The Toronto Raptors started the second half in the worst possible way after two blowouts on the road, but that’s no reason to be overly pessimistic about their long-term prospects. The team is still positioned to participate in the qualifying tournament.
The club will have to overcome a hobbled Fred VanVleet and yet another potential extended absence for OG Anunoby, but they have enough scoring and star power to potentially fend off some of the more aggressive suitors around them in the East.
The Raptors could face long odds when it comes to making a deep run in the playoffs, but they shouldn’t be discouraged given how many people at the start of the year were expecting the they get mired in the lottery again. They could start another hot streak, provided they manage to secure a decisive victory in the coming days.
If Toronto can get back into the groove and play like they did on their eight-game winning streak, those three very bold predictions could come true. Are they unlikely? May be. Are they within the realm of possibility if Toronto gets hot? Without a doubt.
3 very bold Toronto Raptors predictions for the second half.
3. Gary Trent Jr. will average 22 points per game.
Trent’s defensive improvement has been nothing short of amazing this season, but he’ll be more valuable to this team as a shooter in the coming weeks. Trent is coming off what was arguably the best offensive streak of his career in late January and early February.
Between January 25 and February 16, Trent averaged 25.0 points per game while making 46% of his 3-pointers on just under 10 attempts per game. Trent had seven games with at least 30 points (including five straight) and a burst of 42 points two points off his career high.
Gary Trent Jr. will be important to the Toronto Raptors.
Trent started the second half with just 21 points overall against Charlotte and Atlanta, but that can be attributed to a certain general streak that could soon swing the other way. With Anunoby on the mend, expect the Raptors to rely on Trent for a substantial portion of their 3-point shooting production.
VanVleet clearly isn’t himself, and the only player in a lineup without Anunoby the Raptors can trust to take on so much of the responsibility from 3-point range is Trent. This plan could lead to a high volume of triples that inflate the young guard’s scoring averages.