TSN Rewind - The Shot: A classic that never gets old
We’re running it back because they can’t.
With the National Basketball Association on hold for the foreseeable futureTSN and Sportsnet are airing the entirety of the Toronto Raptors’ playoff run to the 2019 NBA title. You can watch Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night starting at 8pm ET/5pm PT on TSN 4/5 and streaming on TSN.ca, the TSN App and TSN Direct or listen on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto.
Over these 24 games, fans can relive the highs and lows – there were lows, but you just might not remember them – of that magical run to the franchise’s first-ever championship, capping a remarkable turnaround from NBA laughingstock to the
league’s very best.
From Kawhi Leonard calling the series against the Philadelphia 76ers, to the team improbably overturning a 2-0 series deficit against the Milwaukee Bucks, to that famous June night in Oakland when the Raptors got their hands on the Larry OB, you can relive all 24 games that made the Toronto Raptors NBA champions.
After back-to-back victories to reclaim the series lead, a berth into the Eastern Conference final seemed like a sure thing for the Toronto Raptors. But a sluggish start early in Game 6 was too much to overcome as they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 112-101.
"We have to play harder " Kyle Lowry said about the squandered opportunity. "We have to do everything we need to do to win the game. It's do or die, win or go home, really."
Jimmy Butler scored a team-high 25 points while Ben Simmons put down 21, more points than in Games 4 and 5 combined.
Kawhi Leonard had a game-high 29 points and 12 rebounds, but struggled long range. Leonard was 0-for-4 from the three-point line.
A best-of-three series has become a best-of-one. Both teams are loaded with talent that an elimination would be devastating blow to both teams.
After a 36-point win for the Raptors in Game 5 - their largest in franchise history at the time – is now just a memory.
Game 7 arguably set up the most important game in the team’s 24-year history at the time.
“It’s not unlike where we have been a couple of times already in this series,” said head coach Nick Nurse. “They are critical games. They are all critical. We’ve got to play with great physicality, great speed, connected on the defensive end. "I think we have to play one of our best defensive games of the year and play with some gusto on offence.”
Here's what TSN's basketball analysts had to say about Game 5.
“Inbounding with less than 5 seconds on the clock, tie game, the worst thing that could happen is overtime. I remember watching ‘The Shot’ from a hotel room in Connecticut.
Kawhi was a man on a mission. He knew exactly what he needed: his spot, time, and enough space to get the shot off. When he shot it I thought ‘there’s enough arc to give it a chance’. Once it hit the rim, it was all about luck. After all of the years of disappointment and losses, it was the lucky bounce all of Toronto deserved. My reaction: “OHHHH!!!””
“What was my reaction to The Shot? I actually don’t remember. It was such a blur, so surreal. I do remember the bounces. The ball felt like it was in the air and on the rim forever. It was eerily quiet in that building. Then, pandemonium. My reaction? If I had to guess, it probably looked something like the Nick Nurse meme from Round 1 – staring straight ahead in disbelieve, mouth-agape. I couldn’t believe what I had just watched.”
“The most intense and hard fought game I’ve ever worked in my NBA career. This was an all time classic win. When Kawhi’s shot was in the air, it was one of those surreal sports iconic highlight moments. It felt like it lasted an hour. What a moment in Canadian basketball & Raptors history!”
“THE SHOT! THE SHOT! THE SHOT! There is my summary! I mean, is there anything else that comes to your mind when you say 76ers/Raptors game 7? It will go down as one of the greatest moments in Raptors history and I will never forget feeling the floor shake when it went in. I also remember thinking my heart can’t take another series… onto Milwaukee!”
“Five words suffice: ‘Boing, boing, boing, boing... bingo.’ Okay, maybe add two more; holy s***!”
“No way. Wait a minute. Are you kidding me? An array of expletives. Each of the four bounces, you just visited a new place of emotion. It was unbelievable. It was a whole country holding its breath. After the end of the game, I think I paced around my hotel room for a good five minutes. I called a few friends and nobody could get out any clear sentences – I mean, all we could do was ask questions. What did we just witness? Not only was it the biggest game in franchise history, but that will go down as one of the most iconic moments in NBA History. Period.”
“No shooter makes every shot he takes! The goal of a shooter is to give the ball a chance every time. Arc and backspin. Kawhi did everything right: from creating the angle, to getting his legs into his shot, to getting the ball up high, and to the rotation - give it a chance!! Bounce...bounce...bounce...bounce! The first ever game 7 buzzer-beater in the history of the NBA & the Raptors move on! I’ll never forget it.”