For a couple of weeks in the early part of last season, the Toronto Raptors looked pretty good. They seemed to be buying in to the defensive philosophies and system that new coach Dwayne Casey brought with him from Dallas. Andrea Bargnani was showing flashes of real potential. Not enough to live up to his draft slot, but enough to be regarded as a (very) poor man's Dirk Nowitzki. Everything fell apart when Bargnani got hurt last season, but there were glimpses of real potential in the early going.
With the offseason additions of Kyle Lowry and highly-touted rookie center Jonas Valanciunas, who had spent the 2011-12 season playing out his contract overseas, Toronto seemed poised for major improvement this season. Not enough to get past the Knicks, Nets, Celtics, or Sixers in the Atlantic Division race, but enough to be called the best last-place team in the league.
Unfortunately, things haven't worked out that way. Valanciunas has been inconsistent, but that's to You've reached the end of our free article preview.
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