With their convincing round one win in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the Raptors proved themselves to be very much worthy of your belief. Every year since 2015 has been an exercise in talking one’s self back into the Raptors. After getting swept by the Wizards, it was merely a question of whether the team was actually good or not that dominated the 2015-16 season. The success of the that year stopped at the foot of a LeBron-sized wall — but hey, P.J. Tucker was gonna take care of that in 2017, no problem. After he didn’t, and belief slunk to an all-time low, along came the Culture Reset™, a killer bench, and advanced metrics so sexy you simply had to think the third hack at the Cavs couldn’t possibly end in another soul-zapping sweep.
This year it wasn’t especially hard to be sold on the Raptors’ talent. Kawhi Leonard is a freaking Minotaur; Danny Green and Marc Gasol’s reputations speak for themselves. And get a load of that marauding 6’9” dude who just decided to become a top-25 player. This team always had the right parts to be a different, more unflappable kind of great.
But even …
Author: Sean Woodley / Raptors HQ