Tristan Thompson knows what it takes to reach an NBA Finals and the Cleveland Cavaliers big man believes that the Toronto Raptors could be poised to emerge from the Eastern Conference when all is said and done. Thompson got a first-hand view of the Raptors on Saturday night when the two teams met in Cleveland.
“This is a potential Finals team right here,” Tristan Thompson said to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “When it’s all said and done, they’ll be playing in late May, maybe early June.”
Thompson and the Cavs won’t find themselves anywhere near the NBA Finals this year, but the outspoken big man can still play at a high level. Thompson poured in 18 points and corralled 19 boards against the Raptors. The 6-foot-9 center’s double-double was a rare bright spot on a disappointing season for Cleveland.
The Raptors certainly look like one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference this season, but they will have tough competition all around. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks look like a completely different team with head coach Mike Budenholzer at the helm. The Boston Celtics are scuffling early, but they always seem to find their groove when it counts. Furthermore, the Philadelphia 76ers are going all in after acquiring Jimmy Butler. Not to mention, Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers believe they could be a dark horse to disrupt the balance of power.
Thompson’s prediction could come true, but it won’t be an easy road for the Raptors by any stretch of the imagination.