The more things change, the more they stay the same.
At first glance, that’s probably not the perfect definition of Raptors squad preparing to kick off their first season as defending NBA champions. But if you remember the post-media-day buzz from a year ago, not many experts outside of the GTA were expecting the Raptors to hit the heights they eventually hit. Toronto wasn’t even favoured to win their own division, let alone the conference or the whole enchilada.
A similar buzz follows the Raptors into the 2019-20 season. The defending champs are, again, not favoured to win anything. However, this squad has many returning faces with championship pedigree and growing chemistry to boot. Spoiler alert — we love the Raptors’ chances this season!
On This Week’s Episode:
Does Nick Nurse have a general disdain for Wildcats? After parking University of Kentucky alum, Jodie Meeks, at the end of his bench last season, Nurse ripped into his newest additions — and Arizona University teammates — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson. He wasn’t happy with their lack of effort in picking up defensive schemes and stubbornly forcing things on the offensive end.
After cutting Sagaba Konate and subsequently signing Matt Morgan, Toronto needs to cut a few players from 20 to 17 (15 rosters spots plus two 2-way players). It won’t take long to find out, as Toronto plays their final preseason game tonight. Final roster makeup should be finalized shortly after. Which players make up our 12-man opening day roster?
Predicting the final roster cuts is almost as difficult as predicting how each conference standings will finish. But that didn’t stop us from prognosticating who does / doesn’t make the playoffs. If any of our hot takes come to fruition, remember where you heard it first. Throw us your predictions in the comments section.
The anticipation of a new season also brings to an end the culmination of off-season training and workouts. Pascal Siakam is bulking up. Lonzo Ball is shooting... less awkwardly. Ben Simmons is shooting... period. Which players and teams are you paying extra attention to this season?
2:50 - Nurse Nicks RHJ & Stan
10:00 - Trim Trim-ney, Trim, Trim-ney, Trim Trim the Team
23:30 - Most Intriguing Raptor
31:35 - Predicting Standings
38:45 - Fringe & Cringe Playoff Teams
50:30 - Most Intriguing Players (non-Raptors) and Teams
57:45 - Most Valuable Predictions