The Toronto Raptors have a history of following impressive regular seasons with playoff disasters. Here’s why this season could be different.
The Raptors have looked very good in Kawhi Leonard’s first year with the team. Thanks to internal development along with a handful of other acquisitions over the last year, this Raptors team looks very different than the one that got swept in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last year, but questions about their ability to succeed in the playoffs still loom large. If you are a Raptors fan struggling to believe, or a fan all too eager to write off Toronto’s chances of success in the postseason, here are five reasons to have faith that this is finally the Raptors’ year.
5. Depth and versatility
No team in the NBA combines depth with star power quite like the Toronto Raptors. In addition to their two All-Stars, the Raptors have a ton of great options coming off the bench such as OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, Jeremy Lin, Norman Powell, and now, with Marc Gasol starting, Serge Ibaka. Each of these players has something to offer, whether it is perimeter shooting or defensive acumen or some other skill.
The number of solid players the Raptors have on their bench also gives them a ton of flexibility, allowing Nick Nurse to create lineups for whatever match-up or situation is confronting the Raptors at that present moment. This advantage may matter a little less in the playoffs than in the regular season with coaches tightening their rotations, but regardless, it is a great luxury for Nurse to have so many good role players at his disposal when they’re needed most.