How the Raptors cheated in the NBA Finals.


Exciting, thrilling, heartbreaking, and emotional, those are just some of the words to describe the 2019 NBA Playoffs for the Toronto Raptors.  The Raptors had acquired Kawhi Leonard in a trade during the 2018 NBA Free Agency. The Toronto Raptors had been good when it comes to the playoffs in recent years but seemed to never be able to get passed Lebron James.  But this year, Lebron and his Lakers squad didn’t make it to the playoffs. So that made one threat for the Raptors to go away. Another threat that the Raptors saw coming was the Golden State Warriors. But they knew they wouldn’t see them until the finals since the Warriors are in the Western Conference the Raptors are in the Eastern Conference.

First, the Toronto Raptors had to face the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs.  The Raptors were ranked the second seed in the east and the Magic were ranked in the seventh seed.  The Magic would upset the Raptors and win game one in Orlando. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.  The next five games, the Raptors would win the series and eliminate the Orlando Magic.

Next, the Raptors would face the Philadelphia 76ers.  This was a good series to watch because of how good the games were.  The series would go all the way to game seven. Kawhi averaged around 35 to 40 points in those seven games.  Game seven was easily the best game of the series. Both the Raptors and 76ers would trade points back and forth for the whole game.  Neither team had a double digit lead during that game. During the final few seconds of the game, the Raptors would call a timeout since the game was tied and they wanted to inbound the ball on their end of the court.  There was about 4 seconds left on the clock. The inbound pass was handed to Kawhi Leonard to take the last shot. Kawhi would shoot a fadeaway mid range shot for the win. Everyone sitting at home, Jurassic Park outside of the arena, and Scotiabank Arena itself were on the edge of their seats waiting to see if Kawhi’s shot would go in.  The ball would hit the rim four times before rolling into the basket to secure the victory for the Toronto Raptors. The arena, along with me and brother at home, were going crazy that Kawhi made that shot. It was the first time in NBA history that someone hit a buzzer beater to win in game seven of the playoffs. The Raptors would then move onto the Eastern Conference Finals.

Then, the Raptors would face the Milwaukee Bucks in the ECF.  The Bucks won the first 2 games of the series. That made Raptors fans worried for a little bit because they were thinking that this might be the end of their phenomenal season.  Kawhi averaged about 30 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds. The Raptors would bounce back from those 2 losses and win the next 4 games to eliminate the Bucks. It was a shocking elimination considering the Bucks were bound to win the finals since they are a good team.  They had the league’s Most Valuable Player for the regular season in Giannis Antetokounmpo. But, the Raptors had the better team.

Finally, the Raptors were heading to their first NBA Finals.  The first in the franchise’s history. This year’s finals was the first to have games take place outside of the United States of America.  Meaning that each game, the Star Spangled Banner and O Canada was played for both countries. The Raptors would be facing the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals.  Kevin Durant of the Warriors got injured in the first round of the playoffs. He would injure his right calf during their game with the Houston Rockets on May 8th. The Raptors played a very impressive game 1.  Pascal Siakam, most improved player of the 2018-2019 season, had a breakout performance in game 1. Siakam scored nearly 30 points and had 15 rebounds. The Raptors would win game 1 118 to 109 in Toronto. The Warriors would win game 2.  The Raptors were doing the best they could to take advantage of the fact that Durant was injured and the Warriors were in trouble. The Warriors would fall to Toronto the next 2 games, making the series 3-1. The Raptors were one win away from becoming NBA champions.  Game 5 took place in Toronto. The Raptors could have won the finals on their homecourt. But game 5 is when Durant was cleared from injury. The Warriors had their star player back and a chance to come back from a 3-1 lead. Kevin Durant was on fire in the first quarter. He went 3/3 from the 3 point line and had 11 points.  But when there was less than 5 minutes left in the first quarter, KD would tear his ACL, allowing the game to pause for awhile. Durant’s Warriors teammates were all looking at the ground and worried about their chances of winning the finals. Most people thought that Kevin would be able to finish the game, but he couldn’t even walk on his own two feet.  The Warriors still had a good lead when Durant left the game. The Warriors were able to win the game by one point, 106-105. Kevin Durant would not play in game 6 because of the ACL injury. Kyle Lowry was unstoppable at the beginning of the game. In about the first four minutes of the game, the Raptors were up 11-0 on the Warriors. Lowry was 3 for 3 from the 3 point line along with a layup.  Klay Thompson of the Warriors usually always plays well in the 6th game of a series. Klay was once again having an amazing game 6. Until late 3rd quarter, Klay would tear his ACL causing him to miss the rest of the game. Since the Warriors were in deep trouble, the Raptors would go on and win the NBA Finals and Kawhi Leonard would win Finals MVP.

In conclusion, the 2018-2019 Toronto Raptors were amazing team that deserved to win finals.  One reason the Raptors won was because they had a great leader in Kawhi Leonard. The Bucks, Rockets, Warriors, and 76ers were all solid teams but just were not enough to stop Raptors.  Another reason the Raptors won was because the Warriors didn’t have Kevin Durant. If KD and Klay Thompson didn’t get injured, then I think the Warriors would have won the NBA Finals. But the Raptors took advantage of the fact that the Warriors had lost Durant and Thompson and won the NBA Finals.  During the Free Agency of 2019, Kawhi would sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. The reason Leonard left was because he wanted to play in hometown of LA, and he had been talking with small forward Paul George about playing together on the same team. I believe that Raptors will still be a solid team next season.  They still have Kyle Lowry who has been consistently good throughout his career.

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