With the NBA All-Star game about to land in Toronto - supposedly an $80 million dollar boost to TO's economy - the team that plays here in Southern Ontario is starting to get noticed for their recent success too.
Winners of 13 of their last 14 games and on pace to be the winningest team in Raptors history (and with the Leafs in complete sell-off mode to clear cap space for next year) the Raptors are THE story on the sports pages and other local media here in Southern Ontario. Them having top billing is only interrupted briefly for things like the Phaneuf trade or American League MVP Donaldson signing a 2 year extension with the Jays.
And now their exploits are being noticed south of the border too. This on the fun loving Raptors from Sports Illustrated. An article in which they even talk about the fan support they are getting on the road. At home they are selling out every game and are 4th in NBA attendance this season.[url=http://www.si.com/nba/2016/02/10/toronto-raptors-kyle-lowry-demar-deroza-dwane-casey-all-star?xid=si_social]http://www.si.com/nba/2016/02/10/toront ... =si_social[/url]
The Raptors’ success in recent years ensures that they are greeted by their vocal fans at every road game, including in Portland, where one of the team’s television broadcasters was signing autographs before the game and Lowry’s sharpshooting drew loud cheers throughout the night.
Raptors are perhaps the NBA’s most obvious “buyers? entering the trade deadline season. An extra wing could help keep the minutes off of Lowry and DeRozan. An extra forward could provide a level of insurance in the event Carroll’s recovery drags on. An extra warm body could prove critical when it comes time for Casey to play the match-up game in the postseason.
Whether or not Ujiri fortifies his squad before the trade deadline, these Raptors are fiercer, wiser, steadier and better balanced than last year’s group. Don’t let Lowry’s wisecracking, or DeRozan’s videobombing, or Valanciunas’s microphone goofing or Biyombo’s chuckling fool you: The Raptors look like they mean business this time.