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Raptors vs. Pacers: Our Time is Now

In the wake of an improbable Game 5 comeback, the Raptors can close out their first-round series with a win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse tonight.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

This rollercoaster of a first-round series with the Indiana Pacers has brought a lot of emotions to the forefront for Toronto Raptors fans. After all, things never seem to come easily for this team. But with a victory tonight in the heartland of basketball, the Dinos can reach the illusive second-round for just the second time in franchise history.

It's amazing they're even in this position, truthfully. For three quarters in Game 5 the Raps looked like a squad that simply wasn't going to be able to get the job done when the stakes are at their highest. And then the fourth quarter happened, and fans at the ACC and across the country started to believe, and I nearly broke a lamp from jumping up and down, and the momentum in this tightly contested series shifted in Toronto's favour.

The Raptors have never won a seven-game postseason series. Their only playoff victory -- a five-game triumph over the New York Knicks in 2001 -- seems like forever ago now.

"You gotta treat this like Game 7," coach Dwane Casey said. "We gotta come out fighting, we know their backs are going to be against the wall. We can't go and get ambushed."

Toronto has been here before. Postseason disappointment is all too familiar for this franchise. The players and management have talked all season long about how this group is different, including how the failures from the past would not be repeated again. The time is now to see what this team is really made of.

While you wait for tip-off, read Daniel Reynolds' game preview.

And now it's time to hit the comments. Let's do this.