Toronto Raptors preseason roundtable: Hottest take, predicted finish, and more

Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Pascal Siakam (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Raptors predicted range of outcomes assuming core stays together?

Mike Bossetti:

The thing is, if they’re below .500, the core probably won’t stay together. So at the very least it feels like the floor of this core unit is 41 games. However, theoretically, I could see the unit somewhere between 35-40.

On the high end, let’s get crazy. Why couldn’t this team win 55 games and take the two seed? They have an infrastructure, multiple young players capable of taking a leap, and with Leonard gone, a chip on their shoulder that most defending titles don’t have during the regular season.

In terms of playoff peak, I think a Conference Finals is possible, maybe NBA Finals if there is a rash of injuries in the East.

Michael Walton II:

On the low-end of things, I’ll say 41 wins and a No. 7 seed in the playoffs. This would be due to the offense grinding to an absolute halt without Green’s aggressive shooting and Leonard’s ability to bail them out late in the shot-clock.

On the high-end, I will say 52 wins and a No. 4 seed. They can get to easily should everyone stay healthy, Lowry bounces back from 3-point range, and Siakam develops into an All-Star. A lot of things have to go right for the Raptors to reach their absolute ceiling and I feel that injuries and age-related regression will stop them from reaching it.

But with improvements from relatively younger players like Norman Powell, VanVleet, and Siakam, I believe the Raptors will end up being a 50-win team engaged in a 4 vs 5 playoff matchup where homecourt will be decided by the regular-season tiebreaker in what should be a tight Eastern Conference race.

Mark Birdsell:

The Raptors have won 50+ games in each of the last four seasons and have finished in the top 4 in the East in each of the last six seasons. Assuming the Raptors don’t blow it up they should finish in the top 4 again this season.

I have the Raptors and Celtics as the third and fourth best teams in the East. The Pacers, Heat, and Nets are just below them, but the Heat could jump into the top 4 if they make a move to acquire Chris Paul. The Raptors are going to win 48 or 49 games this season and finish fourth in the East.

Andrew Hughes

It’s hard not to be overly pessimistic or optimistic in this case, so I’m going to try and predict a finite range from 45 to 50 wins. Which, if you’ve carefully kept track of over/under win totals for the Raptors in the offseason, then you’ll notice this is tiptoeing back and forth from the determined 46.5 line.

The Raptors are a really bad bet this year for over/under total wins because there are so many balls being juggled in the air behind closed doors. Will the Raptors be sellers at the deadline? Will one of their aging starters get injured? Will they decide to promote growth over winning? Will continuity prove to be very important at the start of the season? None of us really know what to expect this year, so, by all means, stay away from this bet.

Next. Five crazy Raptors predictions that might come true. dark

That said, the way the players treated media day seems like they had a Kawhi-sized chip on their collective shoulders for the upcoming season, so I expect them to go out and play their tails off. Will that take them above and beyond? I am unsure, but I’ll go out on a limb and predict that they’ll be sitting pretty at the fourth seed come playoffs.