The NBA is coming back July 30 and not a moment too soon for basketball fans who have been deprived a proper conclusion to the 2019-20 season since Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test March 11 that set off the worldwide cascade of sports league cancellations. Now, the NBA will look to finish what it started with a 22-team “bubble” at the Disney Resorts in Orlando, an eight-game finish to the regular season and four best-of-7 playoff rounds to determine a champion. We take a look at each of the teams involved as we move closer to the official return and today we’ll look at the Toronto Raptors team in our Sports Intel preview:
Toronto Raptors Team Preview 2019-2020 Re-Boot
(47-18, 2nd in East, 6.5 games behind No. 1)
Where we left off: If there were any concerns that losing Kawhi Leonard to free agency would be a problem, Toronto has shown that its success isn’t tied to just one player. It’s a championship-caliber team with a lot of depth, and showed off its skills time and again in the regular season. In its final ten games before the COVID-19 break, the Raptors took six wins, including a four-game winning streak leading up to the suspension. Toronto consistently outscores its opponents by almost 12 points across 100 possessions, stats that are supported by an even stronger defense.
Remaining schedule: Aug. 1, LA Lakers; Aug. 3, Miami Heat; Aug. 5, Orlando Magic; Aug. 7, Boston Celtics; Aug. 9, Memphis Grizzlies; Aug. 10, Milwaukee Bucks; Aug. 12, Philadelphia 76ers; Aug. 14, Denver Nuggets.
Projected starting lineup: PG: Kyle Lowry, SG: Fred VanVleet, SF: OG Anunoby, PF: Pascal Siakam, C: Marc Gasol
Key injuries, absentees: None (C Dewan Hernandez has been cleared to play)
Odds to Win Title: 22-1
Can they win it all? The Raptors are in great shape to take the championship in the modified season. The team is running at full strength and was already on its way to a possible title before the season was suspended. Now that everyone is health, including center Dean Hernandez, Toronto’s lineup is virtually unstoppable, and the Raptors are close to picking up back-to-back NBA championships. The customized candles players received from the rapper Drake will help keep them centered.
So, that’s all from the team at Sports Intel for our preview of the Toronto Raptors ahead of the 2019-2020 season re-boot in Orlando. At 22-1 in the NBA odds, they are a good option.