Toronto Raptors News
9-22-14: The Toronto Raptors look to repeat as Atlantic division champions. Unless Brooklyn or New York surprise most experts they look to have a clear path to do just that. Masai Ujiri made smart moves by not only resigning Kyle Lowry but by resigning Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson who he acquired from the Sacramento Kings last season. Toronto has one of the deepest benches of the league and will look to secure home court in the playoffs next year.
8-13-14: The Toronto Raptors were just one possession away from reaching the second round losing in seven games to the Brooklyn Nets. However, despite the disappointment the team was good enough to win 48 games this past season in what was good season for the organization. Heading into this offseason, Toronto general manager had to focus on players on his roster with expiring contracts. He resigned their star player Kyle Lowry to a multiyear deal, gave head coach Dwyane Casey a new deal, and resigned restricted free agents Patrick Peterson and Grevis Vasquez while adding free agent James Johnson for two years that could keep this franchise going further.
Toronto Raptors 2014 Draft Overview
Round 1, Pick 20, Bruno Caboclo, SF, Brazil
Round 2, Pick 37, DeAndre Daniels, SF, UConn
5-12-14: The Raptors had an unfortunate end to their 2013-14 season. However, Toronto fans should be optimistic. Young teams do not typically go far in the NBA playoffs, so the playoff experience the Raptors received this past postseason was very important for their development. They pushed a veteran Brooklyn Nets team to seven games and were one shot away from moving to the second round. Soon after the series ended, the Raptors agreed to a three-year contract extension with coach Dwane Casey. He just finished his third season with Toronto and has improved the team’s win total every year he has coached the Raptors.
5-5-14: With their second straight victory, the Raptors took a 3-2 lead on Wednesday. Toronto dropped Game 1 at home and Game 3 on the road, but was able to avenge those losses in Games 4 and 5. On Sunday in Brooklyn, DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 24 points as the Raptors defeated the Nets, 87-79. Greivis Vasquez also chipped in nine assists in that contest as the Raptors won their first road playoff game since 2001. Then on Wednesday, the two teams played their highest-scoring game of the series, and Toronto finished on top. Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 36 points and helped fight off a furious Nets’ comeback attempt.
4-28-14: The Raptors split the first two contests of their series with the Brooklyn Nets. In Game 1, Jonas Valanciunas set a new franchise postseason record with a game-high 18 boards, but the Raptors could not get the victory. The Nets defeated the Raptors, 94-87, behind 24 points each from Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. Toronto bounced back in Game 2 behind a game-high 30 points from DeMar DeRozan. He scored 17 of those points in the fourth quarter. Valanciunas grabbed 14 more rebounds on Tuesday. With double-doubles in each of the two playoff games against the Nets, the Lithuanian big man is averaging 16 points and 16 rebounds per contest.
4-21-14: The Raptors were one of the league’s best teams in April. DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Greivis Vasquez led the team to a 6-2 regular-season record in the month, which was their fifth-straight month above .500. DeRozan, who led the team in scoring this season, put up game-highs in points on both April 2 and April 13. Valanciunas, the 2013-14 Raptors’ leader in double-doubles, averaged a double-double in April. Vasquez, who led the NBA in 3-point shooting in April, totaled the most assists of any Raptor in the month as well. Kyle Lowry should be healthy for the playoffs, so he can set up Vasquez for his shot.
4-16-14: Raptors playoff tickets currently average $400 on the secondary market, which is 1st in the east and 1st overall. The regular season average was $108, meaning there is a 270% playoff premium. The Raptors are currently in the 3rd seed and are set to face the 6th seeded Wizards in the opening round.
4-7-14: The Raptors had a 3-1 week to help keep their lead in the Atlantic Division. Friday was an important night for this year’s squad. By sweeping the home-and-home set with the Boston Celtics, Toronto clinched its first playoff berth since 2008. Behind DeMar DeRozan’s game-high 30 points, the Raptors won, 105-103, to move to 10 games above .500. They then split their back-to-back set in Florida with the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat. Afterwards, DeRozan led the Raptors to another big victory. Even without Kyle Lowry, they beat the Houston Rockets on Wednesday as DeRozan led all scorers with 29 points at the Air Canada Centre that night.
