Toronto Six debut season ends tonight, but overall there’s so much to celebrate

Unfortunately, the Toronto Six will not be battling for the Isobel Cup in the finals tomorrow. They lost this evening’s game to the Boston Pride 6-2. And while that’s obviously not an ideal outcome, there’s so much for this team to be proud of over the last few months, and so much to look forward to.
Before we dive into that, a quick look at tonight’s matchup. While the final score was 6-2 Boston, the SOG were equal at 25 apiece. Neither team converted on the power play, and Toronto had a slight edge with faceoffs, winning 56% of them. It felt like it took both teams a little bit to get their legs under them, but in the end the Pride was able to start generating offense earlier, and once they started the onslaught never let up.
Toronto battled until the very end, with a late goal from Grant-Mentis to give them two goals in the game, but were unable to narrow the gap that had widened early in the third period. Later this weekend, we’ll have a post up reflecting on what this season and the NWHL in general has meant to fans, so look …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: What if Kyle Lowry’s championship-winning shot had gone in?

With seconds remaining in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Kyle Lowry caught the ball with a chance to win the championship for the Toronto Raptors. What if his shot would have gone in? On June 13, 2019, the Toronto Raptors won their first-ever NBA championship. But, before that, three days earlier, the Raptors had their […]
Toronto Raptors: What if Kyle Lowry’s championship-winning shot had gone in? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Lior Kozai / Raptors HQ

Analysis: How the Raptors slowed Steph and Klay in Game 1, and more

The Raptors struck first in the NBA Finals, finding a way to slow the Warriors’ attack and even extend their bench a bit. Did it all work? Let’s look into the numbers. This series, a Finals showdown with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, is one of the hardest to prepare for. The Warriors can be such a different team depending on how hard they feel they need to try, so projecting anything from the regular season, or their performance in terms of metrics, is an impossible task.
So we’ll just take each game as an opportunity to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in that specific contest, and hope those trends hold up if the Raptors try to learn from them.
Extended Bench
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said before the game that he wanted to run out ten guys and see who stuck. With OG Anunoby still out for at least Game 1, though hopefully available for Game 2, Nurse went with a nine-man rotation: the obvious eight from last series, plus Patrick McCaw.
Now, as I warned before Game 1, extending the bench to include even OG comes with risks — if Toronto plays too many bench …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ

Five thoughts on the NBA Finals: What to look for in the Raptors vs. Warriors series

The NBA Finals are here, and storylines abound. Our thoughts on which ones are worthy of your attention — and which ones can wait until summer. While it still seems like some far-off fantasy, the NBA Finals are set to tip-off here in Toronto in a matter of hours. It’s real! It’s happening! And as always when a major sporting event is getting underway, there are plenty of storylines and narratives out there to draw your attention.
But are all of them worthy of your attention? Here are our thoughts on five storylines making the headlines involving the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors going into the NBA Finals.
Injuries, and Who’s Coming Back When
By this point, you know that Kevin Durant is hurt, and has been ruled out for Game 1. DeMarcus Cousins is questionable for Game 1, and so is (somewhat surprisingly) OG Anunoby.
Obviously Durant’s injury looms over this series like nothing else. There are plenty of questions about how the Warriors play with or without him — more on this in a moment — but the difference it makes to Toronto is huge. If Durant is in the game, he becomes Kawhi Leonard’s primary assignment, …

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Author: Josh Kern / Raptors HQ

The Lowry and Gasol playoff shirts are here — get yours today!

The Raptors are in the Finals and two of the bigger reasons why are none other than Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol. Thanks to BreakingT, we’ve got more ways to celebrate: t-shirts! The NBA Finals are here! Setting aside everything else, that means more chances to watch Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors. And do you know what else it means? More t-shirts!
Thanks to BreakingT, we’ve got two more shirts on offer today. The first relays a sentiment Raptors fans well know. The second is a hold over from a different era. Both have a place on this latest edition of the Raptors team as they’ve made their way through the 2019 NBA Playoffs — and Finals.
Get your Kyle Lowry Over Everything t-shirt here
Get your Grit Grind Gasol t-shirt here
For a closer look:

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Toronto prepares for the NBA Finals — and its potential outcomes

