Toronto Raptors 2019-20 Season Preview
The Toronto Raptors are coming off their most magical season in franchise history. Thanks in part to Kawhi Leonard, and some luck, they were able to secure their first NBA championship. Well, things are going to be very different this coming season. Kawhi took his talents to Los Angeles and their new “big three,” now consists of Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, and Marc Gasol. However, not everything is bad, this team is still going to be competitive. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at their upcoming season.
Toronto Raptors Season Preview
How the Raptors can Remain Competitive
For the Raptors, they have to find a new ace. Sure, Kyle Lowry is an option, but he may not be the best option. Even when the team had DeMar DeRozan, Lowry still played the role of facilitator. Marc Gasol is still effective, but his days of being the go-to option are long gone. The best candidate is the Most Improved Player, Pascal Siakam.
Siakam showed great determination in the NBA Finals and definitely had guts going up against the likes of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. During the Finals, Spicy P posted some great numbers including a game where he scored a career-high 32 points. His Most Improved Player Award shows that he is one of the up an coming players in the league. As a result, it is time for the Raptors to make him the number one option and see what he is made of for this season.
Toronto Raptors: Players to Watch
Pascal Siakam: As alluded to already, the kid has a high ceiling. It will be interesting to watch how he handles the pressure of an increased work-load this season. He has big shoes to fill with the departure of the Klaw, but Siakam will play a vital role in keeping this Toronto team competitive. Expect big things from Spicy P this season.
Kyle Lowry: Say what you will about Lowry, the man was key to helping Toronto secure their first title. Sure, he had his struggles in the playoffs. But, boy did he come up huge in the Finals, especially the beginning of game six. Lowry is still a five-time All-Star and former All-NBA Team member. He is coming off a year where he tallied a career-high assist total of 8.7 per game to couple with 14.2 points per game. We will see how Lowry fairs as one of the last veterans on this team this coming year.
OG Anunoby: Anunoby should get a lot more minutes this season after only playing 20.2 minutes per game last year. As a matter of fact, he has the potential to follow in Siakam’s footsteps and put his name in the running for Most Improved Player of the Year. With the departure of Kawhi and other players such as Jeremy Lin, the door is open for Anunoby to take the next step in his development.
Road Trip to Watch
The Raptors will be tested at the beginning of November. The hit the road November 8 to battle the new-look New Orleans Pelicans then follow it up with a meeting in Los Angeles as they battle the Lakers. The Raptors stay in Los Angeles to battle Paul George and the Clippers the very next night. They eventually finish off the road trip with games in Portland and Dallas.
All in all, the Toronto Raptors are still a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. However, losing Kawhi will hurt them and there is no way around it. The best I can see them doing is making it to the second round of the postseason. Do not be fooled though, this team will not go down without a fight. Especially now that they have tasted what a title is like and they still have a nice trio of star players. This Raptors team will be intriguing to watch this year and for the first time, intriguing because they actually found the ultimate playoff success the year before. Hopefully, Siakam, Lowry, and Gasol are up to the challenge.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images