Day: October 24, 2019

Read Tim Bontemps on Lowry’s leadership here

Most championship teams have clear through lines that trace their journey to the top: They draft a foundational player that defines everything that comes next, or acquire one who agrees before stepping in the door to stay for a long time.

The Raptors have neither. There is no apparent modern precedent for a team trading for its only top-five player in a walk year — without free agency matching rights, without signing said player to an extension as part of the trade — and having that player lead the team to a title that same year. Toronto may be the most unconventionally constructed championship team in basketball history, and its six-game win over Golden State has insiders across the league asking: Is there anything we can learn? Can we replicate what Toronto just did?

Read Zach Lowe’s Raptors breakdown here

More from Game 6:

Bill Russell was in the hallway. The trophy was polished. The stage was ready to roll out. The cameramen had plastic over their gear. The champagne was on ice.

The team doctors’ faces were ashen. The general manager was sobbing. The heroes, the guys who hit the big shots and the man who saved the season with a block, had knots in their stomachs not smiles on their faces.

It was a most terrible win.

There were no victors in Game 5 of the Finals Monday night. Yes, the Golden State Warriors had 106 points to the Toronto Raptors’ 105. But Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury and the circumstances around it, both in the present and future, thudded down on everyone’s chest.

Bill Russell was in the hallway. The trophy was polished. The stage was ready to roll out. The cameramen had plastic over their gear. The champagne was on ice.

The team doctors’ faces were ashen. The general manager was sobbing. The heroes, the guys who hit the big shots and the man who saved the season with a block, had knots in their stomachs not smiles on their faces.

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