4-1-14: The Raptors split their four games this past week as they ready themselves for the 2014 playoffs. They hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday and forced overtime, but fell just short. Kevin Durant’s 51 points were too much for Toronto as the Thunder won, 119-118. Kyle Lowry helped the Raptors bounce back on Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks. His game-high 25 points led Toronto to the double-digit win. Then, the Raptors split a road back-to-back set to finish the week. On Tuesday, they made a valiant comeback, but lost by two points to the Cleveland Cavaliers. On Wednesday, the Raptors beat the Boston Celtics, 99-90.
3-24-14: The Raptors find themselves in a very close Eastern Conference playoff race. They had a difficult schedule this past week and finished with a 2-2 record. On Friday, Jonas Valanciunas put up game-highs in points and rebounds as he led Toronto to the 99-86 victory over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies. Then, the Raptors finished their three-game homestand with a eight-point loss to the Phoenix Suns. Dwane Casey’s squad traveled to Atlanta for a quick road trip. They dropped the first contest in overtime, but beat the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday behind a game-high 31 points from DeMar DeRozan.
3-17-14: The Raptors continue to keep their lead in the Atlantic Division because of weeks like these. On Friday, Terrence Ross made six 3-pointers against the Sacramento Kings to help Toronto match its win total from last year. The Raptors then split their back-to-back set in Minnesota and Brooklyn. On Sunday, Dwane Casey’s squad faced the Timberwolves and Kyle Lowry’s fourth career triple-double led Toronto to the 111-104 victory over Minnesota. Lowry kept it going on Monday with game-highs in points, rebounds and assists, but it was not enough as the Raptors fell by four points to the Nets. However, Toronto bounced back with a 101-87 win on Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons.
3-10-14: They played just one game this past week, and it was a good one. The Raptors hosted the Golden State Warriors on Sunday and won by six points. It was first time that Toronto beat a Stephen Curry-led Golden State team. Although Curry scored a game-high 34 points, the Raptors still held the Warriors to fewer than 100 points for the game. DeMar DeRozan’s 32 points led the way for Toronto in that contest. The Raptors will be flying around the United States for the bulk of March before a home-heavy April schedule. This month is very important for their attempt to remain the top dog in the Atlantic Division.
3-3-14: With the Raptors all but guaranteed a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference, tickets for the opening round of the playoffs have already hit the secondary market. Average ticket price for the four possible games at the Air Canada Centre is currently $224. The Raptors most expensive remaining regular season game is March 21st vs the Oklahoma City Thunder.
3-2-14: The Raptors were one Kyle Lowry last-second shot away from having a perfect week. On Thursday, although Greivis Vasquez scored a season-high 26 points, Toronto was unable to take down the Washington Wizards in triple-overtime. However, the Raptors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers twice and the Orlando Magic once. On Tuesday in Cleveland, DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 33 points in the Toronto’s 99-93 victory. Dwane Casey’s squad has now won six of its last seven games. The third-place Raptors stand at 32-26 in the Eastern Conference. They seem to be in command of the Atlantic Division and hope to surprise NBA fans in the playoffs.
2-24-14: Jonas Valanciunas kicked off the weekend by starting for Team Hill in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday. Then, Terrence Ross participated in the dunk contest the next night and was a part of the victorious Eastern Conference team with John Wall and Paul George. After playing in the skills challenge on Saturday, DeMar DeRozan made his first career appearance in an All-Star game and scored eight points. The Raptors then traveled to Washington to take on the Wizards. Kyle Lowry led all players in points and assists en route to Toronto’s double-digit victory on Tuesday. The Raptors returned home to finish the back-to-back set and lost by two points to the Chicago Bulls.
