Now we end this season of our discontent as tomorrow night is our last game of the 2009-2010 season. The Knicks will spend their closing moments with the Toronto Raptors who are in a tight battle against the Bulls for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs after being devastated by an injury to star Chris Bosh. Consequently, we decided to spend a few of our last moments this season with our friend and supporter Sean Francois of the excellent Toronto Raptor Blog, Hoop Heads North (love their video-posts). Sean tells us that he believes Bosh will not be a Raptor next season, but he doubts that he will be a Knick (According to everybody but New Yorkers nobody will be on the Knicks next year, sheesh). We’ll see how on Sean is this off-season with the knowledge that he drops here. So check him out.
Knicks Fanatics: How would you evaluate your team’s performance on and off the court relative to your expectations this season?
Sean Francois of Hoops Heads North: The expectations for the Toronto Raptors were quite high especially with off-season acquisitions of Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack, and Reggie Evans but in the end the team has not been able to live up to what the Raptors fans expected, or what the players expected from themselves I’m sure. The Raptors’ play this season has been inconsistent at best. It didn’t help that Chris Bosh was injured at a critical time in the season, but if we’re being honest – that unfortunate injury occurred with 5 only games remaining in the regular season, and the Raptors had still been wildly up & down with their on-court production even with Bosh in the lineup.
Knicks Fanatics: What are the two or three major issues which must be addressed in the off-season in order to substantially improve the team next year?
Sean: 2) More scoring depth. Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh are staples offensively in the box score. Demar DeRozan will be a 2nd year player, Jarrett Jack has been very effective scoring and distributing the ball, and Sonny ‘Money’ Weems has been a pleasant surprise offensively, but with Hedo Turkoglu clearly not looking for his own shot this season, I think the Raptors will need to bring in another player or two who can either be a scoring spark off the bench or another scoring threat who can score from open looks that develop from Chris Bosh being double teamed. This need becomes much more dire If Bosh does not return, then Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo will have to bring in talent to fill that void via a sign & trade, or free agency. Only time will tell…
Knicks Fanatics: Is Chris Bosh coming back next year or will he be in a Knick uniform the next time our team’s meet.?
Sean: 1) Commitment to defense every night. There are some teams that always play defense no matter what (Bulls, Bobcats, Bucks, Spurs, to name a few), and others who don’t have that same mentality. The Raptors need to adopt the defensive mentality of those aforementioned teams. Defense is something that you can ALWAYS have night in and night out, even if shots aren’t falling on the other end of the floor.
Truthfully, I do don’t believe Chris Bosh will be a Toronto Raptor on opening night in the upcoming season, but with that said I definitely do not see Chris Bosh in a Knicks’s uniform next year - unless Dwayne Wade is going with him. I’m more apt to believe Chris Bosh will be with the Chcago Bulls or Miami Heat to start the 2010-2011 season.
Knicks Fanatics: Can Andrea Bargnani successfully be the face and star baller of your franchise?
Sean: Andrea Bargnani can be a star player, but in a complimentary role or in a shared spotlight scenario. I personally don’t believe Andrea has the demeanor to be the #1 guy in all facets for your team. His skill set is so unique for a player of his size, and he has improved tremendously each season but I don’t believe he is the type of player or has the personality to be able to be the go to guy on a nightly basis. The Raptors will need to rely on more than just Andrea if CB4 does not return. Knicks Fanatics: Who do you expect to win and lose the NBA Championship this year and why?
Sean: I picked the Los Angeles Lakers before the start of the season to win the NBA Championship, so I’m going to stay with that. If I could change my pick, I very well might do that (haha) considering the Lakers have not played consistently as of late and Kobe Bryant’s finger appears to be affecting him more than anyone is willing to admit. With that said, I think the Lakers do have the experience and the toughness to get the job done when the chips are on the table, so I would not be surprised to see Kobe holding a 5th NBA Championship Trophy when all the dust settles.