Before the season kicked off, Franchise took a stab at eight things he thought would come true at year's end. Time to see how he made out...
I'm more excited this year than last.
By a long shot.
How's that for an opening statement?
Yes...those were my exact words which kicked off Part II of our 2009-10 season preview back in October.
And looking back, how could you not be?
I hated the Hedo move, but was in agreement with many of the changes Bryan Colangelo had made and while I didn't see a 50 win team in the making, did think that fans would be treated to a much better season than the previous one.
Perhaps that's setting the bar a bit low, but to me, this club had much more potential than the previous two year's incarnations, something that as a result, had me excited about tipping off back in the fall.
In that same vein, I also threw out eight predictions on what I thought would go down.
To change things up from the recent Colangelo mega-analysis, I thought on a Friday it might be fun to look back and see just how wrong I was.
1. Chris Bosh has a career season and is the Raptors' lone representative at the annual All-Star Game.
One for one so far. Bosh did indeed have a career season posting 24 points and 11 rebounds a night, both records for CB4. He was indeed the Raptors' lone rep in the All-Star game, and improved not only his point and rebound totals, but also his field goal and three-point percentages, as well as his PER, one of the league's best last season.
2. DeMar DeRozan has a roller-coaster rookie season but makes Rookie Team for All-Star Festivities.
Two for two? Not quite, as yes, I was referring to a spot in the rookie-sophomore game, not some random half-time dunk-off. That being said, DeMar did indeed have an up and down season as I expected. I had compared him to Rodney Stuckey in terms of first season and that wasn't that far off either:
Stuckey averaged 7.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
DeRozan? Due to the position he played his rebound totals were higher and his assists were lower, but 8.6 points, .7 assists and 2.9 rebounds puts him in that vicinity.
3. Hedo Turkoglu has a solid season but fails to replicate his success in Orlando.
So while I was never sold on Hedo in terms of taking this team to another level, even I didn't think he'd turn in the wretched season he did. My prediction was 14 points, 4 rebounds and 3.5 assists and while 11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists, his actual totals at season end, looks close, we know percentage-wise just how hard to come by these numbers were. A "solid" season was one had by someone like Sonny Weems, not Hedo.
1 for 3 so far...
4. Andrea Bargnani shows minimal improvement statistically, but begins to round out his game.
Andrea Bargnani 2008-09:
15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks, 45% field goal percentage.
Andrea Bargnani 2009-10:
17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 blocks, 47% field goal percentage.
I'm giving myself the nod here.
Andrea's point and rebound totals edged ahead but most of his other "face-value" stats stayed essentially the same. His 3-point shooting prowess actually regressed however, as did his free-throw attempts, and in terms of many more advanced metrics, there was hardly an improvement.
That being said, I did feel Bargs continued to round out his game, especially in terms of man-to-man defense and posting up, however we all know there's a lot more work to be done.
5. Sonny Weems plays more minutes than Marco Belinelli.
Of all the off-season acquisitions made by Bryan Colangelo, I think the Weems "throw-in for salary matching purposes" will end up having the biggest impact compared to expectations. Weems is starting the season on the inactive list due to injury (along with Reggie Evans and Quincy Douby) but I expect him to play a fairly large role on the team this season simply based on his athletic ability and grit.
Bing Bing Bing.
Not sure I need to say much more here as readers know from day one that I was driving the Sonny Weems bandwagon.
6. Toronto starts December with a 5 and 13 record...
Ok so I was close here. Toronto actually kicked things off with two more wins putting them at 7 and 11 at the 18 game mark. It was soon after this that the team's fortunes changed (along with the strength of schedule) and the club took off however if I give myself a point here, it's quickly taken away by...
7. ...however makes the playoffs.
Yep, not so much.
It's still pretty inconceivable to me, now looking back, that this team didn't at least get into the first round, but as we all know, that's indeed what occured. The club just couldn't get their collective act together when it counted most, and now my final prediction is in major doubt.
8. Bosh re-signs for max dollars.
Looks like now we've got another two months or so to go before we know the answer to this one.
At mid-point in the season, with Toronto riding high and fighting for a fifth seed in the East, (ouch that hurts to type), things looked pretty good in terms of Bosh's potential to re-sign with the Dinos.
Now of course, all of that is up in the air and most think he'll be gone via sign-and-trade come July.
As it stands therefore, I'd say I'm about in the 4 for 7 ballpark in terms of prognostications, with the final reveal later this summer.
I'm not sure anyone could have predicted the collapse this team experienced late, and even though it now results in the retention of a lottery pick, it's a tough pill to swallow for a season that seemed to have so much promise at the outset.