If you’re reading this, it may be because you need an escape from the current Raptors’ situation. Or maybe you need an emotional pick-me-up. Or maybe you, like us, can’t get enough brackets in your life. Or maybe re-living all the greatest moments in Kyle Lowry’s storied Raptors career is something everyone needs.
Whatever your reason, you’re here and we’re happy to continue working together through this tournament — a bracket with no losers and where Kyle Lowry truly is over everything!
You’ve most likely got the gist of our bracket, but feel free to check out the first round results, as well as the Sweet 16 winners, before we get to our and your Elite 8 picks!
KLOE REGION (Best Moments)
(1) Lifting the Larry O’B vs. (2) 2019 ECF Game 6 Post-game Reception
(SA): We’ve reached the final two moments from the KLOE Region — and Jay, I think we and the fans got it right. However, it feels criminal to have to choose one of these moments over the other. Both are incredibly awesome and really we just have to remember there are no losers in this bracket! With that said, I — along with the fans — have gotta go with Kyle lifting that Larry O’B over his head to show everyone that he is an NBA champion! What do you have to say about that, Jay?
(JR): I have lots to say about the number one seed that you and our Twitter friends agree should advance in the tournament, but I’ll save them for the next round. I was in Ohio in 2018 for a family reunion when the Raptors faced the Cavs in Game 3 of the East Semis. Despite being a household of Cavs fans, nobody rubbed it in our faces when LeBron James hit the buzzer-beater over OG Anunoby. Fast forward a year, another family reunion in Ohio and there was my wife’s family cheering along with us Canadians as our Raptors made their first trip to the NBA Finals. Maybe it was the hospitable nature of our American family members, but catching Lowry get excited in the dying seconds hit me differently. No qualms over which game advanced. You’re right, Sully, it does feel criminal that one has to lose, but proceed we must, the fans have spoken!
We took to Twitter and here is what the fans had to say in our poll: 70.6 percent picked Kyle lifting the Larry O’B to advance to the Final Four!
Winner: (1) Lifting The Larry O’B
Raptor fans, it's up to you now! Which Kyle Lowry moment should advance to the Elite 8 of the KLOE Madness Tournament?— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) March 22, 2021
(1) Kyle lifting the Larry O'B
(2) Fans chanting "Lowry-Lowry-Lowry" after Game 6 ECF win
DON’T POKE THE BEAR REGION (Best Games)
(1) 2019 NBA Finals Game 6 vs. (3) 2016 ECSF Game 7 vs. Heat
(JR): I find it ironic that the game that ultimately brought the Raptors their first championship will be remembered for 3 things — and none of them include Kawhi Leonard (you know, the guy non-Raptors fans believe “carried” Toronto to the title). We’ll remember Pascal Siakam hitting the runner in the lane in the final minute. We’ll remember Fred VanVleet’s primal scream. But most of all, we’ll remember this as THE Lowry game. With Golden State riding the momentum of stealing Game 5, combined with the raucous crowd knowing it was the final game at Oracle Arena, Kyle Lowry silenced the state of California and made sure they’d remember whose house it truly was!
(SA): That’s right Jay, we Raptor fans have been blessed with many amazing Lowry games and none sticks out more than Kyle’s Game 6 in the NBA Finals. Game 7 against the Heat will still have a place in our memories, but it’s Kyle going for 11 straight points to start the game, the timely baskets he made throughout, and the plays he facilitated that led the Raps to win the title that will always be on top.
We took to Twitter and here is what the fans had to say in our poll: an overwhelming 89.9 percent picked Kyle’s 2019 NBA Finals Game 6 to advance to the Final Four!
Winner: (1) 2019 NBA Finals Game 6
We're down to the final two in the Best Games region. Which is the best game of Kyle Lowry's career?— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) March 22, 2021
(1) NBA Finals Game 6
(3) 2016 East Semis Game 7 vs. Miami
Here is a quick look at how the “KLOE Region” and the “Don’t Poke The Bear Region” of the bracket is looking after the Elite 8 results:
KYLE L-L-L-L-LOWRY REGION (Best Plays)
(8) Icing Game 1 of the NBA Finals vs. (2) His Greatest Steal
(JR): We’ve got ourselves an ethical dilemma, Sully. We both agreed that Kyle Lowry’s best play came from the championship run...but one game earlier. Without Lowry’s steal, Kawhi Leonard doesn’t posterize Giannis Antetokounmpo. Without Lowry’s steal, maybe the Bucks come back, win Game 6 and possibly the series. Without Lowry’s steal, there’s no Game 1 of the NBA Finals to ice. So, what say you, Sully? As the authors of this series, do we roll with our choice, or listen to the people?
(SA): Once again, that’s right, Jay! Kyle’s steal on Middleton, his sprint for his life to score on the fastbreak, and then the pass to Kawhi for the poster jam on Giannis has a more electrifying feeling in my memory than almost any other moment (and I am sure with Jay). Also, while I’m not trying to take anything away from Kyle draining his pull-up three-pointer in his NBA Finals debut, the Raptors still win Game 1 if that never happens. Now to answer your question, Jay, since this is a bracket for all Raptor fans to have their say, we must go with the collective choice here. Remember, there are no wrong picks in this tourney! All Kyle Lowry moments are winners!
We took to Twitter and here is what the fans had to say in our poll: 55.7 percent picked Kyle’s pull-up 3-point dagger in Game 1 of the NBA Finals to advance to the Final Four!
Winner: (8) Icing Game 1 of the NBA Finals
Only one play can be crowned as Lowry's best. Which play wins the region?— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) March 22, 2021
(8) Lowry ices Game 1 of the NBA Finals
(2) His Greatest Steal
WHEN KYLE SPEAKS, YOU LISTEN REGION (Best Quotes)
(4) “USC (Math), Baby” vs. (2) “We Brought It Home, Baby”
(SA): While Kyle correcting DeMar’s math in London had a great run in the KLOE Madness Tournament, it’s time for “We brought it home, baby!” to literally... bring it home, baby! It’s only right that we and the fans decided that this moment advances — it’s the absolute pinnacle! Again, Kyle rejoicing the fact that he did indeed bring home an NBA title while including the entire country of Canada in the Raptors’ NBA title mission will always be special. He really knew that Canada was behind him and the Raptors’ run from the beginning... that same beginning that started in 1995!
(JR): You, and Twitter folks, are right in thinking DeMar’s time in this bracket has come to an end. There’s something cruel about DeRozan and Lowry falling short of the promised land — even if it has nothing to do with what happens on the basketball court. I guess a moment with the legendary Doris Burke will have to suffice. Seriously though, there wasn’t a single Lowry quote we went through that instantly put a smile on my face than this one. The correct representative for the quotes region will be a tough out in the Final Four.
We took to Twitter and here is what the fans had to say in our poll: 68.8 percent picked to advance to the Final Four!
Winner: (2) “We Brought it Home, Baby”
And the final poll of the Sweet 16, we get to some great Lowry moments here:— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) March 22, 2021
(4) Lowry correcting DeMar's math
(2) Canada, we brought it home, baby!
Here is a quick look at how the “Kyle L-L-L-L-Lowry Region” and “When Kyle Speaks, You Listen Region” of the bracket is looking after the Elite 8 results:
And now a look at the Final Four:
Stay tuned on Thursday to see how the bracket unfolds as we crown a winner!