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  • 007 wrote: View Post
    Happy one year anniversary guys! Crazy how fast things can change lol
    A year ago, millions of fans were outside celebrating, crowded together waiting for the parade. Fast foward a year and we're social distancing ourselves from one another. Crazy indeed.

    Comment


    • I wrote this post exactly 1yr ago, at 4am between June13th and 14th. That thread was closed because this one (Everything Champions) started. Like many of us, I was euphoric, wired, had a few and couldn't sleep. Feels like yesterday. So in honour of our Championship Anniversary, here's a repost:

      ================================================== =======

      It's real!!! What a year. Aside from the obvious meaning of this to the Raptors, this win also has a ton of meaning to the NBA and to the game itself.

      1. It’s the end of a dynasty. Raps just grabbed it by the horns and never let go. It’s the victory of the underrated, the underdog, the one that everyone discounted. The NBA needed that. The sense of inevitability, the “Oh, it’s just gonna be the Warriors anyway”, all smashed tonight. The NBA was thirsty for that, for someone else other than the Warriors. The Raptors provided that.

      2. Depth Matters. It’s always been about the top-end talent, but the reality is, you can’t just have that and cover your ears. This time around it was about the unsung heroes. Both teams had the required elite starters, but the Raptors had FVV and Ibaka, and the Warriors didn’t. Basketball showed today it’s still a team sport.

      3. Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors. Raptors were down 0-2 on the ECF, also behind in the second round. That never fazed them. The team took numerous punches through the year and that only made them stronger. Having a team cruise to the playoffs might be fun for some, but it ain’t what the game should be about. The parity and competitiveness was there and the Raps prevailed. That is so much more flavourful.

      4. Locker room stability counts. When you wanna go far, having buddies you can go to war with rather then undermine you makes all the difference. We’ve seen the Celtics, the Warriors, Philly and others all be distracted by internal strife egos and Prima-Dona fits . Not here. Raps were a down to earth bunch. A group of vets and young guns leaning on each other all the way to end, despite the strains of load management, individual personal struggles, injuries, you name it.

      5. Winning culture wins. Losing on purpose (tanking), loses. Winning habits will get you somewhere. Raps had several opportunities to tank since 2015. They refused to do it and proceeded to win a championship. Other teams continue to decide to lose on purpose in the hopes for the right draftee , while their young prospects grow/develop on a team used to losing.

      6. Load management wins. The team simmered Kawhi all season long. A slow-grilled steak cooked to perfection, when everyone at the time just wanted to eat a burger right away. Then the man comes, brings a championship home, and gets a finals MVP in the process.

      7. Media eats crow. Kyle Lowry shuts everyone up. The amount of doubters this team had every step of the way was incredible. From fair-weather fans, to fake fans, to dubious analysts, to biased talking heads, to flat-out irrational haters. They were everywhere. Today they are either grumpy and quiet, or nodding over how elite this team gradually became, the deeper they went into the playoffs.

      8. Internal development worked better than drafted “ready made” packages. No lottery picks on this team. Highest was 15th. Everyone got to where they are through the grind. No hype, just substance over the years. They were doing the work and putting in the time in different teams throughout the years, but they all congregated here, with that in common. Ain’t nobody fawning over them in college or as a rookie. They weren’t born great, they chose to become great. All of them.

      9. Balanced offence wins. Morey-ball used to be the thing do. “Don’t take anything but 3’s and layups”. Raptors showed that you can’t oversimplify the game like that. Kawhi Leonard used a slew of post up and midrange moves to complement a balanced offence that involved deadly shooters from almost every area of the floor. All post-season long. Centres like Ibaka and Gasol resurged. Coach had the onions to zig when everyone was zagging, to play jazz when everyone wanted to play classical. Now an NBA champion on his first year as a coach.

