Posted by: Jeremy | October 23, 2009

SI on the Raptors: 6th in the East


Who says Hedo Turkoglu can't defend a chair?

Who says Hedo Turkoglu can't defend a chair?

I checked in yesterday with ESPN’s picks for the Raptors this season, and this morning I got my Sports Illustrated NBA Preview in the mail. I didn’t know what exactly to expect, but figured they’d have the Raps anywhere from 5th-to-10th in the East, like most of the wise folks at ESPN. The verdict, according to SI: 6th.

One of my favourite parts of SI’s previews is the rival scout’s take on every team, entitled “Enemy Lines” in this year’s edition. Here’s what it had to to say about some of our Raptor heroes:

Hedo Turkoglu has developed a mentality that he really expects to score. He’s a strong clutch player — you can run plays for him at the end of the game, and he’ll find a way to get it done. Now, the bad things about him is he cannot defend a chair.

Jose Calderon is a very, very good passer and a decent shooter. He comes across like he’s trying to be a tough guy, but down the stretch he’s not as tough as he acts, and he can be taken out of the play.

Is it possible the Raptors aren’t as great as I hype them up to be? The above analysis might lead you to believe that. It’s not all bad, though:

I’m high on rookie DeMar DeRozan out of USC. He’s not a great shooter, but they already have Turkoglu and Bargnani, so it’s good to have a slashing, hard-nosed guy, a competitor with a well-built NBA body who will back down to no one.

Anyway, that’s how opposing scouts size up the our beloved ballers. The Raps, by the way, close out the preseason tonight in scenic Sioux Falls, North Dakota, where they face the T-Wolves.

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