The Raptors are in their first ever NBA Finals! They’ll be taking on the three-time champion Golden State Warriors. Here are the outcomes that could be coming our way. Blessed be our big-time friends at SB Nation’s main vertical who had the wherewithal to enumerate how exactly the Raptors would win their NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors. That’s right, through six well-argued points, Mike Prada and Tom Ziller, praise be upon them, give us in Toronto a surfeit of reasons to believe in the Raptors’ chances against a juggernaut.
I think you’ll forgive me, however, if I suggest the Warriors are likely still favoured. As Prada and Ziller explain, there are things working in Toronto’s favour — home court advantage, the absence of Kevin Durant for at least one game, Kawhi Leonard being terrifyingly good — but the Warriors have won three of the last four titles, and that didn’t happen by accident.
Still, the series hasn’t started yet! There are a plethora of potential outcomes that could happen. In that spirit, let’s try to emotionally and mentally prepare for what’s coming in the NBA Finals — a win, a loss, …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors NBA Finals HQ

Toronto is in the NBA Finals. The Warriors are looking for their third straight title. What will happen? Who will win? We’ve got it all here. It’s the NBA Finals — we made it! Catch up on all of our Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors coverage here. We’ve got everything from podcasts to in-depth analysis, plus our usual game coverage and more!
Now the big question: Can the Raptors win it all? We’ll find out.

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Raptors in the Finals: Who’s been here before, and who’s done what?

The Toronto Raptors are heading to the NBA Finals for the first time as a franchise, but not every Raptor is a Finals novice. When the NBA Finals tip-off tomorrow night, perhaps the starkest contrast between these two teams is their Finals pedigree. This is the Raptors’ first-ever Finals appearance, of course, while it’s fifth straight NBA Finals for the Golden State Warriors, who also won the title in 1975 (and made five previous appearances as the San Francisco Warriors and the Philadelphia Warriors).
But on the individual level, the Raptors aren’t all Finals novices! Again, they can’t reach anywhere near the collective experience that the current group of Warriors has, but this Raptors team has three rotation players who’ve been there before — including a certain Fun Guy who’s been playing pretty well these days.
So let’s take a look at what these Raptors have done in their Finals appearances, and then, just for fun, let’s also take a quick trip down memory lane and see how former Raptors have done in the NBA Finals.
Kawhi Leonard
Any discussion of the Raptors’ Finals experience has to start with Kawhi Leonard, the man who famously …

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Author: Josh Kern / Raptors HQ

Series Preview: Raptors are able underdogs to Warriors in NBA Finals

We look at three storylines heading into the NBA Finals, where the Raptors can own an opportunity to win it all. I still believed they’d find a way to blow it. Standing there in between reviews in the final minute of Game 6, it felt like the Raptors had somehow found a new, previously unforeseen way to lose and break the fanbase. The ball was moving deeper into the corner. Inbounds passes have always been an issue for this team.
Then, they got it in. Pascal Siakam hit a free throw, then Kawhi Leonard held off the two most imposing Milwaukee Bucks players — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez — to secure the rebound and hit two more. And it was over.

This really happened. pic.twitter.com/ekXXOFk5FK— John Gaudes (@johngaudes) May 27, 2019

Being there for Game 6 will be something I never forget. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. Losing my voice booing Giannis free throws, seeing how loud the arena could get when Kawhi threw down The Dunk, walking out into bedlam on Lake Shore. It was all there, and now we’re here. The Raptors are in the damn NBA Finals, where they’ll meet the pre-eminent threat in …

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Author: John Gaudes / Raptors HQ

On the Raptors making the NBA Finals, and closure

The Raptors making the Finals helped close up a decade-old wound. Sports, man. On April 4th, 2010, I could have done something else. It was weekend afternoon in high school — surely there was a Wii in a friend’s basement I would have been welcome to play, or a laid back set of parents opening up their house to a bunch of idiot 12th graders looking to be idiot 12th graders. To be 17 is to spread yourself thin socially. There were options that day.
The plan I landed on didn’t involve any of my high school pals. It involved my best friend, my Grandpa Jack.
***
A few months earlier, my family decided to go out for Christmas dinner. It was an executive decision from the higher-ups — mom and grandma — after they deemed cooking a turkey was too much of a damn chore, and it’d be worth transferring the group of 15 or so who’d come to our place every year to a restaurant up the street. It was an unremarkable meal, from what I recall. The turkey didn’t taste like grandma’s, the stuffing was a little soggy, there were sides, I’m sure, but I couldn’t …

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Author: Sean Woodley / Raptors HQ