Looking at the start of the season Toronto Raptors fans were eager and optimistic. We quickly saw that vanish with Rudy Gay’s sponge like play on the court the Raptors and his field goal percentage were at the bottom of the league. Current Raptors GM Masai Ujiri quickly made changes in a season that had some Raptors Fans including myself chanting #TankCity. The 2013 NBA Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri might repeat this accomplishment with the Toronto Raptors in 2014. Moving Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings opened up the court and brought in some key pieces to the team. Not big names like Rudy Gay, but more gel players who have grit and work hard as a team. A deal that sent Aaron Gray, Quincy Acy and Rudy Gay for Greivis Vasquez (@greivisvasquez), Chuck Hayes, John Salmons and Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt).
The trade to the Toronto Raptors provided depth in a variety of positions that have proven huge in situations like last night when Kyle Lowry went down with knee pain. Point Guard Greivis Vasquez stepped right in and helped maintain the Toronto Raptors offence to a victory over the Utah Jazz. The current Toronto Raptors have broken long road winless droughts against teams like the Los Angeles Lakers (10 games), Milwaukee (8 games) and Denver (9) games. The current Toronto Raptors have 14 road wins (1 more then last seasons total road win total of 13) and are amongst the top of the leagues best when it comes to road wins with Indiana and Miami.
DeMar DeRozan is playing like an All-Star who wants to win. The team is playing on all cylinders and in situations where Toronto Raptors fans are used to seeing them blow leads, not compete for 48 minutes and frankly the city has been plagued with a losing mentality that needed to be changed. The City of Toronto deserves a winning team and the fans of Toronto haven’t seen the Playoffs since the Raptors dropped Game 5 to the Orlando Magic in 2008. Tim Leiweke and MLSE new ownership appear committed to bringing a winning culture to the city and rightfully so. Toronto is a world class city and deserves a team of top calibre. A city that should be represented as one of the greats like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
In 2013 the Toronto Raptors ranked 13th in the league with attendance averaging 18,144 fans a game for 41 home games. In 2008 the Raptors attendance was 19,435 (98.2% sold out) the year after losing to Vince Carter and the Nets. If this team makes the playoffs this season and gets out of the first round; I can imagine the Toronto Raptors attendance will sky rocket to the 19,500 mark for the following year. The cold hard truth is winning games is the best thing any team can do to fill seats. Fans love a winning team that goes out and competes every night. Knowing your team has a shot at beating any team that steps on the court against them is what drives the fans to fill seats and want to support their franchise.
As a Raptors fan since day one I can say that this is one of the most unselfish and hard working basketball teams the Toronto Raptors have put together in a long time. These guys want to play hard and more importantly win basketball games.
Terrence Ross Slam Dunk!