The Eastern Adversary

Top team in the East to beat the Golden State Warriors for the O'Brien trophy


Flickr user RMTip21

Toronto Raptors claw logo.

For the past four years, the Golden State Warriors have been the most terrorizing team in the NBA, notching three of the last four championships. Last year, it was the Houston Rockets who gave them the most run for their money, but with them struggling, what teams are in best contention to defeat the Warriors?

After Lebron’s departure from the Eastern Conference, there was a vacant spot for the new top team in the East. Before the season, it was expected by many that the Boston Celtics were going to be that team. However, as the season progressed, it was the Toronto Raptors who decided to steal that spot.

After falling to Lebron last year, the Raptors decided to shake things up and traded their all star guard, Demar DeRozan, for the San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

At the beginning, people were pessimistic about Leonard because of his huge absence during the 2017-2018 season, but that has been proven wrong. Leonard has been putting up unbelievable statistics this year with 20-plus points per game and about two steals a game and has led his team to the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Another move that shook up the Raptors’ season was firing the Coach of the Year, Dwane Casey, but their new head coach, Nick Nurse, has been wonderful. He has helped the team to be top 10 in points scored and assists per game as a team. Also, they have been a barrier to the basket as they are top 10 in points allowed per game.

With their new all star and head coach, this has allowed for growth of their young players and has been able to keep their veteran players in top shape.

Players like forward Pascal Siakam, who has been very efficient, guard Fred Van Vleet who has become very dangerous behind the arc, and forward OG Anunoby who has been a sustainable scorer. Don’t forget about their vets, guard Kyle Lowry has been growing in his passing ability, and Serge Ibaka is putting up his best stats since he was playing in Oklahoma City. Likewise, center Jonas Valanciunas has been consistent on the boards. With the combination of these players, the Raptors have experienced incredible success this season.

With all the players the Raptors have accumulated and their Canadian support, the team has a high chance to dethrone the Golden State Warriors in their quest to rule the NBA.