The Raptors won 49 games last year, but most of them were in the first half of the season. Toronto stumbled down the stretch and then suffered a humiliating sweep at the hands of Washington in the first round of the playoffs.
However, the Raps also had to survive injuries to Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan last year. In the 48 games the two were in the starting lineup, Toronto went 32-16.
Who’s In: DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, Luis Scola, Bismack Biyombo
Who’s Out: Lou Williams, Amir Johnson, Greivis Vasquez, Tyler Hansbrough
Who’s Back: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson, Jonas Valanciunas
Toronto Raptors Season Win Total: 47.5 at Pinnacle Sports
Toronto Raptors Atlantic Division Championship Odds: -333 at Bet365
Toronto Raptors Eastern Conference Championship Odds: +1200 at Sports Interaction
Toronto Raptors NBA Championship Odds: +5000 at Bodog
In the awful Atlantic Division, the Raptors look like a solid favourite to get into the playoffs as one of the East Conference’s top seeds. The success of Toronto’s season, however, will be measured by how far they get in the post-season. With a motivated DeRozan (contract year), slimmed-down Lowry, an improved Valanciunas and the bitter taste of last spring in their mouth, the Raptors stand a good chance of winning a round for the second time in franchise history. However, with the Cavaliers, Bulls and Hawks to go through after that, we don’t see the Raptors advancing to the Eastern Conference championship, let alone winning it.