JJ Redick thinks Toronto, when healthy, is the best team in basketball
Philadelphia 76ers guard JJ Redick sung high praises for the Toronto Raptors following their showdown on Saturday night. Per Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun, the Sixers sharp shooter thinks that Toronto has been the best team so far this season.
JJ Redick with some high praise for the Raptors: "This is a team that beat Golden State without Kawhi, obviously, they are missing some other guys. I think when they have been at full strength, they have been the best team in basketball this year."
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) December 23, 2018
The Sixers manhandled the short-handed Raptors, 126-101. Toronto superstar forward Kawhi Leonard sat out this end of the back-to-back out as part of his injury maintenance program. They were also without big men Serge Ibaka, who missed his third straight game with a sore right knee, and Jonas Valanciunas, who is sidelined with a dislocated left thumb.
Toronto has been saddled with injuries over the past couple of weeks. Kyle Lowry missed the past four outings with a sore left thigh, but made his return tonight. Despite all the injuries, they continue to maintain their spot at the top of the NBA with a league-leading 25-10 record.
The Raptors have been quite a surprise this season, especially with key roster changes and a new head coach in Nick Nurse. Kawhi Leonard is back to his old self and is looking more like the All-NBA player he used to be prior to his injury-riddled 2017-18 season. The addition of Danny Green gives them a much-needed three-and-D player at the wing.
Furthermore, Pascal Siakam has emerged as one of the team’s top rising stars. With Leonard out of commission, the Cameroonian forward led all Raptors scorers, matching his career-high of 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting, while adding six rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Nonetheless, Toronto having a great regular season isn’t something we haven’t seen before. They’ve been a consistently great regular season team over the past few years.
Yes, this team is different from the iterations we’ve seen in Toronto over the last few seasons. But the true test for this particular group, led by Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, is to prove that it can go deep in the playoffs, something that the previous Raptors teams failed to do.