It sounds like Paul Pierce still doesn’t think the Toronto Raptors have “It.” Despite having the fewest losses in the Eastern Conference and the NBA’s fourth-best win percentage (.742) entering Christmas Day, Pierce doesn’t believe the Raptors have what it takes to get over the hump in the playoffs. Speaking on a recent pre-game show on ESPN, Pierce thinks Toronto remains a rung below the NBA’s elite and questioned whether the team has enough talent on the roster to truly compete for a championship. “I’m not really sold on them yet because I’ve seen this replay from the Raptors — a great regular-season team, where they end up in the Top 4 [in the Eastern Conference], home-court advantage, just to see them get bounced again in the playoffs,” Pierce said. “I don’t know how much they did in the off-season to improve their roster in terms of getting that player that can get you over the top. They have good, young role players, [Jonas] Valanciunas is improving, but I just don’t see that other player that gets them past where they need to go. “I look at them as a team that can make the second round, put up a good fight but their ceiling may be the Eastern Conference Finals but no further than that. They can get the best record in the East, have home-court advantage, but I just don’t see this team really being a contender amongst Cleveland, Houston, Golden State.” These comments aren’t the first ones the now-retired Pierce has made questioning Toronto’s post-season pedigree.
Paul Pierce: I don’t see the Raptors really being a contender
Sportsnet | Dec 25