Well, I don't know if I would call the Raptors
contenders yet, but I think they have an outside chance. The thing that wins championships is the ability to play D. The ability to shut down the other team's top players. Celtics did it to the Lakers. The Raptors
D last season was better than it was made out to be. They were decent enough to hold teams in check, but their problem was not having a killer instinct on offense. If you are going to shut teams down on D, if that is going to be your focus, then you better damn well finish on the other end.