10 Reasons Why Toronto Raptors Will Make Finals in 2022-2023

Filed in Sports, Tips by on July 23, 2022 0 Comments

10 Reasons Why Toronto Raptors Will Make Finals in 2022-2023

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‍10 Reasons Why Toronto Raptors Will Make Finals in 2022-2023

The Toronto Raptors fell just shy of completing their Cinderella season, losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Raps are now left to ponder what needs to change for them to make the NBA Finals next season.

 

The good news is that they’ll have Kawhi Leonard in the fold for at least one more year, as his player option for next season has been announced as likely to be picked up by several sources. The Raptors have made it to the playoffs every year since 2013-2014 and have steadily improved their win total almost every year, going from a 21-win team in 2014-2015, up to a 56-win team this past season.

 

They also proved that they could take on some of the best teams in the league on their home court with wins over the Warriors and Celtics during this past regular season. Here are 10 reasons why we believe they will make it all the way to Finals in 2022-2023:

The Raptors have a young core that will continue to develop

The Raptors have a young core that will continue to develop From the 2016-2017 season to the end of this past year, the Raptors have shown a significant amount of improvement from their young core.

 

The growth of Pascal Siakam has been particularly impressive, as he has gone from being a defensive-focused player with a limited offensive game to one that also contributed on the offensive end and even led the team in scoring on occasion.

 

The growth of Kyle Lowry has also been notable, as he has gone from being a defensive specialist to someone who has received votes for Defensive Player of the Year on multiple occasions. The improvement of the core is the reason why many believe that the Raptors will continue to get better, especially with the addition of Kawhi Leonard.

 

Kawhi Leonard will be back for at least one more year

There were some concerns when the news broke that Leonard would be opting out of his contract and becoming a free agent this summer.

 

However, those concerns were allayed when the Raptors released a statement saying that they expect Leonard to pick up his $21 million player option for the 2020-2021 season.

 

Some have speculated that Leonard may wait until closer to the end of the regular season to make his decision, but those same people have also noted that it would be unlikely that he would ever turn down that option unless something major happened.

 

The Raps have the easiest path to the Finals in the East (for now)

The Raptors won 56 games during the 2019-2020 regular season, which is more than any other team in the Eastern Conference.

 

The Celtics have a chance to win 58 games, but they will have to go through the Warriors in the playoffs and the Raptors will have to go through the Bucks.

 

The Raptors’ path to the Finals is simple:

– If they win their first round playoff series, they will face the Celtics in Round 2.

– If they lose their first round series against the Magic and the Celtics beat the Bucks, the Raptors and Celtics would face off in Round 2.

 

– If the Celtics lose their first round series against the Warriors, they and the Raptors would face off in Round 2.

 

There are some changes that need to be made regardless

The Magic have been a tough playoff out for the Raptors in the past couple of seasons and, should they meet in the first round, could pose a legitimate threat to the Raptors.

– The Raptors have been traditionally strong against teams that play a halfcourt style of game, but have struggled mightily to stop uptempo teams that get a lot of shots off in the first few seconds of the shot clock.

– The Raptors have been at their best when they have been able to slow the game down and force their opponents to play in the halfcourt. That is not something that most teams will allow to happen, so the Raptors need to make some changes.

– They will also need to do a better job of defending without fouling. In their four games against the Bucks this past regular season, they gave up an average of 36 free throw attempts per game. – In four games against the Magic, the Raptors gave up an average of 30 free throw attempts per game.

 

Kyle Lowry’s age and durability are concerns going forward

The Raptors won 56 games this past regular season, but they were forced to go with a thin roster at times thanks to injuries.

That has also been a concern in years past, and there are legitimate concerns about Kyle Lowry’s age and durability going forward.

– Lowry is already 33 years old, and his body has shown signs of wear and tear. He has dealt with a variety of injuries over the past few seasons, including a sprained ankle, a sprained thumb, a sprained elbow, and a variety of back spasms.

– If he were to miss extended time due to an injury, it would be a huge blow to the Raptors’ chances of making a deep playoff run.

– The Raptors need to continue to build their roster with younger players that are in their prime and have a lower risk of being sidelined by injury.

 

Serge Ibaka is also an unrestricted free agent this summer

– Ibaka has been a great mentor for the young Raps, but he’ll be 33 years old at the start of next season.

– He’s also coming off of a knee injury that caused him to miss 24 games this past regular season. – The Raptors have a decision to make on whether to re-sign him or not. If they do re-sign him, they will be taking on additional salary and will have to make some additional changes to their roster.

– If they don’t re-sign him, they need to find a replacement that can provide some of the same things that he does.

NBA Eastern Conference Predictions for the Toronto Raptors in 2022/2023

Fred Van Vleet has a torn ligament in his shoulder, and Norman Powell will also be a UFA this offseason.

– Van Vleet has a tear in his left shoulder that will require surgery and keep him out for the rest of the season.

– Van Vleet has been a great backup to Lowry in the past, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be ready to play at the start of next season, and he may not be ready to play at all until the 2020-2021 season.

– Powell was expected to get significant playing time during the playoffs, but he recently suffered a torn ligament in his knee and will also be out for the rest of the season.

– The Raptors will have to make decisions about what to do with these players this offseason. – If Powell can recover from his injury quickly, the Raptors may decide to re-sign him since he’s the type of player that they need to have on their team.

 

Defense should always come first for the Raptors (regardless of who is on the roster)

– The Raptors were 30th in the league this past regular season in points per game allowed. – They were 22nd in the league in defensive rating.

– They were 27th in the league in defensive field goal percentage. – They were 25th in the league in defensive three-point percentage.

Toronto Raptors Season Outlook 2022/2023

Bottom line: If Masai Ujiri can make it happen, there’s no reason to believe that the Raps won’t continue their climb.

These are some of the things that the Raptors will need to address throughout the course of the offseason.

The good news is that they’re in a great position to do so as they have just under $65 million in salary committed for the 2020-2021 season with only three players under contract for that season (assuming that Leonard picks up his option next year).

 

If the Raptors can continue to make shrewd moves to improve their roster, there’s no reason to believe that they won’t make a run at the NBA Finals. 10 Reasons Why Toronto Raptors Will Make Finals in 2022-2023

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