A lookback at the season that was, for the Toronto Raptors
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, March 16, 2020
At 46-18, and second in the east, you could say the Raps were title defence ready
It's been a wild week to say the least.
For the Toronto Raptors, it may have been even crazier.
Coming after what was a statement win against the Utah Jazz, everything around the COVID-19 virus and it spreading was just starting to trickle out. It all came down to Rudy Gobert. (whom the Raptors held to just six points and four rebounds in 30 minutes.) With him being the first positive test for the virus in the NBA, things went a little insane.
Thankfully the Raptors released a statement saying that nobody on the team, or in the management structure, tested positive. With the league being postponed for at least 30 days, I take a look back at what was, and what could be, if this season gets back on track.
The step forward fans were all hoping for happened. In the first game he dropped 34 points. Since then, he’s established himself among the top of the league. He's got an all star appearance alongside Kyle Lowry, and respect amongst his peers. Siakam started off hot and has since cooled, but this is what we expect in a league of adjustments. His consistency is still not great. A .459 overall shooting percentage and .359 from three point range proves that. But, he has been learning to be the number one guy, and is coming along nicely in that role.
Who can forget the injuries?
Oh me oh my, what a year so far. It seemed like everybody got hurt, and other than Terrance Davis and OG Anunoby, every key rotation piece has missed at least eleven games. That’s a testament to the system Nick Nurse established, and the DNA of this team to accept whatever role is given. Different guys have done it on different nights offensively, but the consistency of the number-two-rated defence in the NBA, has led them to most wins.
The 15-game win streak.
Who would've thought that a team losing a bonafide superstar would actually look better without him? That has been true throughout the regular season. Nurse knows what he has and deploys his guys based on the best matchups. (Another reason he should be coach of the year) Five of the franchise best 15-game win streak came against playoff teams.
With improvement by almost half the roster. (This team is full of development gems) A resurgence by Serge Ibaka at Centre, (pun intended) and with Lowry leading the charge, a title defence that many before the season scoffed at, actually looks plausible.
Right now it looks doubtful the season resumes in full. We wont know if its a lost season, a shortened season before playoffs, or some kind of tournament.
But the one thing you can count on…
The Toronto Raptors will be there fighting and clawing for every win.