The Toronto Raptors are currently sitting atop the Atlantic Division and seven games above .500. While most basketball fans would like their basketball money-lines, their inconsistent style of play have them as a risky bet moving forward.
Fans are elated because the team has one of the easiest schedules the remainder of the season because the combined win percentage of the Raptors’ opponents for the remainder of the season is .453.
On top of that, the team survived a tough early schedule and Toronto is 26-13 since Rudy Gay last played for them which is tied for the 2nd-most wins in the NBA in that time (since December 8).
Things look great, right? Wrong.
Against the Chicago Bulls they dug a hole early when they gave up 31 points in the first quarter. They clawed back after holding Chicago to 39 combined points in the second (17 points) and third quarters (22), but the sluggish start doomed them.
Then against Cleveland they only scored 16 points in the first quarter and had to rely on 37 points in the third quarter to steal the win.
Slow starts hurt them once again when they only scored 19 points against Orlando. Lucky for them they held Orlando to 17 points in the first quarter while exploding for 36 points in the third quarter.
Sure, the team is 7-3 over their past ten and appear to have an easy schedule to close out the season, but things are far from easy moving forward. Toronto needs to find a way to start games strong, play hard on both ends of the court and find some sort of consistency.
If not, Toronto’s surprising season will end in disappointment.