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The Downfall of the Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have started with a depressing start but slowly creeping around the corner with a comeback to their bad start.

     The 2018 – 2019 championship Toronto Raptors have fallen to a dreadful start in the 2020 – 2021 season. The odds of making the playoffs aren’t looking too good for the Raptors, starting with a 7-10 record being 10th in the Eastern Conference. 

Fans are devastated by one of their recent losses to the Golden State Warriors, losing in a disappointing 1 point game with a struggling Curry shooting 2-16 and making 1 of 10 three-point attempts. The Raptors struggled with the first three quarters losing all three but dominating the fourth, 33 – 19, making the end results a close game.  In an interview about the Raptors performances, the Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry said

“We just need to get a little bit grittier, get a little bit tougher and a little bit nastier, and have a little bit of a swagger to us,” Lowry said. “Right now, we have no swagger to us. We have nothing. There’s nothing to us. Teams are looking at us like, ‘All right, let’s go eat’ … That’s not a good feeling.”

Online critics are still trolling Pascal Siakam all over the internet, after his poor performances from the bubble have carried on to the first few games of the 2020-2021 season. Due to Siakam’s inconsistency, shooting 30% to 60%, the Raptors haven’t really been able to rely on him. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster for the Raptors young superstar.

Serge Ibaka, formerly a big part of the Toronto Raptors averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds in last year’s postseason, signed to the La Clippers for his last few years in the NBA. For the Raptors that was a devastating loss, losing a big leader and NBA veteran on the team. It’s definitely taken a big toll on the Raptors.

Chris Boucher, Toronto’s rising star, has been improving game by game, filling all the gaps on the defensive and offensive end, scoring 25 points with 2 blocks and 10 rebounds in the Raps vs Hornets first game. Chris Boucher is top three in the league in blocks averaging about 2.5 per game and many sports fans are early guessing him as the Leagues MIP.

Should fans be happy that the Toronto Raptors started off with a bad season? If the Raptors kept up with their bad start they’d be projected to have a top 5 pick in the 2020-2021 season draft, including superstars like Jalen Green, Cade Cunningham and B.J. Boston. If the Raptors were to tank the season, they could rebuild around a young core and win another championship. Apart from the other losing teams, the Raptors have good chemistry with playoff experience. Raptors have started to play better with Fred Vanvleet staying consistent, averaging 20 points and having lock down defense throughout the start of the season. Fans are praying that their Raps can bounce back.

As the veteran Raptor Kyle Lowry is 36 this year, he’s looking close to retirement. If Lowry were to retire, the Raptors would lose a key superstar point guard and an overall team leader, who is an idol to many kids in the hometown 6ix. Do the Raptors need a replacement for losing Ibaka? With the Cleveland Cavaliers having one of the best depths in the league right now, I think teams like the Raptors should look to trade for one of Cavs centers: Jarrett Allen, Andre Drummond, Javale McGee and Kevin Love. The Cavs are more likely to trade their older guys to rebuild a young team, so the Raptors could have a chance at grabbing McGee or Love.

The Raptors losing streak looks like it’s temporary, after changing their record from 1-7 to 7-10, bringing their fans joy and hope for a playoff season.

So the question is will the Raptors make a comeback season and have a shot at a ring once more?

Image Credit: NBA

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