Are you ready for more team rankings? Of course you are. After the weekend, today's comes from USA Today's "Watchability" Rankings which put the Toronto Raptors at number 18. I'll give you a moment to do the math: if there are 16 playoff bound teams in the NBA, and the Raptors are no. 18, that would mean that USA Today's Adi Joseph believes they are less watchable than an eighth seeded playoff team.
Or in this case, just one notch up - that's 1, not 100 - from the 2014-15 New York Knicks.
Let me back up here: the piece is not all doom and gloom. Joseph does acknowledge the team in a variety of ways.
On the Raptors' dunking capabilities:
DeMar DeRozan became a well-rounded, All-Star shooting guard last season, but he still is one of the best dunkers in the NBA. Yet he's not even the best in his own starting lineup, as Ross is a former Slam Dunk Contest champion.
On the team's tenacious front court:
Valanciunas is the potential star, but power forwards Amir Johnson, Patrick Patterson and Tyler Hansbrough and backup center Chuck Hayes give Toronto perhaps the toughest frontcourt in the NBA.
On the marketing and branding efforts of management:
The team drew tremendous support in the playoffs and turned the Air Canada Centre into a raucus home court. The fan presence was part of what kept free agents Lowry, Patterson and Greivis Vasquez in town on reasonable contracts, and it's no stretch to say others could join in the future.
But he takes a dig at Kyle Lowry, crediting his All-Star calibre play to a contract year - as if Lowry is going to start dogging it now. And he glosses over the smaller - but no less significant - free agent moves that have helped shore up the team's weaknesses.
So yeah, eighteen? What do you guys say to that?