If you missed it today, the Toronto Raptors knocked off the Indiana Pacers 95-82 at home today.
Normally something like that wouldn’t constitute news, but this is part of a much larger story. With the win, the Raptors are now 15-15 on the season and in first place in the Atlantic Division.
Since the trade of their best individual player Rudy Gay, the Raptors are a much better team. They are far more balanced offensively and have much better chemistry.
It doesn’t hurt that Terrence Ross has gotten significant playing time since the trade and has produced in a big way.
Ross was the 8th pick in the 2012 draft out of Washington by Toronto. He struggled mightily last year with the speed of the NBA game until late in the season.
This year he has taken a huge step forward. He isn’t the only second year player playing a huge role for the rejuvenated Raptors either.
Jonas Valanciunas is playing key minutes for Toronto and is averaging 10.5 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. Although his numbers aren’t huge, Jonas is doing exactly what the Raptors need him to do to be successful.
The other part of the Rudy Gay trade that has helped Toronto are the players they got from the Kings. Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson and John Salmons all come off the bench And have provided depth and experience.
Although there is still more than half the season remaining, Toronto has proven that they can at least compete for a playoff spot in a lackluster Eastern Conference and have some nice pieces to build around for the future.