Can We Talk About the Raptors?

When DeMar DeRozan drove to the net with a thunderous dunk to give the Raptors the lead late in the fourth quarter last night, I leapt out of my seat. OG Anunoby is still hurt, Serge Ibaka got ejected and Delon Wright left the game with a sprained toe, but DeRo had us. We beat the Pistons by capping an awful OT with a long bucket from Fred VanVleet.

It's our sixth win in a row, and our franchise-record 17th game in a row scoring over 100 points. Oh, and we clinched a playoff spot. It is the earliest point in the season a Toronto team has ever clinched a playoff berth.

And did I mention the Raptors lead the Eastern Conference by 2.5 games? This team is both very good and very likeable.

We're the beasts of the east and all bandwagon jumpers are welcome!


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Comments (17 - click here to join in!)

jj

MAMA WE MADE IT. Although, I would like some explanation for Serge being ejected today - I don't think he could have said anything that was worthy of that ejection.

I am elated!

March 8, 2018 @ 9:14 AM

mdoucette77

I definitely don't feel as timid as I have the last couple of years going into the playoffs. The constant rhetoric of them choking in the playoffs is getting annoying. This team is built to win, win now, and win tomorrow. They have playoff winning experience, and I don't feel as though they are going to have their usual hiccups in the playoffs. And if they do (i.e. Derozan and Lowry), they have the pieces to pick up for those guys. People talk about how benches get shorter in the playoffs, but I don't see why the Raptors need to do that, which means they can pick on tired starters. It's interesting. People keep talking about Lebron in the playoffs, but the Cavs are closer to 9th than they are to 1st.

Anyways, they are an exciting team to watch. I'm not one to sit down and watch a whole basketball game because things are constantly changing, but I enjoy watching this team play.

March 8, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I just want to point out that we've been eliminated by Lebron James' Cavs the past two seasons, once in the conference finals.

I don't consider this choking.

March 8, 2018 @ 10:19 AM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

I have never been prouder of my Twitter handle @RaptorsDevotee as I have been a massive Raptors fan since Day 1, and endured decades of mismanagement and players dissing our city for no apparent reason other than lack of awareness and ignorance for a world class city.

This team is not only likeable, bit damn talented. Their biggest strength is their depth due to the BenchMob and I am tired of people asking Casey and expecting them to shorten their bench and rely on DeMar and Kyle to lead us to victory on their own. We tried that and it failed.

Our bench is setting records on outscoring their opposition per minute, and their energy and tightness is incredible. So happy that Norm finally had a good game, he may yet be a key contributor in the Playoffs, as we did not pick up any free agents who were available not to upset the chemistry not the team.

Besides the bench, the fans at the ACC and our dominant home record is instrumental and come playoff time we need the decimal level ramped up way higher to get our guys even more charged up and make it tough on the opposition plus the refs too so we get more calls.

My only beef is our attitude to the refs, it is time for Serge and Kyle especially to grow up and play through their perceived bad calls. Our broadcasters are so homer oriented they are not helping the fanbase, it is always Whoa is Me! Hate that, just play the game, the refs calls are out of your control, let Casey be the only one to speak out.

The goal is 60 wins, only because that would be awesome, but because that would ensure the #1 seed and home court through the East. I am not making any predictions, just sit back and take it one game and one series at a time. Need DeMar and Kyle rested and healthy, as of course they are still our two stars, and DeMar is now ahead of Kyle, first time I can say that, in terms of his importance to the team, to raise their games as well, something they have not done in playoffs past.

March 8, 2018 @ 11:25 AM

Urooj Islam

The first team in the league to clinch a playoff spot, IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE. i am so blown away as a lifelong Raptors fan and Toronto sports fan.

What a treat this has been.

March 8, 2018 @ 11:31 AM

jj

@Raptors Devotee: zomg, loved your long and in depth response. And I agree with everything!! Sometimes the calls are whack, BUT sometimes our play is SO bad that blaming the refs makes no difference. I don't think Serge deserved to be ejected, and Kyle is never disrespectful to the refs - but he'll argue when necessary - as every player will. Our commentators are very home oriented, and last night they kept saying we needed to be more aggressive - but aggressive play just gets us more calls :/
And yes, DeMar is our leader through and through - Kyle had a lot of assists, but just 15 pts which I found kinda dismal. Their leadership guides us but I always tell people it is a team effort through and through - DeMar and Kyle cannot score 100+ points alone. We are blessed to have the bench we do, I knew they were special.

