here but suffice to say that it's hard for me to disagree too much with these results either.  The box score for the Thunder match is a bit wonky for sure (Evans and Kleiza play nearly 40 mins each and Barbosa, Bayless, Amir and James Johnson get benched???) but would the regular allocation of minutes have made a difference?  Yes, the Raps beat OKC both times last year, but the first time was minus Kevin Durant and the second was pretty soon after the Kendrick Perkins trade when everyone was still trying to get on the same page.

I'm going with 1 and 6 to start this fake season.

Let's hope by the end of the day we'll be able to start preparing to talk about some real games.

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