Masai Ujiri and the Raptors made some big changes last summer. In a risky, blockbuster move, they traded fan-favorite DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Despite the short time remaining on Leonard’s current contract, the organization was willing to risk it all if they could just get over the hump for one season.
But in Toronto’s 104-101 loss to the Magic in game 1, it became all to clear that some things just never change. In their last 11 opening playoff games, the Raptors are just 1-10, continuing a tradition of hardships in the postseason.
The most notable cause for the Raptors’ crushing defeat? Kyle Lowry, who went completely scoreless in 7 attempts from the field in 35 minutes. Unfortunately, this type of play is nothing new to him, either. His efficiency drops, and he seems to struggle in big-time, late-game moments.
The Raptors, who essentially remade their team over the summer, were hoping for a new identity this postseason. Instead, at least for now, they find themselves at the butt of jokes and memes again.
The Magic closed as 9.5-point underdog today, their biggest upset win in a playoff game in franchise history.
The Raptors are now 2-14 in Game 1s, the 2nd-worst record by any team in NBA history (min. 2 games). pic.twitter.com/Jqq7dE4nFc
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 14, 2019
Kyle Lowry when the playoffs start pic.twitter.com/o1BDeoHfs0
— Los 🍇 (@LosPollosTV) April 13, 2019
Hopefully, they recover from what was just one loss and find a way to make a deep run this spring.
But to do that, they will have to seriously dig deep and break what many are calling a “curse” that has plagued this franchise for years. This season, more than most before, gives them the biggest opportunity to do just that.