Toronto Raptors: No more complaints about lack of respect

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: DeMar DeRozan
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: DeMar DeRozan /

Tuesday night’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers proves the Toronto Raptors still have a lot of work to do, to earn more respect around the NBA.

For the majority of the season, the sentiment among Toronto Raptors fans has been that their team deserves more respect. It’s time for this complaining to stop.

No one is denying the Raptors have had a special regular season, with them on the verge of setting a new franchise record for wins. Propelled by the second-best home record in the league, they are within sight of clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

However, recent performances have proved why Toronto is not getting — or deserving of — more respect from the media. Since soaring to a 11-game winning streak and a 52-17 record, it’s all come crashing down.

Since then, the Raptors have gone just 3-5 and seen their five-game lead at the top of the East whittle down to just two. Talk about going cold at an inopportune time.

And to make matters worse, three of the five losses have come against the Cleveland Cavaliers (twice) and the Boston Celtics. In the process, doubts have reemerged about Toronto’s ability to come through in the clutch.

Some will argue this narrative is unfair. After all, consider that they are 2-0 this season against the Houston Rockets, who will finish with the best record in the NBA.

However, while this is a fair point, the Raptors have still struggled against the other top teams in the league. Their collective record against the Golden State Warriors, Cavaliers and Celtics is 2-6, with one game remaining against Boston.

Talking of which, Wednesday night’s game at home to the Celtics has become even more pivotal. If the Raptors win, they will all but clinch the top seed in the East, with four games remaining.

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However, even if Toronto does manage this, the doubts won’t go away; and they shouldn’t do. They will still have to prove they can step up when the second season begins, with the Cavaliers in particular holding a psychological edge over them in the postseason.

As much as the Raptors have enjoyed regular season success dating back to the start of the 2013-14 campaign, they same can’t be said in the playoffs. The performances of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have been up and down, with the All-Star duo often failing to step up in crunch time.

Even having the league’s strongest bench won’t impact the outcome of games as much. Most team’s starters will usually see more minutes in the playoffs.

Again, no one is denying the Raptors have had an excellent season. However, the evidence is there for all to see, when explaining why they’re not getting more respect.

It’s time for Dwane Casey’s team to step up and prove they have the mental fortitude to succeed when the pressure is most intense. Starting with Wednesday night’s game against the Celtics.

Next: How long does Kyle Lowry have left?

Are you frustrated by the lack of respect the Toronto Raptors are getting? Or do you agree they still need to do more to earn it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.