Title: Historic sweep of West Coast trip has Raptors hungry to get even better
Date: November 8, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about the Raptors’ sweeping a west-coast road trip for the first time ever but still coming out hungry to be even better.
SACRAMENTO — Over the last six seasons, the Toronto Raptors have been damned with plenty of faint praise as they rewrote the record book for the once-moribund franchise. Low bars were cleared, overdue firsts were checked off and at many turns — “best start,” “first seven-game series win,” “fourth consecutive playoff berth” — the successive accomplishment could induce an eye roll. At a certain point, the franchise’s lack of history was no longer the story, and as they outgrew reason for excitement at minor victories, they became footnotes.
Occasionally, though, there is still a nugget that provides a worthwhile snapshot. On Wednesday, the Raptors defeated the Sacramento Kings, 114-105 at Golden 1 Center, providing such an example. With the victory, the Raptors not only improved to a franchise-best 11-1 to start the year, they also swept a four-game West Coast road trip. Such an accomplishment is rare in the NBA, in general. Danny Green, who spent years with a San Antonio Spurs franchise with a far more robust history of success, can’t recall ever having done it.
For the Raptors, this was the first time they’ve ever gone 4-0 on a West Coast trip, something they’ve had 38 tries at. In fact, it’s the first time they’ve swept a road trip in any location that was four games or longer. This is not cause for excitement or back-patting, but it was at least enough that a couple of curious Raptors staffers were working to confirm the information after the game ended.