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'We are confident about who we are as a team,' Raptors looking forward to the new season

TORONTO – The Raptors regular season is just under a month away when they tip-off against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 22.

The defending NBA Champions are hoping to defend their title, however, most experts have the team finishing between third and fourth in the Eastern Conference.

“There is a lot of parody in the league but I think it’s a good thing for the league,”  Raptors president Masai Ujiri said on Saturday. “There are lots of people who question who is going to come out of the Eastern Conference, it’s a question. I think it’s the first time it’s a question who is going to win the NBA Championship.”

The Raptors lost a few players after their victory lap in Toronto with the biggest parade the city has seen. With obviously the biggest loss being Kawhi Leonard, who went to the Los Angeles Clippers and Danny Green joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

“We are excited about our season, obviously Kawhi went to the Clippers but we move on. It’s the nature of the business and we move on and there are many bright spots on our teams,” he said. “We are confident about who we are as a team.”

“I think Kyle, Serge, and Gasol really showed their maturity in the playoffs in the roller-coaster that this game can bring. It’s incredible what they did and I thought they showed unbelievable composition and I think it’s going to transfer into this year,” he said. “You saw the comradery from the players on our team, all the young players look up to this team. I think Kyle, Marc, and Serge have built this.”

We saw how some of the players have celebrated the teams first NBA Championship (cough, cough looking at you Marc Gasol) but has Masai celebrated?

“I haven’t watched it, I can’t wait for just one day to lock myself in the basement and just watch it in all, but this summer has been so fast and just to see those highlights and those guys sweating, bumping fists and being so fast, I actually looked at the screen for a second and said to myself that was incredible,” he said.

“That was really incredible and sometimes I beat myself up for not really enjoying it as much during the journey but in our positions you can’t.”

The Raptors pre-season starts on Oct. 8 when they take on the Houston Rockets in Japan.