A year after going to the Eastern Conference Finals the Toronto Raptors are still not garnering the respect that they think they deserve.
They won 56 games last season, finished with the second best record in the Eastern Conference and pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers harder than anyone else not named Golden State.
All of that said, people still don’t see Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan’s squad as true contenders. Count Boston’s Jae Crowder as one of the many non-believers after comments he made earlier this week.
DeMarre Carroll was quick to dismiss the younger forward’s remarks, attributing them to the relative inexperience of the 26-year-old.
The swingman said to Sportsnet: “I just think it’s a comment from a person who really hasn’t been in the playoffs. When you haven’t been on that level, you don’t understand what it takes to get to that level.”
Now, the Celtics have been to the playoffs for the last two seasons. But, they have been quickly disposed of in the first round each time.
Toronto has had its own struggles before their breakthrough this past season. The North is nowhere near a favorite to claim the NBA Championship or the Eastern Conference for that matter.
The small forward says that the members of the Canadian club prefer it that way: “You just go under the radar, do your job, and then you end up where you need to be. I feel like that’s the type of team we are.”
It’s hard to argue with the results because even though other teams have bigger stars or coaches, the Raptors just plug along. The entire exchange might ignite a small bit of animosity between the two teams.
Honestly, fans can’t wait for the season to start so both players can let their play speak for themselves rather than going back and forth in the media.