Twas’ The Night Before Raps-mas

It’s the night before the biggest game in Raptors history, and I’m surprisingly at peace. It’s not often you can trace the hopes and dreams of a franchise down to one game, but we can, and this is it.

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If Toronto can win at home tomorrow, it will be the first 7 game series they’ve ever won, and only the second first round series victory in their history. Although their regular season record has improved four years in a row, the past 3 playoff outings have resulted in heartache, including the inability to close out this series against Indiana.

This year was supposed to be different. We learned from past mistakes, shored up our roster with 7 new faces & set a team record 56 wins, en route to a second place finish in the East (fourth best record over all). It appeared we were lucky enough to play an opponent we were much deeper than, an Indiana team with a star, but not a deep roster.

Now that we stand on the precipice of Game 7, it seems obvious we underrated the Pacers. Shades of Game 7 against Brooklyn three years ago flutter to mind. Another situation we were sure to come out of, but alas, a final second block dashed our hopes yet again. One can be thankful for a chance to win it tomorrow, since last years playoffs ended without even a single win for Toronto (though I was happy to attend one of the games regardless).

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For me, there remains a sort of Schrodinger’s Cat mentality tonight. This time tomorrow, I’ll either be delirious with happiness or crushed with yet another harsh ending to a brilliant season. For now, anything can happen, anyone can win. This is the deepest lineup we’ve ever had, and this team truly deserves a shot to continue in these playoffs.

Throughout this series, the Raptors have demonstrated a real Jekyll & Hyde mentality, never able to put the series away, never knowing which Raptors team would show up. I’m still proud of how far they’ve come, and very excited about the future of this franchise, no matter what happens. That said, nothing would mean more to the fans, the franchise and the country than to see our Raptors finish things off right, in front of a sold out home crowd & a prime-time TV audience.

Regardless of what happens tomorrow night, I’m proud of this team, and excited for the future.

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