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Toronto Raptors Emerge as Threat in Weak Eastern Conference

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If someone had told you before the NBA season that the Toronto Raptors would be a viable threat in the Eastern Conference, you would have laughed them out of the room. But in the fledgling Eastern Conference, the Raptors still remain in conversation. The team that has struggled for countless years sits in third place out east with a record of 33-26 as the Raptors try and earn respect for the team’s accomplishments this season. Toronto has had one of the greatest turnarounds this season, and the Raptors continue to impress by knocking off worthy opponents.

Toronto added another good win to its resume Sunday when the team knocked off one of the championship contenders out west in the Golden State Warriors. The 104-98 win was thanks in large part to DeMar DeRozan‘s spectacular performance. DeRozan recorded 32 points on 10-of-16 shooting and also managed to dish out six assists and grab six rebounds. The Raptors also had a solid outing from their bench on Sunday as Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez both added 12 points to the stat-sheet.

The Raptors are among a group of teams jockeying for playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but does one of these teams actually have what it takes to unseat one of the powers in the conference?

Toronto seems to be the most likely candidate to dethrone the favorites as they are at full strength at the moment, unlike many teams, and have the star power to contend with the beasts in the east. While Toronto is still a long shot to shock the world, the Raptors appear to be the only middle of the pack team that has what it takes to slay Goliath.

Greg Douglas is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.