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Is it time to worry about the Toronto Raptors?

Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

So far this season, the Toronto Raptors have a record of 1-5, their worst start to a season since 2005. Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry have faced most of the blame for this weak start, as they are the two best players on the team and appear to be underperforming. They are both shooting poorly from the field, with Lowry at 40.5% and Siakam at 40.7%, so far this season. But with it only being 6 games into the season, they have a lot of time to turn the season around.

Last season, the Raptors did surprisingly well in the regular season and finished 2nd seed in the East. Despite the loss of Kawhi Leonard in the off-season, they actually improved their win percentage from 2019 to 2020, going from 70.7% to 73.6%. Then from last season to this season, there weren’t any huge changes to their roster, but they definitely got weaker at the Centre position. They lost Serge Ibaka to the Clippers and Marc Gasol to the Lakers, which I can’t think was planned. These were both their starting centers last season and the only player they’ve signed to replace them is Aron Baynes. Ibaka and Gasol are both great defensive Centres so they are without a doubt, worse this season on the defensive end.

Something else that I think is worth mentioning, is that they’re playing in a different stadium to what they’re usually. As they’re the Toronto Raptors, they usually play all their home games in Toronto. But with Canada placing travel restrictions on people entering their country, obviously due to Covid-19, the Raptors team are unable to travel across the Canadian-American border as they usually would. So far this season, all their home games have been played at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, which is the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, an ice hockey team. So it will take the Raptors some time to get used to their new stadium.

So is it time to worry about the Raptors this season? Maybe, but it’s still way too early to make any accurate predictions. If they’re still near the bottom of the table when we’re 30 games into the season, then it’s time to worry.

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