Who says resumption of the NBA season says need for motivation. And who says need for motivation says…? Find good reasons! For each team of the 2022-23 season, we wanted to be useful, helpful, and a little funny if the subject allows it. Here are the 10 good reasons to follow the Toronto Raptors over the next few months, from the explosion of Scottie Barnes to the presence of Drake in the front row of the Scotiabank Arena!
#1: Scottie Barnes, year 2 of the phenomenon
We’ll start with the obvious. The first reason why we will follow the Raptors this season is Mister Scottie Barnes. Elected Rookie of the Year last year ahead of Evan Mobley and Cade Cunningham, the fourth choice of the 2021 Draft could well give us an XXL sophomore campaign. Until potentially participating in the next All-Star Game? We think about it. In any case, with a year of experience in the socks and responsibilities that should become more and more important at the Dinos, Barnes seems ready to take off and we absolutely do not want to miss it.
#2: Nick Nurse laying down his systems
Nick Nurse has never been afraid to try his hand at poker, even during major events. Who remembers the 2019 NBA Finals when the Raptors coach released a “box-and-one” defense to try to emulate the impact of Stephen Curry? Yeah he’s like that Nick Nurse: ballsy and innovative. He has more than one trick up his sleeve, he has a very thick playbook with many offensive and defensive systems, and you can never blame him for not making enough adjustments.
“It’s Nicky Nurse baby. We have shown that we can win in a thousand different ways this year, there are many ways to do it and we have explored them all. »
– Fred VanVleet before the 2022 Playoffs
#3: Raptors intros at Scotiabank
Forced to play in Tampa for the entire 2020-21 season because of COVID, the Dinos returned to their favorite venue last year and at the same time the warm atmosphere of Scotiabank Arena. And the intros in the Far North, they know how to do. “At the forward, representing Camerooooooooon, number 43, SPICY P, PASCAL SI-AKAM! » We are already shivering!
#4: VanVleet and Siakam as team darons
If Scottie Barnes is the future boss of the Raptors, the darons of the current team are called Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. We’re talking about the team’s two best scorers and the two players most used by Nick Nurse during the Dinos’ great season last year. FVV notably landed its first-ever appearance in the All-Star Game last February, where it was able to represent Canada while Barnes chained the meatballs at the Rising Stars Challenge, while Siakam saw its exceptional end to the season being rewarded with a nomination. in the All-NBA Third Team alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, Trae Young, LeBron James and Chris Paul.
#5: Chris Boucher’s big counters
With his 2m08, his endless arms and his wingspan of 2m24, Chris Boucher is the kind of guy to drop counters in the perimeter and even behind the 3-point line. DeMar DeRozan will confirm it to you, the former Raptor having notably been beaten at mid-distance by Boucher when usually he is simply untouchable in this area.
#6: Precious Achiuwa who thinks she’s KD
During his rookie season in Miami, Precious Achiuwa attempted only one 3-point shot. Last year with the Raptors? 156! Encouraged by his coach Nick Nurse to extend his attacking game, the 2m03 interior started to draw from afar in first intention, and the craziest thing in history is that his percentages are super honest: 36% of success behind the arc last year, and even 39% after the All-Star Break with 1.5 banners per evening! Enough to encourage him to continue in this direction and potentially earn his place in the five major Toronto.
#7: Lowry and DeRozan return to Toronto
For so many years, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan proudly represented the Raptors and made Toronto a team
getting wrecked by LeBron super solid from the Eastern Conference. We know the rest of the story, DMDR was transferred against Kawhi Leonard in 2018 and Lowry was part of the champion team in 2019. Today the two play in Miami (Lowry) and Chicago (DeRozan) but each time they come back to Canada, it’s an opportunity to give them a standing ovation. We are still talking about the best player in the history of the franchise in the eyes of some, and the best all-time scorer of the Raptors. Not nothing. Note: Kyle Lowry will return to Scotiabank Arena on November 16, while DeMar DeRozan will remember the Great North ten days before, on November 6.
#8: The sublime whipped Gary Trent Jr.
If the role of Gary Trent Jr. – holder or sixth man – remains to be confirmed, there is no doubt that the sniper will once again burn some strings this year. Last season, the outside planted no less than three shots from the parking lot per game with a very solid success percentage of 38%. In total, that’s no less than 209 banderillas sent from afar, always with this magnificent gesture that puts stars in our eyes at 3am.
#9: The defense with only 6’8 mobile
Question of the day: what do OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, Thaddeus Young, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Otto Porter Jr. and Chris Boucher have in common? They all have a height between 6’7 (2m) and 6’9 (2m05). Now you put three or four of these guys next to each other and imagine what that can do on defense in terms of length, mobility and versatility. In a league generally dominated by wingers, the Raptors are very well equipped to defend against heavyweights. So certainly it can show its limits against ultra-dominant pivots who have a size advantage under the basket (like Joel Embiid), but we want to wish good luck to the opposing exteriors who will go for a walk in the land of the Dinos this season.
#10: Drake’s 1st Row Celebrations
Of course we can’t talk about the Raptors without mentioning the name of Drake aka Champagne Papi aka Drizzy. We should once again see the rapper from Toronto sitting in the front row to support his Dinos during the big parties of the season: celebrations, pressure on the referees, and of course trashtalking sessions, in other words that the show will be as much on the parquet than at the edge of the field.
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The 10 good reasons to follow the Raptors on the NBA season 2022-23
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