On Thursday night NBA history was made as the Toronto Raptors became the first team outside of the US to win the title. This was the first time the Raptors ever made a final in their 24th season and what a remarkable final it was.
They returned to the Oracle Arena to find a hostile crowd who never made it easy for them but they rallied together and achieved something they’ve never before done.
Raptors Flying High
Game 6 of the NBA Finals was a remarkable night for not only basketball but also Canada. The Raptors came into the game knowing that a win would mean they win it all, they also had high confidence at the Oracle Arena because they were 3-0 against the Warriors at home. The Raptors started the game with a high intensity which was needed after they blew the chance to wrap up the title on Monday. Their shooting accuracy was simply unbelievable as they hit 5 of 6 from three point range already in the first quarter. Toronto Raptors are the only Canadian side in the NBA but what they achieved was becoming not only the team of a city but rather of their entire nation.
Hard Fought Win
The determination of the Raptors led to them beating the Warriors once again at home 114-110 and clinching the title. But it wasn’t easy, the Warriors went out with a fight despite losing Klay Thompson during the game due to injury. With just 9.6 seconds left on the clock the Raptors were leading by one point and gave away possession. There was an insane scramble which led to Draymond Green calling a timeout but was deemed a controversial excessive timeouts call which gave the Raptors the narrow escape. This was an impressive victory for a side who was given no chance to actually win which showed why they deserved to be champions.
Everyone Played Their Part
The entire Raptors side contributed with points, Kawhi Leonard 22, Pascal Siakam 26, Fred VanVleet 22 and the surprising star of the night which was quite fitting considering his history with the franchise was Kyle Lowry who contributed 26 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds.
More History For Kawhi
Five years ago Kawhi Leonard won the finals MVP as he led the San Antonio Spurs to the title over the two time champions Miami Heat. He proved once again that he can tame a super-team as the underdog by winning the 2019 finals MVP. He finished the season on a high note, not only getting Toronto their first championship but also by becoming only the third player in NBA history to win a finals MVP award with a team in each conference behind the legendary Abdul Kareem Jabbar and LeBron James. Over the last two months Leonard has led the league in points, rebounds and steals. His also the first player to lead in those three stat lines since Larry Bird in 1984. He also ended the season with the third most points in a single post season only behind Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Congrats To The Winners
If there’s anyone that the Raptors can thank for their first NBA title it’s certainly Kawhi Leonard. It’s no coincidence that they won it during his first season with the franchise and will already be recognised as their greatest ever player. This was a season to remember for everyone who loves basketball and you’d be lying if you said you’re not happy for the Raptors.