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News » Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2009-05-25

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2009-05-25

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2009-05-25
A season that began with grandiose expectations ends with a trip to the draft lottery and a huge level of bitterness in Toronto. Even a 9-3 finish, which allowed them to finish 33-49 on the season to avoid the ignominy of a 50-loss campaign, couldn't take the sting away and, really, did little more than fuel the feelings of "what if."

With Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani and Shawn Marion finally morphing into a solid frontcourt and the Raptors continuing to get great production from point guard Jose Calderon, the focus now has to be on addressing serious concerns at the shooting guard spot and bench depth. And that puts general manager Bryan Colangelo directly on the hot seat as he's got plenty of moves to consider in the offseason.

Marion is a free agent the Raptors would like to keep him at the right price and with starting shooting guard Anthony Parker also a free agent, Colangelo will have to address the wing needs first an foremost. If he can convince Parker to return as a backup, and find an athletic, defensive-conscious youngster to replace him, there's every chance the Raptors can make a rapid return to the playoffs after sitting them out for the first time in three years.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Andrea Bargnani, who struggled through a bad sophomore season in 2007-08, provided one of the few highlights for the underachieving Raptors. The 7-foot center has become the team's second-most potent offensive force and his development was by far the most promising sign of the season.

TURNING POINT: The Raptors gambled on a rookie -- Roko Ukic -- and a European journeyman -- Will Solomon -- as backups to point guard Jose Calderon and when Calderon went down with a hamstring injury in early December, that gambled failed. More than anything else, Calderon's nagging injury -- he couldn't practice for more than six weeks and sat out 14 games -- was the point at which the season went south.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 25, 2009


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