Kawhi’s Gone, But Raptors Are Still Legit Going For Back-To-Back Chips

Kawhi Leonard’s arrival, LeBron James’ switch to the Western Conference and the end of the Golden State Dynasty, all played a part in the Raptors winning the 2019 NBA Championship. At least, that’s the formula most media pundits would have you believe. A perfect storm.

And with Kawhi gone to the Clippers, nobody was really picking the Raptors or giving the championship-caliber players they still have any credit. This season became all about LeBron and The Bubble. Kawhi and PG-13. Greek Freek and his band of solid soldiers. 

Don’t look now, but the Raptors are still killing the comp inside the Disney Bubble without their NBA finals MVP. With Wednesday night’s 109-99 thrashing of the Orlando Magic, Toronto has won seven games in a row dating back to the pre-COVID schedule and are 3-0 in the bubble.

Champions like Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Fred VanVleet, and company are proving that they were more vital to that 2019 Championship than people gave them credit for.

Unlike the Lakers and Clippers who are still trying to develop championship chemistry, Toronto already has it. The Raptors function like a beautiful symphony. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.