Toronto loves basketball and Torontonians love their NBA Toronto Raptors basketball team. As Canada’s currently only basketball team in the NBA, the Raptors stand out as Canada’s basketball team. Raptors are a strong team to be faced against. A home game at the ACC is always sold out and fully packed with an excited crowd and a common Raptors beloved Canadian rapper Drake. Catching a game at the ACC is great lifetime experience. Raptors tickets are cheap considering the thrills they provide fans. Court side, playoffs, international games, 300 levels, 200 levels, 100 levels; it’s difficult to buy Raptors tickets that are not for an amazing game either home or away.
Toronto Raptors 2015 Schedule / Tickets
Toronto Raptors Seating Map Chart
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The Toronto Raptors were formed in 1993 when the NBA began its league expansion into Canada. They along with the Vancouver Grizzlies would become the first Canadian teams to feature in the NBA in nearly 50 years, with the Raptors being the 28th franchise in the leagues history.
The franchise was awarded to prominent Toronto based businessman, John Bitove who set out to establish a Canadian team worthy of winning big things in the NBA. A competitions was held to help a name and brand the club, which the Raptors being the winning choice.
The Toronto Raptors initially struggled in their early days, and despite winning their maiden game they produced a subpar first season, recording a 21-61 win-loss record. They followed this trend in their second season, and whilst being able to take the games to the high championship level teams (such as the dominant Chicago Bulls), they struggle against to lower level opposition.
The turning point for the Raptors hunt for success came in 1998. After a takeover from current owners the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment group (MLSE), the Raptors moved to the newly minted Air Canada Centre which would now be the new home for the team.
The contused their statement of intent when they acquired Vince Carter on a draft day trade, and soon attendances began to rise as did the performance of the teams. Not long after they found themselves in their first playoff in 2000 where they would go out in the first round to the New York Nicks.
With a team built around star player Carter, they managed to up their success of the previous year reaching the playoffs again in 201, with their best league record yet, with 47 wins. They bettered themselves again, beating the Knicks this time round, recording their first win in the playoffs.
They would reach their third playoff in a row in 2002, yet would again go out at the first round. This marked a period of decline. With Carter traded in 2004, the team brought in new players begging a period of rebuilding.
They managed to return to the play offs after five years away, making a return in the 2006-07 season, in which they picked up their first division title. After making it back the following year they managed to miss the playoffs for the next five years, yet would return in 2014 after their second division title. They would again go out at the first round as they still seek their first conference title
2015 Season Preview
The Raptors will unquestionably want to get over their playoff heartaches, and coming off of a strong season in 2013-15 they will feel they have all the tools to make it back. Having won last year’s Atlantic tittle win a franchise record of 47 wins, confidence should be on their side, despite their playoff woes.
Whilst they lack a star name in the form of a atop 15 player, the Raptors make up for it with their great team relationship, which coach Masai Ujiri keeping his core team form last season together. Point guard Kyle Lowry is fast becoming one of the leagues finest in his position, and with a great mix of youth and athleticism in their ranks, the Toronto Raptors have the makings to cause teams a lot of trouble in the upcoming season.
The New York Knicks & New Jersey/ Brooklyn Nets
The New York Knicks
Despite their relative youth compared to other NBA franchises, the Raptors wasted little time in developing a minor rivalry with fellow Atlantic division team the New York Knicks.
This began in 2000 when the teams met in the first round of playoffs in the Eastern conference. It was the Raptors first ever taste of the playoffs, and one that left a bitter taste in their mouths after getting swept aside 3-0 in the first round.
They would go on to get their revenge the following season which saw a return to the playoffs for both side and a rematch of the previous seasons first round. This time the Raptors came out on top beating the Knicks in an enthralling tie which ended 3-2 to the raptors.
Meeting regularly in the following seasons as shown no love lost between these two teams, as they both battle for supremacy in the Atlantic division.
New Jersey/ Brooklyn Nets
A rivalry with a more personal twist to it, this one began in the 2004-05 season. The Toronto Raptors had built their first successful team around Vince Carter, who was traded to the Nets, which left many a Raptors fan feeling hurt.
This would be intensified when the teams would meet in the first round of playoffs in the following season. With only 8 seconds to go and the Raptors slightly edging in the lead, Nets player Richard Jefferson scored a go-ahead shot. It won the game for the Nets 98-97 and saw the Raptors dumped out 4-2 in the first round.
They would then remain close rivals, and would again meet in the opening round of the playoffs in 2014. Prior to the game Toronto’s coach Masai Ujiri would address a raptors rally outside of the ACC, in which eh insulted the Nets, reigniting the tensions. Sadly for the Raptors they could not get past the nets in a close fought game that ended 104-103 in the final game, just putting the Raptors out.
They have yet to progress further than the semi-finals of the Eastern conference, getting there only once, in 2002.
They have made the playoffs on six different occasions, having won the Atlantic division on three occasions in 2007, 2014 and 2015.
Raptors Current 2015 Standings
- W: Wins
- L: Losses
- PCT: Win Percentage
- GB: Games Behind
- HOME: Home Record
- ROAD: Road Record
- DIV: Division Record
- CONF: Conference Record
- PF: Average Points For
- PA: Average Points Against
- DIFF: Average Point Differential
- STRK: Streak
- L10: Last 10 Games
- z – Clinched Conference
- y – Clinched Division
- x – Clinched Playoff Berth