all about matchups. the Cavs were just a terrible matchup for the Raptors given team makeup.
Talent wise the Raptors don't hold a candle to our roster... Kawhi/Lowry/OG/Ibaka? Lol don't make me laugh.. If that is their definition of their Big 4, I'll be utterly amazed as Hayward, Tatum, Brown, Horford, Irving, Smart, and whoever else steps up manhandles their bench and their starting five. That Raptors team blew out the C's twice last year and I think 3 times the year before. Just sayin'. And they add Kawhi, who's the best player on the court between the 2 teams. Maybe it was Dwayne Casey that had our number and not the players.
The Raptors also got swept by the Cavs.
We almost beat the Cavs, and if it weren't for some epic implosion and being frigidly cold, I think we could've taken that series.
Getting swept by any team in the playoffs except for Golden State, especially coming off the best regular season in franchise history is no excuse for 'matchups,' Moranis... Let's be real... DeRozan/Lowry are great players, but they aren't superstars. The Cavs really weren't that great of a team, it was just by the will of LeBron that they managed to beat us. Next year, I can confidently say we are way ahead of the Raptors, and I would relish the opportunity for us to face them next year just so we can curb stomp Kawhi back to LA.
I never said they were superstars, but their roster was not designed to stop James. As evident by James rolling through them the last 3 seasons. The Raptors were a much better team than the Pacers last year, and yet their Cavs series looked significantly different. Why, because the Pacers were a difficult matchup for the Cavs, while the Raptors were not. Matchups matter, especially in the playoffs.
Kawhi Leonard brings an entirely different element to the Raptors. He makes them significantly better, because he is without question a Superstar. He was a top 3 MVP candidate in his last two full seasons. He has multiple DPOY awards. His value is significant. Much more so then can be gleaned from him being x% better than DeRozan. He is worth at least x times 2 to the Raptors.
As I've said, I still expect Boston to come out of the East, but the Raptors are a significantly more difficult out with Leonard and Green then with DeRozan and Poeltl. SIGNIFICANT.