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Faces of the franchise Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry are out of town, and since Toronto’s championship season in 2019, the team has a new strong and prosperous core. The front office and head coach Nick Nurse never lost trust, regardless of Kawhi Leonard leaving after winning the title.

The Raptors came into the season slow, and injuries plagued them. Point guard leader Fred VanVleet missed seven games, Anunoby 10, and Sioakam and rookie sensation Barnes missed four rounds of 27 matches against top Eastern teams.


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After the All-Stars break, Toronto picked up its game and is on an incredible run. In the last 10 games leading to the playoffs, Raptors won 8, and they have a winning record against the red-hot Celtics and Philadelphia. The core players are finally healthy, and the way the team is constructed could challenge opponents.

Toronto will go into the playoff probably as a five seed and face off Embiid-Harden lead Philadelphia in the first round. But, NBA enthusiasts that look for the best NBA odds and betting lines have faith in the Raptors and the “We the North” mantra. For many fans, sports betting is an important part of the whole watching experience. Platforms like Unibet offer a wide variety of sports and the most important events and tournaments – also in the NBA.

Reliving the big crowds cheering on Toronto streets for their team is fresh in the memory of many fans. But are those optimistic expectations realistic?

No experienced closers

A common opinion among NBA analysts is that superstars win championships. And while Toronto has a slew of incredible young talented players, there is no true superstar on the team. All-Star caliber players in VanVleet and Pascal Siakom can take over any game, but who can take the last shot in crunch time?

Toronto has an incredible length with excellent two-way wing players in Siakom and OG Anunoby. In addition, rookie Scottie Barnes exceeded the expectations and is also 6.7″, and Gary Trent Jr. contributes by covering shooting guard and forward positions. Starting lineup can beat any team in the NBA, which they proved with a positive record against playoff teams.

Bench players can relieve the starters, and Achiuva, Birch, Boucher and veteran Thaddeus Young spice up the rotations.

Probable playoff matchups

A first-round matchup against Philadelphia on paper looks like a lost cause. Joel Embiid is the most dominant big player in the league and is among the leading MVP candidates. James Harden is a former MVP and is virtually unstoppable when playing up to his standard. The 76ers have excellent defensive efficiency, but they also had a turbulent year with the Ben Simmons drama and Harden trade.

James Harden didn’t live up to expectations, and the team is not dominant heading to the playoffs. Toronto has a positive record 2-1 against Philadelphia this season, and their length can cause problems for Phila. If we project regular-season success and current form Raptors have a unique shot at upsetting the higher seed. Toronto is up for an early exit if we turn back to the NBA mantra of superstar players winning the playoff games.

If they go through Philadelphia, they will face Miami or Brooklyn, and the Raptors have a 2-1 lead over Miami, while they split the season series with Nets 2-2.

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