In the world of the NBA, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Raptors had earned respect. ESPN's Power Rankings for week six are out and the Raptors didn't even make the top 10 teams. The omission has caused widespread confusion online as Torontonians and neutrals alike question the Toronto Raptors ranking after the Raps' recent form wasn't enough to make the cut.
Some fans are shook that current NBA title holders didn't even make the top 10 of the most recent list.
The rankings assess all 30 teams in the league each week, particularly in their recent form each week.
So, the snub does seem surprising given the Raptors were listed ninth in the week five rankings on November 18.
They've dropped to 11th despite winning all of their games in the week since.
In first place comes the Los Angeles Lakers with 14-2, holding the spot since week three, according to the ESPN list.
Their most recent assessment of the Raptors reads: "The Raptors have been consistently strong all season, with all four of their losses competitive road affairs against teams (which are) a combined 28 games over .500."
Since last week's rankings were published, the Raptors have beaten the Charlotte Hornets, the Orlando Magic, and the Atlanta Hawks.
They kept the former two of those teams to under 100 points.
LA is taking over the top of our latest Power Rankings 📈 Full rankings: https://t.co/0bHUgPtRp3 https://t.co/5PxFwJqfOx— ESPN (@ESPN)1574691304.0
In fact, dedicated stat site NBA Math actually ranked Raptors as their No. 1 team just a day before the ESPN rankings went live.
1. Toronto Raptors: 104.362 https://t.co/Z4Uu05vP9R https://t.co/gDGxYupjvS— NBA Math (@NBA Math)1574622054.0
So, it's perhaps not surprising that some Raptors fans on Twitter seemed annoyed by the lowered opinion of their team.
"To have the champions not in the top 10 after having a perfect week? Shit is WILD," says one comment which linked to NBA Math's Power Rankings.
LOOK AT THIS FLAGRANT DISRESPECT https://t.co/t09l3VHq4E— (((Eric Koreen))) (@(((Eric Koreen))))1574711960.0
@espn https://t.co/VOLWzshxif— AP (@AP)1574702721.0
@espn @ESPNNBA NBA Math's Power Rankings, based of strength of schedule and other factors, has the Raptors at #1 T… https://t.co/yZNAz6jGO6— PSkills SteadyFreddy FAKE SZN (22-34) (@PSkills SteadyFreddy FAKE SZN (22-34))1574693494.0
The Raptors are 11-4 and just won 3 in a row without two of their best players. They're also top 10 in both offense… https://t.co/wJEfrvUqxC— Omar//Meez (@Omar//Meez)1574712099.0
"Is this the American power rankings or did you forget that the NBA CHAMPS are 11-4?" reads another tweet. "Look at this flagrant disrespect," reads another in all caps.
@espn any power ranking that doesn’t have raptors top 10 isn’t worth paying attention to— dirtbag daddy (@dirtbag daddy)1574696730.0
@espn Raptors - Defending Champs (and 2nd best record in the league) - 3rd best record in the league - 4th best po… https://t.co/q6sDMwrmCq— Marco Paradiso (@Marco Paradiso)1574701449.0
@espn Is this the American power rankings or did you guys forget the NBA CHAMPS are 11-4?— Kevin Muhlethaler (@Kevin Muhlethaler)1574691439.0
@espn Defending champs...2 top players injured and are in the top 10 in standings...Terrible rankings. 🇨🇦 https://t.co/F5vCMaqx2m— CarRamRod (@CarRamRod)1574698340.0
Despite the Raptors' fall, ESPN's analysts did note that Pascal Siakam is "in the midst of an MVP-level campaign."
That's something Raps fans will be more inclined to agree with.
In fact, Siakam's form has been so good that supporters have even been comparing Siakam to DeMar DeRozan and suggesting Spicy P has actually eclipsed the team's former hero.
Meanwhile, the No. 1 team in ESPN's list, the Los Angeles Lakers have two losses and one of those losses came thanks to the Raptors.
During the Raptors-Lakers face-off, of course, Siakam's killer block on King James left everyone stunned. MVP, indeed.
This week, the Raps face off against the Sixers, Knicks, and Magic. If the team can win all three again, they're unlikely to care how people are ranking them.