20 Things the Raptors Need to Get to the NBA Finals

It’s that time of the year again folks.

The NBA playoffs are some of the most exciting in sports and this year is no different with many break-out teams threatening existing legends, and the ramped up pressure on beloved stars to ascend new heights. Canada’s own basketball team hopes to redeem years of shattered hopes and the highs and lows of recent seasons with their upcoming playoff run.

So assemble with warm clothes, signs, and cell phones fully charged for Raptors playoffs at the square. I’m sure by now you’ve been to at least one Jurassic Park celebration – they’re definitely worth the trip downtown.

Regardless, while we’ve struggled at the most timely of moments to get baskets that matter in these playoffs, the Raps are looking amazing this season, especially having clinched a 1 Seed in the East.

The question remains, can we get out of our own heads and really put our foots on the necks of Lebron James and Cavaliers? The bottom line is that this year the Raptors have gone to war equipped with: a bench that has taken out some of the best teams in the league, an energized Kyle Lowry, an aggressive Jonas Valanciunas,  and an absolutely possessed Demar Derozan. When the passes are clicking and the team is playing for each other, we’ve looked absolutely unstoppable.

Of course just in time for the playoffs, the last few games have kept fans reliving every moment of playoff PTSD from any of the past few seasons…take your pick. Regardless, the Raps have had a franchise-best regular season by all accounts, and really and truly, I am incredibly proud of this team’s growth both on and off the basketball court. Masai Ujiri is a business messiah and an NBA wizard, and the growth of the G-League 905 squad, and the implementation of some great young pieces, has really provided something Canada’s team has long lacked – depth, rebounds, blocks, team defense, and unselfish play. With a culture change from the grass roots, the sky is the limit, if not this year, then definitely for years to come.

That being said, the Raptors have always had an uphill battle for every challenge that comes their way, and perhaps that’s where the unconditional fan love comes from. So, in saying that, below are 20 things that need to happen for the Raptors to win the Eastern Conference and enter the NBA Finals:

  1. LCBO bags of money and free poutine from Real Sports Bar to join the NBA-wide “bribe the referee”.

  2. Some prime-time games on actual NBA channels so that perhaps people remember that we’re in the league.

  3. Return of the old Raptors logo so that teams are actually intimidated by something more beastly than a claw in a basketball.

  4. An extra spicy Pascal Siakam who can channel his inner Usain Bolt and run the floor until that final whistle.

  5. Plenty of mesh-swishing threes from Fred Van Fleet, who no one seems to respect on the arc.

  6. A severe stomach flu followed by an unexpected case of hemorrhoids for Lebron James.

  7. Players making their free-throws…yes, it’s a wish, hope and prayer at this point, not an expectation.

  8. A pass-first Kyle Lowry ready and willing to make the extra pass before considering the transition 3.

  9. A recording of God’s Plan that alarms through the arena whenever the Raps slip back into playing Iso-Ball.

  10. Better graphic designs on the free t-shirts because last season had some horrendous looks for the playoffs.

  11. Appropriate minutes for Delon Wright who is consistently penalized for lacking offense while always showing great defense.

  12. The appearance of De-Kobe Derozan crowning fools, and fading like a stoned barber.

  13. A few well-timed Jonas Valanciunas brawls in the paint after the whistle.

  14. The complete Pokemon evolution of OG Anunoby into a 2014 Kawhi Leonard.

  15. I talked about the referees already right?

  16. Jack Armstrong calling every game with his vintage one-liners (sorry Leo Rautins, it just gets a bit dry sometimes, you should continue to stick with Rod Black).

  17. An angry and active Dwayne Casey that won’t hide from spitting that real ‘ish in the interviews.

  18. God damn Serge Ibaka willing to post-up and use his size rather than fade-away with a point-guard covering him.

  19. Indiana Pacers to at least slightly gas out the Cavs.

  20. Did I mention the referees?

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What else does our squad need for the big wins?

Comment below and don’t forget to catch game 1, kicking off the Raptors 2017/18 season playoffs on Saturday April 14, 2018 against the Washington Wizards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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