Toronto Raptors Roundtable: Biggest surprise, realistic goals, and more

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

What is your biggest concern about the Raptors right now/for playoff time?

Mike Bossetti:

I’ve been beating the same drum all season, but it’s still shot creation. At the end of games, and in the playoffs particularly, sometimes you just need a guy who can go get you a bucket. The Raptors have Siakam, other than that, the cupboard is quite bare.

Fred VanVleet did it in last year’s finals, but he was also M.I.A. against the Philadelphia 76ers just a few weeks prior. Kyle Lowry is great, but shot creation isn’t his primary skill. Creation is sometimes overvalued and the Raptors are great because they built their team around players who succeed in other areas. However, come spring, they could use another guy.

Nikola Cuvalo:

Can they survive against the NBA’s cream of the crop if Siakam has an off night? The answer to this question will determine if the Raptors belong in the league’s class of true contenders. If Lowry, Ibaka, VanVleet, Gasol, and the bench mob can provide enough scoring support for Spicy P come playoff time, then they should be ready to rumble.

Their defense is good enough to win them some playoff games on its own merit. A star-ward turn from Powell or Anunoby would be the missing ingredient (aside from an unlikely, all-in, blockbuster trade) that turns the current team into a surefire title contender.

Michael Walton:

My biggest concern for the Raptors come playoff time is a familiar concern is quite obvious and connected to Kawhi Leonard’s departure. It is the ability to generate buckets in the postseason. Everything about the way the Raptors are operating now suggests that their pass-happy offense and bevy of solid 3-point shooters will be able to carry them through a tough playoff series against any of the East’s bottom half postseason teams. But we all know that NBA defenses tighten up in the playoffs and when the Raptors need to generate some one-on-one offense down the stretch. Will Pascal Siakam be able to answer the call as he has in the regular season so far?

Geethan Viswathasan

The lack of a second superstar. Right now the Raptors are near a championship squad, but in my opinion, they’re still missing a supporting player besides Siakam. The biggest concern is how Toronto would deal with an injury to its star forward. They were able to handle the absence of Lowry and Ibaka, but Siakam’s scoring would be more irreplaceable. He’s the most important asset on the Raptors right now, and an injury to him could be a critical blow to the team’s record.