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Raptors Power Ranking Poll Week 6: DeRozan's DeParture

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In response to ESPN's Power Rankings, each week we'll decide: Are the Raptors being ranked fairly or unfairly?

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

There's a famous Seinfeld routine from "I'm Telling You For the Last Time" where Jerry decries the existence of the silver medal.

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The man's logic is impeccable.

ANYWAY, so too is it the way of the Raptors' this week in the Power Rankings. Before you ask, no they didn't suddenly make it to the second overall ranking (don't be ridiculous). But they did manage to do something equally unsatisfying: Toronto remains locked in stasis at no. 9.

You wait all week and then, eh, ah, ooooohhhh. The same place.

9
Toronto
15-5
--

Last Week: 9
Small as the sample sizes are, rest assured Toronto is well aware DeMar DeRozan has been missed on D most of all. The Raps were 13-3 and No. 9 overall in defensive efficiency with DeRozan. Without him? The Raps are 2-2 and 28th in DE in that span, allowing 116.7 points per 100 possessions.

Still, El Stein hits on an unfortunate reality that we as a community need to address: the Raptors have been sluggish with their perimeter defense. The problem didn't quite start with DeRozan's absence, but it has exacerbated the issue. The Raps now have to rely on the D skills of Greivis Vasquez (never too fleet of foot) and even more so on Terrence Ross (more spacey than Kevin). Coupled with the repeated humblings of Jonas, and the mostly undersized bench squad, the Raptors seem to be entering a dangerous downward trend.

On the plus side, James Johnson continues to round into shape after a sprained ankle injury kept him out of the line-up for a few games. He's been as stout a perimeter and post defender as the team has had for some time.

And of course, the Raptors make buckets. The team is still second (hey, silver!) in overall offensive efficiency. Maybe that gold medal of a higher ranking will be coming soon.

What do you guys think?