Chats of we want Cleveland pic.twitter.com/bjWf5H1e0z
— ivan (@ivanpehar) May 15, 2016
The Toronto Raptors are facing some staggeringly long odds heading into their Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs have home court advantage and they’ve played the minimum eight games in the first two rounds, looking like the fully-operational offensive death squad they were destined to be the minute LeBron James and Kevin Love came to town. The Raptors, meanwhile, have had to grind out two seven-game series over the Pacers and Heat, never playing at their peak. But that doesn’t matter to Raps fans, who chanted “We want Cleveland” at the close of their Game 7 win over Miami.
That may be their chant, but deep in their heart of hearts, the fans must be already steeling themselves for what could be a rough series, given the gaps in top-end talent and rest. Still, you can’t blame Torontonians for feeling themselves — after all, it’s the Raptors’ first ever appearance in the Conference Finals, and since the Cavs had long been decided as their opponent, the fans were essentially just boasting that they had made it this far.
After all, what are they supposed to cheer? “Oh God, please not Cleveland?” That’s a phrase much more likely to be heard at a travel agency than a basketball arena. Puff your chests while you can, Raptors fans.