Rust_Cohle wrote: Tha Cynic wrote:
The clippers are also another piece away. If the raptors don’t have that top ten scorer (which is a big piece to need, as elite scorers aren’t a dime a dozen) then they clearly aren’t title contenders. People on here acting like clippers are pretenders but raptors weren’t Is laughable. Both teams are a piece or two away from being legit contenders. Siakim is not a top 2 option at all. Lowry is aging as good as he is. Gasol is finished and FVV took a step back in the playoffs. Last year was the perfect storm for the Raps and full credit they deserved it.
But people acting like the raps lost to the best team in the league while the nuggets are a joke is just silly. Nuggets will also be facing much tougher competition than the Celtics will and the Celtics are already losing their series. For all we know the nuggets might be better than the Celtics. They’re doing historic things during this run.
One thing we know - the Raptors won a championship with Leonard, while the Clippers did not even get out of the second round. I think one team has proven what it can do with that one player of that calibee while the Clippers have shown that they don't appear to play like a team serious for a championship.
The Raptors were also a couple of baskets away from making the Eastern Conference finals again after losing the best player in the league and another starter. Leonard told the Raptors brass last second that he wasn't returning, AFTER free agents had already signed, giving the Raptors no time to fill their empty roster spots.
Still don't get what you are trying to argue here. One team proved they can win with him while another team showed that they can't.
This year's supporting cast wasn't as good as last year. Siakim wont magically shoot well from 3 just because of kawhi this season. The Raptors barely had anyone show up this year come playoff time. Gasol is washed up, FVV came back down to earth. Kawhi would take them to the finals, possibly a title, but the supporting in arguably got weaker this year. With or without kawhi.
You're missing the point of having a player of that calibre. Siakam instantly becomes better by moving back to his order in the lineup. The proof was already there last year. The proof was here to see if you actually watched the Raptors play thisbyear.
Like I said earlier, each player is having to play one level higher than they did last year which is why they didn't go as far this year. The supporting cast is the same as last year except for Danny Green who was replaced by OG. When Kyle Lowry went on a scoring tear the Raptors won. Kyle Lowry cannot do that every game at this age and size. The Raptors are setup better than any other team to take that next step. They don't even have one star player on the team, but have the foundation where you can simply add one player and become an instant champion. Most other teams do not have the chemistry or the caliber of their defense to get there.
Kawhi Leonard does not win a championship last year without a team of the Raptors' calibre. He saw that the hard way this year. He went to a team who looked better on paper but are seriously flawed. Meanwhile the Raptors (who most in the US didn't even expect to make the playoffs due to the media narative
) showed that even after losing two starters they had a legit shot at making the finals again.