Can the Toronto Raptors Rebound?

January 26, 2009

by Matt Clarfield…

After a horrendous seven-game losing streak, the Raptors have bounced back and have won two convincing games against the Chicago Bulls and the Sacramento Kings.

Jose Calderon has been a big factor in this short streak, posting up 16 points and eight assists against the Kings and 23 points and 10 assists against the Bulls.

When healthy, the Raptors have a playoff-caliber team. With Andrea Bargnani scoring over 15 points in 16 consecutive games and averaging 22 points a game as a starter, he is starting to play like the player the Raptors drafted.

Chris Bosh is an All Star and a team leader, and he is the anchor of this team. Chris could start on any team in the NBA, without a doubt.

But the weaker part of the lineup is the SG-SF spot. Anthony Parker is an average player and he is especially good in the clutch but they can not seem to fill the other position. Rotating through Jamario Moon, who is more of a Harlem Globetrotter then an NBA player, Jason Kapono, who has a great shot but is weak on defense and his physical skill isn’t great, and Joey Graham who is still developing his skills.

The Answer? Trade away Jermain O’ Neal for Shawn Marion. This trade has been in the rumour mill for a while now and it would provide the starter we are looking for. Marion would fit great into the three spot and the only thing we would lose is some depth for the big men. He is an above-average shooter with the potential to drive the lane and he will fit into the three spot perfectly.

We might have to throw in a draft pick but it would be worth it. Look for the Raptors to slowly but surely climb back into the playoff hunt.