Will the Toronto Raptors Become a Legit Contender in the East?

A young Raptors roster will attempt to reach the playoffs for consecutive years.

Atlanta 11/13/2014 06:03 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

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The Toronto Raptors have always been a team in the NBA that few fans of the league have taken as a serious contender. Last season, the Raptors started to gain recognition as a legit contender in the Eastern Conference. The team north of the border finished the season placing first in their division and third in the East. Surprisingly, they achieved the success without one of the premier players on the roster. When the Raptors decided to part ways with Rudy Gay, many fans wondered if that would be the end of the season.

That proved not be the case as the Raptors stepped up their game and developed a great amount of chemistry that led to more wins than anyone expected. Over the years, the Raptors have found talent through the draft and successful free agent signings. The core group of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Terrence Ross play with high energy and a passion for the game. Down low they have big man, Jonas Valanciuncas. The 22 year old Lithuanian was a first round draft pick by the Raptors in 2011 and is expected to take his game to the next level this season.

Since the start of the season, the Raptors have labeled themselves as the surprise team of the league. While the season is only eight games in to the 82 game season, Toronto has people turning their heads every night they play. Possessing a record of 7-1 so far in 2014, they also are leading the league in scoring. The Raptors are doing a great job of building on the momentum they established last year when they made their first playoff appearance since 2008. The Atlantic division is one of the weaker divisions in the entire league. Other teams in that division, excluding the Raptors, have a combined record of 9-21. If Toronto can keep growing as a team they will remain in the driver seat for the remainder of the season.

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