Does Toronto Have a Chance Sans Kawhi?


With the departure of Kawhi Leonard, do the Raptors have a chance at making it through the playoffs in 2019/2020? 

The odds seem to say yes. We The North is +800 or 8 to 1 at most sportsbooks on the early odds to win the Eastern Conference –there are a ton of books so check this Youwager review to compare the best sites.

While many naysayers don’t think the Raptors have a chance without the young superstar, Masai Ujiri said recently that Toronto 100% has a chance at repeating and successfully defending their championship. He said that Kawhi taught them how to climb that mountain. He taught them how to win. 

The Eastern Conference

The Milwaukee Bucks lead the way in the East and as far as the early signs are showing will be the team to beat. Right now their odds to win the Eastern Conference in 2020 are a short +200 (2 to 1). After experts assessed their roster and schedule, the Bucks are expected to have roughly a 57 win season. At least, the OVER/UNDER on their season wins is set at 57.5. 

The Philadelphia 76ers are listed at just +275. This young team now has some serious playoff experience and as you remember, was just an inch away from moving on last season. They won 51 games last year, but are expected to improve upon that by a few games this season. The OVER/UNDER for their season wins has been set at 54.5 

The Boston Celtics are +700 to take the East. Even after all the movement in Boston, not much has changed as far as their expectations. They won 49 last time around and are lined out at 48.5 this year. So, we should expect much of the same from the Beantown boys

The Brooklyn Nets are +800 With Kyrie, KD, and company moving over to Brooklyn, the Eastern Conference just got a bit more exciting. Funny thing is, after all the upgrades, the Nets are only expected to win 2.5 games more than last year. The OVER/UNDER on their wins is set at 44.5. I see the Nets as a team with a powerhouse starting lineup, but weak at depth and off the bench. Kenny Atkins is going to have to be excellent at managing playing time to succeed. As soon as KD, Kyrie, and DeAndre sit, teams can catch up, hence the low win total for such a star-packed team.

We The North are also at +800 (8 to1) but have a win total of 45.5, which is rough considering last year’s 58-win season. That said, even if the Raps barely go over that number and hit 46 wins, it’s still enough to get a decent playoff berth, and from that point, all bets are off. As Masai said, the Toronto Raptors now know how to win. They know how to climb to the top of the biggest mountain.

So, do the Raps have a chance next season? Absolutely. I would predict a No. 3 or No. 4 playoff berth entrance. I think the Celtics will fall off towards the end and lose some ground in the East. Brooklyn is the biggest question mark. Will they be a failed experiment or an instant success? If Brooklyn stumbles a little with all the new characters on their squad, Toronto very well could end up in that No. 3 spot. 


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