Who are the Toronto Raptors’ top 5 current rivals?

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Leonard (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia and Toronto rivalry all started back in 2001 NBA Playoffs where the teams met in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The series went to seven games where the 76ers moved on after a one-point victory.

More recently, Philadelphia hit a rough patch where the Raptors didn’t see them as a threat. That is until the past couple of years. With a healthy Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, the Sixers have been a serious threat in the East.

Now that the 76ers have reached a contending level, this rivalry has been rekindled with the flame starting with a wild 7 Game series in the Eastern Conference Semifinals ending with a game-winning shot by Leonard to send the Sixer’s home from the 2019 playoffs.

Kawhi Leonard left the East with an angry Sixers team that will be looking to stomp the Raptors throughout the season and make sure that history does not repeat itself if it happens that the two teams face off again in the playoffs.

The rivalry also includes some back and forth between Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons. It is no secret that the two don’t get along.

In January 2018, the two got in a late-game dispute that led to them both being ejected with only seconds on the clock. That was followed by an altercation between the two in Game 3 this year.

These two alone make the match-up interesting.

A bit of spice to add-in includes the Pascal Siakam and Embiid rivalry. Both being of Cameroonian descent, but different regions, there were a few words being exchanged and a friendly rivalry growing between the two players during the series.

With the 76ers picking up Al Horford and Josh Richardson and re-signing Tobias Harris, Philadelphia is now seen as one of the top Eastern Conference contenders heading into the 2019 season and will be looking to squash the Raptors chances at defending their title.

Only time will tell how this season series will play out. Luckily the time is slowly approaching with their first game set for November 25, 2019, in Toronto.