Fred VanVleet has extremely bold take on Raptors-Warriors Finals

Fred VanVleet has extremely bold take on Raptors-Warriors Finals

The Toronto Raptors may not have faced a Golden State Warriors team that was at full strength during their title run in 2019, but that didn’t stop Fred VanVleet and a hungry squad from staring down Draymond Green and pulling out the first championship in franchise history. The health of Kevin Durant was one of […]
Fred VanVleet has extremely bold take on Raptors-Warriors Finals – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes is a herald of basketball’s future

Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes is a herald of basketball’s future

The Toronto Raptors have selected Florida State freshman Scottie Barnes, a 6-8 forward, in the 2021 NBA Draft’s first round, so the surprise of many. Barnes leapfrogged point guard prospect Jalen Suggs on the Raptors draft board and got selected right after Cleveland drafted center Evan Mobley. What Barnes offers the Raptors is the prototypical […]
Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes is a herald of basketball’s future – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 2 starting lineups combinations with Scottie Barnes

Toronto Raptors: 2 starting lineups combinations with Scottie Barnes

The Toronto Raptors decided to make Florida State standout Scottie Barnes the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, as they were so intrigued by his style of play and athletic gifts that they decided to bypass expected No. 4 pick Jalen Suggs, who was taken with the next selection by the Orlando […]
Toronto Raptors: 2 starting lineups combinations with Scottie Barnes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Raptors need to bury 2021 version of small-ball

The Toronto Raptors need to bury 2021 version of small-ball

The Golden State Warriors, who went on a five-year string of NBA Finals appearances between 2015-2019, winning the Larry O’Brien trophy three times, are the template for small-ball imitators like the Toronto Raptors. While small-ball suggests moving to a smaller lineup to facilitate better speed, shooting, ball handling, and defensive flexibility, it does not come […]
The Toronto Raptors need to bury 2021 version of small-ball – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Jokerit terminates Mikko Lehtonen’s contract and he’ll likely be heading to Toronto soon

With the state of a potential 2020-21 season remaining up in the air, one member of the Leafs roster made the move to prepare for his arrival in Toronto.

#Jokerit and Mikko Lehtonen have mutually agreed to terminate the player’s contract. Next stop for him is Toronto.
Thank you Mikko and all the best in North America!#KHL pic.twitter.com/OgrrJVMuVV
— Jokerit Helsinki (@Jokerit_EN) November 20, 2020

This comes mere hours following updates regarding the state of recent meetings between the NHL and NHLPA in regards to negotiation on salaries. By no means does this guarantee a new season is happening, but Lehtonen wouldn’t have done this if there wasn’t any indication that he would get to play for the Leafs in 2021.
While Lehtonen’s campaign with Jokerit was shorter than expected, he still made the most of it by posting eight goals, nine assists, and 17 points in only 17 games played. Had it not been for a potential exposure to COVID-19 that put his season on pause for two weeks, the aforementioned numbers might have been even higher.
Now that Lehtonen will soon be on his way to Toronto, you can expect the likes of Joe Thornton, …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Postgame: Martin Marincin saves the day

After two big wins in the state of Florida, the Leafs looked to keep the streak rolling against the Vancouver Canucks on a rare Saturday night Leap Day showdown. While it’s not a four point game like it was in Florida, every point matters, so the Leafs look to get another win under their belt.
Another weak start, but strong finish for Freddie
Much like Thursday night, Andersen had us screaming at our TVs asking Sheldon Keefe to finally give him the mercy pull after allowing two goals on three shots.
But clearly we didn’t learn anything from the game against the Panthers, as Freddie stopped the remaining 24 shots he faced in the game. It’d be nice for him to finally start a game on time, but we’ll take even the slightest return to form over what we’ve had for the last three months.
He also made an incredible pass to Nylander, unfortunately not for a goal though.

What a pass by Andersen to Nylander pic.twitter.com/fSjNKYmFdV
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 1, 2020

The Matthews line continues to thrive defensively
It seems like just yesterday we gave up all hope …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Before The Tip: Raptors @ Hawks, Jan. 20th

The Toronto Raptors visit the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena for a Monday matinee. The dinos will be gunning for a fourth straight win while the Hawks have won only 10 times all season. It’s Martin Luther King Day in the land of America, so this game will tip at 2:30 EST. The fourth-place […]
Before The Tip: Raptors @ Hawks, Jan. 20th – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jordan Skuse / Raptors HQ

Three Questions from the Raptors ahead of Game 2 vs. the Golden State Warriors

Jannelle Moore of Golden State of Mind was kind enough to provide some analysis on Game 1, and what changes to expect from the Warriors heading into Game 2. We spoke with Jannelle Moore of Golden State of Mind to hear the Bay Area take on Pascal Siakam, predictions for next game and potential strategic shifts on the defensive end:
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Pascal Siakam has had to face incredibly tough defenders this postseason in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid and now Draymond Green. How was he able to score so easily last night, despite being primarily guarded by one of the best defenders in the world?
There’s a reason why Pascal Siakam is considered to be the front runner for Most Improved Player, and he showed it on Thursday. With that being said, Pascal was able to score so easily because Draymond defended him passively. Before Game 1, Green didn’t have a feel for Siakam and was caught off guard by his drives and quickness. Green was also more concerned with providing protection in the paint than effectively guarding Pascal one-on-one.
HQ’s Take: I agree that Draymond didn’t seem too concerned with Pascal’s offense to start the game. This passivity proved …

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Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ

Three Questions from the Raptors ahead of Game 1 vs. the Golden State Warriors

We spoke with Jannelle Moore of Golden State of Mind to hear the Bay Area take on what’s to come in an exciting Finals matchup. After an elating series versus the Milwaukee Bucks, the Raptors begin their journey to dethrone the Golden State Warriors in the Finals. Jannelle Moore of Golden State of Mind was kind enough to answer three questions about the upcoming series:
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Heading into the Finals, I’d like to hear about the mindset of fans in the Bay Area. Is Kevin Durant’s absence looming over the city, or is the common belief that the Warriors will take the series regardless? What are going to be the key factors in taking down the Raptors sans-Durant?
A little bit of both. KD’s absence is very much a concern. For the most part, Warriors fans want him on the floor in the Finals. No question about that. However, they are also optimistic about their chances. The general consensus is that the Warriors will win in six.
The key factors in taking down the Raptors are being able to adjust when moving the ball and staying aggressive on defense. Toronto will more than likely sell out and …

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Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ

Raptors take on Warriors in Game 1 of their first ever Finals: Preview, start time and more

The Raptors look to kick the Golden State Warriors off their pedestal in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. We repeat: the Raptors are in the NBA Finals. Every year, Jimmy Kimmel sends his sidekick Guillermo to the NBA Finals Media Day to mess around with the players and ask ridiculous questions. I’ve always enjoyed watching it — I like to analyze which players treat him with respect, and which players don’t give him the time of day (e.g. LeBron James). Like every other morning, I woke up and checked Twitter today. To my surprise, I found pictures of Guillermo feeding maple syrup shots to Norman Powell. It may seem strange, but this was the moment it really dawned on me: The Raptors are in the NBA FINALS.
Of course, I celebrated (and shed more than a few tears) after Game 6 against Milwaukee. Still, I hadn’t thought about the big picture, and what making the finals entails. The media circus, the constant scrutiny, the hot takes and the narratives all fall on Toronto’s shoulders with Kawhi Leonard bearing the load. As a lifelong Raptor fan living in Toronto, I’ve never seen anything like this; it’s …

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Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