The longer the Toronto Raptors have been around Kawhi Leonard this season, the longer they took on his personality. From the time the playoffs arrived, the Raptors were business, brave, persistent, resilient with a stone confronted calmly. Never rattled, not even on the road across the golden state warriors in the NBA Finals. His attitude has taken a significant part of our team, guard predators Kyle Lowry explained. And we’ve got some guys who are fiery and feisty, but we kind of stay level headed and never get too up, never get also down. That even-keeled persona, led by Leonard’s consistently excellent attempt, thrust the Raptors to their Ist championship in the franchise’s 24-year history.
Toronto defeated Golden State 114-110 in Game 6 on Thursday, place the exclamation point of an unexpected championship. It had been a wild finish to a game that had 18 lead changes and nineties. Golden State could take the lead trailing 111-110 by 9.6 seconds left. Steph Curry missed a three-point attempt, and there was a crazy race for basketball. The Warriors called a timeout they did not have and have been issued a technical foul. Raptors guard Kyle Lowry had 26 points, ten assists, and seven rebounds, Pascal Siakam had 26 points and ten rebounds, and Leonard added 22 points.
It had been a team endeavor. Fred VanVleet had 22 points and Serge Ibaka 15 off the bench. Golden State ran out of bodies. Kevin Durant was outside, and Klay Thompson, after scoring 30 points, missed the final 14 minutes, 22 seconds with a left knee injury. But Toronto also earned and deserved this. It’s a championship for a city and a nation. For the franchise and its fans, the names encircle the sting of disappointments, dropping to the Cleveland Cavaliers 3 consecutive seasons in the playoffs, trading Vince Carter, watching Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh depart for other teams in free agency.
Throughout the season, the playoffs and the Finals, the Raptors just kept playing, possession after possession, which was shown in the second half of Thursday. Curry, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, and Thompson couldn’t rescue the injury-riddled Warriors, who’ve played five consecutive championships and won the championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018. There’s no 3 peat for Golden State, which made its last appearance at Oracle Arena since it moves into the Chase Center in San Francisco, California next season. The Warriors were stung by accidents, such as Durant’s devastating ruptured Achilles sustained in Game 5, and the Raptors ailing at the right time of the season. But championships are not quite easy, and the Raptors had their vital turning points, both enormous and little, in the postseason. First of all, they trailed in each round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, down 1-0 to Orlando. 2-1 to Philadelphia and 2-0 to Milwaukee.
We’ve tried to make a conscious thought process of not caring what the score of the series is,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. We know that games are tough”. The Raptors had a buzzer-beating shot from Leonard to beat the 76ers in the second round, and then they won four straight against the Bucks to achieve the Finals. And think about it! Down 2-0 to Milwaukee, the Raptors went 2 overtime before beating the Bucks in Game 3. They had been an overtime loss in the problematic 3-0 hole. Following Golden State made it a 1-1 series from the Finals, Nurse told his group they had to make was divided the two games into Oakland.
That is maybe not an insurmountable challenge to go there and get one. And Kawhi stated, Expletive that. Let us get them equally. The Raptors won 3 games in Oracle, something which seemed unlikely at the beginning of the collection. As a company, they’d never been to the final before. But specific players, Leonard, Green, Ibaka, had been here before, so as a group, they behaved as they realized what to do. They strolled off the court after Game 4 with a 3-1 lead and were not watching. You don’t accomplish something in this association on the off chance that you don’t win the trophy, Lowry said.
You can achieve this or that, but at the end of the day, we’ve specific goals and standards that we would like to reach. I think that is the one thing we’ve all sort of like, our end goal could be a championship. And that is what we’ve been working for all year.”. A year ago, this Raptors championship seemed unlikely. Team Chairman Masai Ujiri had dismissed Dwane Casey and replaced him with Nurse, a coach with an exceptional basketball mind, but getting his first chance as head coach in the NBA. Toronto’s fortune started to shift when Ujiri traded DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio to acquire Leonard.
The Raptors were one of the best groups from the East all season, even when they sat Leonard to make sure that he was 100% for a deep playoff run. Ujiri also traded depth to acquire Marc Gasol in February. From the time the playoffs arrived, the Raptors had a group that might make it throughout the East. However, not many anticipated Toronto to finish off the Warriors from six games, including 3 victories in Oakland. Along this playoff journey, the Raptors received timely and remarkable performances from many players, not only Leonard. Lowry had 23 points and 9 assists in Game 3 of the final. Gasol had 20 points, and seven rebounds in Game 1, and Ibaka had 20 points in Game 4. VanVleet couldn’t make a shot for whatever through the first part of the playoff, but after the arrival of his son throughout the Milwaukee series, he captured 14-of-17 on 3 pointers within the duration of 3 games and hounded Curry defensively in the Finals. Green had six 3-pointers in Game 3 of the Finals.
It was a team effort, led by a team-first player in Leonard.