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RECENT RAPTORS NEWS - THE POST UP
2018-2019 regular season
With just over a week into the 2018-2019 NBA season, the Toronto Raptors stand second in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 record with their only loss coming last night from the Antetokounmpo-less Milwaukee Bucks, losing 109-124. Though it is extremely early to start planning the parade route in Toronto, it’s evident to see that this team is different. Given the monstrous off-season, things were expected to change so let’s quickly run through what’s different.
The conversation usually starts with the Celtics, or Sixers or sometimes the Lakers. Each of which have promising young players that were drafted in the lottery. However, lost in the shuffle of the best young cores in the NBA are the Toronto Raptors. Together, they form one of the most fearsome bench line-ups in the league as the Raptors rank first in net rating amongst all bench units. They developed chemistry together playing in the Las Vegas Summer League and won a G-League championship with the Raptors 905. That continuity has been a recipe for success at each level, and now the Raptors rely heavily on their youth to win ball games.
Who would’ve thought at the beginning of the season that the Toronto Raptors would be the first team in the league to clinch a play-off spot and earn that coveted “x” beside their team in the standings? With the nail-biting 121-119 OT win over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night, the Raptors were able to secure a post-season berth just 64 games into the season.
Despite coming off a back-to-back and the slow start (being outscored in the first half 59-45), the Raptors were able to muscle through the gritty Pistons squad in the second half to force OT. There were so many moments in the game that made the victory that much better so how about we live through that glorious win once again, shall we?
At the end of the 2017-2018 regular season, the Toronto Raptors had most people convinced that they were different – that their battle cry of a “culture reset” was in full effect, with no end in sight. With the best record in franchise history of 59-23 and numerous records broken within the season, the Raptors really looked like they belonged on top of the East Conference. This continued through the first round of the post-season as they were able to get through a 6-game series against the 8th seed Washington Wizards. The Toronto Raptors were finally able to sit atop the East waiting for their next opponent, a position which is very new to them. They had fans and now even the media believing the they had a (semi) clear path to the Eastern Conference Finals, with some even daring to say the NBA Finals…
But enter King James and his Cavaliers.
I’m going to admit that whenever I heard people say “we lost that game because of coaching…” or “man, Casey was out-coached today…”, I never really understood how that was possible. How could a guy that’s not even playing cause the team to lose? Well that thinking was very naïve as game 3 of this series proved that “coaching losses” do exist.
Let’s be real, the Cleveland Cavaliers were trolling the whole league when they “started to slip” the second half of the season. They look pretty ready for the NBA finals if you ask me. All bitterness aside, let’s break down just what went wrong with game 2.