Have the Toronto Raptors done enough to make the finals?

Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Danny Green and Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Case For: Egoless Stars, Easier Transition

Let’s begin this section with our offseason acquisitions: Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. Based on many accounts from teammates and personnel from his Spurs days to his current stint with the Raptors, it is no question that Danny Green has always been a glue guy.

Similarly, with the exception of his fallout with the Spurs last season due to discrepancies on the status of his injury, Kawhi Leonard has always been a quiet hustler, opting to leave his mark on the court rather than off of it. After learning his lesson with the Spurs, coupled with his generally humble demeanor, it won’t be likely that he’ll be dropping any controversial soundbites for the media to create distractions.

With the addition of Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin, it seems like the Raptors are continuing a trend of incorporating solid professionals into their locker room. Obviously, the version of Gasol the Raptors are getting is an older shell of his former self, but the leadership and professionalism for team culture is still an invaluable asset.

A similar statement can be said for Jeremy Lin. A journeyman who has seen both the highs and lows of NBA life, he appears to be well positioned to be another mentor-like presence for the team. Trae Young, the fiery Atlanta Hawks rookie recently told the hosts of The Starters that he was “very sad” to see Lin go, as he was a fantastic “role model” for him during his time there.


As trivial as this may seem, this can actually be a huge plus for the Raptors, particularly during the playoffs. The 76ers and Celtics’ locker room woes have been well documented this season as coaches Brett Brown and Brad Stephens have had difficulty controlling their respective volatile rosters.

While Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and JJ Redick have quieter, team-first personalities as part of an elite starting five for the 76ers, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler have both shown to be capable of culture-destroying meltdowns.

Similarly, on a Celtics team that is brimming with talent, managing minutes and expectations have been an issue throughout the season. Although they were widely believed at the start of the season to be the team coming out of the East, they still have not seemed to found the rhythm that made them such an effective team last season. Having a superstar like Kyrie Irving who has never been known to shy away from the media has also unfortunately created distractions for their organization.