2-18-14: The Raptors are shooting 3-pointers at a very high rate in February. They have more field goal attempts from downtown than their opponent in each of their six games this month. In previous months, the increased number of 3-pointers has led to more Toronto wins, and that success continued this past week. Although the Raptors fell by 13 points to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, DeMar DeRozan filled the stat sheet with 36 points, eight assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block. Then, Toronto returned home for a quick, two-game homestand. Although the Raptors were without starting power forward Amir Johnson for both of those contests, they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans and the Atlanta Hawks by a combined 28 points.
2-10-14: The Raptors are in the process of surviving their West-Coast road trip. They traveled to Denver, Portland, Utah and Sacramento this past week. On Friday, Toronto extended its winning streak to three games as Dwane Casey’s squad defeated the Nuggets by 10 points. Then, DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points and dished out a career-high 12 assists the next night, but that was not enough as the Raptors fell by three points to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Raptors faced the Jazz on Monday, the day that Kyle Lowry was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Lowry’s knee injury prevented him from finishing the game, but Toronto blew out Utah. However, the Raptors could not make it back-to-back wins on Wednesday even with Lowry posting a very nice stat line.
2-3-14: It is looking like the Raptors could actually win the Atlantic Division after having a 3-1 week. Kyle Lowry triple-doubled Toronto to victory at Philadelphia on Friday. Lowry now has a triple-double in each of the last four seasons with the last three coming on the road. The Raptors returned home to face the Los Angeles Clippers the next night. After 21 minutes of play, DeMar DeRozan sprained his foot and left the game. Terrence Ross took over and scored a total of 51 points, which matched the franchise’s single-game record. Although the Raptors lost that contest, they bounced back to defeat the Brooklyn Nets and the Orlando Magic without DeRozan.
1-27-14: The Raptors fell back to earth this past week, but still went 2-2. After defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, Toronto suffered its first home loss in over a month. The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to Canada and pushed the Raptors’ record to 0-7 when allowing at least 110 points this season. Then, Dwane Casey’s squad lost again the next day. The Raptors battled back from a 30-point deficit against the Bobcats in Charlotte, but the comeback fell just short. However, Toronto found its winning ways again as DeMar DeRozan’s career-high 40 points led the way in a 93-85 win over the Mavericks on Wednesday.
1-20-14: The Raptors continue to take care of business at home. They have yet to lose at the Air Canada Center in 2014 and are currently on by far their longest home winning streak of the season. They swept a three-game homestand and now have defeated five consecutive opponents in Toronto by double digits. It is the first time that a Raptors team has accomplished this feat since 2000. On January 8, Toronto blew out the Detroit Pistons, who are surprisingly a good team on the road this season. Then, on Saturday, the Raptors halted the Nets’ five-game winning streak. Toronto continued its success on Monday with a 22-point victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
1-3-14: The post-Rudy Gay era has been a huge success thus far in Toronto. The Raptors owned a 6-12 record with Gay in the lineup, and they are now a shocking 9-3 without him. On Friday, Jonas Valanciunas led the way with a game-high 18 rebounds along with 16 points to lead Toronto to the victory at Madison Square Garden. Then the next night, Kyle Lowry shined on his home floor. He had a near triple-double en route to the Raptors completing the sweep of the New York Knicks in the home-and-home set. Then after winning a low-scoring battle in Chicago on Tuesday, the Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan’s 26 points against the league-best Indiana Pacers to cement another back-to-back victory.
12-30-13: The Raptors surprisingly had a fantastic week, in which they went 2-1 on the road against three strong Western Conference opponents. In addition, the Canadian basketball team moved into first place in the Atlantic Division. While Toronto’s record remains below .500, the team won in Dallas on Friday and in Oklahoma City two days later. In a 109-108 overtime victory over the Mavericks, Jonas Valanciunas registered his eighth double-double of 2013-14. Then on Sunday, the Raptors were led by Kyle Lowry’s team-high points, assists and steals en route to becoming the first team to win in Oklahoma City this season. Although the San Antonio Spurs defeated Toronto the next night, the Raptors are still in a very good position moving forward.
