Archive for the ‘Predictions’ Category

I feel like whenever Charles Barkley mentions the Raptors, he’s either trying to troll the hell out of our fanbase by exaggerating how awful he thinks that year’s version of the team will be, or he spends the time exaggerating how special the city of Toronto is to him, endearing him to fans long enough to make them forget about his jokes that the Raptors “don’t count” because they’re not based in the U.S..

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On the eve of the 2011-12 campaign last year, I made a prediction for the Raptors’ season based on an actual game by game prediction after thoroughly examining the schedule. I won’t pretend that it guarantees a more accurate projection, but it’s probably at least a bit more interesting (and possibly contentious) for you, and is definitely a lot more interesting for me than just pulling a number of wins I “feel” out of thin air.

In coming to these conclusions, I tried to take the schedule as seriously possible, looking at how back to backs might work for and against the Raptors, as well as taking into account how tough certain teams are at home, what the opposing team’s schedule looks like around the game in question, etc.

Last year, I predicted a 20-46 record, three off of Toronto’s eventualĀ 23-43 finish. So what do I see in store for the new look Raptors this year? Take the jump to find out…

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This photo has the intimidation factor of at least a 34 win team

As the regular season draws closer, we all enjoy soaking up the plethora of individual projections and team predictions formulated by “experts” around this time of year.

Before the start of last season, I made a game-by-game prediction of how I saw the Raptors’ schedule shaping up and where I saw them finishing from a win/loss standpoint. I’ll do the same thing this year closer to our Halloween night tip-off, but while I haven’t sat down and hammered out any official predictions yet, one thing I am fairly certain of is that this Raptors squad should win more than 33 games, so if you’re looking for a safer bet than whether they’ll make the playoffs or not, perhaps you should be looking at the over/under (33) of their win total.

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Over eight months after playing their last official game, the Toronto Raptors will hit the court on Monday night to open the 66-game 2011-2012 season in Cleveland.

It will be a battle of two teams expected to finish at the bottom of the Eastern Conference by most analysts and prognosticators. Should the Raptors beat the Cavs on opening night? That’s one of the questions I’m here to answer, as I’ll predict the outcome of all 66 Raptors games this season, eventually leading to my prediction of Toronto’s final record and where they’ll finish in the Eastern Conference.

At the end of this post, you can also find RaptorBlog founder and editor Scott Carefoot’s predictions for this season’s Raptors, as well as the predictions of Tas Melas and J.E. Skeets of The Basketball Jones, and theScore’s Glenn Schiiler, who covers the team.

Make no mistake, I am fully aware that predicting the outcome of every game on a team’s schedule is a daunting task that has been attempted and failed by many ambitious ones before me, but I figure it will be pretty easy in a season where most are expecting the Raptors to lose three quarters of their games anyway.

Predicting the season on a game by game basis will allow me to revisit these predictions from time to time and will make it easier to determine whether or not the team is over-achieving, under-achieving or playing right around the level I expected at various points in the season.

I tried to make it as realistic as possible, including looking at the opponents’ schedules in and around the dates they play the Raptors and even giving the Raps a couple of upset wins here and there. Looking back on it, I probably gave this team way too much credit at home, but at the end of the day, it’s not like I picked them to win enough to contend for a playoff spot.

Here is what I came up with. Enjoy.

