Depending on which National Basketball Association analysis you trust or listen to the Toronto Raptors remain an enigma. ESPN analysis Paul Pierce told the national viewing audience this past Saturday that he still doesn’t see the Raptors as a squad with the “it” factor. Odds to Win 2018 NBA Championship (March 13).
Toronto has won eight straight and 15 of their last 16. The recently put down the top team in the West, the Houston Rockets. The victory over Houston snapped the Rockets 17-game winning streak. Toronto is currently conquering the Eastern Conference with a 3.5-game lead over the second place Boston Celtics.
The former NBA champion and 10-time All-Star said during the ESPN broadcast, “It’ll be hard for me to see them beating Cleveland in a seven-game series – or even Boston, for that matter. I mean, I know that they have a great backcourt: DeMar [DeRozan] and, of course, Kyle Lowry. But it’s just the past,” Pierce said Saturday during an ESPN broadcast. “I go off what I’ve seen. I’ve seen them have successful regular seasons. However those have been followed by postseason upsets.”
“There’s just something about playoff basketball that’s just totally different,” Pierce added in the editorial. “There’s no pressure in the regular season. Every possession counts while in the playoffs. When you’re getting booed or when you’re getting cheered, these guys they feel it, they feel the pressure, especially in the fourth quarter.”
“It’s just, year in and year out, Toronto hasn’t been able to get it done and I don’t know if it has anything to do with the pressure.”
The latest NBA Futures update by the Las Vegas SuperBook, Westgate, puts the Raptors odds at 10-to-1 to win the overall championship and Toronto checks in as the favorite to win the Eastern Conference title.
Odds to Win 2018 NBA Championship (March 13)