Five teams who are likely to steal the Toronto Raptors crown

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

The NBA is wide open this season. Which five teams are most likely to steal the Toronto Raptors crown?

If you come at the king, you best not miss. That’s the way the Toronto Raptors see it this season, at least. First-time defending champions, the Raptors will have to do everything in their power to go down swinging this season but, ultimately, the title of NBA champions could be changing hands at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.

For the first time in a long time, parity is restored in the NBA as there are now more teams competing on a level playing field than ever before, maybe. Whether the Toronto Raptors find themselves firmly entrenched in the hunt for a second title remains unknown, but there are definitely avenues for which it can happen.

It will be tough, though. The Raptors leaned on the superstar play of Kawhi Leonard in the postseason as they defeated the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Golden State Warriors en route to their first-ever championship. That, in itself, is a very tough road to glory.

The Raptors took on the two most talented teams in the Eastern Conference – one of which won the most regular-season games in the NBA – as well as the two-time defending NBA champions in the middle of a dynastic period of dominance. With some luck and a lot of hard work, the Raptors got the storybook ending they deserved.

The NBA is a minefield though and there are no guarantees that the Raptors will be in title contention this season, though one would be shocked if they weren’t to make the postseason and at least battle for the third seed. They are too talented not to.

If the Raptors can’t defend their title, someone else is going to have to win it. But who are the likeliest candidates?