Toronto Raptors: 5 reasons they will repeat in 2020

Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images /
2 of 6
Toronto Raptors
Photo by Daniel Gluskoter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /

5. Dirt off their shoulders

The Toronto Raptors were easily one of the most heavily criticized teams during these past few seasons. Their inability to perform once the playoffs began led to them being almost completely overlooked when discussing potential championship candidates.

The Raptors have been a 48-plus win team every season since 2013-14, which would normally imply at least some postseason success. Instead, they’ve faced numerous playoff disappointments, mostly against LeBron James, which led to humorous nicknames like “LeBronto Raptors.”

Last summer, the organization decided it was time for a change of heart. The Raptors simply realized they were not fine with mediocrity and wanted to fully commit to being a contender. By parting ways with both head coach Dwane Casey and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, they created a more winning environment with players such as Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

After being almost completely overlooked throughout the entire 2018-19 season, the Raptors completed one of the best “Cinderella” stories of all time. It’s not as though they were a bad team, but let’s face it: Nobody had the Raptors winning it all. Not after the regular season. Not after winning the East. Not even after taking a 2-1 lead against the Warriors in Oracle Arena.

Now these Toronto Raptors have the pride to call themselves “NBA champions,” a title that only a few teams own. With their debut Finals appearance officially in the history books, it feels like a burden is finally off their shoulders.

These Raptors have won and it feels like the whole Warriors dynasty is now on the line. Most fans seem to feel like they’re living in some sort of non-superteam utopia, all courtesy of Kawhi Leonard and company, who managed to move the Larry O’Brien Trophy outside of the U.S.