Since the departure of star forward Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010, the Toronto Raptors had little to cheer about until their quiet uprising this season. While everyone is focusing on the Eastern Conference powers, the Raptors have quietly ascended to third place in the Eastern Conference, and will look to assert their dominance in the playoffs. After a hiatus from contender status, the Raptors are once again those contending for an Eastern conference crown, and although the road will not be easy, Toronto has a good of a chance as any contending for conference supremacy.
The Raptors 105-103 win against the Boston Celtics keeps the Raptors alone in third place in the conference as the team lurks behind the all too talked about. DeMar DeRozan continues to lead the Raptors to new heights scoring 30 points and recording 4 assists in the winning effort Friday. Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas combined for 30 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists as the Raptors dealt the final blow to the Celtics’ season that has been riddled with injuries and uncertainty.
As the Raptors Eastern Conference brethren have been encountering problems as of late, Toronto seems to be peaking as we head toward the playoffs in the coming weeks. As everyone looks around for contenders out of the east, the Raptors continue to rise to the surface to exceed expectations that were quite low at the beginning of the season.
The Raptors have the pieces in place to cause some chaos in the playoffs as the team features veteran play maker DeRozan and a cast of characters who can shoot the ball at will. Toronto may not be your first or second pick to come out of the east, but the Raptors are a legitimate dark-horse threat to contend for the title.
Greg Douglas is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.