The Toronto Raptors had slowly proved themselves to be one of the top teams in the NBA. They finished off the year on a very high note, with a record of 56-26 on the year. They had the second best record of the Eastern Conference, trailing the Cavaliers by just a victory.
After the performance they put up in the regular season, it was it was a given they would get a prime spot in the playoffs, according to USA Today. The Toronto Raptors even entered the post season carrying some momentum, four straight wins to be exact. The first opponent in line to try to stop the Raptors? The Indiana Pacers.
The Indiana Pacers were another team that had a lot of regular season success. With a roster full of all-star talent, they capped off their season with a record of 45-37, finishing in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Their hot streak towards the end of the year was the make or break factor for their playoff run and they made it happen.
They were not ready to go down easy against the Raptors, and put up a good fight. Like Toronto, the Pacers next championship may be overdue. Toronto was ready for that fight, and they fought hard. Both teams made every second count and it came down to Game 7 of the series, according to City News. It was do or die for both sides. Whoever won would advance in the playoffs, and whoever lost would go home.
It was one of the most important games of the year for both teams. Toronto ended up on top, walking away with a 89-84 victory yesterday, according to The Oregonian. Now they are ready for round two of the playoffs. It marks their first appearance in years.
Toronto took an early lead in the game, but in the final quarter, Indiana cut their lead to nearly three points. Under pressure, the Raptors made things happen and were able to hang on to their lead with DeRozan on the court. They were not ready to be eliminated on Sunday.
Their next challenger will not be an easy follow-up. Tomorrow they will play the Miami Heat, a team that has dominated in the playoffs, and finished third place in their conference during the regular season. With a healthy roster and a day of much-needed rest, the Toronto Raptors may be up for whatever the Heat have in stock. Toronto is hungry for a championship, and they do not look like they want to be going home anytime soon. They demonstrated that in their last seven game series. For more CDA News, follow our tweets on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Commentary by Cody Macleod