What the US Media is Saying About the Toronto Raptors Including News on Kyrie, Kawhi and Beal

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A couple of articles ‘Raptor related’ from Boston, Tony Parker’s comments on Kawhi and some more Beal trade rumours. Here’s what the US media said about the Toronto Raptors.

The Toronto Raptors lost a tough one to a very good Celtics squad. Onlookers might be wondering if they have a solution to slowing down Kyrie Irving. He scored 27 points and had a career high in assists with 18. The last time he played Toronto he put up 43 points and dropped 11 dimes. Toronto should be worried about him come playoff time. Prior to the game, the Boston Herald interviewed Nick Nurse asking him his thoughts on the growing rivalry between the two teams.

"“This is a team we see a lot and we’re going to see a lot [in meaningful games], probably for years to come. So we know every time we play these guys that it means something.”"

Indeed, the Celtics should be a team on Toronto’s radar, despite their problems this year. If they can work out their chemistry issue by playoff time, expect many more gut wrenching games in  the spring. And if you ask the Celtics players, they’ll tell you they fear no one. In this post from the Boston Globe, Adam Himmelsbach looks at the Celtics win over the Raptors and breaks down the recent turmoil the Celtics have experienced, including the friction in the locker room and the Kyrie-LeBron phone call. But you get the feeling that the C’s look at the stumble as nothing more than that, and that by playoff time, they’ll have everyone on top of their game.


Zach Lowe at ESPN gushes over Kawhi Leonard‘s dominance when he attacks the rim in his Ten Things I Like and Don’t Like post.

"Leonard has re-emerged as perhaps the league’s most dominant and well-rounded one-on-one player outside Houston."

But Lowe points out something more important, something Raptor fans should be concerned about, if they are not already – that is ‘when will Lowry figure out what to do when both he and Leonard are on the floor?’ Yes, shared playing time has been at a premium lately so chemistry is going to be an issue. But the Raptors are going to need to figure this out if they hope to have the long run into spring that they are hoping for.

Another thought on the minds of Raptors faithful is Kawhi Leonard’s plans for next year. Will he stay, will he go? Might Tony Parker’s recent comments give onlookers insight into what happened in San Antonio and therefore possibly what is on in his mind now? In a piece by NBC Sports, Parker rejects the notion that any comments he made last year had any impact in Leonard’s desire to leave San Antonio.

"“If people think that, then they’re really wrong,” Parker says, addressing the situation publicly for the first time. “Because I’m definitely not the reason. I was saying that in a positive way. The sad thing is everybody ran with this and put me as the bad guy, and I had no problem playing with Kawhi.”"

The Bradley Beal rumours won’t go away. The Bleacher Report polled NBA execs and got them to weigh in on the possibility of Beal being dealt before the deadline, including what it would take for Eastern Conference teams like the Celtics and the Raptors to acquire the All Star guard.

"The Raptors have made it known in front-office circles that they’re interested in adding an elite shooting guard, rival executives say."

How much the Raptors would have to give up is the million dollar question. Picks, Anunoby, Wright and Valanciunas are all on the table. But, most Raptor fans would agree that the deal is off once Siakam’s name gets mentioned.

Power Rankings

ESPN doesn’t think the success the Raptors have had without Kawhi Leonard, including the two wins this week, means anything more than ‘the Raptors are a very deep team’.

"Though let’s not kid ourselves: This speaks more to the Raptors’ depth than anything, and Toronto is still three points per 100 possessions better when Leonard is on the floor."

The Raptors have swapped places with the Bucks and sit at the number three spot this week.

Next. Best Canadians currently in the NBA. dark

SI has the Celtics climbing four spots to number six, the Sixers climbing three spots to number five and the Raptors dropping two spots to number three this week.

"Toronto is …only 6-5 against the other top five teams in the East. It’s not bad, but you’d like a little better record considering everyone is looking for a reason to doubt the Raptors come April."