It’s been two weeks and four days since the Raptors lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals to the Boston Celtics.
I’ve needed time to digest this. (And I got super busy)
Nobody can say the Raps didn’t play hard and with enough heart to overshadow even the happiest version of the Grinch. But it wasn’t quite enough.
And I’m woman enough to admit that I was majorly bummed. Like, I turned off the tv as soon as the last buzzer went, and I sulked by myself on the couch for at least 20 minutes. When my mom asked me the next day what I thought of the loss, I refused to discuss it. Sorry, mom.
But, on behalf of Raptors fans across the globe, I’d like to say that I’m pretty damn proud of how Toronto’s finest played – aka fought like hell – through this entire season and especially the post. As much as we wanted them to win it all and bring that gorgeous cup home again, I/we will be the first to say that really, it’s okay. It’s hard to find fault with their play. (Hard, but not impossible.)
I’ve gotta give props to my boys Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. They were ROCKSTARS! For the entire series! Kyle was more aggressive in that first quarter of Game 4 than my grandmother was the other day when she refused to eat the pan-fried salmon my mother made for her dinner – and that’s saying something. In fact, according to Gilbert McGregor, the first of Game 4 was their best quarter of the entire series (31-27). After this, in Game 6, he ran like hell and played a whopping 53 minutes that night (the fact that they went into double overtime is irrelevant!). It seems like this man just doesn’t get tired. He brought home 16 points in Game 7 and gave us 41 minutes of nonstop intensity. I can only imagine how frustrated and helpless he must have felt after being fouled out and having to watch the last few seconds from the bench.
Then there’s Fred. My mom’s favourite. This guy was the Rap’s not-so-secret weapon during Game 07. Remember how, in the first quarter, he hit that beautiful 3-pointer to end the Celtics’ 13-point streak? Beautiful. He led the team with 20 points that night, and he made 6 assists too. We appreciate your efforts, man. I can see why my mom loves you.
I don’t usually like to speak ill of these men from The Six, but… Pascal. Ohhh Pascal. He was soooo gooood during the regular season! But he certainly wasn’t at his best during the playoffs, and particularly the Semis. His 3-pointers were dismal. His speed was diminished. His hustle just wasn’t here. He was our biggest hope for scoring points going into this series, but he wimped out with only 13 points in that final game. Thirteen. Ugh. I won’t go into how he let me down every. single. game this post season, but I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from. My shoulders have been slumped with disappointment for about a month now.
On the other hand, reading about his response to the Rap’s loss makes my heart warm to him again. “Obviously I have to be better. Definitely a low moment for me, just a learning experience. Just knowing that you gotta be ready and I wasn’t able to really help my teammates and stuff so, yeah, I take a lot of the blame.” It’s okay, Spicy. I forgive you.
When Game 7 was over, and after I was done my 20 minutes of sulking, my boyfriend told me that he was okay with the result. “They played hard, and I’m proud of them,” he said. He proceeded to tell me that although he’s not usually a fan of any type of Boston team, he’d probably root for the Celtics in the Finals.
I am no longer speaking to him.
I’ll see you next season, Toronto. Rest well.
For more thoughts and opinions from Melanie, check out her author page.
Image Source: AP Images