The Toronto Raptors have just finished the best regular season in the club’s two-decade history, and are now one game into a round-one playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. The winner will likely go on to face the formidable Miami Heat in the next round of the tournament, and so no matter what happens during the rest of the series (Toronto has already lost its first game out of seven against Brooklyn, and conspiracy theorists are blaming the refs), there may not be a lot of time left to get on the Raptors bandwagon.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still jump on with both feet. If you do, it won’t even be that hard to fool long-time fans into believing you’ve been there all along.
To that end, here are five key phrases to drop if you suspect your basketball-loving acquaintances are starting to question your bona fides.
1. “I can’t believe how easily Masai undid Colangelo’s two biggest mistakes!”
Who: Raptors GM Masai Ujiri; former GM Bryan Colangelo
What: Ujiri left the pre-existing roster mostly intact this season (his first on the job). But it was getting rid of two of his predecessor’s signature hires—sending former first overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani to New York, and packing Rudy Gay, the previous season’s major acquisition, off to Sacramento—that helped unlock the potential in holdovers like Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Freeing the ball from Gay’s me-first clutches set in motion a franchise-record-setting 48-win season for the club, destroying all talk of “tanking” to get a high pick in June’s draft.
Used when: The Raptors are flying, and no one on court is playing like his job is to kill all ball movement.
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