The Toronto Raptors enter the season with their hopes resting on whether Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas are great players or merely good ones. Lowry was an All-Star last season, and Valanciunas was dominant at times, but the team ran out of gas. The additions of DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph were offset by the departures of Greivis Vasquez and Amir Johnson, increasing the pressure on Lowry and Valanciunas.
Johnson is now with the Boston Celtics, who also added David Lee. Combined into one player, they would make a perfect forward, but since Johnson and Lee inhabit two bodies, the Boston frontcourt is a bit crowded. Brad Stevens is a great coach, and Isaiah Thomas is pure, concentrated offense, but the team’s ceiling for playoff success seems low.