Title: Raptor Recalibration, Game 6: Siakam, box-and-1, quantifying tension and more
Date: September 10, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, my playoff day-after playoff column broke down the Raptors forcing a Game 7 with a double-overtime victory against the Celtics.
Over the years, Toronto Raptors play-by-play voice Matt Devlin has grown fond of warning opponents about ticking Kyle Lowry off.
“Don’t poke the bear,” Devlin will say whenever someone gets in Lowry’s face, fouls him hard or is otherwise deemed a nuisance by Lowry’s incredibly low tolerance for nonsense. Brad Wanamaker inadvertently opening a cut on Lowry’s chin in the second quarter Wednesday could have qualified.
There’s also been a sort-of “elimination game” Lowry lore built into this Raptors era. Except for when the team’s been down 3-0 in a series, Lowry is a safe bet to give everything he has to drag the Raptors to victory, or at least a close game, whenever their backs are against the wall. A Game 6 against the Boston Celtics could have qualified.
Lowry is also an Aries, which explains his leadership, his fearlessness and his tenacity. When people refer to Lowry as a “bulldog,” they are often trying to capture his Aries traits. It just so happens that Mars entered retrograde in Aries on Wednesday, which is a perfect storm for someone like Lowry to lead a fight. Mars in retrograde is messy and angry, the arena for heated exchanges to dominate and tremendous obstacles to be fought through. It’s this, not a bear-poking or elimination game, that drove Lowry and the Raptors to their 125-122 win, keeping the series alive and forcing a Game 7.
Look, you guys probably didn’t want a Will Ospreay-Ricochet wrestling reference here and I burned “fight forever” for Game 5, so astrology it is. At least Jaylen Brown will appreciate it.