It's the halfway point of the 2008-09 NBA season and in true school-like fashion, CBCSports.ca hands out its report card on the Toronto Raptors so far.
Jose Calderon (41 GP, 13.1 PPG, 8.5 APG, 3.2 RPG) B-
Health is the key. When Calderon is playing, he is effective, efficient, and smart. He's even starting to throw a few dangerous passes. But so far, Calderon has had issues staying on the court. Couple that with his inability to play defence and refusal to get into the paint, means Jose has been a bit of a disappointment.
Anthony Parker (53 GP, 10.3 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3.7 RPG) B
It's the same story every year. Parker starts out slow and everybody wants him out of Toronto. Gradually, throughout the season, he picks up his game and all of a sudden, he's a valuable commodity. Add to the fact that he'll start playing with a legit swingman for the first time in his career and Parker is looking at three straight solid years in the NBA.
Chris Bosh (51 GP, 22.7 PPG, 2.4 APG, 9.5 RPG) A-
The franchise, an all-star, and the focal point of the team's offence - you can't really say enough about Chris Bosh. But the criticism that seems to follow him, year after year, is his patchy defensive effort and inability to make others around him better. Hard to criticize Bosh, when the talent that surrounds him is average at best.
Andrea Bargnani (55 GP, 13.8 PPG, 1.0 APG, 5.3 RPG) C+
Oh Andrea Bargnani, how you tantalize and frustrate us at the same time. After a month of solid, turn-the-corner basketball, Andrea is back to his poor shooting ways. His defence might be some of the best on the team and Bargnani is actually starting to box out.
Roko Ukic (45 GP, 4.6 PPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 RPG) B-
Why they even bothered playing Solomon over Ukic is beyond me. Ukic gets in the paint, creates shots for others, and is turning into a pesky defender. His decision making has been shaky at times, which is a common plague of a rookie guard. All he needs is time and a jump shot and he'll be a solid backup/fringe starter in the NBA.
Jason Kapono (53 GP, 8.2 PPG, 1.6 APG, 2.0 RPG) D
All Kapono needs to do is shoot. Don't dribble, don't pump fake, just shoot. He still hasn't figured that out. He might also be the worst defender that has ever donned a Raptor uniform. Beyond that, he could still be a valuable bench scorer ... could be.
Joey Graham (52 GP, 7.7 PPG, 0.7 APG, 3.7 RPG) B-
Joey Graham is no longer haunted by Sam Mitchell, now he seems infused with confidence. But amongst the common thread of Raptor players, the key is consistency. Perhaps his recent post-up game could develop Graham into a Corliss Williamson-esque player.
Jake Voskuhl (23 GP, 1.0 PPG, 0.2 APG, 1.6 RPG) C
Gotta love Jake Voskuhl. Toughness, rebounding, and the odd injured player. He still isn't very good, but that doesn't matter.
Will Solomon (39 GP, 4.9 PPG, 3.2 APG, 1.1 RPG) D+
It's a tough balance for Will Solomon. He's a natural scorer, but not that capable in the NBA. At the end of the day, turnovers and bad decision making are Solomon's downfall.
Kris Humphries (29 GP, 3.9 PPG, 0.3 APG, 2.4 RPG) D
Rebound and putbacks, rebound and putbacks. The fadeaways and one-on-one moves are too complicated for his limited offensive skill-set. If Humphries could accept his role, he'd play 20 minutes a night.
Jamario Moon (traded) (54 GP, 7.3 PPG, 1.3 APG, 4.6 RPG) C+
A very solid player. He hit his jumpers and played adequate defence. But in the end, he wasn't pesky enough. Moon didn't play close enough to the rim and wasn't disruptive enough on the defensive end.
Jermaine O'Neal (traded) (41 GP, 13.5 PPG, 1.6 APG, 7.0 RPG) B
A defensive presence, but an inefficient offence force. Perhaps in his short stay as a Raptor, he infused some players with attitude and toughness. O'Neal's heart was definitely not lacking.
Marcus Banks (16 GP, 2.6 PPG, 1.4 APG, 0.9 RPG) N/A
Forgotten in Miami, Banks could provide a nice change of pace to Calderon. A defensive-minded point guard with little offensive skill, he'll battle Ukic for playing time in the second half of the season. But he was benched for a reason, so don't get your hopes up.
Shawn Marion (42 GP, 12.0 PPG, 1.8 APG, 8.7 RPG) N/A
Some say if you get the best player in the trade, you win the transaction. Marion automatically becomes the Raptors best defender, best rebounder, and most athletic player. The increase of basketball IQ from Moon to Marion will make a substantial difference.