While the idea of the Toronto Raptors topping last season’s magical run that ended at the hands of LeBron James and his championship Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals is questionable, there`s a fair amount of intrigue headed into the 2016-2017 campaign to suggest that getting back to the big dance can be a very real possibility.With many unanswered questions on my mind, I reached out to my hoops writer pal and all around good guy, Duane Watson to explore the possibilities with that exist for our hometown Raptors for the upcoming campaign.
At the end of it all, we walked away with two distinct thoughts around why the success of last can be replicated:
- the youthful core of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross, Norman Powell and Patrick Patterson are all in tact and presumably have a bit more seasoned with last year`s extended playoff run under their belts.
- Having so many returning faces also means that the chemistry issues that may plague other Eastern conference squads who made significant personnel moves like Chicago, New York, Indiana, Boston and Atlanta won`t be a concern for the Raps who were cohesive as super glue.
It was a great convo that definitely offered some viewpoints to challenge your thinking if you were doubting the Raptors chances of keeping up, if definitely made Duane and I believers!