Toronto Raptors Will Make Finals: Gregg Popovich
Toronto Raptors, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, have a legitimate shot at making their first ever NBA Finals appearance this June, according to legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.Advertisement
On Sunday, a young Raptors squad sans all-star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan suffered a 102-95 defeat to the mighty Spurs. By the end of that game, Raptors coach Dwayne Casey had earned the respect of Popovich. “I think you’re getting to the finals. I swear to God no bullsh*t,” Popovich told Casey as the two coaches embraced at the end of the game.
Spurs vs Toronto Raptors finals?
While Raptors are trying to upstage LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Spurs have their eyes set on a possible Western Conference finals match-up with Golden State Warriors. Per oddsmakers, Warriors and Cavs are expected to meet in the finals once again. However, it wouldn’t be wise to count out a possible Spurs vs Raptors match-up – seeing as both teams are peaking at the right time.
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On Sunday, a Raptors squad without its all-stars went up against a Spurs squad fielding all five starters namely Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Danny Green and Tony Parker. It was expected to be a blowout victory for San Antonio.
Instead, the Raptors were bolstered by the performance of rookies Norman Powell (17 points), Delon Wright (12 points) and former Spurs guard Cory Joseph (16 points, 7 assists). It was a mighty impressive showing by their back-up players.
Reminder to the league…
Despite the defeat, Casey knew that his team had served a reminder to the rest of the league.
“I loved the fight, I loved the spirit. The young guys came in and competed. You’re talking about a potential championship team (in Spurs), top to bottom. We didn’t back down. There are no moral victories in this league; the only thing that’s important in this league is winning. We keep that fight and spirit and get our two guys back, it’s going to help us,” the Raptors coach said after the game.
With no Canadian team making the hockey playoffs for the first time in 45 years, the fate of the nation rests on Toronto Raptors – the basketball franchise that has never made any significant noise in the playoffs before. Could this be the year when they turn it all around?