FanPost

The Nightmare Scenario


Here's a (not completely serious) worst-case look at the 2012-13 season and the line-up which led to it, position by position.

1 -- Calderon~Lowry.

In an effort to keep both players happy and maximize their talents, the Raptors make both players miserable, causing their production, especially in assists, to fall off. The resulting situation demoralises the locker room, as other players take sides, and Casey is powerless to resolve anything. It doesn't take long before both are begging to be traded, but, tarred by the controversy, there are no takers until late in the season, when Ben Uzoh takes over as starting PG.

2 -- DeRozan / Fields, Ross

The continued DeRozan DeLusion means no gains in shooting efficiency at the 2, while the Ortg and Drtg look as bad as they did in '11-'12 if not worse. DeRozan responds to the decaying situation with more and more shots taken, wasting possessions at an alarming rate.

As Fields is moved to the 3, Ross is initially hopeful that he will get his looks, but in mounting desperation to turn around the season, the organisation pushes for DD to get more and more minutes.

Ross becomes Bayless, turning every look into an audition. He wastes more possessions than DD does, attempting 3 after 3, and for his efforts, sees his 3PT efficiency drop below 30%, and gets pushed around on defence. Fewer and fewer assists originate at the 2.

DeRozan pots 18 PPG, and his share of merchandising profits goes up.

3 -- Fields / Acy

Kleiza is pencilled-in as the starter, but the microfractures re-emerge early. So, Fields takes over, with Acy as the backup, because JJ had been released. It doesn't take long to see the holes in Field's D, and, despite his 12 PPG, the Drtg number at that spot inches higher than the Ortg. Acy does his unready-for-primetime best to salvage the situation, but it's not enough, and he, too, tries to do it all, only to waste possessions.

Fields, an early morale booster in the midst of the LowryCalderon fiasco, gets dispirited, and most aspects of his game are tanking by February.

4 -- Bargnani / Amir Johnson

Amir is his steady self, and Bargs, despite Casey's urgings, fails to improve his D. He does, however, nail 26 PPG over a 14 game stretch and most fans are ecstatic, buy jerseys with his numbers on it, and BC thinks he's done something clever by sticking with the big guy. Like DeRozan, Bargs gets more and more minutes, but with fewer and fewer assists, he ends with his worst offensive season ever. His Ortg/Drtg deficit is the biggest in the NBA among starters -- except, of course, for DeRozan.

5 -- Valanciunas / Ed Davis / Aaron Gray

Valanciunas gets pushed around a ton when he's on the floor, which isn't long; he continues to foul out after 10 minutes of play. By the time the situation is rectified, Davis is exhausted. JVal puts on a suit, sits on the bench, and Gray backs up Davis, and actually taking over in January as Ed's exhaustion leads to a spate of chronic injuries.

At the end of the season, Davis, with his 12 points and 8 rebounds per game (when healthy) is looked back upon as the bright spot for next year.

By Chrismas the team has degenerated into a Hobbesian nightmare of every-man-for-himself, as the players withdraw into isolation, and Casey is largely ignored.

Over the season the team averages 88 PPG and allows 99, compared to 90 and 94 the previous year. It's brutal.

Colangello declares that the rebuilding is going according to schedule, heaping praise on Bargnani and DeRozan, and takes a mitt full of second round picks into a weak draft year.

James Johnson scores 14 PPG for his new team, while providing good to very good defence.

Dwayne Casey asks to be traded on humanitarian grounds..

Fields buys out his own contract, offering to return to the knicks for minimum.

Valanciunas speaks much better English by the time the season comes to a merciful close, but nevertheless returns to Vilnius and requests asylum. He and a now-retired Linas Kleiza open a chain of Canadian souvenir shops which does modestly well for a few years until global warming wipes out both the salmon fishery and the maple syrup industry.

The Raptors go into the 2013-14 season with DeRozan and Bargnani, plus 3 rookies - 2 from China and one from Eastern Europe. They are backed up by Amir Johnson and four high school kids from Greece. Fans still pour through the gates to marvel at an indoor game played without ice.

The city of Hamilton successfully bids for the franchise.

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