Toronto Raptors

Why Raptors Fans are Showing Restraint

The Toronto Raptors have won 14 of their last 15 games. They're doing it as a team, they're doing it on the road, they're doing it with defense and they're doing it without DeMarre Carroll. But make no mistake, this team is doing it.

Why Raptors Fans are Showing Restraint

The Raps are only 2 games behind the Cavs in the Eastern Conference, and as exciting as it's been, we fans are showing great restraint. This team will be judged by one thing and one thing only, and that's success in the playoffs.

The Raptors have never won a best-of-seven playoff round. Never. This team was built to change that, but proof is in the pudding. Winning one round is essential, but it's going to take at least two to satisfy fans.

It all starts in mid-April. Until then, continue to show restraint.

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Your 2015-16 Toronto Raptors

I watched most of the Leafs vs. Coyotes on Monday night. The sensation was very similar to how I felt after watching The Wire for the first time. It seems the end of the Jays season has me rather bored by mediocre hockey.

I'm hopeful the Raptors will give me something to get jazzed about. I loved their regular season last year, and this year's team is the same core with some good defensive upgrades. I'm willing to bet this year's team can even win a playoff game or two.

The Raps tip off tonight against the Pacers. Here are your 2015 Toronto Raptors:

  • Anthony Bennett - PF
  • Bismack Biyombo - PF/C
  • DeMarre Carroll - SF
  • Bruno Caboclo - PF
  • DeMar DeRozan - SG/SF
  • James Johnson - PF
  • Cory Joseph - PG/SG
  • Kyle Lowry - PG
  • Patrick Patterson - PF
  • Norman Powell - SG
  • Lucas Nogueira - C
  • Terrence Ross - SG/SF
  • Luis Scola - PF/C
  • Jonas Valanciunas - C
  • Delon Wright - G

If you want some more insight into the 2015 Raptors, and a peak behind the Canadian basketball media curtain, listen to my recent chat with Eric Smith.

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8 Cities with Longer Championship Droughts than Toronto

Firstly, this entry is about NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB championships. I realize Toronto has had great success in lacrosse and has won Grey Cups recently, but with all due respect, I'm not counting them as major championships. For Toronto, I'm only counting the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors.

That means Toronto hasn't won a championship since 1993. That's a 22 year drought. As bad as that sounds, many cities have it worse.

San Diego

Let's start with San Diego. The Chargers haven't won since 1963, the Padres have never won a World Series, and even their former NBA teams (Rockets and Clippers) didn't win a thing.
52 year drought


Cleveland

I'm rooting heavily for the Cavaliers in this year's NBA championship and they're currently tied 1-1 with the Warriors. The Cavs have never won a title, the Indians haven't won since 1948 and the Browns haven't won since 1964.
51 year drought


Buffalo

Buffalo only has the two teams, but that's enough to count. The Sabres have never won a Stanley Cup and the Bills haven't won since 1965.
50 year drought


Kansas City

Kansas City also only has two teams, but they did have a short-lived NHL and NBA franchise. Neither won a thing. The Chiefs haven't won the Super Bowl since 1970 and the Royals haven't won a World Series since 1985.
30 year drought


Oakland

The Golden State Warriors haven't won since 1975, the Oakland Raiders haven't won since 1983, and the A's haven't won since 1989.
26 year drought


Cincinnati

The Bengals have been consistently brutal throughout the years, never winning a title. Meanwhile, the Reds haven't won a World Series since 1990.
25 year drought


Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Vikings have never won a Super Bowl, the North Stars and Wild have never won a Stanley Cup, the Timberwolves have never won and the Twins haven't won a World Series since 1991.
24 year drought


Washington

The Bullets / Wizards haven't won since 1978, the Capitals have never won, the Nationals have never won and their NFL franchise hasn't won a Super Bowl since 1992.
23 year drought

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The Raptors Need to Win a Round

The Raptors finished the regular season 49-33, easily winning the division. We're the 4th seed in the East, which means we'll face #5 Washington in the first round. For what it's worth, we swept the Wizards in the regular season, beating them three times.

It's rather important the Raptors win a round this season. We've only won one playoff series in franchise history, and that was way back in 2001. A loss in the first round this year could and should mean serious changes are in store for this rather likable squad.

The thing is, it's a tale of two Raptors teams. There's the juggernaut that burst out of the gates 37-17, then there's the Raptors team that underwhelmed down the stretch, going 12-16 since February 20. Heck, we've lost 10 of our last 11 games against opponents above .500. Not so good, Al.

Beat Washington or bust. It all starts Saturday afternoon.

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The Ebb and Flow of Toronto Sports

What a difference a single month can make in Toronto sports. Here's what I wrote way back on December 16, 2014.

I catch every Leafs and Raptors game I can, and lately, it's been pure joy. The Leafs are 9-1-1 since getting hammered by Nashville. The Raptors have been hot all season, now 19-6, good for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Since then, the Leafs have gone in the toilet. They're junk. We've lost seven of our last eight games, and have scored one single goal over the last four games. That's incredible ineptitude.

Meanwhile, the Raptors are on a slide, having lost six of eight. They'll likely bounce back, as they're actually a good team. The Leafs, a bad team, are toast.

