ESPN's Stephen A. Smith still not willing to give the Raptors credit

Mar 13 2018, 7:21 pm

The Toronto Raptors have won nine games in a row, are first in the Eastern Conference, and recently defeated the top team in the NBA, but they’re still not getting the respect they deserve south of the border.

For an example of this, look no further than ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

Despite 50 wins, giving them a four-game lead over the Boston Celtics and an 11.5-game lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers – the outspoken analyst said the Raptors don’t deserve to be the favourites to win the Eastern Conference this year.

“When you look at the Eastern Conference, I’m sorry, there is no one who definitively deserves to be a favourite over LeBron (James),” said Smith. “[The Raptors] don’t deserve it, I’m not giving it to them.”

While LeBron is one of the greatest players of all-time and has appeared in seven consecutive NBA Finals, his team hasn’t looked like a contender this year.

In their lone meeting this season, the Raptors beat the Cavs 133-99.

Raptors fans weren’t pleased with the commentator’s opinion, to say the least.

While the accolades have been slow to come for Toronto, not everyone is in the dark.

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley argued that the team has fixed some of the problems that plagued them in the past, adding that he thinks they will win the Eastern Conference.

“They really improved their bench,” Barkley said. “DeMar DeRozan is the most underrated great player in the NBA. Nobody ever mentions this kid when we talk about great players in the NBA. He has taken his game to another level. They have arguably one of the best benches in the NBA.”

Responding to skepticism about the Raptors’ ability to continue to perform at a high level, DeRozan had this to say:

Take that, Stephen.

See also
Kurtis GregoryKurtis Gregory

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