A chat with Leo Rautins – Raptors/Nets Preview

DeMar DeRozan finished tied for ninth in the NBA in scoring average (22.7) and made his first NBA All-Star team this season. (Harry How/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan finished tied for ninth in the NBA in scoring (22.7) and made his first NBA All-Star Game this season. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Of all the teams that will participate in the 2014 NBA Playoffs (which start this weekend), no team may have been more of a surprise to casual NBA fans with its success than the Toronto Raptors. Not only did the third-seeded Raptors win the Atlantic Division, but they set a franchise record by winning 48 games, surpassing the 47-35 record the Vince Carter-led Raptors posted in 2000-01 and the Chris Bosh-led team finished with in the 2006-07 season.

Toronto opens up its first playoff campaign since 2007 with a first-round series against the Atlantic Division rival Brooklyn Nets on Saturday afternoon, and A Lot Of Sports Talk caught up with Raptors TV analyst – and former Syracuse University basketball great – Leo Rautins to break down both the keys to the Raptors record-breaking season as well as the matchup with Brooklyn. We discuss how the young players on the team have emerged to lead the squad to previously unchartered waters, whether there was more to the Nets’ late-season swoon than what met the eye and how the Raptors franchise has influenced the development of young basketball talent – and the infusion of that talent south of the border to American colleges and universities – in the usually hockey-mad city of Toronto.

Stay tuned to A Lot Of Sports Talk for more interviews and previews as the 2014 NBA Playoffs get underway.

[audio: Rautins interview (04.18.2014).mp3]

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