“How you like me now?”
If the regular season could talk, that might be what it would say! For years, players and fans have given verbal jabs at the regular season. It’s too long. 82 practices. Players are saving their best for “when it matters.”
Well, we’re one week into an eight-week hiatus (or longer) and basketball fans are clamoring for any form of basketball. Fellow Raptors talking heads, Adam Corsair (South of the 6ix) and Connor Chambers (Toronto Sports Views), joined Jason on Twitch to re-watch Raptors-76ers Game 7 from last season’s playoffs.
You don’t need to re-watch the game to know what’s going on, so enjoy this trip down memory lane!
On This Episode:
It took all of four minutes before anyone (Connor) mentioned missing Kawhi Leonard. Yes, this won’t be depressing at all!
While we all know how this game ends, it’s interesting to analyze the outcome retroactively. This game helped define the rivalry between the Raptors and Sixers. There were long stretches of suffocating defense, forcing some incredible shot-making. Take it a step further and “the shot” was a microcosm of the series, with hard-nosed defense forcing a low percentage shot, followed by an incredible make by the best player on the floor!
Where does Kawhi’s shot rank in your personal Top-3 of all-time? Michael Jordan, Kyrie Irving, and Magic Johnson have all staked their claims over the years. Do Kyrie and Magic’s shots have more value because their shots basically won the titles? Or do Michael’s and Kawhi’s carry more weight because of how difficult they were (maybe more so for Kawhi)?
Similar to all the “fans” that initially hated the DeMar/Kawhi trade, some Sixers stars (i.e. Joel Embiid) were served some humble pie after their celebrations (airplane, anybody?) were turned to tears (literally).
Remember the “He Stay” movement? Yeah, me neither! A game-winning shot is extremely satisfying (if your team is on the winning end). A game-winning shot to win a playoff series is pandemonium-inducing satisfying. A game-winning shot to win a playoff series AND further the narrative that your team gets to keep the best player in the NBA? Let’s just say I stopped asking the “He Stay” question after “the Shot”.
You can’t talk about this game without referencing the 2001 series between the Raptors & Sixers. The parallels were uncanny, from the last-second shot to win (or not), to the playoff situation (East Semi, with winner facing Milwaukee), to the final shot-taker (Raptors best player).
Obviously, you remember where you were when Kawhi made the shot. You also remember your reaction. Throw away what you know happened in the subsequent games/series. Was your reaction any different from Jose Bautista’s bat flip?
Is this the dagger??? That’s it. That’s the paragraph! (Note: listening to the television audio with no video is even more intense than I could have imagined)
1:00 - We’re all in this together
9:15 - 3, 2, 1... Happy Mother’s Day
14:38 - The rivalry continues
20:36 - Familiar territory
26:15 - Top 3 shots in NBA history
34:00 - Demographic of Raptors fans
44:00 - DARTS!
47:33 - Care for a serving of humble pie?
57:07 - Be a good human
1:11:57 - He stay?
1:28:38: - 2001 vs 2019
1:45:00 - Outsiders perspective
1:51:56 - Where were you?
1:54:41 - Batflip vs. The Shot
1:56:52 - “Is This The Dagger”