Serge Ibaka thinks the Toronto Raptors are being slept on ahead of the 2019-20 season.
"This team is - we're still good, man," Ibaka said on Monday. "We're still good. People are sleeping on us, man. We got players. We got players. We got players who can play, who got experience now after the NBA Finals, everybody's got toughness, mental toughness. We know how it is to win games and we know how to play together and we don't give up.
"We're good, man."
We good, man.- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 21, 2019
📺 | https://t.co/U1A3E2qYCk pic.twitter.com/MQtxWoAg8B
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse appears to agree with the 30-year-old.
"A lot," Nurse responded when asked what the Raptors are capable of this season, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet. "This is a good team ... we are going to be tough to beat."
Heading into Tuesday's season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto's win total is set at 46.5, according to The Action Network. That ties them with the Indiana Pacers for the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
The three teams ahead of the Raptors and Pacers are the Boston Celtics (48.5 wins), Philadelphia 76ers (54.5) and Milwaukee Bucks (57.5).
The Raptors had the fifth-best odds to repeat as champions immediately following their title run last season. To no surprise, Kawhi Leonard's decision to leave the franchise for the LA Clippers this offseason - plus Danny Green's decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers - greatly impacted those odds, with them falling from fifth to 15th.
Unlikely as it is that the Raptors do win the title this season, they're clearly motivated to prove themselves as a force to be reckoned with, both in the Eastern Conference and in the league as a whole.
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