MY NAME WAS RICKY
Well, they gave it their best shot, but the Toronto Raptors are done for the season.
A few weeks ago I wrote that, for me, for the Raptors to be successful this year they would need to get to the Eastern Conference finals. After their nail-biting series with the Pacers I've been purposefully quiet on the matter because I was afraid I might jinx them. After a tough series against the Heat the Raptors met their match against the Cavs. The Cavs were the better team but I was hoping, just hoping that the Raptors would pull it off. I'm sure the American media and the NBA are ecstatic that they didn't. Can you imagine their worst fear coming to fruition. A Canadian team in the NBA finals? Ay Yay Yay ... Carumba. They must have been shitting bricks! Might explain some of the officiating ... but I won't go there.
Nonetheless, through all the adversity and injury they made it the Eastern Conference finals. They will have to get better if they want to compete against teams like the Cavs, the Spurs, the Thunder and the Warriors. It should make for an interesting off season. But I think they can do it.
For now, I just want to thank the Raptors for one helluva season. And for the Raptor nation for being the best damn fans out there. Small market my ass! The Raptors are not only Toronto's team, they are Canada's team. So thank you guys. You put on one helluva show.
I'll be brief and short. The Toronto Raptors are my favorite basketball team in the NBA. But, they are NOT a championship calibre team.
Game 5 of their series against the Pacers was just another example of why they will not win an NBA championship ... never mind the Eastern conference. Come out flat for 3 quarters and are frankly, LUCKY, to pull it out in the fourth. At the start of the fourth quarter I turned to my son and said "they need a miracle. Indiana is gonna have to score no more than 10 points for Toronto to win". Little did I know that I was such a prophet. Needless to say I never expected that to happen ... but it did. I was ecstatic of course. I'd be lying to say that I wasn't. But after the ecstasy was over I came down to earth and the realization that Paul Pierce may have been right last season when he said that the Raptors just don't have "IT". Yes the raptors defense clamped down in the fourth. But Indiana scored only 9 points! 9 freakin' points!! The Raps were lucky to escape with the victory.
They have played too inconsistently to go deep into the playoffs. Their stars have yet to shine - Demar did show up in Game 5 thank goodness. Their bench has been steady and it is because of their bench and Jonas that they are still in this thing. I expect them to take this series. I'll be really disappointed if they don't. But I think that will be the end of the road for them. I really do ... unless they can get it together, play four full quarters, the stars align and shine, and they come out and play they way that they are capable of playing for an entire game. They need to show the intensity they showed in that fourth quarter. Everyone needs to show up and play ball! THEY NEED TO GET IT!
I hope I'm wrong. No one would be happier than me. Well, I guess the players will be happier. The coaching staff. The organization. Their families. Ok ... so there will be some happier than me. But I'd be really happy if I'm wrong. And, if I'm right, the last thing I want to hear is what a successful season they had. That they set new franchise records. They won a first round playoff series against a seven seed. Sorry ... but that's not a championship. In my mind, anything short of winning the Eastern conference would be a failure.
LET'S GO RAPTORS!
My name is Gary Janssen, aka "Ricky". I'm a husband, father and first time blogger. I write about family & life, my favorite sports teams, TV shows and movies, my Apple Mac and my home town of Niagara Falls.