With the Playoffs starting soon, there are teams who want to give their utmost best to get results through team play and defense. The Toronto raptors are one such team who have beat all odds to be in the position that they are in right now.
The Raptors were in the Play-In and were projected to be ending with the 7th or 8th seed. Them making it to the 5th seed by winning games at the end of the season is a testament to how well the Raptors have been coached by Nick Nurse.
Meet the Players
Pascal Siakam takes most of the offence as he has put up averages of 22.8 ppg, 5.3 apg and 8.5 rpg. He has been absolutely phenomenal in the end of the season. Fred Van Vleet is the other scorer for the Raptors. He became the 3rd undrafted guard to make the All-Star team. This season Van Vleet is averaging 20.3 ppg, 6.7 apg and 4.4 rpg along with 1.7 spg.
The rest of the Raptors role players have been nothing short of spectacular as well. Having good two way role players have put the Raptors in the position they are in right now. OG Anunoby has been balling on both ends of the court as he is averaging 17.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 1.5 spg. Gary trent Jr has been averaging 18.3 ppg and 1.7 spg.
The rookie Scottie Barnes has been the surprise of the season as he fit well with the Raptors lineup and he has been improving at an exponential rate. He is averaging 15.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 3.5 apg. Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa provide sparks off the bench with their two-way presence. Having a roster filled with two-way presence has been the recipe for success.
Looking at their playoff matchup, the Raptors will be going against the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1st round. The 76ers are complete opposite of the Raptors as they rely on their 2 stars whereas the Raptors are more team oriented. They can prove to be a nightmare for the 76ers and can upset them.
The next round, they will be facing the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks or the Charlotte Hornets. If they play their cards right, they can take on any of those teams. The Heat will pose some problems as they are like the Raptors.
Reaching the Conference Finals, the Raptors will go against the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics or the Brooklyn Nets. They will be able to down the Bulls in 6 or 7 games but facing any of the other 3 teams will prove to be beyond their realm of possibilities.
If they somehow reach the Finals, they can take on most of the teams coming from the West with the exception of Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets. Facing any of these 3 teams will be troublesome as they will need to bring out more than their A-game to win.
It will be interesting to see how this improved Raptors team fare in the Playoffs. Of course it won’t be smooth sailing and they are bound to make a lot of mistakes but the important thing is how well they adjust and the faster they do that, the higher they are going to climb.