Raptors Playoff Feelings

If you grew up watching the Raptors, I imagine you also got a bit emotional when you watched both of those clips. When I searched up that Vince Carter shot to post I realized that it was the first time I’d ever watched it in isolation. I imagine I’ve seen it on a SportsCentre reel or two, but I’ve never actively looked for it. I think I’ve watched it a dozen times at least now. It looks like a better shot now than I remember thinking it was as a kid, but it doesn’t change the outcome. Iverson and the Sixers went on to steal one game from a historic juggernaut of a Lakers team and the Raptors would grind for another decade and a half before getting back out of the first round.

Last year banished a lot of demons and delivered a playoff run full of so many things you hope for as a fan.

Survived the first round.

Ground through a vicious Miami series and earned a bucket of respect around the league.

Twice took down the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals, accounting for 40% of all 2016 Cavaliers Playoff losses.

This moment and a handful of others will be forever remembered by a new generation of Raptors fans who forged a lifelong connection with the team this year. Jurassic Park became one of the most incredible things many Toronto sports fans had never seen, and provided a way to experience the insanity of being there and in the crowd without actually needing to afford a ticket to the game itself. LeBron himself paid an extremely high level of respect right after he took us down in a clip that will live on in the hearts of Toronto basketball fans of all ages:

Right now the future is the brightest it has ever been for the Toronto Raptors. Both the recent trades have been effective beyond the dreams of most fans, and despite the injury to Kyle Lowry things look very promising. For the Raptors to win a championship this year a number of things would have to go their way, and there would certainly be no shortage of luck involved, but it seems safe to say that they’ve never been closer to making their first trip to the NBA finals, and they are in a strong position to continue to compete over the next several years, with young talent growing and performing well, their own D-League affiliate, and a GM that they recently signed to a multi-year extension who has proven time and time again to be capable of moves that exceed the expectations of all but the most ludicrous of fans. The foundation is solid, a sliver of a championship window has begun to materialize, and the future has never been brighter for the Toronto Raptors.