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 – Tobias Harris (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Case Against: East Contenders Made Stronger Deadline Moves

While Gasol and LIn were big addition, the 76ers and Bucks have also made significant upgrades to their teams.

By adding Tobias Harris to an already-stacked starting roster, the 76ers faithful have begun branding this team the “Philly Phive”, a sort of nod to Golden State’s “Hampton’s Five” starting line up of perennial all-stars.

As a selfless player, Harris will likely have no problems adjusting or sacrificing touches for his new team. However, when he does get his touches, Harris will fill up a glaring hole in Philadelphia: shooting. 

A concern prior to the trade was Harris’ ability to score outside of the pick-and-roll.  As a member of the Clippers, Harris had over 900 pick plays called for him, whereas Wilson Chandler, the player he is replacing on the starting lineup, has only had 21 pick plays called for him.

Concerns about Harris ability to score in the starting lineup have been squashed for the time being. In his first four games with the Clippers, Harris has already put up an impressive 71 points, is averaging 17.8 points per contest.

It’s a small sample size, but with five starters that possess unique offensive talents that complement one another, Philadelphia has the potential to steamroll any team they are up against.

Shooting seems to be the name of the game all over the East, as Milwaukee upgraded their own roster by adding Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic was a deadeye shooter this season for the New Orleans Pelicans, making almost three triples per contest.

Although he is still sidelined with a calf injury, both the organization and Mirotic himself have remarked that he is an ideal fit for the team and their goals. Looking at how the Bucks are set up, adding another three-point threat makes sense, clearing room for freak of nature Giannis Antetokounmpo.

With more than 82 percent of his shots coming from within 5 feet of the basket (and him converting on almost 75 percent of those attempts), Giannis is a player that demands double teams in the paint. As Giannis draws the attention of the defense, having capable shooters is key.

With Khris Middleton, and Brook “Splash Mountain” Lopez already being threats from beyond the arc, Milwaukee now has a plethora of shooters to put pressure on defenses.