After an impressive 3-0 start to the season, the Toronto Raptors are getting some early recognition from south of the border.
Sports Illustrated released the first edition of their weekly power rankings, and despite the extremely small sample size, Raptors fans should be thrilled to see where their team checks in at.
Coming in at No. 1 in the most northern spot of the rankings, the 2018/19 Toronto Raptors.
SI's Khadrice Rollins, who ranked the Raps in at No. 3 in his pre-season rankings, explained why he put the Raps in the top spot.
"I was prepared to leave Toronto at No. 2 after pulling out the thriller against the Celtics. Then, without Kawhi, the Raptors went on the road and earned another victory on the second night of a back-to-back that they had every reason to lose. Kyle Lowry might be down a best friend, but the championship experience provided by Leonard and Danny Green will mean more than pregame handshakes come May. And through one week in October, it seems it is already paying off."
What's impressive about the team's early seasons success is that they rolled into Washington and knocked off a talented Wizards squad one day after that Celtics victory without Leonard, as Rollins alluded to. Kyle Lowry's 28 points and 12 assists were the main reason why the Raps won on Saturday, which was an encouraging sign given the Wizards' strong guard combo of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
While it's easy to say that these rankings won't mean anything come playoff time, we should point out that NBA.com ranked the Raps first in their rankings as well, while ESPN and CBS Sports had them coming in at the two spot.
Between the team's versatility, strong defensive presence and Kawhi Leonard showing some signs of his former dominant self, don't be surprised if this team finishes tops in the Eastern Conference after game 82 and makes a strong push to represent the East in this season's NBA Finals.
Yes, it's still incredibly early, but that doesn't mean dinos supporters can't enjoy the great start and see them gaining by some mighty media outlets.