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Raptors: Clinch third seed and will play Nets

And so it came to pass. I had this horrible feeling for a while that the Toronto Raptors were going to end up playing the Brooklyn Nets.

People may or may not remember an eerily similar scenario playing out in the 2006-07 season. The Raptors seemed set to meet the Wizards, minus a injured Gilbert Arenas, but they ended up having to face Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets.

Regardless, the Raptors have to use the Nets resting their starters as motivation for what’s ahead. Maybe this video will help as well. Heck, it’s got me foaming at the mouth! (Editors note – You may want to see a Doctor about that.)

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Drake talks Raptors & NBA playoffs

With the Raptors heading to the NBA playoffs for the first time in six seasons, fans are beginning to get excited in Toronto. (And don’t you know MLSE took advantage of this with the most expensive ticket prices in the league for the postseason.)

The question is, if they managed to make the conference finals, would it be the greatest moment in Toronto basketball history? Well, former NBA player Jalen Rose and Grantland’s Bill Simmons decided to discuss just this with Canadian rapper and Toronto FC Raptors global ambassador Drake:

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Raptors: We the North – The playoffs are coming

With the Heat and Nets resting players to apparently secure certain playoff seedings, it seems clear the Raptors are getting no respect. Mind you, that’s no different to what they’ve gotten for the majority of the season.

But you know what? I don’t care; we’ve got playoff basketball to look forward to in Toronto! And if these adverts don’t get you pumped, I can only assume you’re Vince Carter or Chris Bosh towards the end of their tenure with the Raptors:

The best thing about this is, with the Leafs not in the playoffs, there’s plenty of room on the Raptors bandwagon. And that includes for the likes of TSN, who I trust will finally stop putting Toronto’s NBA team on their secondary stations.

(Mind you, they may have no choice next season, given that they’ve lost the majority of their NHL rights.)

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Atlantic Division title banner unveiled

Another big moment for the Raptors, as they set a single season franchise-record of 48 wins, with their 110-100 victory against the lowly Brewers. (I just can’t get over the false feeling of superiority, being able to say that about another team.)

However, that wasn’t the only cause for celebration at the ACC last night. DeMar DeRozan and his teammates also unveiled the Raptors 2013-14 Atlantic Division championship banner before the game:

Is it just me, or does Jonas Valanciunas look like he’s itching to have a drink? “Hey guys. Is it okay if we have the celebration champagne before the game?!?!”

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: DeMar DeRozan throws down lethal dunk

It goes without saying last night was a big win for the Raptors. With two games to go, destiny is back in their own hands in terms of clinching the number three seed in the Eastern conference.

Mind you, wherever the Raptors end up, I think it’s safe to say DeMar DeRozan is ready for the playoffs:

Talk about a vicious dunk. DeRozan was probably fuming at the way Lowry fouled out, hence why he felt it necessary to show up Ben Drummond.

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Kyle Lowry fouls out in controversial circumstances

Do you remember the days of the Detroit Pistons ‘bad boys’ and Pat Riley’s ‘rough and tumble’ New York Knicks? Call me an old fart, but I miss that era.

Today, I reckon the NBA is a joke with some of the fouls that get called. Take a look at the Kyle Lowry ‘foul’ on Andre Drummond, that resulted in the Raptors point guard fouling out:

You know what really grinds my gears? If and when the Raptors come up against any of the big name teams in the playoffs, you know they’ll get screwed over even more than an NBA groupie.

Credits: 500poundcake  & gfycat.com

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Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas works on low post game

Most Raptors game are important these days (it still sounds a bit strange saying that about the Raptors), and this afternoon is no different. They need to beat the Pistons in Detroit, while also hoping the Knicks can do them a favour against the Bulls.

With tip-off less than an hour away, Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas works on his low post game with assistant coach Bill Bayno:

Apr 13, 2014 | JV working on low post game with asst coach Bayno #Raptors #rtz by Paul__Jones on Keek.com

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Kyle Lowry reacts to technical foul

What is it with these Toronto teams? First, the Marlies clinch a playoff berth after a 5-1 loss. And now the Raptors have won their second ever Atlantic Division title, despite last night’s 108-100 defeat by the Knicks.

(To be fair though, it’s better than the alternative right? *cough!* Leafs. *cough!*)

Obviously, I should be happy about winning the division, but I’m more concerned about the fact the Raptors may now have to face the Nets in the first round of the playoffs. Let’s just say Kyle Lowry’s reaction after being called for a technical foul sums up how I feel:

(Unlike the Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf incident, I think we can all agree no subtitles were necessary there to work out what Lowry was saying!)

Credits: 36DDhttp://gfycat.com/

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas scores career-high 26 points

As you’d expect, all eyes were on Jonas Valanciunas against the 76ers, to see how he would respond to being charged with drink driving early on Monday morning. With a career-high 26 points and 12 rebounds, I think it’s safe to say the Raptors centre passed (or should that be dunked?) with flying colours.

In fact, I’m thinking Dwane Casey should send the whole team to Wasaga Beach ahead of their first playoff appearance in six seasons. Anyway………………..here’s the highlights of Valanciunas’ performance which, amusingly, appear to have no continuity whatsoever:

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Should embrace the underdog role in the NBA playoffs

Inside NBA's Photo

The NBA playoffs start up later this month, and for the first time since 2008, the Toronto Raptors will be participating. Since the franchise will be looking for its first playoff series win since 2001, Toronto should fully embrace the underdog role in the Eastern Conference.

If the playoffs started today, Toronto would be the number 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. That would mean they would actually be a favourite in the first round, and if they moved on, they would go up against Indiana or Miami. This would be the round in which Toronto can play the spoiler.

Just about every NBA analyst out there has predicted the Pacers and Heat will play in the Eastern Conference Finals. Toronto has the individual talent from a fantasy basketball perspective to give those teams a scare.

Led by the backcourt duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors went 2-2 on the season against Indiana, but 0-4 against Miami. The good news right now it is looking as though Indiana will settle in as the number 2 seed, meaning Toronto would face them in the second round if both teams win. Toronto’s size inside will be able to neutralize Indiana’s greatest strength in that matchup.

Along with the guards, Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross are all having breakout fantasy basketball seasons for the Raptors. No one gave this franchise much attention at the start of the season, but they have been playing very well since the Rudy Gay trade early on in the year. That trade allowed Toronto to obtain key rotation players to add depth.

Despite a very respectable 45-32 record, many will dismiss Toronto as a non-contender. Embracing the underdog role could really motivate the franchise to push the best teams in the Eastern Conference quite a bit.

Photo credit: @GettingInsideNBA

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