It's a battle of bottom feeders as Casey's Heroes head to Detroit to battle it out for more ping pong balls. The season's mercifully coming to an end as Kinnon Yee ponders aloud about the next season.
Well, that's just about a wrap.
When we started this whole season, the one thing I think we were all going to be glad about was the fact that we would be covering 66 games, and at game 64, I'd have to say that having all of you through this season has made it go by a lot faster.
It was a season I was dreading to cover because of the potential problems we would have. What if Dwane Casey couldn't get this group to buy into his philosophy? What if the Raptors couldn't show some improvement over last year's blow outs and misfires? What if the Raptors ended up winning enough games to become first round fodder and get a horrible draft pick in the process?
Well, luckily, those fears didn't pan out.
For that reason, I'd say that this season was a success according to what we needed from it.
Now comes the real work. Figuring out what the Raptors do next year.
Cause in case you forgot it, next year is when Bryan Colangelo's contract will be up for renegotiation.
So here's what I'm personally looking for in the off season, and I'll consider it a success if we're able to accomplish most of these items:
- A couple players who can legitimately score from the 3 point line on a consistent basis
- More muscle from whoever is retained going into next season
- Trades, but they have to fit the identity that Dwane Casey is building
- A free agent signing (see above, esp no more "he was the most expensive guy that everyone wanted" reasoning)
- Lose one of Bargnani or DeRozan (or at least figure out how to get the most out of these two players)
It's not a small list by any means, but of large importance to me are the three point shooters.
See, we haven't really had that consistent threat since Anthony Parker left, and if we're really being honest, we haven't had a suitable replacement at the small forward spot since Mo Pete took off.
And you can see how big of a difference even Alan Anderson has made in the past month.
To me, it's something that Bryan Colangelo should be able to address easily either with the draft or free agency. A guy like Bradley Beal may actually be the answer for the Raptors. He's not going to necessarily be a franchise player, but he is a person who can become an effective niche player.
A "Mo Pete"-type of player.
Cause frankly, it's been too long since we had these kind of moments.
However, to take advantage of their draft pick position, the Raptors are going to figure out a way to lose to Detroit. And I do mean figure out a way since we've seen that the Raptors have not exactly been a team that likes to tank for the sake of lottery balls.
Yes, it's admirable that the Raptors are not embracing a culture of losing and are still fighting it out and Lawrence Frank certainly has stated publicly that Detroit is not just going to let teams roll over them.
But I can almost guarantee that neither Bryan Colangelo nor Joe Dumars are going to be rooting for wins.
In these final games where everyone's trying to jockey for lottery positions, the winners won't know if they've won until their selected pick plays out some games. But one thing's for sure.
Whoever is watching these games has lost.