In the 21 years that the Toronto Raptors have been apart of the NBA, the team has never been able to capture the elusive NBA championship trophy – despite winning their division three years in a row. With the new NBA season just on the horizon, the team will once again battle through another gruesome season in hopes to acquire the Larry O’Brien trophy.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 13, 2017
To understand more about how the Raptors will fare in this year’s season, it is crucial to look back upon their 2016-2017 campaign. The Raptors started out their season in Vancouver with All-Star backcourt, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry fresh off winning gold medals at the Olympic Games. DeRozan stole the show during the year after averaging 27.3 points per game as well as five rebounds a game. There were whispers regarding DeRozan as a potential MVP throughout the year but he evidently fell to Russell Westbrook. Kyle Lowry also quietly put together a marvelous season after averaging 22.4 points per game with plenty of rebounds to go along with a set of deadly three-pointers. (Basketball-Reference)
The Raptor’s season was overall very successful as the team finished above 50 wins in consecutive seasons, while finishing in second place in the Atlantic Division as well as third in the Eastern Conference. The schedule was more spread out for the Raptors and seemed to help them recharge after games, as there were only a few games in which the team didn’t score over 100 points. The Raptors also seemed to travel well with plenty of away wins and pretty much no real spells of poor form across the season.
— Mike Wong (@punchlinetoo) September 13, 2017
The offseason brought a new challenge for the Raptors as they looked to capitalize on their season’s success. The first move they made was drafting OG Anunoby with the 23rd pick in the first round. OG appears to be a solid fit for the Raptor’s ideas while he provides as a talented wing who can bring weapons of his own to the table. The team would go onto re-sign Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry after murmurs of a potential departure.
The upcoming season will depend on several key aspects of their game. If Toronto yearns to win many games this year, DeRozan will need to have a year similar to the last, if not better. His electric athleticism and fast playmaking will push the Raptors to a whole new level. Along with DeRozan, Lowry must also have a similar year. His deadly three-point shooting and skilled game make him an important asset for the Raptors as the make yet another run at the championship.
The 2017-2018 season will bring the Raptors good fortune as they have been successful for many years, and this year should be no different. The Raptors should compete well throughout the year and DeRozan will have another incredible year averaging around 30 points. Toronto should compete well in the Eastern Conference and likely will have the second or third seed by the end of the season.
— NBA (@NBA) September 13, 2017
As for the playoffs? The Raptors will most likely make it through the first round and possibly the second, but it is unlikely they advance any deeper. DeRozan and Lowry should be good in the playoffs and lead their team to several solid victories, despite their recent playoff woes. Overall, we can expect the Raptors to win somewhere around 54 games next year, almost the same as the previous year.