Finally, the slow putter that was the stretch drive of the Raptors season is behind us. No more fretting over Kyle Lowry's return date or whether or not the rest of the team can avoid the injury bug. We're done watching games against the Nets, Sixers and Magic.
An increase in intensity is always expected when mid-spring rolls around, but the degree to which the Air Canada Centre and Jurassic Park are about to rock will still probably manage to throw you off.
Enjoy it. For the first time in the Raptors' four-year playoff run, there's a modicum of confidence surrounding the team. Milwaukee -- and more specifically Giannis Antetokounmpo -- present a formidable challenge. They're long, athletic and full of the youthful, "happy to be here" vibes that the Raptors can no longer lay claim to. That said, the Raptors, with their deep rotation and solid top-tier talent, should win this series. Let go of the crippling fear that usually accompanies the first round and embrace what is the best on-paper team in Toronto's franchise history.
Save the worry for after the inevitable Game 1 loss.
Go nuts in the comments and enjoy the game.