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20 Reasons to Watch The Toronto Raptors 20th Season

The Toronto Raptors are back and expectations are high. Here’s 20 good reasons to watch the Raptors as they play in their 20th NBA season – in no particular order.


1. Raptors are favored by 76.9 percent of NBA GMs to repeat as Atlantic Division Champs – There’ll be playoffs in Toronto again!


2. Kyle Lowry is back. Toronto’s free agent starting point guard Kyle Lowry re-signed to a reasonable four-year deal despite receiving better offers from other NBA teams according to MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke. The Raptors not losing a star player or grossly overpaying to avoid losing a player is big news in Toronto.


3. Jurassic Park madness – enough said.


4. Watch the Raptors Gold Medal Winning All-Star DeMar DeRozan take another step in his blossoming career.


5. Jonas Valanciunas is the international player most likely to have a breakout season according to NBA GMs. He averaged 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds with a 16.2 PER in Toronto last year.



6. GM Masai Ujiri’s ability to inspire up a crowd and make the news.


7. Possible Sixth Man of the Year and offensive fireplug Lou Williams will be lighting things up for the Raptors this year.


8. The missing defensive player from last season’s playoffs could be James Johnson!


9. Continuity, the Raptors didn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken and brought back the team’s winningest Starting Five in franchise history.



10. Raptors Dance Pak is back and ready to entertain.



11. He probably isn’t two years away from being two years away and watching whatever minutes Coach Casey gives to rookie Bruno Caboclo will be a treat.



12. Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira’s hair – okay more than just the hair, he’s a really fun-loving guy!


13. Amir Johnson brings it for the fans both on and off the court in a big way.



14. Watch Terrence Ross break out to become more than a Three-and-D player this season.


15. Patrick Patterson re-signed with the Raptors for three more years and he was a huge lift off the bench for Toronto last year.


16. Greivis Vasquez backed up Kyle Lowry last season, but he re-signed with Toronto because he wants to win. He’ll be big again this year because he wants to be pushed to be better.



17. How could anyone not want to watch a player nicknamed ‘Physco T’? Tyler Hansbrough is back and he’s brought a summer-three ball back with him.


18. Checking out the Jonas Valanciunas Beard! Will he overtake Harden by the end of the season?


19. ‘The Steamer’ Greg Stiemsma will have his moments as the Raptors rough and tumble big man.



20. Return of the Raptors Dance Pak Alumni – Kat comes back to her roots!



Bonus 21. Maybe, just maybe Coach Casey has a shot at NBA Coach of the Year? And then there’s that Drake fellow kicking around, causing trouble and having some fun.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.