The Toronto Raptors are leaders in antiracism

The Toronto Raptors recognize that it’s not enough to simply not be racist. They are actively working as antiracists. There is no doubt that lately, discrimination and social justice have become a greater public focus than they have been in decades. Protests across America have helped bring injustices to light. Systematic racism is not a […]
The Toronto Raptors are leaders in antiracism – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeff Borsuk / Raptors HQ

OG Anunoby’s career night wasted as Nuggets defeat Raptors 133-118 in Mile High City

OG Anunoby dropped a career-high 32 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto Raptors fell 133-118 to the Denver Nuggets. The loss was Toronto’s third in a row. Sunday’s game, at altitude against the second-place Denver Nuggets, was always going to be a tough one to win for the Toronto Raptors. And that would’ve […]
OG Anunoby’s career night wasted as Nuggets defeat Raptors 133-118 in Mile High City – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jordan Skuse / Raptors HQ

Takeaways as the Toronto Raptors lose heat against the Miami Heat

The defensive strength of the Toronto Raptors was not enough to balance their offensive struggles against the Miami Heat. What were the takeaways from the Thursday night outing? After a strong 20 point win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors entered the Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena where only one team has been able to […]
Takeaways as the Toronto Raptors lose heat against the Miami Heat – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Lee Tanner / Raptors HQ

Marner is reportedly in talks to play for the Zurich Lions of the Swiss League, so let’s laugh about it

If you pay enough attention to a lot of contract negotiations, you can see patterns emerge pretty quickly with how agents go about their business, particularly in negotiating through the media. To this point in the summer we’ve already been given a masterclass from Mitch Marner’s “camp” in this regard, with agent Darren Ferris going to some lengths to ensure his client’s contract ask is always in the forefront of Toronto news.
For a lot of fans (and I’m sure the team itself) this part of the playbook probably got tiring quickly, but it is part of what agents do. And given Ferris’s previous negotiations for clients Andreas Athanasiou and Sam Bennett, we were wondering when the whole “he’s going to go play overseas if he doesn’t get paid” card would be played.

Andreas Athanasiou in ongoing discussions with KHL teams. Unless something shifts in Detroit, indications are Athanasiou will jump to KHL.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 5, 2017

Still a sizable gap in contract talks between the Flames and Sam Bennett. Possibility Bennett heads overseas until a deal in Calgary is done
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 5, 2017

Well apparently that day is today, with “sources” …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

Can We All Just Have Fun This Year?

For those of you foolish enough to sink any emotional investment into the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 2018-19 season sucked. Point blank. It was garbage; a never-ending hailstorm of negativity and Oakley-clad uncles from Brampton from which you couldn’t escape even if you wanted to.
The worst part, though? You didn’t want to. You’re addicted to it, baby. We all are.
From the year’s hopeful beginning down to its alcohol-hazed end, federal law apparently barred both the Leafs and their fanbase from enjoying so much as a single, solitary moment of it. As in; not one.
John Tavares is making his long-awaited debut for his hometown team? Great! But selfish William Nylander hasn’t signed yet, so do me a favour and go get bent.
Oh, Nylander signed at the literal last second for what will, in less than 6 months (thank you, Jimmy Hayes. Or, is it Kevin? It’s Kevin, right? I dunno. They’re both not great) be a financial steal? Cool!
Now enjoy a full year in which the one half of Leafs fandom yet to grasp the definition of “pro-rated” and the other half with a spray chart on hand to judge …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation

What does the future hold for Ron Hainsey?

Is two seasons enough for #2? Will he make a triumphant return and win another Stanley Cup?
Find out next on this edition of Ron Hainsey: Probably not a robot!
In all seriousness, Hainsey’s one of the oddest cases of player evaluation we’ve seen in a uniform in recent memory. An aging vet and a supposed possession black hole who’s probably playing too many minutes on the Leafs’ top pairing, but also somehow always was near the league leaders in plus-minus. There was a pretty good case that he was always about the fourth or fifth best Leafs skater on the ice during any given shift,
Stats
0.75 5v5 points/60 minutes was the third highest rate of his career, but much of that came with playing alongside Morgan Rielly, who racked up his totals at at an impressive rate. His 48.9 % Corsi For Percentage at 5v5  was nearly two full percentage points higher than his first year in a Leafs uniform.
In terms of raw numbers, he picked up 5 goals and 8 assists to reach 23 points.
In the year prior, he picked up 4 goals and 19 assists. Oh, and this past season, Hainsey took his +12 rating to a +30, which led the team. …

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Author: Adam Laskaris / The Leafs Nation

Report: Nick Nurse nearing deal to coach Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team

