The Raptors’ opening night didn’t go exactly the way the team’s fans would have wanted, losing 98-93 to the new-look New York Knicks, but Toronto’s faithful are still supportive of their club.
Undaunted by the dreary outlook many NBA experts have forecasted for the squad, including the ever outspoken Charles Barkley who declared that Toronto “will suck,” the fans remain cautiously optimistic about the Raps’ chances this year.
“Maybe make playoffs, but without [Chris] Bosh it’s going to be tricky,” Lee Patterson, a fan said prior to making his way to the opener. “They don’t have a big name to go to, but hopefully the younger guys will step up.”
Darren Singer, a Raptors enthusiast from the inaugural 1995-1996 season, wants the team to perform well but doesn’t like their chances.
“I think we’re building again, but I’m hoping for the best, hoping for the playoffs,” Singer said. “Realistically, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Another fan who believes the pre-season analysis of various NBA pundits is Doug Prentice, a man who has also supported the Dinos since Day 1.
“Well, they’re not going to have a very good year because they don’t have any superstars but the games are a lot of fun,” Prentice said.
One Raptors’ devotee who hasn’t let any of the gloomy talk about Toronto get the better of him is Ryan Colpitts.
“I think they’re playoff-bound, they almost made the playoffs last year,” said Colpitts. “With Chris Bosh out of the picture we might actually make the playoffs this year.
“With Bosh last year we didn’t make the playoffs, but this year, with Bosh gone, there’s more of a team connection so we may get even further and win the championship.”
Bosh was a hot topic of discussion as well as the rest of the Heat and all that transpired in the Sunshine State during the off-season.
“[Bosh will] be injury prone this year and it’ll take about four or five months for Miami to start gelling together,” Prentice said.
The five-time all-star’s return to the Air Canada Centre is set for Nov. 13 should prove to be interesting.
“I think [Bosh] is a disgrace with his use of social media like his twitter account,” Singer said. “When he comes here I’ll be booing him hard.”
“He had his time…bye-bye time,” Prentice said.
Not every fan will be as harsh on Bosh, however.
“[We won’t boo him,] we’re Bosh fans all the way,” said Patteron’s girlfriend Cailin Peever, who looked shocked at the prospect of jeering him.
While Bosh can expect an unpleasant reception, another Heat forward should also hear it from the crowd.
“I won’t boo Bosh, I might boo LeBron James though,” Colpitts said. “The way he left kind of duplicated Vince Carter’s move but I won’t boo Bosh, it’ll be more towards LeBron James.”