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NBA Toronto Raptors Jakob Poeltl 2016

Raptors 2016-17 Season Preview Highlights

The annual Toronto Raptors season preview for 2016-17 by Basketball Insiders is out. Here are some of the highlights:

The contributors to the preview are split 3/2 in favor of the Raptors holding off the Celtics for the Atlantic Division crown.

It’s probably fair to say that there’s a consensus that Toronto is the preseason No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference, mostly because they lost exactly zero players of import after back-to-back monster seasons that finally saw them make some headway in the 2016 playoffs. – Joel Brigham

Toronto fans won’t like it. I’m a big believer in the Boston Celtics. – Alex Kennedy

The big new additions to the Raptors this off season were Celtics free agent Jared Sullinger and ninth overall draft pick Jakob Poeltl.

The Austrian Jakob Poeltl is easily the best addition to the Raptors this season. – Moke Hamilton

While DeMar DeRozan is the top offensive player and Kyle Lowry is the team’s top playmaker, Basketball Insiders picked some surprising players to like.

I’ve been on the Valanciunas bandwagon for a long time. … the 24-year-old’s ceiling remains incredibly high.

Terrence Ross has slowly but surely carved out a place for himself in Toronto. … His growth epitomizes two of the things we like best in Toronto: growth and continuity. – Moke Hamilton

The team’s strengths are listed as chemistry and continuity and their weaknesses as depth and toughness.

chemistry and continuity are among the most important things an NBA team can have on its side, and the Raptors certainly do have that.

For the Raptors, true success will be judged by how they perform in the playoffs, and as it currently stands, the team appears to be built around too many “what if” performers. – Moke Hamilton

The Basketball Insiders preview largely sums up the range of opinions out there about the Raptors and their chances of holding off the Celtics in the Atlantic Division and overtaking the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.