As if Saturday night wasn’t impressive enough, multiple reports Sunday tabbed Nick Nurse as the future Team Canada coach Still basking in the glow of leading the Toronto Raptors to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse might be adding another entry to his resume: Team Canada head coach.
As TSN Insider Peter Yannopoulos first reported on Sunday morning, Nurse is set to become the head coach for Canadian Men’s National Team for this summer’s 2019 FIBA World Cup:

The news keeps getting better for basketball in our country. Sources confirm to me that Nick Nurse will become the next head coach for Team this summer at the world championships in China. Brillant hire by Rowan Barrett and Canada basketball. #RDS— Peter Yannopoulos (@PeteYannopoulos) May 26, 2019

Lori Ewing of the Canadian Press and Michael Grange of Sportsnet further confirmed the reports, but no official statement has been made at this time.
The move would seem to make sense for Team Canada, which has traveled a long road in finding a replacement for Jay Triano, who stepped down in March. Triano was popular among players, so finding a replacement was always going to be a tall order; …

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Author: Josh Kern / Raptors HQ

Tactical Issues: How will the Raptors and Bucks adjust in Game 2?

The Raptors played well enough to make everyone think that this could be a long series. Can the Bucks stay a step ahead of them in Game 2, or will Toronto be good enough to steal home court advantage? If you’re a Milwaukee Bucks fan, there’s really nothing surprising or alarming about Game 1. The Bucks are well known to start slow and turn it up a notch throughout the run of a game — even one in the playoffs, and on as big a stage as the Eastern Conference Finals.
For the Toronto Raptors fan, Game 1 felt like a lost opportunity. That the Raptors came to play, kept the pace up, and held the Bucks at bay for three quarters, while also having a great Kyle Lowry scoring game, made it all the more difficult to digest when they lost.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer made incremental adjustments throughout the game, and Raptors coach Nick Nurse came in with an excellent game plan to start. Unfortunately, the latter stepped on a landmine starting late in the third quarter and failed to counter some of Milwaukee’s moves down the stretch.
So what did Game 1 tell us? That the Raptors are not …

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Author: JD Quirante / Raptors HQ

Listen to That’s A Rap #27: Post-Game 1 vs. Bucks Reaction

A vintage K.L.O.E. performance was not enough for the Raptors in Milwaukee. Listen as the boys talk about all the positive takeaways from Game 1 of the ECF. Pick your poison.
Toronto was able to lock down most of Milwaukee’s starters in last night’s opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals, but the margin for error at this stage of the postseason is razor thin. For the Raptors, the aforementioned poison ended up being Brook Lopez, who helped his Bucks secure the win with a big fourth quarter.
In Milwaukee’s case, Kyle Lowry was their poison, as they elected to lock down Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam, but Lowry’s 30 points weren’t enough.
Raptor fans may complain of a missed opportunity, but we couldn’t help but discuss the many positive takeaways from Game 1. Listen to the latest post-game pod and chime in with your thoughts.

On The Latest Episode:
Free from the arms of Jonathan Isaac and the length of Ben Simmons, the Raptors finally looked like the post-trade-deadline version of the team that led the league in three-point shooting. Led by Lowry (who had seven triples on the night), each starter nailed …

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Author: JayRosales / Raptors HQ

I think I like Nikita Zaitsev* (*so far in this series)

I think this site has more than enough content on it speaking ill of Nikita Zaitsev that we probably owe the guy a post talking about the things he seems to be doing well. That thing is doing well just so happens to be holding his own against the best line in hockey.

That’s pretty darn good and dare I say the best that any of us could ever hope for. What’s pretty interesting is that when Zaitsev has been away from that line, he’s gone back to regular Zaitsev.

Zaitsev CF% Away
David Pastrnak
39.02
Charlie McAvoy
45.24
Brad Marchand
40.48
Patrice Bergeron
39.53
Zdeno Chara
36.36
Wait, that might be worse than regular Zaitsev and we should have concerns about Zaitsev having a 26.67 CF% against Krejci and a 27.27% CF% against DeBrusk, but dammit, we’re giving Zaitsev his moment, at 5 on 5 he’s been fantastic against his assignment. Of course, we’ll have to also consider who is on the ice with him…
With
TOI With
TOI Away
CF% With
Zaitsev CF% Without
Off. Zone Start %
Jake Muzzin
41.30
5.48
46.38
55.56
33.33
John Tavares
26.48
20.30
58.70
36.59
30.77
Zach Hyman
26.47
20.32
53.19
42.50
30.77
Mitchell Marner
25.85
20.93
55.56
40.48
30.77
Still, it doesn’t matter that Zaitsev has an outstanding supporting cast, he is going up …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation