NBA Daily: 2022-2023 Season Preview #20 – Toronto Raptors
By Reylan Loberternos
Wed, 05 Oct 2022
In this limited 30-part series, we shall be discussing each team’s latest developments, current roster, and future prospects in the upcoming 2022-2023 NBA season. For every team, we will examine bit-by-bit the important aspects that may shape its progress and provide a rough projection of how it will fare vis-à-vis its previous year’s performance and versus the rest of the league.
2021-2022 Season Win-Loss Record:
PG – Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton
SG – Gary Trent Jr., Jeff Dowtin, Otto Porter Jr.
SF – OG Anunoby, Justin Champagnie, Juancho Hernangomez
PF – Scottie Barnes, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young
CE – Paskal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa, Khem Birch
No significant injuries.
The Toronto Raptors don’t have a legitimate big man for the center position, but they have quite a number of players that are big for some other positions. The trio of OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, and Paskal Siakam will probably start for the Raptors at 3, 4, and 5 spots.
Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. will continue to man the backcourt for Toronto. While the usual production may be expected from VanVleet and Siakam, much of the Raptors hopes lie on the progress Gary Trent Jr. and reigning Rookie of the Year awardee Scottie Barnes.
Precious Achiuwa was a nice addition last season. Furthermore, a healthy OG Anunoby will make the Raptors defense a lot more potent and their offense a little more versatile.
Gary Trent Jr. has also taken strides in his first full year with the Raptors after being traded from Portland midway through his third season in the league. He was an excellent complementary piece to VanVleet and Siakam, when he averaged career bests in scoring and assists at 18.3 and 2.1 in the regular season, respectively.
However, his postseason performance left a lot to be desired when it dipped to 15.3 markers and 1.3 dimes on nightly average in six games. His efficiency in the playoffs suffered, as well, as he only made 37.8% of his field goal attempts, including 33.3% from deep. Those numbers were a far cry to his 41.4% field goal shooting and 38.3% accuracy from the rainbow territory in the regular season.
The same was also the case for Rookie of the Year awardee Scottie Barnes, whose postseason efficiency dropped to 42.9% field goal shooting, including an atrocious 16.7 from deep from 49.2% field goal accuracy and 30.1% from beyond the arc during the regular season.
With that experience under their belts, however, we can only expect better things for these young studs in this upcoming season for the Raptors. Chemistry is a highly underrated factor to a team’s success. This will be one good thing going for these Raptors, as they try to pick up where they left off with generally the same roster makeup.
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