After a promising 2015-2016 season that saw the Raptors (the Raps) fall two wins short of making the NBA championship, the sky was the limit for this team in 2016/2017. It appeared the Raptors were ready to take the next step and get over the hump that was the former champion the Cleveland Cavaliers (the Cavs) when they went out and acquired Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline. Ultimately however, the season came to disappointing conclusion with the Raptors getting swept by the Cavs in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The disappointment on the court was imminent when the Raptors fell down 2-0 to the Cavs; yet when the Raptors returned home for game 3, the fans in the crowd would have made you think they were the ones who were up 2-0 in the series.
The fans in the Air Canada Centre created an energy in the arena that was unmatched in any other team’s building. Every time the Raptors made a big play, the fans were cheering in support of their team. At various points in the game, the fans were on their feet for minutes at a time. It was this energy that kept the game close for the first three quarters, with the lead constantly changing in a back and forth affair.
Although things took a turn for the worst in the fourth quarter and the Raptors fell short, the fans stood by their team until the very end. Being someone who has attended many playoff games for different professional sporting leagues, I can say that passion and dedication of Raptors fans was second to none. With their team trailing in the series and in the game, the fans let their team know they stood behind them no matter what. There is little doubt the Raps will be back in the NBA playoffs next season, and when they are, I highly recommend making your way down to the Air Canada Centre for a game.