When Toronto lost Kawhi Leonard in free agency, most people no longer expected the Raptors to immediately win another NBA championship. Things just got tougher this season when the Raptors lost several key contributors to injuries, including rising superstar Pascal Siakam, starting center Marc Gasol, and key reserve Norman Powell. However, despite the absence of some of their core players, the Raptors remain a very competitive team in the Eastern Conference.
As of now, the Raptors have won seven of their last 10 games and are currently sitting in the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 22-10 record. In a recent interview with Tim Bontemps of ESPN, All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry had an interesting answer regarding why the Raptors continue to perform well this season, despite the mounting injuries.
“We’ve got pros,” Lowry told ESPN. “We’ve got guys who don’t care what people say. We’ve got guys that kind of just don’t give a f— and just go out there and work. Like tonight, Oshae Brissett, no one knows who the hell he is and he comes in and steps up. Chris [Boucher] has been playing great. Freddy [VanVleet] had a rough start but finished strong. We have guys that just don’t care. We are going to go play. No matter what, where, how, we’re going to go play.”
The departure of Leonard last summer may have greatly diminished the Raptors’ chances of defending their throne in the 2019-20 NBA season. But if they become consistent with that type of mentality, the Raptors could definitely become a huge headache to every powerhouse team in the Eastern Conference, especially when the real battle begins in the NBA Playoffs.
While waiting for Siakam, Gasol, and Powell to return from injuries, Lowry and the Raptors are doing everything they can to win games with the current talents they have. As of now, even Lowry has no idea how good the Raptors can be, saying that it’s too early to say where their team currently stands in the competitive Eastern Conference.
As of now, Lowry said that they are focused on maintaining balance and stability on their team, and if things don’t go their way, they would try their best to quickly figure things out and return to the right direction. Lowry revealed that the Raptors are aiming to be the best version of their team when the calendar turns into the months of April, May, and June, where games are more important.