Brad Stevens has good reason to be wary of the Toronto Raptors.
The Boston Celtics head coach explained to The Athletic’s Jay King why he believes Kawhi Leonard will make the Raptors even more formidable than they were last season. Stevens’ reasoning is simple.
The Raptors finished atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 59-23 record, but the Cleveland Cavaliers swept them in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Instead of resting on their laurels, the Raptors in July acquired Leonard and Danny Green from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Toronto also fired longtime coach Dwane Casey and replaced him with Nick Nurse.
Time will tell whether the winds of change will blow the Raptors into the NBA Finals, but Stevens, whose Celtics also are among the favorites to win the East, won’t overlook Leonard and Raptors for even one moment.
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