      10. Resilience is everything. Never too high, never too low, was what got this team through the playoffs this year. When everyone gave them up for dead, they never got too low. When everyone thought it was already in the bag, they never got too high, and kept their laser focus on the finish line. You don’t win a championship if you don’t know how to take the punches along the way without having a meltdown. That’s what Champions are made of. That’s what “it” is. That’s what the Raptors had, and are now the best team in the world.

      [background music]




      From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, top 2 in assists in the league, Olympic Gold medalist, NBA all star in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, leading post defender and charge taker among guards, starting point guard leading the team to its 5th consecutive playoff appearance, Playoff Hero and 2019 NBA Champion, Kyle Lowry.







      From North Babylon, New York, second highest 3pt% shooter and top 5 aggregate +/- in the league, 2x NBA champion, NCAA champion, NBA all defensive second team, leading shot blocker among guards, Daniel Richard Green Jr.








      From San Diego, California, second highest ppg in the playoffs, 2x NBA champion, 2x NBA finals MVP, 3x NBA all-star, 2x All-NBA First team, 2x Defensive Player of the Year, 3x NBA all-defensive team, 1x NBA steals leader, averaging a career high in points and rebounds as a Toronto Raptor, Kawhi Anthony Leonard.








      From Douala, Cameroon, NBA D-League Champion, NBA D-League Finals MVP, 2019 Most Improved Player, 15% improvement in 3pt% from last year to this year, second highest scorer in the team, top 5 leaguewide in aggregate +/-, with career high in points, rebounds, steals and assists, part of the the second highest scoring duo in NBA playoff history, 2019 NBA Champion, Pascal Siakam.









      From Barcelona, Spain, former Spanish League MVP, 2x Olympic medalist, Euro player of the year (2014), 3x NBA All-star, former defensive player of the year, All NBA first team, Embiid's father, 2019 NBA Champion, Marc Gasol Saez









      From Brazzaville Congo, 3x NBA all defensive team, 2x NBA blocks leader, logging double digits on the last 3 games of the finals and breaking the record for the highest number of blocks in an NBA finals game, 2019 NBA Champion, Serge Jonas Ibaka Ngobila






      From Rockford Illinois, NBA D-league champion, 6th man of the year finalist, from undrafted to playoff hero, 2019 NBA champion, Fredderick Edmund VanVleet Sr.






      GOT' EM....
      Last edited by inthepaint; Sat Jun 13, 2020, 10:59 PM.
      2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

      Comment


      • ^^^ You predicted the empty stadium.

        Great memories.

        Keep going hard.... inthepaint.
        Last edited by golden; Sun Jun 14, 2020, 08:28 AM.

        Comment


        • I'm ready for the season to be cancelled .... then I read that again from inthepaint and I want to see the season finish so bad

          Comment


          • GOLDBLUM wrote: View Post
            So....

            Greatest Trio in the history of the NBA confirmed?



            Could've been a dynasty but, hey.... Have fun with Montrez, Whi. .... smh

            I wonder if in 15 years Kawhi will be reflecting on his past, the same way Carter and McGrady do. ... Probably maybe definitely.

            "If I stayed, we could've won not one, not two, not three... but for the rest of recorded time."
            If he feels it you'll never known.

            Comment


            • As we've said here before, I doubt Kawhi has any regrets at all...yet. He took who he wanted from Toronto with him, he continued to load manage and played on a successful winning (regular season) team in fantastic weather close to home. Whether that all ends in the ultimate right choice remains to be seen.....but again, fair to say zero regrets so far.

              Comment


              • GOLDBLUM wrote: View Post
                So....

                Greatest Trio in the history of the NBA confirmed?



                Could've been a dynasty but, hey.... Have fun with Montrez, Whi. .... smh

                I wonder if in 15 years Kawhi will be reflecting on his past, the same way Carter and McGrady do. ... Probably maybe definitely.

                "If I stayed, we could've won not one, not two, not three... but for the rest of recorded time."
                Could definitely make the argument for most underrated championship trio.

