Where do the Raptors fit in a league of parity?

These people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but... but it might work for us.

Tobias Funke's evergreen quote of: "No, it never does. I mean, these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but... but it might work for us." perfectly encapsulates so much of the human experience. The idea that we have a deeper well to draw from than others, that our understanding could extend past theirs, anything that elevates us or makes us special - we latch onto.

The primitive, caveman version of this expression is the fact that most people quietly, confidently think they can win any fight, provided that they go: berserker mode/black out/any number of expressions.

While the Heat dress up their approach with Reagan-era austerity politics instead of berserker mode, they've definitely accessed another level and achieved special things with it. As the age of the super team descends into something different, teams will look to emulate what the Heat have done - and something the Raptors used to do quite often - back in the Kyle Lowry era. Constantly greater than the sum of their parts, the Lowry-led Raptors were so dependably better than expectations year in and year out that many countries started using the Raptors over/under win totals to launder their illicit funds.

None of this is to say that the Raptors are one #HeatCulture away from high-level playoff success. Sure, the Raptors & Heat were 27th and 28th in the NBA in 3-point percentage this season, but the Heat were first in the NBA the year before, carried over a lot of players on the roster and it made sense that some of that shooting would positively regress - albeit with fantastic timing. The two teams play very different styles of offense to boot. The Heat empower players 1-10 on the roster typically, and that willingness to let rotation players stretch their legs has resulted in a bunch of surprise performances. The ramifications for defenses trying to stop them and gameplan for them were far reaching.

But, the point isn't that the Heat are the rule. The Heat are an Island of Misfit Toys, and the misfits don't really win it all in the NBA - and if they do, it's quite rare. The point, really, is that the deconstruction of the super teams has opened up a route to a championship for more teams.