There’s a bunch of pride going on in Toronto and I don’t know why. Jays are Jay-ing, the Leafs were awarded the #1 overall draft pick (awarded through lottery to generally the WORST team in the league) and fans celebrated in the streets, and then there’s the Raptors who barely escaped game seven, yet celebrated as if they did something no one else has done before.
Granted, no one else has ever done what they did, in a Raptors uniform, but in the overall eyes of the league, it’s nothing special at all. Really, just about everyone else has won a seven game series. It’s like celebrating that you passed an elementary school spelling test for the first time after multiple failures.
From my point of view, the Raptors work is not done, it’s just beginning. This is where DeMar should earn that max contract because max contract players go deep into the playoffs. But I’m afraid in the Raptors dressing room/front office, their work is done. As many people have pointed out, this season is already a success, which it has been in certain ways, but suggesting the Raptors have nothing else to prove is a losing mentality. As Josh Lewenberg of TSN tweeted this earlier
Raptors playing with house money from here on out. Can and probably should go further but, regardless, season will be considered a success
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) May 2, 2016
So what he’s saying, along with many TO sport media folk and fans (not picking on you Josh, you just outlined it perfectly in a nice tweet), is that it’s ok if we lose because Raptors still deserve a pat on the back. People who think like this must have all their participant ribbons from house league soccer pinned on their wall and look to them as great achievements. Get out of here.
If the front office had first round as a goal, that’s a low goal in my opinion, since you should’ve made that last year. Let me remind you the Raptors are a two seed! I know, we don’t know how to act like a 2-seed but being happy losing to a lower seed in the second round is not how it’s done. The Raptors were 1 game away from being the top team in the conference. Remember that ridiculous collapse in Minnesota after the all-star break? We win that game and we take the conference (we had the tie-breaker with CLE). Despite all this, along with a 56 win season, being considered a top five team in the league; fans and reporters seem to be content with taking a beating next round, saying good try, congratulating the team on a good year and hanging our participant ribbon proudly in the ACC, beside all the other participant ribbons that say “Atlantic Division Champs” but have nothing else to show for them.
If you’re in the playoffs, your goal should be the Finals. Period, end of story. If that’s your opponent’s goal, then that should be your goal. And that’s why you battle each other for four wins. You play to win because if you’re not playing for the finals, you’re essentially playing to eventually lose and that is pitiful. This team’s goal should be, meet LeBron and stop him. Although, I don’t think this team has the experience to take on playoff LeBron, but that should be the goal. Not to barely get through the first round vs a one man-team. Do I think we can #BeatTheHeat? Hell no. I’ll take old Wade, Joe Johnson, Dragic and Whiteside over broken elbow Lowry, DeMar (T Ross) DeRozan and All-star calibre JV any day of the week. Not to mention we don’t even have a legit Power Forward to match up against a veteran like Deng who feasts on the Raps.
The season was fun, but losing should never be considered a success, not when you’re the two seed. But what do I know, I live in Toronto where participant ribbons are prevalent and real winners are few and far between, what do we know about “success”?