Raptors in the playoffs: An oral history
Doug Smith at The Star wrote a piece covering the Raptors playoff history. Pretty fun read if you have a chance.
VINCE CARTER: I remember the practices being so much different than the regular season, what (coach Butch Carter) was putting us through. I remember Butch lining us up, he takes all the big men and Iím talking about Oak, AD, Kevin Willis, Yogi Stewart, all of our bigs, lining us up and telling us to drive to the basket, try to finish, get ready for the hard fouls. It was something.
VINCE CARTER: I remember in the huddle, coach is getting ready to draw up a play, and I said, ďcoach, give me the ball. I want the ball.Ē I was supposed to get the ball up top so I could have more space but someone, I donít remember the player, jumped up top so it brought me to the open side. I got the ball, I turned, I saw Tyrone Hill so I pump faked.
I got it around to my shooting pocket and just shot a regular shot, comfortable. I didnít feel rushed at all.
I let it go and it felt good until it got half way. Iím like, Ďoh, that looks goodí and then halfway, Iím like, Ďthatís too far.í It just kept going and it hit the back rim.
It was just one of those things, I wanted that more than any shot I had taken prior to that. It would have been a great cap on a long series and an exciting day.
That night when we got back, I went to the gym and knocked that shot down 10 times in a row.
JOSE CALDERON: It was great but bad at the same time because everybody was wearing red and New Jersey came out in red. That was the funny part of it but what I remember, too, was the city was amazing. The whole arena, the atmosphere was unbelievable. It was the best, cheering from the anthems to the end of the game. It was really, really good.
VINCE CARTER: It was extremely weird. I remember hearing about them going red and I was like, okay. And then we get there that day and we have on red uniforms . . . Iím assuming someone lost their job that day.
SAM MITCHELL: It was odd. But it was fun, man. A great atmosphere and I can see my guys and their eyes were wide open, shocked. Itís just a different feeling, a different kind of atmosphere.
RASHO NESTEROVIC: ďGame 1 against Orlando was really a strange game. We came out with different lineup than what we played whole season. Most of the guys didnít know that Andrea is gonna start. That confused us probably more than Orlando.