Don’t leave the Toronto Raptors out of the title contenders group for the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
Despite last summer’s widespread dissolution of Big 3s around the league, despite the Golden State Warriors’ iron grip on NBA supremacy finally loosening, and despite the coronavirus throwing the entire season out of whack, there are still only three teams that are universally regarded as title contenders: the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.
It’s understandable — the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis; the Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George; and the Bucks have the reigning MVP at the head of a dominant offense and defense. But even though these teams represent three of the four best four records in the league, that fourth team — the Toronto Raptors — is being overlooked in this conversation.
In fact, you’re more likely to hear someone advocating for a well-rested, small-ball Houston Rockets squad or young Boston Celtics upstart as potential dark horses of the 2020 NBA Playoffs than the Raptors, who sat at second in the Eastern Conference with a 46-18 record when the NBA suspended its season.
So why should the Toronto Raptors be considered title contenders?
While the Lakers, Clippers and Bucks are all ahead of the Raptors on the list of heavyweight contenders, here are five reasons Toronto could conceivably defend its title with back-to-back championships.