The Toronto Raptors have been dominant all season, yet they don’t gain any respect or consideration when the playoffs are mentioned. They’ll be heavy underdogs once the playoffs to resume.
Everyone always enjoys an underdog story. Just as a kid growing up, I always rooted for the weaker team who had the odds stacked against them. It just felt like the right thing to do. It was the best feeling as a kid when the underdog team beat the super team every other kid was cheering for. Sure it happened a lot less than when the super team beats anyone, but one victory from the underdog felt ten times sweeter than ten victories cheering for the super team. This is where the Toronto Raptors are introduced.
Albeit the Toronto Raptors are one of the top four teams in the league, they are still never regarded as a topic of conversation when it comes to the playoffs. They are either just ignored or not regarded as a threat.
No superstar means no playoff consideration
All this because the Toronto Raptors don’t have a glorifying superstar like the Los Angeles Lakers have with LeBron James, or the Los Angeles Clippers with Kawhi Leonard, and the Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
It’s true, the Raptors don’t have that star-studded cast. But what they do have is many high-level players that all play a major role to the team. This has always shown to work in the regular season.
Some examples are the 2014-2015 Atlanta Hawks who finished with a record of 60-22, the 2012-2013 Denver Nuggets who had a record of 57-25, and one team we’re all too familiar with: the Toronto Raptors from 2015-2018. A team that finished the top three in the league each and every time.
A noticeable difference from all those teams to the one the Toronto Raptors have is championship experience. For the first time in a long time, we are about to see a team with no superstar enter the playoffs with championship experience. Who knows if this will play a difference when you compare it to the teams mentioned above.
One thing is certain, it’s that the experience will definitely not hurt them. Everyone seems to have bought into Nick Nurse’s system, and that is something that matters a lot.
It will also be a huge test for Pascal Siakam, a rising star who is trying to make his imprint in the NBA. He has shown he can handle the responsibility of being the closer and focal point on offense. Now let’s see if he can handle the same pressure in the playoffs.
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The Toronto Raptors will have a chance to prove analysts and the world wrong when the season resumes. And if the season resumes at Disney, that’s an even better opportunity. An underdog story at Disney will create the perfect fairy tale ending for the Toronto Raptors.