Photo credit: Claus Andersen/Getty Images
As far as I know, the Toronto Raptors only have one “great” moment as a franchise in the Eastern Conference Finals and that’s when they actually won it.
Honestly, when doing the research for this I was somewhat surprised to see that the Raptors have only made the ECF twice in their existence. I will admit, the way Raptors Twitter talks about this team conditioned me to believe that I was going to have a lot more to work with… but it’s only two, so bear with me.
So again, due to the fact that – historically – the Toronto Raptors haven’t had the greatest success advancing in the playoffs, I have decided to remind everyone about the time Vince Carter was one shot away from sending the Raptors to their first Conference Finals way back in 2001.
It took 15 years for the Raptors to actually move on past the second round — actually, it took 15 years for the Raptors to win even a series — but the former sounds a bit better.
2016 ECF – Raptors vs Cavaliers
This was a huge moment for the franchise, for its players, and its fans.
And it was ruined by LeBron James.
What a buzzkill that series was. The farthest the team has ever gotten only to have the city rebranded as “LeBronto” when it’s all said in done.
I actually would have preferred the Cavs to sweep the Raptors but Toronto decided to give all of us false hope by tying the series up with two back to back home wins only to then get crushed in games 5 & 6.
There was that time Bismack Biyombo set the franchise record in the playoffs with 26 rebounds in Game 3, which was pretty cool.
But really, every other “great” moment consisted of a LeBron dunk or something stupid that no one wants to see.
2019 ECF – Raptors vs Bucks
Talk about flashbacks from 2016 eh? Going down 2-0, I would be lying if I told you I didn’t shed angry tears after Game 2.
But those tears slowly shifted from anger to joy in Game 3 when Kawhi Leonard capped the double OT thriller off with this dunk
And then the confidence came back after an easy win in game four
After winning Game 5 and just completely embarrassing the Bucks, the players and literally anyone who thought it would be fun to be a Bucks fan, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors decided to end Milwaukee’s season with a 26-3 run
and a Giannis Antetokounmpo baptism.
So in conclusion, if you are reminiscing about the Toronto Raptors and their experience in the Eastern Conference Finals
A) You don’t have many options to think about
B) Nothing good came out of their 2016 appearance for anyone but Bismack Biyombo.