Things are going pretty well for the Toronto Raptors right now. The Raptors boast the best record in the NBA, sitting at 23-7 with a 3.5 game cushion for first place in the Eastern Conference. To drive home that this might be a special year north of the border, Toronto absolutely mashed Golden State on Wednesday night in Oracle Arena despite the fact that Kawhi Leonard didn’t play.
It was a statement win, one which gave Toronto a season sweep over the two-time defending champions. But despite all of the good that surrounds the Raptors right now, one of their major offseason acquisitions — someone who knows what it takes for a team to win a championship — doesn’t think Toronto is there quite yet.
Danny Green spoke with Adam Zagoria of Forbes about the current state of the Raptors. Not only does he think Toronto isn’t the best team in the league, he thinks it’s not even the best squad in the East, despite its record.
“We may have the best record but I don’t think we’re the best team in the league, or even in the East right now,” Green told Zagoria. “We have to be more mature. We have to be more professional in taking every game serious.”
Green praised the overall quality of the conference, saying it’s not “that far behind” the Western Conference and pointed out teams like Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia, and Indiana as challengers for the conference crown. He also went onto say that we can’t quite throw around any team superlatives at this point in the season.
“It’s still early,” Green said. “We won’t know until January or February where some teams are.”
We’ve seen upstart teams get a little too big for their britches after getting off to a hot start to the year, and a veteran who has been through battles like Green has can play an important role in making sure everyone keeps their cool and constantly works to get better. Calling Toronto best team in the Eastern Conference or, possibly, in the league might not be a stretch for most, but Green isn’t quite ready to go that far.