For most of their history, the Raptors were a mediocre afterthought in Toronto. Founded in 1995 the Raptors were always second fiddle to the Maple Leafs in a hockey-crazed town. Late on that has changed as the team became a contender in 2015-16. In the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the Raptors stole the hearts of Canada with an improbable upset run with the NBA betting odds.
Most important of all they ended the Warriors dynasty by winning the NBA championship. Kawhi Leonard was named Most Valuable Player of the Finals. Without Leonard, this season other players emerged to sustain success.
2020 Toronto Raptors Odds to Win
Odds to win NBA Championship: +2200
Odds to win Eastern Conference: +700
Record at Time of COVID-19 Suspension: 46-18 straight up, 35-28-1 against the spread, 34-29 over the total
Metric Rankings: 12th for scoring offense, 21st for field goal percentage, 6th for three-point field goal percentage, 5th for free throw percentage, 12th for offensive rebounds, 1st for points allowed, 2nd for field goal percentage allowed, 1st for three-point percentage allowed, 24th for defensive rebounds
Standing: 2nd place in Eastern Conference, 6.5 games out of first place
2020 NBA Restart Schedule
Saturday, August 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN: Los Angeles Lakers
Monday, August 3, 1:30 p.m. ET, NBATV: Miami Heat
Wednesday, August 5, 8 p.m. ET: Orlando Magic
Friday, August 7, 9 p.m. ET, TNT: Boston Celtics
Sunday, August 9, 2 p.m. ET: Memphis Grizzlies
Monday, August 10, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN: Milwaukee Bucks
Wednesday, August 12, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN: Philadelphia 76ers
Friday, August 14, TBD: Denver Nuggets
Toronto Raptors 2019-20 Season Review
At the onset of the season was a universal concern that the Raptors would fall back. Kawhi Leonard’s free-agent signing with the Clippers was the reason why. Toronto’s NBA championship was considered a sportsbook betting fluke to many. Even had Leonard returned they were not going to be a favorite for a repeat. And that is what has made this season so rewarding for the Raptors. Gamblers are pleased with the surprise value that Toronto has shown on the board. More emphatically the exceeded expectations have been a source for profit.
To begin with, Toronto has the top-ranked defense in the NBA. As the Boston Celtics, the Raptors employ a team approach for their success. In the same way, other players have stepped up to offset the loss of Leonard. Toronto has gotten a full buy-in from players and coaches alike. No excuses are made or permitted.
Head Coach Nick Nurse
Last year Nick Nurse emerged as a premier NBA coach in his first-ever season. Nurse came up the hard way as he languished at small colleges and obscure minor league teams. He got his big break in 2013 when the Raptors hired him as an assistant. It was a great fit as Nurse built a strong reputation for player development. While in the D-League he sent 23 players to the Association.
Previous head coach Dwane Casey made the Raptors into a contender. But his playoff failures with the NBA betting lines cost him his job. Nurse engineered a memorable upset championship in his first and only season as an NBA head coach. Correlate how Nurse has kept the Raptors going this year without Leonard. That’s the sign of a versatile leader.
Key Toronto Raptors Players
Pascal Siakam was an integral part of the Raptors championship last year. Now he mans the franchise marquee. Siakam was a first-time All-Star this year. Further, he is the Raptors leading scorer with 23.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
In like manner, Kyle Lowry has been a Raptors mainstay since 2012. He is a six-time All-Star. Lowry is averaging 19.7 points per game this season.
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