The Toronto Raptors are NBA Champions! Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, and Pascal Siakam were outstanding and the unfortunate ACL injury to Klay Thompson definitely helped propel the Raptors to their first title. Jodie Meeks only logged 1 minute in the Finals and that was in a Game 3 win at Oracle Arena.
The Raptors Playoff run started with a loss to the Orlando Magic but they won the next 4 games and took the series. Then things got a lot more difficult when they took on Philadelphia and it gave us Kawhi hitting the first winning buzzer-beater in a Game 7 in NBA history. That shot was immediately immortalized and could be one of the most iconic photos in the modern era of the NBA.
The road continued with the best team in the league, the Milwaukee Bucks. Toronto lost the first two games in Milwaukee but then closed out the series with four straight wins. The Finals were set with the juggernaut which is Golden State and thanks in part to injuries Toronto came out on top. The fact that the Warriors had to deal with injuries in the Finals should not take anything away from the Raptors because Toronto was clearly the better team all year. They beat Golden State in both regular season meetings including a 20 point win in Oakland.
The champagne shower is one of the best scenes in sports and our own Jodie Meeks got to experience it this year. Everyone thought it would be Cousins this year and he would become the first Cal player to win a ring but it wasn’t meant to be. I expect more and more Wildcats to join in the gathering of NBA rings and I predict that next year we will have the first Cal player get that honor.