@Urooj - it always makes me happy when lifelong fans see their devotion rewarded :)

March 8, 2018 @ 11:45 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@jj

Kyle was great last night. You can't judge him by the 15 points. He also had 15 assists!

March 8, 2018 @ 11:49 AM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

Mike, Kyle is 32 now and his body has been pretty beaten down. For him to have 15 assists is an anomaly, especially with his minutes reduced, which is a good thing to keep him healthy and rested for the playoffs. Kyle typically averages around 6 assists per game which is fine for his game.

I forgot to mention one more concern, and that is that our Bench Mob will feel extra pressure and not play loose like they have been all season. If so, then as I alluded to earlier, someone like Norm is there with his experience to contribute more, and boy, does he have a lot of room left for that.

Remember, the NBA is all about match-ups, and Casey has the luxury of going so deep on his roster, easily 10 or 11, that he can play those match-ups and go big or small with ease.

It will be interesting to see the American broadcasters who all in unison want the Raptors to lose since our ratings don't count in the States if they indeed do make it to the NBA Finals. Raptors actually had two games this week on American tv, must be a record for them during the regular season, so maybe they are starting to realize that you can't completely bury the #1 seed in the East!

March 8, 2018 @ 11:58 AM

Me too

re: TorontoMike: "When DeMar DeRozan drove to the net with a thunderous dunk to give the Raptors the lead late in the fourth quarter last night, I leapt out of my seat .."

Me too Mike, me too!

March 8, 2018 @ 1:14 PM

Urooj Islam

#MeToo

March 8, 2018 @ 2:20 PM

jj

I think Kyle should've gotten us more points is all, lol lol. But it is a team effort, and we came through as a team :D

March 8, 2018 @ 8:00 PM

McNulty

I’ve been to about 20 or so games the past two seasons. It is always a fun time and I really love watching this team.

This year the difference is the bench. I’m not nervous when any of them have the ball. There’s not a single player I feel disappointed about. And as Mike said, they are really likeable.

Rockets tonight! They are on a 17 game win steak. That won’t be an easy game.

March 9, 2018 @ 9:27 AM

Douglas

I am like mdoucette77, in that I have difficulty watching an entire game - on TV. In person, the atmosphere of the arena just sucks you in. I cannot say that I am anything close to a die hard fan, nor do I follow basketball even remotely closely, but the Raptors have been very competitive and almost always great to watch this season. The bench group is a solid team of their own. DeRozan's drive on Wednesday is a highlight of the year, and seeing him pull four guys to him and pass the ball to Fred Vanvleet, who had been having a challenging day with the basket, shows real teamwork to win. I doubt that I will watch it all, but I will be tuning in for tonight's game against the Rockets.

March 9, 2018 @ 10:24 AM

mdoucette77

Yesterday was a good day for the Raptors. Not just because of the win, but because the Celtics and Cavaliers lost, and Indiana & Philly won. Those two winning plus a Cavs loss pushes the Cavs lower in the standings. They won't fall out of the playoffs (they aren't losing 8 games, and the Pistons aren't gaining 8 games), but it takes away their home court, and if they fall to 7, sets up Celtics vs Cavs in Round 1, thus making the road a bit easier for the Raptors. Can't wait until the Raptors play the Celtics and Cavs coming up just to see how they are still measuring up against them

March 12, 2018 @ 7:23 AM

mdoucette77

HUGE game tonight. It's going to be a fight, especially in Cleveland and Lebron being on a tear and wanting to avenge the huge loss last time they played. Hopefully the Raptors take it, and take it convincingly to put a stamp on how strong the Raptors are this year. There are some big games coming up the next couple of weeks. The Cavs and Celts match ups are going to be confidence boosters going into the playoffs

March 21, 2018 @ 1:45 PM

andrew

Up by 15 in 3rd & lose to LeBron. Predict if we play the Cavs in the playoffs Cheryl will be very happy as cannot beat the GOAT going forward with all the Cav players back from injuries.

March 21, 2018 @ 10:07 PM

mdoucette77

Hopefully the team can get back to their great defence today against the Clippers. The last few games have been shootouts with late game defence to win it against the bottom feeders, but OKC and the Cavs were winnable games if they had played better defence. Trading basket for basket right at the start made me worry about the outcome in those 2 games. I'll trade some 110 - 120 point games for better defence the next little while. At least after this weekend they get a break before their hardest 3 game stretch of the season starting next Saturday night. They played 6 games in 10 days. They could use a bit of a rest

March 25, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

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