After last year’s first round exit in the playoffs, the Toronto Raptors will look to improve and take the next step in 2014-2015. The Raptors have become the NBA‘s forgotten team over the last decade or so, but I’m calling it now: Basketball is back north of the border and in a big way. As of now I think Toronto is the third best team in the Eastern Conference and will give other teams all they can handle this year.
With DeMar DeRozan making the All-Star game last year and solidifying himself as a legitimate superstar in the league, the Raptors finally have a stud they can build around. At 25 years of age, DeRozan is only going to get better (which is scary). Signing Kyle Lowry was a great move as well by Masai Ujiri and his staff. Lowry brings true point guard skills, the ability to play Robin to DeRozan’s Batman, and a toughness that Toronto has sorely lacked over the years. With Terrence Ross continuing to expand his game and highlight reel dunks and Jonas Valanciunas starting to develop into a force at the center position, Toronto is here to stay for the long haul.
Toronto’s bench is also one of the deeper benches in the league with players like Patrick Patterson, Greivis Vasquez, Louis Williams, Tyler Hansbrough, and James Johnson rounding out their lineup. With continued growth by their youth, solid play from their bench and a few added pieces come the trade deadline, Toronto could find themselves in a race for a top seed in the East.
It is a good time to be a Toronto Raptors fan. Basketball is back and in a big way. Drake rejoice.