Ladies and Gentlemen, YOUR TORONTO RAPTORS!!!
You might recall at the start of the NBA season that I said on The Dean Blundell Show Podcast, “The Toronto Raptors will make it to the Eastern Conference Finals again this year.” A few weeks later I changed that to:
A lot of “expert NBA fans” laughed at me for that one. Toronto sports fans are so jaded that they don’t feel they deserve to believe in their team’s chances at success, even if that team is the reigning NBA champion.
Why? because of Kawhi?
The Raptors have pretty much the same win/loss record that they did at this time last year with Kawhi, not to mention, with a sh*t-ton of injury problems this year (25-10 vs. 21-8). The Dallas Mavericks are 5th in the West with 19 wins, and sporting an 11-3 road record. The Raptors home record is outstanding this year at 12-3 going into the game. Sure the Mav’s were missing Luka Doncic, but the Rap’s are missing virtually everyone, with Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and Norman Powell sidelined due to injury, and Freddie “Snipes” just returning from injury.
Last night the Raptors bench and Ball’er-Warrior Kyle Lowry showed us yet again why they deserve more respect than they have received not just from the blow-hard’s and talking-heads at ESPN, but from their own fan base here in the 6ix.
The Raptors largest deficit of the game was 30 points (85-55), as late as 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter. But near the end of the 3rd, you could feel the momentum starting to shift. Lowry hit a 3 and Hollis-Jefferson and Boucher hit some FT’s and the tide began to turn. One thing you gotta understand about the Raptors is that they are coached, and execute so well on defence, that you can never really count them out of a game. They put on a full-court press for nearly the entire 4th quarter in an attempt to change the pace of the game, speed up the Mavericks’ offence, and pressure them into committing turnovers – and it worked.
The 4th quarter was an emotional ascent the likes of which haven’t been felt since game 6 of the finals last year. By the way I predicted Rap’s in 6 vs the Warriors last year too so maybe you “experts” should start listening to THIS guy.
Lowry took over the game scoring 20 in the frame, and the Dino’s young squad was unreal on D, and driving to the hoop. The Rap’s outscored the Mav’s 47-21 in the final frame!
The 30 point deficit comeback victory for the Raptors is their largest comeback win in franchise history. The comeback is also the biggest one in the NBA in the last decade. Boucher finished with a career high 21 points and Hollis-Jefferson with a season high 18 points. But it’s not all about points. This team’s defence is crazy good, and their ability to score in the clutch moments is what makes them champions. By the way, someone should check on Michael Jordan to make sure he’s still alive because I’m pretty sure his spirit possessed Kyle Lowry yesterday.
For those of you who missed it: