Much to ponder as Raps open camp

[audio:|titles=Steven_rapscampquestions_podcast]One thing that’s certain about the Toronto Raptors heading into training camp is there is nothing certain.

Questions abound for this young Raptors team and it will be up to general manager Bryan Colangelo and head coach Jay Triano to eliminate the uncertainty surrounding the club during the course of camp.

Below are some of the concerns that Toronto will look to address over the next nine days and the following 10 exhibition games.

Life without Bosh

Chris Bosh is in South Beach playing for the Miami Heat, and he took his 24 points a game with him.

Who will the Raps turn to make-up for that lack of point production? Maybe it’s time for Andrea Bargnani to emerge.

The Raps need someone to step up offensively because losing that kind of point production is huge.

Big(s) problem

Rookie big men Ed Davis and Solomon Alabi are both hurt putting a serious dent in Toronto’s plans at power forward and centre.

Bargnani will be starting at one of those positions, but the real mystery is trying to find out who his partner down low will be.

Amir Johnson and Reggie Evans will be asked to try, and a long shot could be David Anderson.

Wingin’ it

DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems and Linas Kleiza are three wing players that will be vying for a starting spot at either small forward or shooting guard.

DeRozan and Weem’s athleticism and chemistry with each other on the court would make for a potent combination to start a game and Kleiza did come off the bench during his first stint in the NBA.

However, the versatile Lithuanian had an outstanding FIBA world championships and if that level of play continues in camp, he might force Triano to start him.

There can be only one starting at one

What is quickly becoming a yearly tradition in Raptor camp, the question of who is going to be the starting point guard, has come back up.

Once again, Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack will be the prime candidates, but there is a new contender this year in Leandro Barbosa. All three have the talent to start in the NBA and they each bring something different to the table with their style of play.

The starting job will probably come down to Calderon and Jack since they have both done that job for Toronto, while Barbosa has spent the majority of his career coming off the bench.

The need for defence

Once again, Toronto was among the worst defensive teams in the league last year, if they want to win, they have learn how to stop other teams, and a commitment on the defensive end starting early could help.

They have not added anyone of significance who can help defensively, though Solomon Alibi was a talented shot blocker in college and could be a factor when he returns from injury.

Rotating rotation

Solving the starting five will be one of the top priorities of course, but figuring out how deep the team is going to go will be equally as important.

The team has the potential to go about 10-men deep, but is that really the best solution?

Triano said on the first day of camp that only Bargnani and perhaps Kleiza were pencilled in as starters, and that means most of the jobs in the first and second units are up for grabs.

Raps tried going 10 deep at the start of last season and it didn’t work.

About this article

By: Steve Loung
Posted: Sep 27 2010 8:04 pm
Filed under: Basketball Sports