anybody have any interest.
If health and chemistry don’t sabotage Colangelo’s plans, the Raptors are a playoff caliber team in the Eastern Conference this season.
Whether they want them or not, however, they’re coming. This is a starting lineup likely to feature Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis, and Gustavo Ayon, with the top bench players being JJ Redick, Quentin Richardson, and Al Harrington. There are some vets on this team that have played in the postseason before, but without Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson—easily the team’s two best players last year—they look headed for the lottery.
Obviously all eyes are going to be on teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder to start the 2012-13 NBA season, but there are plenty of other teams worth keeping an eye on as well. There’s an abundance of teams hovering under the radar and several prospective postseason squads ready to make a move.
“I’m trying to change my game around to not focus on offense as much and be a presence on defense,” Samuels said.
And then in Tuesday's 114-81 win over Israeli Super League team Maccabi Bazan Haifa, it began to make sense. There was visible chemistry, and the combinations kept on coming. The likely opening-night starters – Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Roy, Luke Ridnour and Andrei Kirilenko – played in tandem for the first time, and suddenly, it evolved from awkward to enjoyable.