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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors

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The Raptors are a professional basketball team based out of Toronto, Canada.

They are part of the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division, and they play their matches at Scotiabank Arena.

Toronto Raptors Brief History

This team was founded back in 1995, as part of the NBA’s plans to expand to Canadian territory.

This Canadian move included the Vancouver Grizzlies, but since this team moved to Memphis, the Raptors are the only NBA franchise from Canada right now.

And just like with all the expansion teams, the Raptors had a hard time during their early years.

But this changed when the franchise acquired Vince Carter in 1998.

With Carter on their roster, Raptors games became packed with fans, setting league-attendance records.

And, they also advanced to the NBA postseason in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Carter was also responsible for allowing the Raptors to win their first playoffs series back in 2001, allowing the team to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

But then, after the 2002-03 season, the team started to fail massively, and that led them to trade Carter to the Nets in 2004.

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Toronto Raptors Interesting Facts

  1. The team’s name is the result of a fan contest, and final options also included: Bobcats, Scorpions, Dragons, Beavers, and Hogs.
  2. Fans of the Raptors have their place to celebrate victories, and it’s called Jurassic Park. It’s an area just outside Scotiabank Arena. And, when there are NHL matches in town, this area also turns into Maple Leaf Square.

Toronto Raptors Awards and Accomplishments:

  • Championships: 1 (2019)
  • Conference titles: 1 (2019)
  • Division titles: 6 (2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019)

Toronto Raptors Hall of Famers and Famous Players

Here’s a list of the top 3 Hall of Famers for the Toronto Raptors:

Kawhi Leonard: Although he remained with the team for just one season, he’s the main responsible this team acquired their only NBA championship title to date in 2019.

  • 1 season with the Raptors, 3 times All-Star

Vince Carter: He is regarded as the greatest dunker of all time, and he was the reason why the Raptors acquired notoriety during the early 2000s.

  • 6 seasons with the Raptors, 8 times All-Star

Tracy McGrady: McGrady began his run at the NBA with the Raptors, and then went on to enjoy a very successful basketball career, playing for a total of seven NBA teams, and even for a Chinese professional hoops team.

  • 3 seasons with the Raptors, 7 times All-Star, averaged 11 points per game
  • Basketball Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2017

Toronto Raptors Rivalries

The Raptors hold rivalries with two NBA franchises: The Nets, and the Knicks.

New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets:

These two teams began their rivalry during the 2004-05 season when Vince Carter was traded to the Nets.

Then, the direct clash of teams became more noticeable when the two franchises faced each other during the first round of the 2007 NBA postseason, with the Nets winning this series 4-2.

The rivalry got revitalized during the 2013-14 season when the Raptors and the Nets engaged in a fierce battle to win the Atlantic Division.

After winning the division that year, the Raptors faced the Nets in the first round of the 2014 NBA postseason.

It was indeed a hard-fought series that went to seven games, and it was finally decided when Paul Pierce managed to block a shot by Kyle Lowry, allowing the Nets to take the series 104-103.

New York Knicks:

These two teams had a postseason rivalry in 2000 and 2001.

The Raptors appeared on the playoffs for the first time during the 1999-2000 season, a series which they lost to the Knicks 3-0.

The next season, the Raptors found revenge, taking the series 3-2, and this is important, as this series loss finished with the Knicks run as NBA title contenders, which started in the early nineties.

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