Are the 2013-14 Raptors Better Than 2000-2001?
By: Humza Akbar
After a 7-game series loss to the Brooklyn Nets, I couldn’t help but almost immediately think of the beloved 2001 Raptors, who were also, 1 shot away from overcoming another tri-state foe. For some reason it hurt MUCH more back then. But the feeling was the same, the vibe around the entire city, was the same. Excitement! One team representing an entire nation. We The North! Kind of reminiscent of ‘Purple Fever’.
So I thought, if it was 1 game, a game 7, a showcase showdown or battle of the alumni, if you will. What Raptors team would be victorious?
I’m going to disregard both benches, coaches and team stats. Strictly starters vs starters.
Alvin Williams VS Kyle Lowry:
Skill wise, there is no comparison, Kyle Lowry is a much more talented basketball player, but that’s where it stops, they’re pretty similar after that. I believe Alvin’s defense is a bit better however, his length and size would surely distract if not agitate Lowry. Due to Alvin’s offensive limitations and inability to match Kyle’s shooting, this matchup goes to the 13-14 Raptors and Mr. Lowry. But let me just say, this matchup would be the best one to watch. Shout out to Philadelphia!
Morris Peterson VS Demar DeRozan
I will use the same stance as I used in the previous matchup. Once again this one goes to the 13-14 Raptors and Demar DeRozan. Morris Peterson would keep him honest on the other end with his quality shooting and I do recognize Mo was a top 10-15 defender in his day. But Demar is too much of a handful and ultimately his skill and overall talent will put Peterson in foul trouble or simply force Alvin Williams to try his hand at guarding the Compton kid.
OK… Sorry kids, but it’s the men’s run now.
Vince Carter VS Terrence Ross
Do I even type something here? In all fairness to T-Ross, he would be taking on more than Vince Carter. He’d be taking on ‘Vin-sanity’, ‘Half man Half amazing’, ‘Air Canada’, the greatest Toronto Raptor player to ever wear the uniform to date. Vince was too strong, too athletic (even for Ross) and too talented. Add to it, when Vince wanted to play defense, he was very good at it. This matchup, without a shadow of a doubt goes to the 00-01 Raptors. At times Vince was looked at as on the same level as Kobe Bryant if not better to some. (If you watched back then, it wasn’t farfetched at all).
Charles Oakley VS Amir Johnson
One can make the argument that Amir Johnson is more talented than Charles Oakley, but I beg to differ. The Oak-man was a better mid-range shooter, passer and overall, light years ahead of Amir when talking about ball IQ. His authoritative personality, intimidation factor and ability to influence teammates, (Vince Carter) makes him the winner by a slight edge over Amir’s incredible motor and energy. Chalk this one up for the 00-01 Raptors.
Antonio Davis VS Jonas Valanciunas
This matchup may be as intriguing as the Philly point guard matchup at the top. Size vs skill and no, I’m not giving size to Jonas. At this point Jonas is just a pup for this matchup, just like Ross with Carter. Although I believe Jonas possesses more skill than AD, or will undoubtedly in the near future. Make no mistake, he will be in for an old fashioned, back of the barn yard, beating. The reason I will give the edge to Antonio Davis is due to his brute strength along with pretty much everything I associated with Oakley. Jonas’ length will be a problem but this goes to the 00-01 Raptors again.
If it was 1 game, a game 7, a showcase showdown or battle of the alumni, if you will.The 2000-2001 Toronto Raptors are my pick to win!
***It is important to note on the 00-01 Raptors, that Alvin Williams was the 2-guard and Mark Jackson was at point. Jackson also started most of the games, but Alvin is widely recognized and looked upon as the main point guard of that team.***