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 (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Clippers

There can’t be a list of the Raptors top five rivals without including the team of Mr. Fun Guy himself.  The team that Toronto will have the most confusing emotions about facing Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers and Raptors have had a similar path with them being the underdogs in their respective conferences for years but consistently found a way to slip into the playoffs and make a name for themselves.

With the Raptors, they got a superstar in Leonard and were able to win a title but are back in their seats as an underdog in the East without him. Now Leonard is with the Clippers and it is there chance to potentially win a championship and prove why they’re the best team in LA and California.

After the Clippers landed both Leonard and Paul George in the off-season they can be seen to be one of if not the biggest threat in the West.

Where the Clippers become more interesting is the fact that they have two former Raptors that have a special place in Toronto’s heart.

Patrick Patterson recently signed a one-year $2.3 million deal with the Clippers with the hopes of being a part of a contending team. Patterson played for the Raptors from 2013-2017 and was a big part of a team that quickly shifted from a rebuilding team to a playoff team.

Lou Williams is the second former Raptor that now plays for the Clippers. In only one season Lou Will brought the heat to Toronto and managed to win the Sixth Man of the Year while torching from long-range off the bench.

Facing off against these two has always been interesting. Williams can go for 40 on any given night given his offensive versatility. Meanwhile, Patterson can’t be left open on the perimeter either. The offensive threats that the Clippers have will be a good test for the Raptors defensive versatility and off-season additions.

Leonard’s return will be a whirlwind. The man, in a single season, captured the hearts of Toronto and Canada. He went on an iconic postseason run, sunk the most memorable shot in Raptors history, and led Toronto to an NBA championship.

Because the Clippers are in the Western Conference, Toronto Raptors fans will only get to see the two teams face off twice during the regular season. But you better believe that these two games will be intense as Toronto want to prove that they can still win without The Klaw.

Raptors fans will have to sort out their emotions when they visit the Clippers on November 11, 2019. But the more important game will be December 11 when Kawhi returns back to Toronto to face off against the defending champs.