                I think Siakam's career redefines the uneducated "Kawhi won it for them" narrative. People will realize three perennial all-stars were at the core of that team.

                If Fred and Powell continue to trend upwards, that will also redefine the take on the Raptors' talent level. These were emerging, very good basketball players breaking out on the biggest stage - not flukes (people basically laughed off Fred's shooting). Not to flog this horse, but if Siakam, Fred, Powell, etc. had last season's runs + playoffs in LA, they'd be hyped beyond reason. See: Kuzma, Kyle. Or even Serge and Gasol - look at the hype Dwight Howard gets for playing moderately decent off-the-bench basketball in LA. Gasol and Ibaka are both better. Last season's Raptors as a whole would be featured in some kind of ridiculous "Is this team better than the Kobe/Shaq Lakers and the MJ Bulls?" segment on PTI if they were in NY or LA. People felt like Kawhi did it himself because they didn't pay attention to any Raptors - all year long - other than Kawhi.
                "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

                Comment


                • G__Deane wrote: View Post
                  As we've said here before, I doubt Kawhi has any regrets at all...yet. He took who he wanted from Toronto with him, he continued to load manage and played on a successful winning (regular season) team in fantastic weather close to home. Whether that all ends in the ultimate right choice remains to be seen.....but again, fair to say zero regrets so far.
                  Especially if he wins another one in this year in the covid cup, and I hate to say I like his chances. Healthy, playoff Kawhi is a stone cold psychopath
                  It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

                  Comment


                  • Any trio who wins it in Toronto is going to be underappreciated. American patriotism may be taking a hit right now but it's not dead. Even all those guys in the media who are against MAGA (so like 99.99% of those in sports MSM) has a huge American bias when it comes to sports. Global everything except where the baskets are going down.

                    Comment


                    • S.R. wrote: View Post

                      Could definitely make the argument for most underrated championship trio.

                      I think Siakam's career redefines the uneducated "Kawhi won it for them" narrative. People will realize three perennial all-stars were at the core of that team.

                      If Fred and Powell continue to trend upwards, that will also redefine the take on the Raptors' talent level. These were emerging, very good basketball players breaking out on the biggest stage - not flukes (people basically laughed off Fred's shooting). Not to flog this horse, but if Siakam, Fred, Powell, etc. had last season's runs + playoffs in LA, they'd be hyped beyond reason. See: Kuzma, Kyle. Or even Serge and Gasol - look at the hype Dwight Howard gets for playing moderately decent off-the-bench basketball in LA. Gasol and Ibaka are both better. Last season's Raptors as a whole would be featured in some kind of ridiculous "Is this team better than the Kobe/Shaq Lakers and the MJ Bulls?" segment on PTI if they were in NY or LA. People felt like Kawhi did it himself because they didn't pay attention to any Raptors - all year long - other than Kawhi.
                      I agree on everything here except Dwight Howard. I've seen zero hype for him and I think most agree he's washed. He was 7.5 PPG this season (yes off the bench a lot), less than half his career AVG. Basically just a journeyman living off the past now, certainly not Marc or Serge level. I remember when he was an unstoppable beast.

                      Comment


                      • Apollo wrote: View Post
                        Any trio who wins it in Toronto is going to be underappreciated. American patriotism may be taking a hit right now but it's not dead. Even all those guys in the media who are against MAGA (so like 99.99% of those in sports MSM) has a huge American bias when it comes to sports. Global everything except where the baskets are going down.
                        Lowry has always been criminally underrated, but it seems like Pascal is getting his due. He's already the face of the Raptors to the American media, just like Kawhi last year and DeRozan before that. Only the locals who have a sharp basketball mind and watch all 82 know that Lowry has been our best player for about 7 years (other than the kawhi year)
                        It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

                        Comment


                        • KeonClark wrote: View Post

                          Lowry has always been criminally underrated, but it seems like Pascal is getting his due. He's already the face of the Raptors to the American media, just like Kawhi last year and DeRozan before that. Only the locals who have a sharp basketball mind and watch all 82 know that Lowry has been our best player for about 7 years (other than the kawhi year)
                          Kyle had many instances of choking in the bright lights. He finally got over it last year but that notion may still be out there.

