Before the Raptors land back in Canada, before we officially settle into the mathematical second half to the season, just before we hit game number 41, let's look back over the first 40 and decide on some Raptors Player Grades (RPGs).
Kyle Lowry - A
There are times, yes, when Lowry plays just one or two notches beyond control, when he tries to do too much (be it dribbling or complaining to the refs), but those moments are few and far between. The majority of the time: Lowry kicks ass.
DeMar DeRozan - A+
He's having a career year and doing everything he can to be the best possible version of himself. Hard not to love this version of DeRozan.
Jonas Valanciunas - B-
Got to give Valanciunas an average grade, though some of that is due to injury. He still doesn't quite look like himself. He's showing improvement in his passing and defense, but isn't a world beater yet.
DeMarre Carroll - C+
I agonized over this one. Maybe I was too harsh? Look, the truth is: Carroll's shooting numbers are down and while it's largely been injuries that have slowed him down, he hasn't quite fit in with the team yet. I fully expect to have this grade way higher by the end of the season. Chalk this up to high expectations.
Luis Scola - A-
The philosophical ideal of a basketball player: does what he does, is what he is, does not do anything he can't do. Plus, Scola hits 3s now.
Patrick Patterson - C-
I hate to hate on Patterson because he is a worker; he gets after it. But, well, the majority of this season's 40 games have found him on the outside looking in. The team needs this guy, a lot.
Cory Joseph - A-
I'm not convinced he could be a full-time starter, but Joseph has shown, to my mind, he's worth the money. Can play on and off the ball, can make the right play more times than not, and has those Tony Parker-lite moves.
Terrence Ross - D+
Really, this grade should be a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. How do you assess Ross at this point? One game, awesome, the next game, invisible. I don't know.
Bismack Biyombo - B+
Biz mostly gets dinged for what he can't do. He's still just a notch above zero on the offensive end (he's getting better at catching the ball, which is nice), but on defense the psychological advantage he brings--to say nothing of the tangible effect of his presence--is hard to overstate.
James Johnson - D
Let's admit that Johnson has not produced any of signature moments so far this season.
Norman Powell - B
Gets this grade for appearing to be as consistent as possible without actually, you know, doing too much.
Delon Wright - INC.
No idea. Looks like he can play, but hasn't played much.
Lucas Nogueira - A+
THE LOVE AFFAIR CONTINUES.
Anthony Bennett - D-
I bumped him up from an F because he asked to be sent to the D-League. Props to AB for recognizing he needs some minutes somewhere.
Bruno Caboclo - INC.
Still has a hell of a smile, don't he?
Bonus Coach Grade: Dwane Casey - A-
This has been a really inexplicable Raptors season for stretches. The team couldn't start games well, and now has problems finishing them (as always). There have been injuries and inconsistencies and irrational anger. For his part, I believe Casey has done a lot more good than harm and maintained solid relationships with all of his players (well, ahem, except maybe with James Johnson).
So, what do you guys think: Fair or unfair? How do you grade the Toronto Raptors so far?