We are now facing the actual real possibility of the Raptors (the Raptors) winning the NBA Finals and thus, the “championship”. I don’t have a very clear idea of what winning a championship entails other than that each player (even Eric Moreland, apparently) gets a “ring”. Whether this is a physical or metaphorical ring remains to be determined, but more “rings” is always better. That’s why Robert Horry is the GOAT, and Charles Barkley can never be taken seriously by anyone.
The possibility of the Raptors winning it all was existent after game one and game two, sure. But now the possibility feels so much realer. Being up 2-1 is way different than being up 1-0. There’s only four games left in the series, and all the Raptors need to do is win two of them. Easy! So easy, that I feel like it’s sort of unfair to the Warriors, but then I remember how much anguish they and their fans deserve.
This is intense stuff, to be sure. The pressure knob has been dialed to 11, every possession matters, and the players are playing with the knowledge that literal millions of people are watching them and calling them trash if they make a mistake. While I watch the game impartially like it’s a late-March regular-season snoozefest between two tanking teams (what’s wrong with me, I swear the Finals seemed way more epic and important when I was younger), you know there are tons of little kids watching who are literally crying every time their team misses a shot. Probably some adults too. Intense!
Luckily for the Raptors, they have Kawhi Leonard, who doesn’t have emotions other than “robot”, and Pascal Siakam, who is “playing with house money”. What I mean by that is this: Siakam knows he was supposed to be only an average player this year. He’s playing his game, making all these buckets, while thinking “at any point I’m going to turn back into a pumpkin”. He can play free and loose, because all of his contributions are considered to be bonuses to the team, unexpected contributions that realistically should not exist at all. I mean, are we really going to look back when all is said and done and say “Pascal Siakam was the second best player on a championship team”? I think we are, and that is insane.