Think of it like a Plinko board. At the beginning of a night of NBA action, each team drops their chips from the top. They race through barriers, taking unexpected detours due to buzzer beaters or controversial calls. And they settle into their respective win-loss slots at the bottom when the final buzzer drops.
The result of last night’s Price is Right party took the Raptors from 10th place to 4th place in the East and top spot in the Atlantic Division. Pretty decent chip drop.
The Raptors have finished in this spot before. Once. If you peer up to the northeast corner of Air Canada Centre while digging into your pregame popcorn, you’ll see the reminder of the 06-07 Toronto triumph. Atlantic Division Champions. The season’s top contributors were Bosh, Ford and Parker as the first and last division title for the Raptors was captured. The team also recorded a win total of 47-35 to tie the franchise high from the 00-01 season. And to cap it off, Sam Mitchell was awarded with the Red Auerbach Trophy for Coach of the Year.
It was April 18th, 2007 and appropriately, Fan Appreciation Night was when the banner was first showcased to the hometown crowd. The place was packed with playoff anticipation. It was my rookie season on the Raptors Dance Pak and I thoroughly remember the zero to sixty roar. Chris Bosh walked out to centre court with the arena lights dimmed for drama, pointed to the rafters and said, “Fans, we want to show you something…”