The best bandwagon options for Raptors fans

Alex Wong
·4 min read

The Toronto Raptors just finished their best three-day stretch of the 2020-21 season, beating the Golden State Warriors by a franchise-record 53 points on Friday and getting a much-needed weekend off. Friday’s victory was a breath of fresh air for a team that now has three wins since Feb. 26. Like pretty much any other team in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors are a two-game win streak away from being in the play-in tournament and also a two-game losing streak away from potentially landing a top-five lottery pick (Anyone watch Jalen Suggs over the weekend? I already pre-ordered his Raptor statement jersey).

There will be no championship run this season, which means it’s time to figure out who the best bandwagon options are for Raptors fans for the remainder of the season. Here are your best options.

How can you not cheer for Norman Powell? (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
How can you not cheer for Norman Powell? (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Portland Trail Blazers

The most wholesome NBA storyline this season involves the Toronto and Portland fanbases coming together to support each other after the Norman Powell trade.

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While this will inevitably end as all things do in basketball, when a Raptor fan crosses the line after a Blazer fan suggests Kyle Lowry isn’t even in the same league as Damian Lillard, Portland is absolutely the No. 1 bandwagon spot, especially after they signed Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, another fan-favorite, on Friday.

The Blazers have a fun social team and are good for a playoff series-ending buzzer beater every other year. Throw in the fact Powell swings a postseason series every few years, this is absolutely happening in a few months:

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Anyone vs. the Clippers

Speaking of the basketball team in Los Angeles who has never won two straight playoff series in their franchise’s history, I don’t have much to add except it’s time for Masai Ujiri to file a cease-and-desist on all of the Raptors-related content which the Clippers have co-opted:

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The Utah Jazz if Matt Thomas checks in

Matt Thomas, who shot 100 percent from three in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics last season, might just have a chance to have his one shining moment in this year’s postseason with the Utah Jazz, who are currently the best team in the league. Okay, who am I kidding? The Jazz are a very deep team, so I’m not sure if Thomas is seeing any meaningful minutes in the postseason, but I will be here tracking his garbage-time threes, and this whole section of the column was just an excuse to post the most athletic play in Raptor history since Vince Carter’s 2000 Slam Dunk contest performance:

The Denver Nuggets

Since Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort won’t make the playoffs, we will channel our Canadian energy towards Jamal Murray, who played a critical role in the Nuggets’ 3-1 comeback against the Clippers last year (THIS IS FOR YOU, KITCHENER, ONTARIO!) and seems to always step up in big games:

Joining the bandwagon does involve rooting for a team who just traded for Aaron Gordon, who had a run-in with Lowry earlier this season, but we can overlook that, maybe. By the way, Gordon is wearing No. 50 because of the dunk contest, which he apparently made an entire documentary about. Has any player in NBA history been more obsessed with an All-Star Weekend Saturday night event?

The Toronto Blue Jays

Basketball isn’t going to sustain us all summer, so of course, it’s time to jump aboard the Jays bandwagon. Winning two out of three at Yankees Stadium to start the season has me more excited than when Alex Anthopoulos traded for everyone in 2012. Jordan Romano and Julian Merryweather are looking like the modern-day Duane Ward and Tom Henke. George Springer is set to make his Blue Jays debut later this week. I don’t know. We might even see long-time Blue Jays fan Kawhi Leonard throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1 of the 2021 World Series in Toronto (Dunedin? Buffalo).

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