I've lived in this city all my life. I'm used to this.

One King West is just one of the many hotels near the acc.

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New Raptors Logo

The Raptors just leaked their new logo. New uniforms and a full colour scheme will be unveiled in the new year.

Here's our first taste:

raps

I'd like to see more before deciding whether I dig it or not. I don't hate this, but it does seem a little close to the Brooklyn Nets' branding.

What do you think?

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It's Time I Jinx Our Teams Again

Of course, I'm kidding with that title. There's no such thing as a jinx. There's nothing I can say or write on this blog that will have any effect on our professional sports teams.

I catch every Leafs and Raptors game I can, and lately, it's been pure joy. The Leafs are 9-1-1 since getting hammered by Nashville. The Raptors have been hot all season, now 19-6, good for first place in the Eastern Conference.

I'm so jazzed about how well my teams are playing, I'm documenting this moment for posterity. Here are your red hot Raptors leading the East.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.51.45 PM

And here are your red hot Leafs, winners of 5 in a row.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.52.33 PM

Good times...

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Raptors Lead the Eastern Conference

Raptors Lead the Eastern ConferenceThe last couple of nights I've been thoroughly entertained by my Raptors. Before you accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon, let me tell you I've been watching since Alvin Robertson dropped 30 on the Nets.

On Friday night, the Raptors actually led the Bucks by 50 in the fourth quarter. We've never led a game by 50, ever. The Brazilian rookies even got their first career NBA points. It was surreal.

Then last night, with one eye on the Leafs game, we battled back from an 18-point deficit on the road against LeBron and ended up dominating the Cavs. We're 11-2 and leading the Eastern Conference.

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 10.10.01 AM

All of this is to say there's plenty of room on the Raptors bandwagon if you want to join us. Get in now, though... because it's going to be a fun season. Our starters are the same as last season, but the bench is deep and effective. Sweet Lou Williams is such an upgrade over John Salmons, words don't do it justice.

Of the big three, this is the best Toronto pro-sports team since the '93 Blue Jays. Enjoy, Toronto. It's been a long time coming.

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Hi Vince

Hi VinceHi, Vince!

Remember me?

I loved you, man. I was in attendance when you scored 51 against the Suns, I gushed on this blog often when you were Air Carter, and I even busted a television when you missed the buzzer-beating three in game seven against the 76ers.

You're in town with the Grizzlies set to play my Raptors tonight. I hear we've got a tribute in store for you, and the pro-Vince spin doctors are out in full force. I'm old enough to remember what really happened. I remember everything.

Heading into the 2004 season, I hoped for a rebound. I literally gave you 41 reasons to kick ass, but by November 23 it was clear you were dogging it.

Apparently, Vince Carter needs more than 41 reasons to kick ass this season. A player who is averaging 24.1 points for his career is only averaging 14.5 points per game thus far this year. Carter scored just four points on 2-for-9 shooting and didn't play in the fourth quarter while his team mates overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to beat the San Antonio Spurs 96-91 Sunday. He's not contributing and others are picking up the slack.

Now comes word the "Half-man, half-amazing" doesn't want to dunk anymore. He'll leave the dunking to others and opt for a layup instead. He's as whiny about the pressure to dunk as he is about the league's decision to strip him of his iPod during warmups. It's been a tough week for the $12 million man.

I've been rather vocal in my support of Vince Carter. I want him to play like he can and be a superstar once more for my Raptors. Sadly, it's becoming abundantly clear that he's doing everything in his power to reduce his trade value. He's averaging 14.5 ppg, refusing to dunk and sitting for most fourth quarters. When we finally do trade this major disappointment, we'll likely get little of value in return. Then, without a doubt, Carter will kick it up a notch and shoot the lights out for his new team. I'll bet he even dunks for them.

What a shame.

When Rob Babcock finally pulled the trigger on that brutal trade, I was relieved. Afterall, you quit on us long ago. At least we suspected as much. in December, you confirmed our suspicions.

Since being traded by my Toronto Raptors to the New Jersey Nets, Vince Carter is averaging 22.5 points per game. He's playing hard, taking it to the hoop and putting up points. Those are three things he didn't do before the trade.

TNT broadcast an interview with Carter yesterday in which he was asked if he pushed himself as hard as he should have in Toronto. Below was his response.

"In years past, no. I was fortunate to have the talent ... you get spoiled when you're able to do a lot of things. You see that you don't have to work at it. Now, with the all the injuries, I have to work harder. I'm a little hungrier. Getting a fresh start has made me want to attack the basket."

What an ass. He's essentially admitting he didn't try his best with Toronto. This explains why he looks like a different player in New Jersey. I used to defend Vince Carter when others wanted to get rid of him. Now, I wish him nothing but the worst. Eff him.

So welcome back, enjoy your tribute video, and enjoy our local media all too happy to help you reinvent history. But this fan remembers what really happened. This fan knows better.

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WE THE NORTH

RaptorsThe Raptors have started the season an impressive 5-1, the best start in franchise history.

In April, the biggest Raptors fan I knew passed away. His burial spot is not marked by a gravestone or marker, but by a "WE THE NORTH" flag.

20140801_130554

I'm just sorry he's not here to see this hot start. He'd have dug it the most.

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