There is an excitement building in Toronto these days that has everybody talking. In coffee shops around the city and water coolers everywhere, the buzz is inescapable. Words like DeRozan, Lowry and Biyombo are being thrown around, along with others like championship and Cleveland.
If you are not in the loop, here is the scoop. The Toronto Raptors are in the midst of an incredible playoff run where they have dispatched the Indiana Pacers and most recently the very talented Miami Heat.
The next stop on this road to NBA Championship glory is Cleveland where Lowry and the boys will take on the likes of Lebron James and his squad.
Things are going to get tough for both teams but in the end, with a little bit of luck and truck loads of skill, the Raptors should shut down the Cavs. Whether they do it in 4 or 7 games doesn’t matter. We the North and we will be victorious!
In honour of the latest achievements on the court, we celebrate today with a list of some of the Toronto Raptors franchise highlights.
THE TOP 4 MOMENTS IN THE TORONTO RAPTORS PLAYOFF HISTORY
1. Kicking The Knicks in 2001
After working through their “new franchise” growing pains from 95 – 2000, in 2001 Vince Carter led the Raptors to a franchise record season with 47 wins. That record ultimately earned them a date with the New York Knicks.
With Vince at the wheel, the Raptors (as a 5th seed) went on to dismantle the Knicks in just 5 games for their first series win. This was an absolutely huge win, by a very narrow margin (93 – 89). As that series played out, the passion for basketball in Toronto ignited and has been burning bright ever since!
2. Vince VS. Iverson
After taking out the Knicks in the same playoff run, the Toronto Raptors went on to face the Philadelphia 76ers and the dominant skills of Allen “The Answer” Iverson.
In game two of this historic matchup, Iverson dropped a huge 54 points on the heads of the Toronto team. This tied things up in the series and lit a fire under Vince Carter.
When the Raptors brought the fight back to their home turf, for what was the first ever semifinal game in Toronto, Vince got one up on Iverson and answered back with 50 points of his own. With 27 of those points coming off of 3 point line, Toronto went on to crush Philadelphia 102 – 78.
This is considered to be one of the all time best performances in the teams history.
3. F**K Brooklyn!
In 2014, the Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri had a bee in his bonnet when asked about the Raptors upcoming series with the Brooklyn Nets. Standing in front of thousands of die hard Toronto fans, Masai issued a battle cry for the entire North.
In a split second, Masai lightened up his wallet by $25K and rallied the entire Raptors nation to his side. An epic moment to be sure and definitely worthy of a spot on the teams playoff highlight list.
(Sidenote: This was not to be the last time Masai piped up with a few words for those who dare face his Raptors squad. In 2015 he taunted Paul Pierce before their first round matchup with the Washington Wizards and ponied up another $35K in fines.)
4. 2016 Playoff RUN
With all these highlights (and many more), what could possibly top it?
How about a 50 win season and an incredible thrashing of opponents left and right? This season, the Toronto Raptors are playing better than ever. With Lowry and DeRozan leading the way, the North is poised to have their best playoff run in franchise history.
They are currently squaring off against the Basketball God Lebron James and his team of Cleveland Cavaliers. While this will undoubtedly be the toughest challenge the Raptors have faced thus far, the fans at home and abroad are confident that their team can power through to the next round.
PLAY YOUR PART
With all the momentum we have built up this season, it is more important now than ever to show your team spirit and let the boys know that we have their backs.