NBA Pre-season win predictions: Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division

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Oct 23, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Washington Wizzards forward Otto Porter (22) is fouled by Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) during the first half at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors

Last season: 49 – 33

This season: 46 – 36

I’m all over the map on the Raptors, but I’m settling on 46 wins. I anticipate enjoying the services of DeMar DeRozan for the entire season, plus the confidence engendered from a fine pre-season by weight-watching Kyle Lowry, should make up for the loss of Amir Johnson.

It’s put up or shut time for Terrence Ross. Jonas Valanciunas already received his contract extension, but the team is wisely waiting to determine if TRoss will finally turn the corner before offering him long-term security.

DeMarre Carroll will provide consistency at small forward, but isn’t the talent the team needs to find the Promised Land. There’s a hole at power forward, and coach Dwane Casey will likely give Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson decent chances to plug it. If neither does, this team will struggle.

DeMar DeRozan needs a big season to warrant opting out of his final contract year, and I think he’s going to have one. Kyle Lowry has given notice he’s more than ready to put last year behind him.

Other commentators are down on the Raptors, but I’m keeping the faith. Let’s hope it’s rewarded.

Next: Luis Scola - ready for a challenge

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