Has anyone looked at the Eastern Conference standings this morning? Spoiler alert: The Toronto Raptors are in 1st place. Coming into the year, they had the 11th (tied) best odds to win it all, now just days after the trade deadline, it is not implausible to believe the NBA Finals will be played partially outside the United States. This is a result of the Raptors making a strong case they are better than both of the teams that get all the attention in the East — Cleveland and Boston. For what it is worth, Toronto has advanced to third in odds tied with Cleveland and ahead of Boston (5th). While there is not much separation between Toronto (0.5 lead) and Boston record-wise, it is hard to make a case the edge goes towards Boston. Albeit one game, they just played this past week, and the Raptors looked far superior on both ends of the court. The Raptors’ 20-point victory does not even paint the story vividly enough as they topped them in nearly every statistical category: points, field goal %, three point %, assists, steals, blocks, fast break points, points in the paint, total turnovers. As for Cleveland, when they last faced the team with the best record in the East, they were humiliated in a 34-point stomping and were outrebounded 72 – 45. It might be important to add, they had to remake half of their roster proving just how bad things are in Cleveland.
The Toronto Raptors are Making a Case To Be Favored in the East
The Big Lead | Feb 11