The last (and only) time the Toronto Raptors won a playoff series, I wasn’t even writing this blog. And I’ve been writing this blog for almost fifteen years. So.
Actually, the Raps had never won a 7-game playoff series — in 2001 they beat the Knicks in 5 before losing to Philadelphia in 7. Then came a 4-year drought, then 2 straight first-round exits, then another 5-year drought. The last two years have seen hugely disappointing first-round losses to lower-ranked opponents.
This year, finally, and barely, the Raptors survived the first round. On paper they should have beaten Indiana handily, but it took 7 games. You could see this team almost thinking they’re jinxed, but they held on, and the proverbial monkey alighted from their shoulders.
Now, in the second round, they play Miami. Again, on paper, they should win this, but Miami stole home court advantage in game 1. The Raps won game 2 and I’m hopeful that maybe they can regain their regular-season form, but…I don’t know. So far they seem tentative, almost cursed a little. Who knows, maybe they’ll pull out this series too and move on to the 3rd round and we’ll celebrate that milestone.
Right up until they play LeBron and the Cavs.
[UPDATE] They did indeed pull out that series win over the Heat and moved on to the 3rd round, and we all celebrated that milestone.
And then they played game 1 against LeBron and the Cavs.
God be with you tonight, Raptors.
Cover photo by Tom Maglieri, used under Creative Commons license