Since 1995, the Toronto Raptors has been building its story season by season, and this year, for the first time, they’ve reached the great finals of the NBA. So, today’s post is in proudly support to the Raptors, who are representing all the Canadians.
Canada and Basketball, long story short.
Country of the inventor of basketball, James Naismith, Canada was part of the NBA's origins in the 1940s with the Toronto Huskies, which lasted only one season. They were decades without a representative in the league, until 1995, when the NBA opened two entries for the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies.
After six seasons, the Grizzlies moved to Memphis and left the Raptors as sole representatives of Canada in the NBA. Season by season, the Toronto franchise has been gaining ground, and this year it reaches the peak of the still recent history with its first final.
The Path To The Finals
The 2018–19 Toronto Raptors season is the 24th season of the franchise in the NBA. The Raptors promoted assistant coach Nick Nurse as their head coach. For the first time since 2008–09, DeMar DeRozan, who spent his first nine seasons in the NBA with the Raptors, didn't play for the Raptors, the motive was a trade involving The Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs.
This unexpected trade between DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard upset the fans of both teams. However, the former Spurs forward conquered the Canadian fans with the efficiency that made him one of the best players in the league.
Despite losing DeRozan and head coach Dwane Casey, they finished the regular season with a 58–24 record, one less win than their franchise best last season, second best in the league for the second consecutive season, and the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
In the playoffs, the Raptors defeated the Orlando Magic in five games in the First Round. The Raptors then defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in seven games in the Semifinals to make their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2016 thanks to Kawhi Leonard's buzzer beater over Joel Embiid in Game 7, which gave the Raptors a 92–90 series-clinching victory. The series was a rematch of the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals, where the 76ers defeated the Raptors in seven games. The Raptors then defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals 4–2, winning the last four games of the series after being down 0–2. They will be making their first NBA Finals appearance against the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
The Jurassic Park
In case you are in Toronto and didn't get the tickets, don't worry. Every game day, the surroundings of the Scotiabank Arena gets packed with thousands of fans hyped up every moment of the game, this fan zone is called The Jurassic Park, a reference between Steven Spielberg's blockbuster and the mascot of the team, the velociraptor.
In the United States, a site survey measured the use of the hashtags of the teams (#WeTheNorth and #DubNation) on Twitter, divided geographically and concluded: only California, Nevada, and Hawaii cheer for the Golden State. All the other 47 American states, will support the Canadian representative on the league.
The Sideline G.O.D
One of the main characters of this final is not an athlete, Drake is always present to support the Raptors on the sideline, a fact that made him an ambassador of the team. Provocative and energetic, the rapper has already discussed during the game 1, with players like Draymond Green and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
And of course, Drake would be at Jurassic Park, or at least a master size of his head.
In the playoffs, Kawhi performed memorable moments like the incredible shot of the victory in Game 7 of the semifinal of the East, against the 76ers, and the leadership in the unprecedented classification for the decision with four consecutive triumphs over the Milwaukee Bucks.
After winning the game 1 (May 30) in the Scotiabank Arena, the Raptors faced Warriors this Monday (June 2) losing for 109-104, drawing the series 1-1.
Klay Thompson was the great highlight of the team with 25 points and could have done more if he did not leave the game injured with just under eight minutes to the end of the game.
That's a wrap! Thank you all for reading, enjoy the 2019 NBA Finals, choose your side, support your team always respecting the opponent. Share this post with your friends and comment below what team you are going for!