October 27, 2010

This is the season ...

It begins tonight, the post-Chris Bosh era. And without a lot of -- any? -- bloody optimism. But the show, horrific as it might be, must go on. The Maple Leafs went through it when Mats Sundin skipped town. The Blue Jays when their relationship with Roy Halladay ended, albeit amicably. It's now the Raptors' turn. A right of passage, in a way, to what is a new and youthful era -- and hopefully more goddamn successful -- for Toronto's big three sports teams.

And as is always the case before tip off, this is the season.

The season Andrea Bargnani realizes he's seven feet tall, averages nine rebounds a game, and becomes a premier help defender.

This is the season of The Young Onez ...

The season DeMar DeRozan, after learning the ropes, proves that he does indeed "got us." The season Amir Johnson sticks it to all of us who said he'll never live up to his massive contract. The season Sonny Weems proves March and April 2010 were no fluke.

This is the season Leandro Barbosa, only 28 years old next month, returns to form.

The season Linas Kleiza, fresh off his European sabbatical, important for any 25-year-old, makes the most of an opportunity, and thrives.

This is the season Reggie Evans is healthy, and rebounds. Until he's traded.

The season Jose Calderon learns how to play def... Nevermind. Let's not get crazy.

This is the season Jarrett Jack becomes a legitimate starting point guard in the NBA.

The season Jay Triano figures it out.

I know what you're thinking. I agree; that's a whole lot of "this is the season." There's only so much "this is the season" to go around.

But there's one more. The most important one. This is the season the Toronto Raptors, to a man, take their team's projected 26.5 wins personally. And win 30. Bet the over. I did.

This is the season. Until it's not. Then it's the season after.

Image of the chosen one courtesy The Associated Press, via Yahoo! Sports.


Mattt said...

I'll be watching no matter how brutal the end result is. There is a lot of room for trades to happen this season with the Raps expiring contracts. I'll take the under in hopes of a high pick. A couple of deadline deals and the TPE used in the summer with a good NBA ready draft pick and this team looks good going forward...

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Mattt, I'm honestly excited about this team. Excited about DeMar, Kleiza, Weems, Amir, and Andrea. There's a lot of room for growth for all of them, and they really are young. Young Onez indeed. And I love the videos they're putting together. There will be losses, but hopefully some fun.

Stephen said...

I'm out. Sorry. Not shelling out for League Pass to watch these guys. That... And I despise the unwillingness to build a basketball team from the ground up in favor of self-preservation.

Going to watch the season-opener tonight and any game against the Lakers, Clippers or Warriors (my West coast team!). Then the lottery. It pains me... But this is an expansion team with a bigger payroll.

(That hurt to say. Really, it did.)

Sports Chump said...

Found you on Twitter and dig the site, man.

Care to exchange blogrolls?

I could use the North of the Border bias.


Escaped Lab Rat said...

You know we've hit the bottom when a prime selling point is "they'll work hard." And yet, the team is very likable and will play hard; in Toronto, this goes a long way. Our teams may suck, but dammit, they'd best try hard.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

@ Stephen: That hurt to read, too, man. Will give you this, though: you were right about Bosh. That that he's a terrible player, because I think he's a decent player, but because he's a total jackass when he's not on the floor. Really wish he'd shutup.

@ Sports Chump: Checked out your site, will add you to the old Required Reading section. Cheers.

@ Escaped: They worked hard last night! Well, at least Reggie Evans did. Good article by Grange today in The Globe, with Colangelo saying one game into the season that Triano will not be judged on wins and losses, but on how hard his players work, and how Weems and DeRozan develop.

Mattt said...

If Toronto wins tonight they will be .500. That will be their best record all season. Take the time to enjoy this minor miracle should it happen. They did look pretty nervous in the first game so things should improve tonight. I said should...