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Fred VanVleet says Raptors are ready to prove people wrong again in 2019-20

Fred VanVleet

Last season, the Toronto Raptors started their march to the championship as relative underdogs. Even after adding Kawhi Leonard, more established teams like the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks all started with better odds than the Raptors to win it all. In the end, Toronto outlasted all competitors and shocked the NBA world. Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who was key to the Finals victory, is ready to do the whole process over again:

While it might be even a bigger stretch than last year, the Raptors do have a shot at making some serious noise in the playoffs.

The team obviously lost the services of Leonard and Danny Green, but they retained almost all of their other key players.

Kyle Lowry will return after recovering from thumb surgery. Pascal Siakam, who took a huge leap last year, is only expected to improve. Big men Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol will man the center of the floor and remain as defensive powerhouses.

VanVleet, who proved that he is capable of being more than just a bench player in the playoffs, can again show the world he is still capable of getting better. While he probably won’t surpass Lowry for the starter’s job, he could be a deadly force off the bench.

VanVleet and the Raptors will have a chip on their shoulder after Leonard’s departure. They will do everything they can to prove they are still contenders, and it would be a mistake to sleep on them when the season starts.