12-22-13: The Raptors were just one Kemba Walker buzzer-beater away from having a perfect 3-0 week. They won back-to-back games against the Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls by a combined 30 points, but then dropped Wednesday’s home contest against the Charlotte Bobcats. It would have been nice for Dwane Casey’s squad to snag that third consecutive victory because Toronto now travels to Dallas, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and New York. There will be a lot riding on DeMar DeRozan’s shoulders during the team’s upcoming road trip. He will need to keep up his 22 points per game for the team to fight for a playoff spot.
12-13-13: After facing some tough opponents, the Raptors finished their quick west coast trip in Phoenix and Los Angeles. In the second contest of Toronto’s three-game road swing, the Suns defeated the Raptors by nine points and pushed Toronto’s losing streak to five games, the team’s longest of the season. However, the Raptors then defeated the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center and were led by Amir Johnson’s career-high 32 points. After the game, they made a big splash in the NBA by trading Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings in a seven-player deal. Although the Raptors dropped their game on Tuesday to the San Antonio Spurs, Johnson still scored a team-high 19 points, which pushed his streak of scoring at least 15 points to a career-long four consecutive games.
12-7-13: It sure has been a difficult week for the Raptors, a team that faced the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors. Not surprisingly, they lost all three contests. However, no one expected the Raptors to have a 27-point lead at Golden State on Tuesday. It would have been a great win for Toronto, but the Warriors scored 42 fourth-quarter points and handed the Canadian basketball franchise its fourth consecutive loss. The Raptors have a difficult “road” this December, as they are away from home for most of the month. DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay both need to continue to provide the bulk of the scoring, so that the Raptors can keep up with their tough schedule.
11-28-13: The Raptors continued their up and down play over the last week, with a big win over the recently hot Washington Wizards and a two point loss to the struggling Brooklyn Nets. Toronto is now 6-8 on the young season, which in a weak Eastern Conference has them sitting in the 4th seed. DeMar DeRozan has been playing out of his mind over the last five games, averaging 27.8 points per game and continuing to impress upon the world that Rudy Gay, and his 37% shooting, is not tremendously needed in Canada.
11-22-13: Despite just a 5-7 record, the Toronto Raptors are currently sitting in 1st place in the downtrodden, Atlantic Division. With the Nets and Knicks struggling, the Raptors are reaping the benefits of a weak division. The Raptors easily could be sitting at 7-5 instead of 5-7, after they dropped two recent games in overtime against the Rockets and Trail Blazers. DeMar DeRozan looks like he is taking the next step in his 4th year, including averaging 33 points over his last three games.
11-15-13: Rudy Gay is definitely not the most efficient scorer right now, but he’s getting it done well enough for the Raptors that they’re 4-5 through three weeks. Overall, the Raptors have looked solid getting to this point, as they have gone 2-2 in their last four. Their losses are even easier to swallow, as their two most recent losses have come to the undefeated Pacers and a very talented Rockets club.
11-8-13: Toronto is just 2-3 through their first five games, but a poor shooting star by Rudy Gay leaves the door open to better offense going forward. Young center Jonas Valanciunas is another huge bright spot for the Raptors, as their inside game could get borderline formidable if he can evolve into the dominant force his talent suggests he can. The Raptors have some upside moving forward thanks to a lot of talent, but for now their early record seems to properly fit their efforts.
10-30-13: The Raptors finished with a 6-1 record in the preseason, which tied for third-best in the NBA. While they may not be able to keep up that pace during the regular season, continuity is the key for this team. Toronto brings the same starting lineup from 2012-13 into this season as the organization hopes it will be fighting for a spot in the playoffs. Rudy Gay is ready to lead the Raptors in scoring as he was constantly getting to the free-throw line in the preseason. DeMar DeRozan has also had some success early on as he looks to contribute as a starter. The Raptors are gearing up to keep this roster intact going forward as they have exercised third-year team options on both Jonas Valanciunas on Terrance Ross.