Dec. 26 @ Cleveland – W

Dec. 28 vs. Pacers – L

Dec. 30 @ Dallas – L

December Record: 1-2

Jan. 1 @ Orlando – L

Jan. 2 @ New York – L

Jan. 4 vs. Cavaliers – W

Jan. 6 vs. Nets – L

Jan. 7 @ Philadelphia – L

Jan. 9 vs. Timberwolves – L

Jan. 10 @ Washington – W

Jan. 11 vs. Kings – L

Jan. 13 vs. Pacers – L

Jan. 14 @ Chicago – L

Jan. 16 @ Atlanta – L

Jan. 18 @ Boston – L

Jan. 20 vs. Trail Blazers – W

Jan. 22 @ LA Clippers – L

Jan. 24 @ Phoenix – L

Jan. 25 @ Utah – L

Jan. 27 @ Denver – L

Jan. 29 @ New Jersey – L

Jan. 31 vs. Hawks – W

January Record: 4-15

Feb. 1 @ Boston – L

Feb. 3 vs. Wizards – W

Feb. 5 @ Miami – L

Feb. 6 @ Washington – L

Feb. 8 vs. Bucks – W

Feb. 10 vs. Celtics – L

Feb. 12 vs. Lakers – L

Feb. 14 vs. Knicks – L

Feb. 15 vs. Spurs – L

Feb. 17 vs. Bobcats – W

Feb. 22 vs. Pistons – W

Feb. 28 @ Houston – L

Feb. 29 @ New Orleans – L

February Record: 4-9

Mar. 2 vs. Grizzlies – L

Mar. 4 vs. Warriors – W

Mar. 5 vs. Magic – L

Mar. 7 vs. Rockets – L

Mar. 10 @ Detroit – W

Mar. 11 vs. Bucks – L

Mar. 13 @ Cleveland – L

Mar. 14 @ New Jersey – L

Mar. 16 @ Memphis – L

Mar. 17 @ Charlotte – W

Mar. 20 @ New York – L

Mar. 21 vs. Bulls – L

Mar. 23 vs. Knicks – L

Mar. 24 @ Chicago – L

Mar. 26 vs. Magic – W

Mar. 28 vs. Nuggets – L

Mar. 30 vs. Heat – L

March Record: 4-13

Apr. 1 vs. Wizards – W

Apr. 3 vs. Bobcats – W

Apr. 4 @ Philadelphia – L

Apr. 6 vs. Cavaliers – W

Apr. 8 @ Oklahoma City -L

Apr. 9 @ Indiana – L

Apr. 11 vs. 76ers – W

Apr. 13 vs. Celtics – W

Apr. 15 @ Atlanta – L

Apr. 16 vs. Hawks – L

Apr. 18 @ Miami – L

Apr. 22 @ Detroit – W

Apr. 23 @ Milwaukee – L

Apr. 26 vs. Nets – W

April Record: 7-7

_________________

Home Record: 15-18

Road Record: 5-28

Overall Record: 20-46

Predicted Finish: Fifth in Atlantic, 13th in East, 27th overall

I came into this post, without looking at the schedule, saying that the Raptors would win about 18 games, so coming up with 20 after going through all 66 games actually makes me feel confident (as confident as one can be with pre-season predictions) about these predictions.

As for the rest of the guys, here are there predictions:

Scott Carefoot: 16-50 (29th overall)

(Scott’s write-up on the Raptors can be found in The Basketball Jones prediction countdown.)

Tas Melas: 15-51

Glenn Schiiler: 19-47 (12th in East)

J.E. Skeets: 14-52 (15th or 14th in the East)

That makes a consensus prediction of 16.8 wins and a 12th-to-15th finish in the East. Nothing surprising here.

As I’ve written recently, the best thing for the team’s long-term prospects would be for young players such as DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis to solidify their places as future building blocks this season, while still losing enough games to get a top-five draft pick in a loaded 2012 class.

If the Raptors head into the off-season with an improved defensive philosophy, established young starters in DeRozan and Davis, Jonas Valanciunas in their pocket, $10-20 million in cap space and a top-five pick in the 2012 Draft, I will be more excited and hopeful for the future of this franchise than I have been in a decade.

We’ve made our predictions, now let us know what you think of them. Share your thoughts on what you’ve read and how you think the Raptors will fare this season.

It’s been a productive week here at RaptorBlog. Thanks to all for reading and sharing feedback this week, and don’t forget to ‘like’ our RaptorBlog facebook page. Barring anything crazy going down, this will probably be the last time we chat before the season begins.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. And in one way or another, whether you’re cheering for over-achievement or just waiting for the Draft Lottery in May, Let’s Go Raptors.