To have a disappointing season, you must first have expectations. This was something that Toronto Raptors fans did not have much of in the past, but over the course of the last decade, expectations have been high each year as the Raptors continued to grow and find success along the way.
A shining example of a disappointing season comes from this years 2020-21 (Tampa) Raptors, having talent, depth, and a championship pedigree, but everything came crashing down early on this season, crushing the hearts of fans everywhere.
While this season may not have lived up to the expectations set by some, it was clear that the Raptors were no longer title contenders.
In a rich history of pain and suffering through multiple rebuilds, poor draft choices, and struggles to sign free agents, there are five standout disappointing seasons in Raptors history.
These are the 5 most disappointing seasons in Toronto Raptors history.
No 5. 2019-20
Still a fresh wound, the 2019-20 team had a bittersweet season. After the departure of 2019 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors were back to being disrespected and underrated by fans and media alike. Soon, they would all learn to “Never Underestimate the Heart of a Champion”.
The Raptors came out guns blazing. With the team not missing a beat, they continued their elite-level play behind the emergence of Pascal Siakam as a go-to scorer, and excellent veteran play from Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.
Things were looking bright on the horizon, until the season would be hit with a temporary hiatus due to COVID-19. This is where it all came tumbling down. Inside the bubble, the team did not seem its usual self.
Finishing second in the Eastern Conference, Toronto made light work of the Brooklyn Nets earning their first post-season series sweep in franchise history, but it was clear that things were not right.
Pascal Siakam had looked sluggish since the return to play began, but with the Raptors still getting wins and looking strong as a team, it was disregarded up until their second-round series against the Boston Celtics.
Boston gave the Toronto Raptors problems.
In this series Siakam’s diminished play became impossible to ignore, seeing a drop in points per game, field goal percentage, and 3-point percentage. This resulted in the Raptors struggling to make up for his lack of output.
In Game 7 the lead would change hands several times, with the Raptors down one, leading into the fourth quarter. The Raptors would hold a lead in the fourth quarter, but after a late surge by the Celtics, the Raptors could not buy a bucket. After a questionable game tying shot attempt by Fred VanVleet, the team would see their season end in the second round.
For their season to end as a result of lackluster play from several key players in their rotation, it left a bitter taste in the mouth of Raptors fans as they were left questioning where it all went wrong.