After dealing their best player, Andrea Bargnani, to the Knicks this offseason the Raptors have retooled by adding the veteran guard Rudy Gay to help lead Toronto this season. The Raptors currently sit at 4-1 in the preseason winning their last three over the Knicks, Timberwolves and Celtics respectively. Terrence Ross had 19 points en route to their narrow 99-97 victory over the Boston. The Raptors will play the Knicks, Grizzles and then travel to Milwaukee to finish out the preseason.
10-14-13: The Toronto Raptors see no reason why they shouldn't be one of the more respective teams in the Eastern conference. With talented players such as Rudy Gay and DiMare DeRozan and Kyle Lowry the raptors can be a force to be reckoned with on any given night. The Toronto Raptors will kick off the regular season against the Boston Celtics on October 30th. Two of the raptors new acquisitions came from the Indiana Pacers in Tyler Hansbrough and point guard DJ Augustin. Earlier last month the Toronto Raptors were also awarded the 2016 NBA All-Star weekend.
8-23-13: For the first time since 2008, the 2014 Toronto Raptors are a legitimate threat to make the playoffs. With a full season of Rudy Gay and the continued development of promising young players such as Demar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross the Raptors are showing the first serious promise since Chris Bosh went south to Miami. When new GM Masai Ujiri came on board, he wasted little time in ridding the Raptors of the on-court cancer of Andrea Bargnani, with the move widely seen as addition by subtraction. Key depth was also added as the scrappy Tyler Hansbrough was signed and Steve Novak came over from the Knicks in the Bargnani trade.
The Raptors open their home season schedule on Wednesday, October 30th against the Boston Celtics. Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat will make two trips to Toronto, once early in the season on Tuesday, November 5th and for a second time on Friday, November 29th. Andrea Bargnani will make his first trip to Air Canada Centre on Saturday, December 28th with a second visit on Friday, April 11th.
Key Home Games:
- October 30th – Boston Celtics
- November 15th – Chicago Bulls
- January 1st – Indiana Pacers
- January 11th – Brooklyn Nets
- January 19th – L.A. Lakers
7-31-13: The Raptors have signed Austin Daye to a two-year, $2 million deal.
7-18-13: The Raptors and free agent point guard D.J. Augustin have agreed on a one-year, $1.26 million deal.
7-10-13: The Raptors have officially traded
Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks. In return the Raptors will get Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and Quentin Richardson, along with the Knicks 2016 first round draft pick and their 2014 and 2017 second round picks.
The Raptors also have agreed on a two-year deal with with free agent forward and former Indiana Pacer, Tyler Hansbrough.
6-12-13: The raptors finished tied for 9th place in the Eastern Conference winning 34 games with an ever-changing roster. A midseason trade which landed them Rudy Gay was a positive move that looks good for the upcoming season. Once Jose Calderon was traded Kyle Lowry finally got to settle in as the 1st string point guard without looking over his shoulder. The Raptors were able to win more than half their home games but struggled mightily on the road going 13-28. Toronto does not possess a first round draft pick this year, but look for them to attempt to add pieces through free agency and try to make the playoffs next year.
2-14-13: The raptors finished the first half of the season pretty strongly, going 6-2 in their last eight games including their current four game winning streak. The blockbuster trade, landing them Rudy Gay is a big reason why. Suffering from a log jam at the point guard position for most of the season, they Raptors corrected this by sending Jose Calderon to the Pistons and in return receiving Rudy Gay, one of the league’s most talented wing players. With notable wins over Denver, New York and Indiana, who are all playoff teams, the Raptors have played inspired ball since the trade. Still a longshot for the playoffs, the Raptors sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, 6 games behind the eighth seed.
11-20-12: Many would question the decision to start Kyle Lowry over Jose Calderon, but since the injury to Lowry, which seems to be a consistent event from season to season, Calderon has flourished. The Raptors currently sit in last place at 3-7 but that is no surprised considering they have played 7 of 10 games against playoff teams from last year. Going forward it will be interesting to see how the team chooses to operate as a unit, and who they will start at point guard; either Calderon or Lowry when he returns from injury.