The Toronto Raptors:Still Contenders

Note: This article was written for a class where we had to write about a specific topic. The topic that we were instructed to write about was a cinderella story about a certain team. Make sure to have that in mind when reading.

As everyone in the basketball world knows, the Toronto Raptors were the NBA champions last season. Their star player, Kawhi Leonard, put up MVP-like numbers throughout the entire postseason and led them to the ring. As he deserved to be, Kawhi was the finals MVP. He put up 28.5 points, along with 4.2 assists and 9.8 boards a night in the finals. Everything was going great for all Raptors fans until the news broke out on July 9, 2019 that Kawhi had signed with the LA Clippers. With their star gone, Toronto was not expected to make much noise in the 2019-2020 season. Although Toronto still had a good roster, they were expected to be a mid-low seed playoff team in the East. The team consisted of star point guard Kyle Lowry, an average shooting guard in Norman Powell, a very good defensive small forward in OG Anunoby, reigning most improved player Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol, a very good facilitator, something rare for a center. The Raptors also had an above average bench consisting of players like Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. By no means did Toronto have a great looking roster, but they certainly did not have a bad one.

The Raptors started off the season with a bang. In their first 25 games, they had a record of 20-5, including a win over the LeBron led Lakers. Many people were surprised with Toronto’s early success as they were tied for the second seed in the East. Pascal Siakam had been putting up terrific numbers, including 8 performances with 30 or more points. Fred VanVleet was also performing very well, something that we saw in last year's finals. Overall the team was playing very well and they surprised many people early on in the sason. Throughout the season, the Raptors dropped down to the fifth seed for a short period of time, but they then crawled all the way back to the second seed where they are now. The Raptors have the third best record in the league, only trailing the Bucks and the Lakers. Toronto proved to have great defense throughout the season and they have stats to back it up. They are currently rated number 1 in the allowed points per game category with 106.5. This is a great sign for a team that lost their best defensive player this past offseason. The Raptors are obviously heading to Orlando for the 2020 playoffs and as a fan I am excited to see how they perform. I believe that the Raptors have a serious shot at the title and in this new format anything can happen. If the Raptors manage to pull off the ultimate run and win the championship it would be an amazing story. The fact that the team won the championship the previous year and then their star player leaves and they defy all odds and win, that to me sounds like a Hollywood movie. I can’t wait for the season to resume and to see if this fantasy can become a reality.

Thanks for reading!

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