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The Inside Guys Don’t Think The Raptors Have A Bright Future
NBA legends doubt the Raptors will have much success with the current roster
The Toronto Raptors were, unfortunately, eliminated by the Philidelphia 76ers last Thursday.
They put up a fight but weren’t able to overcome the 76ers’ bruising.
After the Raptors’ season finale, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal questioned the team’s ability to be anymore more than a playoff-making-but-not-championship-contending team.
“They’re in no man’s land,” Barkley said. “They’re just good enough to make it to the playoffs and that’s it.”
Shaq added, “they don’t have no stars. Definitely don’t have no superstars.”
When Ernie Johnson brought up former All-Star and 2019 Most Improved Player Pascal Siakam, Shaq said he’s not quite a star yet.
“I love Siakam. I love how he’s working on his game, but I wouldn’t give him the star status… not yet. He’s close, though. Very, very close.”
I kinda half agree/half disagree with the Inside Guys.
Looking at the Raptors’ 2021-2022 roster, they don’t look like a championship contender. They’re missing a lot of pieces that are crucial to competing in the playoff.
For instance, they don’t have a rim protector. They also don’t have that go-to scorer off of the bench that can help them keep leads or to help them catch up if they’re trailing.
I also think that their chemistry was a little off.
But these are 21-22 problems. That doesn’t mean that they can’t fix them for next year and the future.
They can easily go out and sign or trade (or draft) for a rim protector. And their chemistry will improve with time.
The Raptors Youth
One thing that Shaq and Barkley didn’t mention was the Raptors’ youth and their potential.
Scotties Barnes just won the ROTY award and put up some good numbers in the post-season for a 20-year-old. He also drew comparisons to Magic Johnson from Magic Johnson.
There’s also O.G. Anunoby, whose defence remains outstanding and offence is continually improving year after year.
And there’s also Gary Trent, Jr. who showed this past season that he can steal and score in bunches (he just needs to improve his consistency).
I think that as long as Siakam sticks around and continues to get better (which seems like he will) and Nick Nurse stays as Head Coach for a while, which he claims to want to, the Raptors will develop just fine like wine (I actually don’t know how the aging of wine works as I don’t drink it, but that sounded neat so I wrote it).
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