It is much to early in this young NBA season to say this was a must win, but coming into this trip to Florida, the Raptors had only 1 win and mounting frustrations. After a brutal West Coast trip that saw Toronto blow leads to Sacramento and Los Angeles, tonight must have looked all too familiar for this Raptors squad that so far has not been able to find consistency and a replacement for Chris Bosh. They let a lead slip away to the defending East runner-ups and with just under 30 seconds left, the game was tied as the Magic roared back from 10 down in the 4th. Mikael Pietrus hit a 3 and the arena erupted, the fans thinking Toronto was surely going to roll over and allow the home team to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Then, for the first time all season, the Raptors responded. Toronto took the clock all the way down to 7 seconds before Sonny Weems nailed a 3 right in Dwight Howards face to stun the Magic. Defensive player of the year my ASS. To add an exclamation point to this amazing victory, Jose Calderon stole the ensuing inbounds pass from Pietrus and tacked on two more points for a 110-106 Toronto victory.
This Raptors squad finally put it together tonight, and I think the lineup that was on the floor for the majority of the game has the chemistry to get this thing rolling and on the right track. It was a tough schedule early on that could have gone differently had the team held it together in the final minutes of a few games. ”I think we put everything together, played a full 48 minutes tonight,” DeRozan said. “We want to prove how good we really are and our record doesn’t show it, but when you go out and prove it, it’s a whole other story.” Now that the team is playing some of the shitty East teams, things could swing back in their favor and at least get up to second place in the division, as no one seems to be on Bostons level thus far. One can hope, and for this die-hard Raps fan and a Magic-hater, tonights win was sweet no matter how the year turns out.