ESPN.com Experts Panel Predicts 10th Place Finish in East for Raptors Next Season

USA TODAY Sports

Another round of forecasting, this time from ESPN.com, has the Toronto Raptors missing the playoffs again next season.

Remember a few weeks ago when SB Nation polled its NBA bloggers to get an idea of how they felt next year's NBA Season would shake out?

Well recently ESPN.com did something similar, polling their giant panel of NBA experts regarding the final standings for each conference, aggregating the results.

In SB Nation's version, both conferences were scrutinized at once and the Toronto Raptors ended up ranked 22nd overall. Looking at the breakdown, the East's top eight playoff-bound clubs would have been:

-MIami

-Indiana

-Chicago

-Brooklyn

-New York

-Atlanta

-Washington and

-Cleveland

Bringing up the rear then, in order, were Detroit, Toronto, Milwaukee, Boston, Charlotte, Orlando and the worst team in the league, Philadelphia.

In SB Nation's version then, the Raptors finish just outside of the dance, and unfortunately, ESPN's recent piece has Toronto in the exact same spot.

The Raptors were picked to finish 10th on average by ESPN.com's panel, again behind the Wizards, Cavs and Pistons in the fight for the final playoff spots. (In fact, SB Nation and ESPN had nearly identical rankings of the East's clubs.)

While I do think the playoffs will be a tough go for this group as presently composed, I'm not sure the team wins less games than last year, something the ESPN panel is predicting. The Dinos of course won 34 matches last season, but according to ESPN.com, are poised to take a baby step back next year, winning 33. A number of clubs in the East have improved, but a full season of Valanciunas 2.0 and an improved bench negates a chunk of that in my books.

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