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) /
5 of 6
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Case Against: Age and Pace Concerns

Through all of the moves made this season, the Raptors have aged themselves significantly, leveraging many of their younger pieces for Kawhi and other wily veterans in the hopes of making a deep playoff push. With an average team age of 27.1, they are already well above the league average of 26.4. When you single out key contributors Lowry, Green, Gasol, Ibaka, Lin, and Leonard, their average age is 30.5.

Considering their age, these players might be a step slower than their younger Eastern counterparts, especially when shorter rotations are utilized and playoff series run long.

It is perhaps concerning to note that both Lin and Leonard have already experienced season-ending injuries during their career, exponentially increasing their likelihood to suffer another.

After all, Leonard has spent much of this season seated during back to back games as a precaution for his foot/leg.  Furthermore, Lowry and Gasol have both been banged up during their careers, and one can only hope that they are in full health heading in the postseason.

For Gasol especially, one thing to keep in mind is the pace. Memphis’ style of play has been well-known for its grittiness on the defensive end and its extremely slow style of play. As expected, the Grizzlies once again have the slowest pace this season, as one of the only two teams to have less than 100 possessions per game. In a faster-paced environment, can Gasol keep up as the Raptors try to push the pace?