"That's a great team. No ifs, ands or buts. Exceptionally well-coached and championship DNA. You can never take that away from a ballclub if you win a championship. And even before that, they just got playoff-tested guys. Guys that played not only here in the NBA in big games but also in FIBA games as well. Marc [Gasol] has been in big games throughout his whole life pretty much it seems like.
"So, that's just a great team. The media may not talk about them much or give them much credit because Kawhi [Leonard] is gone, but players in the league definitely know what type of team they are."
Many have spent the 2019-20 season waiting for the Raptors to regress to expectations. It hasn't happened. Toronto is 47-18 through Saturday, solidly in second place in the Eastern Conference, and is tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the NBA's third-best point differential.
In other words: the Raptors are winning games because they're really good, not through luck.
While most Raptors are playoff-tested, Kawhi Leonard put the team on his back in critical moments last season. Before Kawhi, Toronto's postseason reputation was one of embarrassing gaffes and sweeps at the hands of LeBron-led teams.
Pascal Siakam has no experience as the lead scorer on a deep playoff run, and Kyle Lowry's postseason resume is inconsistent. It'll be interesting to see how the team handles the postseason spotlight, especially without a raucous Toronto crowd.