16 Reasons Why The Toronto Raptors Have Already Won The Playoffs

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If you've been a die-hard Toronto Raptors fan for years (yes, through all those rough seasons), or you've just recently joined the bandwagon, there are plenty of reasons to be proud of this team this year.

From breaking franchise records to making fans incredibly rowdy all across the city, it's been an absolute pleasure to watch this young team play in 2014. With a record-high 48 wins (48-34) and a first-place position in the Atlantic division, the Raptors have even managed to bring the whole country together in a way that only the Olympics can — we are the only Canadian team in the NBA, by the way.

As the Raptors take on the Brooklyn Nets in their final few games (Game 5 happens tonight), we've jumped the gun and have already declared them winners.

Here are 16 reasons why the Toronto Raptors have truly already won the playoffs (and our hearts):

Just hold on, Toronto rapper Drake brought a lint roller to a playoff game.

  • From there followed an instant "No New Lint" movement
    Instagram/champagnepapi
    No new lint, no no no
  • Soon, the people of the Internet actually made Raptor-themed lint rollers
    Twitter/RyanJHTurvey
  • And of course, Raptors fans practice lint rolling wherever they go
    Tumblr
    Like at a Game 4 playoff game in Brooklyn. What a guy.
  • No, we are serious about this lint
    Twitter/IkeaCanada
    Even IKEA is giving them out! (Note: from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (or until they run out) IKEA will give out lint rollers on the north west corner of York Street and Bremner Blvd., and at the corner of Bay Street and Front Street on April 30)
  • Toronto has the best fans in the NBA (read: world)
    Tumblr
    We may be used to a track record of losing sports teams, but when it comes down to it, we have some of the best sports fans in the NBA. We're loud, we're confident and the best part? We never give up. And according to basketball historian David Brown (who is super neutral), we also have a great sense of humour.
  • Speaking of good humour, take that Paul Pierce.
    Nobody wants your sweaty headband.
  • Also, can we mention we also have the BEST looking fans?
    All that red and white and black!
  • Jurassic Park is a thing
    Raptors Square, Jurassic Park, Maple Leaf Square, whatever you want to call it, there's nothing and we repeat nothing, like watching the game on a giant screen surrounded by hundreds of loud (and kind of drunk) fans! Honestly, we're not sure what we like more: the super rowdy crowd or the guy with the Guyana flag.
  • We broke all kinds of records this year
    Getty Images
    Just to name a few:
  • Most wins in 19 years (48 games)
  • Atlantic Division Champions since 06-07
  • First playoff series since 2008
  • Most rebounds in a game (Jonas Valanciunas)
  • All around awesomeness?
  • Our mascot is kind of the cutest
    Twitter/TheRaptor
    Even after suffering an Achilles tendon injury in 2013, and sitting out/training most of the season, The Raptor came back in action in March. And might we add, he is the only living raptor left on this planet?
  • Honestly, look at him romancing fellow Canadian Rachel McAdams
    Twitter/TheRaptor
  • Drake is our other mascot
    After joining the clan as the team's global ambassador, Drake has done his city proud: The "Drake Zone" was created, he made custom clothing for fans (and giveaways), and he is basically courtside at almost every home game.
  • Dwane Casey is the coach you've always wanted
    Head coach since 2011, Dwane Casey has made a huge impact on this relatively inexperienced team. From motivational words in the locker room to pushing his team to perform their best, Casey reminds us of an incredibly proud dad.
  • The Raptors play like brothers
    Getty Images
    Since the Raptors traded Rudy Gay at the end of last year, the team in general (along with a new roster of faces after the trade), played better than ever. And if you're a die-hard fan, we know you get giddy watching the team bond in the locker room in their Blackberry Open Gym series.
  • Because the Superfan spends 300,000 dollars a year on tickets
    Nav Bhatia, or Superfan, has been at Toronto Raptors games since 1995. In a candid interview with the New York Times, players even referred to him as Dad.
  • Because the Toronto Sun nailed these covers
    Twitter/Toronto Sun
  • Seriously, nailed it.
    Twitter/Toronto Sun
  • Because the franchise created a national #WeTheNorth hashtag
  • Because we have several anthems
    Getty Images
    Along with the wild fans and rowdiness, several fans, including Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishall, all made their own Raptor anthems.
  • Because DeMar DeRozan has the best serious face
    When DeMar DeRozan means business, he means business.
  • And also knows how to create Twitter-wide photo opps for fans
    Twitter/Nike13TRJC
  • Because after our GM dropped the F-bomb...
    Twitter/Teddy Bannerman
    ... fans went ahead and made apparel out of it. And if you missed the $25,000 fined f-bomb, here it is.
  • And finally, the RaptorsMeme Instagram account is as informal as it is entertaining)
  • Also on HuffPost:

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