2014-15 Record: 49-33 (1st in Atlantic Division)
2014-15 Offense: 104.0 PPG (4th)
2014-15 Defense: 100.9 PPG (18th)
Key Additions: Demarre Carroll (SF), Cory Joseph (PG), Delon Wright (PG)
Key Losses: Amir Johnson (PF), Greivis Vasquez (PG), Lou Williams (G)
The Raptors were one of the better teams in the league for the first half of last year. They went into the All-Star break 36-17 but went only 13-16 the rest of the year. They then lost in the first round of the playoffs with home court advantage for the second year in a row. Will the Raptors finally get out of the first round this year?
Their big acquisition was small forward Demarre Carroll, who was a key part of the sixty win Atlanta Hawks team last year. He’ll provide tough defense, which the Raptors really lacked last year, and good three point shooting. They also brought in former Spur and Canadian native, Cory Joseph, and first round pick, Delon Wright, to compete for the backup point guard position behind All-Star Kyle Lowry.
Toronto did however lose some key contributors from last year’s team. Starting power forward, Amir Johnson, left for Boston and backup point guard Greivis Vasquez is now in Milwaukee. Their biggest loss might be reigning Sixth Man of the year, Lou Williams. It’s hard to replace that kind of scoring off the bench.
The good news for the Raptors is that they still have Kyle Lowry and he seems to keep getting better. He lost a ton of weight in the offseason and has looked fantastic in the preseason. Carroll is a great glue guy, and DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas are still young enough to improve. Maybe they’ll get something out of their young Brazilians Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Noguiera. They also still play in the Eastern Conference which means they’ll be playing many games against bad teams.