The Toronto Raptors beat all odds when they won the 2020 NBA title. They stopped the Warriors from three-peating and became the first team based out of the United States to win the title. Raptors guard Fred VanVleet recently spoke about their title journey during the JJ Redick podcast.
He said, “Game 1, I play well. Game 2 they win, but I had 17. Now I’m finding my shots and finding my spots. At this point, the ball is moving, our offense is clicking.”
“Game 6 comes, Klay goes down, and it was like a collective (thought) that we cannot lose this game. There’s no way we can allow ourselves to lose this game with KD and Klay out. We would kill ourselves if we couldn’t finish this.”
The Raptors got lucky that Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson got injured. Durant was the Finals MVP in the last two Warriors titles, so not having him was a big miss for Golden State. The Raptors pounced on this opportunity and finished the series in six games.
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VanVleet reveals the Raptors mentality during the playoffs
Redick then asked VanVleet if the title win was the hardest thing he’s done in his career. But surprisingly he replied, “Basketball wise not even close, but like mentally and physically, yes for sure.”
He then spoke about how their chemistry was fantastic and how that was important for them during the playoffs.
He said, “The best thing that helped us was that our chemistry was so tight. When the lows were low, we could talk to each other. When the highs were high, we had Kawhi who was super chill, so nobody ever got excited. And Kyle who was like, ‘Don’t celebrate. We haven’t done anything yet.’”
“So it was like all of those things going into one, and it kept us on that laser focus. And Nick was just the top of just managing all of that. And it just everything went together. Beautiful.”
The Raptors were never the favorites to win the title or even come out of the East. But they were resilient and played as a team. As VanVleet mentioned their chemistry was their biggest strength and that helped them to win their first-ever title.
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