WE. THE. NORTH.
March 7th 2018: Raptors 121 Detroit 119. OT.
The Toronto Raptors clinch the first playoff spot in the East. An East that includes Lebron James, the Greatest Basketball Player of All Time (@ me, I dare you).
The 2016 Raptors set the franchise’s best season record, finishing 56-26 before making their first Eastern Conference finals appearance, losing to the Cavaliers in 6 games. This year’s edition of the Raptors is the eighth youngest team in the league (average age of 25.1), and is supported by #BenchMob, the roster with an insane amount of depth.
10 games away from setting a franchise record in wins with 18 games left in the season. 2.5 games ahead of Boston in the standings, 9.5 games ahead of 3rd place Cleveland (who is only 4 games ahead of the eight seed).
This bench is insane. There is no other way to put it. Best plus-minus for reserves in the league (+3.3 points per game), leading in steals (4.1 per game) and are second in blocks behind the boys from the Bay.
It is this depth that is going to carry the Raptors this postseason. No bench in the East comes even close to matching their talent, hustle and ability. Outstanding leadership and guidance from Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan is only matched by the effort put in by reserves such as Delon Wright and Norman Powell.
These Raptors are title contenders. The excitement and hype surrounding this team is real.
Even NBA Twitter knows it.
But, there is just one person missing from this roster. One individual to bring Toronto their first championship, become the Golden State of the East and start a dynasty north of the border.