It took no time at all for ESPN to forget Toronto even exists as they forecast the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will meet in the NBA Finals again next year.
Sure the Cavs and the Dubs are heavy favorites no matter what any other team does this summer, but what the ESPN Forecast panel is predicting can only be called bizarre and insulting.
The third place 51-win Raptors don’t even get a sniff ahead of the Bucks team (4.4%) they eliminated from the playoffs, a 49-win Wizards team (2.2%) who they took two of three games from during the regular season or the dysfunctional Pistons (2.2%) who didn’t even make the playoffs.
This panel are either making a ton of assumptions about the inability of Raptors president Masai Ujiri to keep the key pieces of his roster together or, more likely, they just forgot Toronto has an NBA franchise.
The assumptions required to believe the Celtics will win the East next season are not any easier to make happen than those required for the Raptors to be back in the top three of the Eastern Conference.
The Wizards largely face the same challenges this summer that they faced last summer to take another step.
The Bucks are an up and coming team, but do they break thru next year?
The Pistons? Stan Van Gundy wouldn’t predict his team wins the East next year.
It might not be easy for the US based ESPN to remember “We The North” exists, but they could at least look at last year’s standings for some background info before forecasting next year.
There is no one in Toronto that shouldn’t take the Pistons being given a better chance than the Raptors to win the East as anything but a huge insult. Even the Hawks, Bulls, Pacers and Heat should be questioning how the Pistons are getting more respect from ESPN than they are.