Through the first few weeks of the season, the Toronto Raptors didn’t look like the team that we’ve been used to seeing from previous years. Ten games in, their 2-8 record tied them for last in the NBA
Since then? The Raptors have flipped the switch completely, going 14-7 over a stretch of games that includes tough wins against other Eastern Conference contenders such as the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and most recently, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Since January 12th, only the Nets (15-6) have had a better record among teams in the East than the Raptors, and Toronto is firmly back in the playoff picture with a No. 5 seed slot if the playoffs started today.
What’s crazy, too, is that apart from the tough games in their schedule over this winning stretch for the Raptors, they’ve also had to overcome injuries to OG Anunoby and more recently Kyle Lowry.
In the meantime, Norman Powell has posted career-highs in scoring and three-point efficiency as a starter. Pascal Siakam looks like himself once again, and Fred VanVleet is letting the threes fly while making a strong case for All-Defensive Team recognition simultaneously.
For a while there, Raptors fans were panicking and perhaps even letting themselves look up some of the top prospects in this year’s NBA Draft, but the ship has righted itself. Everything just feels right and normal when the Raptors are winning.