As is now tradition, Zach Lowe published the first part of his League Pass Rankings today at Grantland. The list is a fun way to rank the teams of the NBA in terms of aesthetics and watchability, instead of by purely competitive metrics. Unfortunately, the rankings put the Raptors just outside of the bottom third of the league at number 18. Insult to injury: Toronto is tied with Milwaukee for the honour.
To his credit, Lowe does point out the pure entertainment value of new skinny Kyle Lowry:
Skinny Kyle Lowry tore through preseason like some combination of Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas; he has literally found another gear and he's zipping by help defenders who cut him off just last season. Lowry at full throttle is a treat.
He also notes the purist aesthetic of DeMarre Carroll, the long bombing potential of Patrick Patterson, and the merits of Luis Scola, Bismack Biyombo and Terrence Ross (for good and bad reasons) and BRUNO. And sure why not, Lowe gives a shout out to the shrill pleasure of our man on the mic Jack "MGD" Armstrong. What a time to be alive, indeed.
But Lowe's Raptors assessment isn't all fun and games. He manages to drop a sizable bomb in the middle of the proceedings regarding Jonas Valanciunas:
Everyone is watching Jonas Valanciunas. Trade suitors are convinced Toronto is lukewarm on him, and rival executives are curious about how Valanciunas might fare in another system — and whether a post-up 7-footer with so-so feet on defense can flourish in the modern NBA.
Say what now?
What do you guys think of the ranking? (And this JV thing.)