The Toronto Raptors-Jurassic Jump

Ab Stanley

In the distant regions of our minds, there’s a place we all have called “no way”. Its a special place where we tell ourselves that something will never happen or ask ourselves did that just happen? The Toronto Raptors have had a special place there for several years, most notably the past few years where they seemed to have really good teams.

Now it seems our NBA brothers north of the border have found their way.

Of course the Spurs thought there was no way Kawhi Leonard was the same player after a quad injury. They were absolutely right because he’s become an even better player after that. Leonard is averaging 31.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game so far in the playoffs and has been nothing short of spectacular.

The media and fans thought there was no way the Raptors got the better end of that trade. The Spurs received a perennial All-Star in DeMar DeRozan, while Toronto would only recieve a one-year rental. Can you really see a scenario where Leonard would now leave the best team in the eastern conference (No way)?

The “no way” mentality doesn’t stop at Leonard either. No way does Kyle Lowry have the type of playoffs that would help his team make it to the Finals. Lowry has hushed those cries for him to “show up” during a playoff-run.

He raised his average from 14.2 points per game during the regular season to 19.1 in the Eastern Conference Finals series versus the Milwaukee Bucks. He has found a way to compliment Leonard and hit some big shots. Lowry has also been very solid defensively as the team has raised its defensive awareness overall.

There was no way a coach named Nick Nurse was going to lead the Raptors anywhere. An assistant coach there since 2013, Nurse was there for all of Toronto’s playoff exits since then. He has done a fantastic job keeping his team focused with a roster that has changed personnel a couple times this season.

For all the doubters and all the naysayers, there’s no denying the Raptors are for real. Not even Jimmy Swaggert or Creflo Dollar could come up with a more unlikely miracle. The Raptors have been so close for so many years and now they are NBA Finals bound.

Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet have provided a youthful exuberance to the team. The older players like Leonard, Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka give the Raptors plenty of experience to take on the Golden State Warriors in the Finals.

No matter what the outcome of the Finals may be, Toronto is the beast of the east. The Raptors have been battle tested and ready for the challenge of taking out the champs and winning the NBA championship.

Most people outside of Canada feel there’s no way they can defeat Golden State. Now after seeing all the obstacles they have hurdled, all the improvements they have made, do you really believe there’s no way they can win?

Ab Stanley

Atlanta, GA

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