Two years ago, after his picture was taken on the subway due to bad downtown Toronto traffic, Dwane Casey remarked, "I don't think anyone expected us to be here today in that they had a marathon and a Game 7 in the same day." At the time, it felt cute. This was a Toronto team that was never supposed to make the playoffs, let alone end up in a death struggle with a veteran Brooklyn Nets team. Casey was right; no one expected it.
Today, two years later, the marathon has again wrapped up, and the City of Toronto and the Raptors are locked into another Game 7, this time with the Indiana Pacers. Ironically, Casey's statement still applies. I don't think anyone expected us to be here today. After Game 2 it seemed remote, after Game 3 impossible. But then there was Game 4, and even after the miracle of Game 5, we remember the crush of disappointment on Friday night's Game 6. No pictures of Casey on the subway have appeared today, but that's about all that feels different. As I've said before, we are a troubled people.
The questions surrounding today's game are legion: What's up with Kyle Lowry? Which DeMar DeRozan will appear today? Will Jonas play big or small? Is Paul George going to lay waste to the city? Will Monta have it all? Why are we suddenly so afraid of Myles Turner? Will Casey manage to out-coach Frank Vogel? What kind of game will we see from Patrick Patterson? Is Solomon Hill a legitimate Raptor Killer? Why are we here? What do we do? How do we escape this?
The Raptors are in another Game 7. No one expected it. No one knows how to predict the outcome. Nobody knows anything.