TORONTO – When the Toronto Raptors settled at home after their first 4-0 trip in the West Coast, the honest question for the faithful was: What team could stand in the way of this emerging jugglery?
Hyperbole, perhaps, after the casual Raptors 128-112 won the New York Knicks at the Scotiabank Arena Sunday. But 12-1 is 12-1. Each win is the best start in the franchise history and keeps the Raptors at the top of the NBA classification.
He can equally celebrate it.
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And hey, Knicksa's coach, David Fizdale, knows a little about how the master caliber of the times when he was the assistant of LeBron James Heat from the era of James, looking across Kawi Leonard in the next NBA finals.
The first Knicks coach was not very secure.
"Last year, they were essentially a 60-person band, knocking on the door," said Fizdale. "You add masters [Danny Green], MVP candidate [Leonard] to the team, more versatility for the team, and you have to count them on the shot to get there …. They are legal, hard, compete with each other, share the ball, are fast, athletic. They have all the ingredients.
"It's just a matter of whether they can keep it together and maintain the connection."
Saturday's eternal win will not go to any museums, but the Raptors have done enough to keep Knicks at bay and win the trip. He helped his high 23 points in his career (only seven strokes) from the rapidly growing Pascal Siakama. In 13 Toronto games there is no match that would lead to the final capture. It was very stress-free. If there was one concern for the Raptors, it was just that their once-strong bench had spilled a little. As if on a call, they climbed for a rare night for Leonard (12 points in 2-on-7 shooting) and Kyle & # 39; and Lowry & # 39; ego (10 points and seven assists). The three OG Anunoby, Jonas Valanciunas and Delon Wright joined together to score 17 out of 24 from the floor when the bench took control of the game in the second quarter and again at the end of the third.
But things can start heating up for the Raptors a bit. They must, right?
If Toronto did not meet with much competition on the floor during the race, he suffered a concussion, while loosening the Knicks: Jimmy Butler, a high-scoring, two-way wing that can guard other elite wings and shoot at close range. – were sold by Minnesota Timberwolves.
He joins the Philadelphia 76ers and includes two superstar duels in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. There is no doubt that things get more interesting at a conference where Giannis Antetokounmpo seems determined to move Milwaukee Bucks to new heights and to Boston. The Celts have the deepest composition on this side of Oakland.
The fact that Butler was settled was not a surprise – it's hard to remember the player who fought his way out of the city. The fact that he went to the East was also not shocking – it would have to take a spectacular offer for President T-Wolves and head coach Tom Thibodeau to deal with him as part of the Western Conference. Time? Minnesota has five goals for a losing streak and is already in the playoff phase after eight. They could let Butler not keep them hostage anymore.
"I was expecting it to happen." Of course, Minnesota had a hard trip, "said head coach Raptors Nick Nurse." I watched their whole game last night. [Saturday]. I think that this morning I was not completely surprised [the trade] He went down. He certainly brings a really good player to our gym a few times, so we're waiting for it. "
Not to emerge from the East, never to be a cacewalk, no matter how hot the Raptors started. But more than ever it is obvious that no matter how good the team becomes in the Kawhi era – though it takes a long time – to reach where the Raptors want to go after the season, it has the potential to leave scars.
"There are many difficult teams, and these teams are getting stronger, so we'll see what happens," said the Raptors to guard Fred VanVleet. "I think we have a really high limit and we have a lot of talent and we have not played really well with any of our standards, it will be exciting to see. In play-off you can beat anyone, but I like our chances."
But in 13 meetings and 69 performances, it is difficult to imagine that the Raptors will suddenly stumble. They are deep on every position. There are even 3-1 on the road in games in which Leonard sits down.
Will there be another band?
You must think that the Celtics, winding along 7-5 and somehow unable to gain points, will straighten themselves up. Considering Antetokounmpo's determination to win the MVP and raise the Bucks (9-3), they become a terrifying opponent.
Will Butler and the new-looking Sixers (8-5) emerge as pretenders to the momentum that the Raptors build?
They look scary on paper, maybe even after trading.
But the Raptors look scary on the wood.