                          Comment


                          • Apollo wrote: View Post

                            Kyle had many instances of choking in the bright lights. He finally got over it last year but that notion may still be out there.
                            Yes it is certainly a big factor to the underrated thing. His best ball is usually before new year when nobodies watching yet, then injuries hit him seems like every season and the famous playoff games where him and DeRozan stunk up the joint
                            It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

                            Comment


                            • Meh, I still think Kyle's playoff disappointments are overstated. It's a narrative that took on it's own life. There were certainly disappointments, but it blew out of proportion.

                              Compare his playoff career to Damian Lillard's, who manages to get written up as Mr. Clutch. Dame has an EXTREMELY spotty playoff record, personal and team. 6 appearances, bounced in 5 games or less in half of those. Two first round sweeps. Half his post seasons he shot 30% or WORSE from deep on a lot of attempts. He's been held as low as 7-8 ppg below his regular season averages.

                              But

                              Dame makes a couple highlight reel halfcourt shots and the narrative is set. Big shooter. Onions. Big Game Dame.

                              Lowry has a fluid sack on his elbow and air balls the wrong shot at the wrong moment and gets the opposite rep. Playoff Choker.

                              I don't think Dame's as good as he's made out to be, Lowry's a better all around player though not on the same level as a scorer, and I think Lowry's a much better playoff performer than he's made out to be. Would have argued that before last spring, too.
                              "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

                              Comment


                              • S.R. wrote: View Post
                                Meh, I still think Kyle's playoff disappointments are overstated. It's a narrative that took on it's own life. There were certainly disappointments, but it blew out of proportion.

                                Compare his playoff career to Damian Lillard's, who manages to get written up as Mr. Clutch. Dame has an EXTREMELY spotty playoff record, personal and team. 6 appearances, bounced in 5 games or less in half of those. Two first round sweeps. Half his post seasons he shot 30% or WORSE from deep on a lot of attempts. He's been held as low as 7-8 ppg below his regular season averages.

                                But

                                Dame makes a couple highlight reel halfcourt shots and the narrative is set. Big shooter. Onions. Big Game Dame.

                                Lowry has a fluid sack on his elbow and air balls the wrong shot at the wrong moment and gets the opposite rep. Playoff Choker.

                                I don't think Dame's as good as he's made out to be, Lowry's a better all around player though not on the same level as a scorer, and I think Lowry's a much better playoff performer than he's made out to be. Would have argued that before last spring, too.
                                Yeah it was a narrative that got out of hand, but when you look at it year by year easy to see why.

                                2014: game 7, many eyes on the TV, Raptors lose to the "underdog" nets, Lowry throwing up a prayer that didnt come close at the end. He had a great playoff but people put a label that gained steam in the coming years.
                                2015: Wizards. This was an ass thrashing. We were all embarrassed and soul searched all summer. Lowry played bad. Really bad, and the narrative is now in motion after 2 first round exits from "good" raptor teams.
                                2016: Went to the conference finals but struggled at times in each series especially game 1s and against Indy early. He was really good against Miami, and great in some Cleveland games, bad in others.


                                2017, 2018 playoffs were much better for Lowry, but the team got swept by Lebron twice so the damage was already done, we were Lebronto and Lowry was a choker. But yeah, really the only playoffs he struggled was 2015 and a good bit of 2016, which I definitely think was a nerves as a younger man leading us after the Nets loss in year 1. He's now a grizzled vet and is a good playoff player. But there were definitely major speed bumps along the way, but I also agree he caught way more flak than other guys who struggle in the playoffs
                                It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

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