Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Tue Dec 27 2022 At 7:30 PM

Scotiabank Arena

40 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2X2

Scotiabank Arena
Toronto, ON, M5J 2X2

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TORONTO RAPTORS

The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) asThe Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. They play their home games at Scotiabank Arena, which they share with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team was founded in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies. Since the 2001–02 season, the Raptors have been the only Canadian-based team in the league, as the Grizzlies relocated from Vancouver to Memphis, Tennessee. As with most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft-day trade in 1998, the franchise set league-attendance records and made the NBA playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Carter was instrumental in leading the team to their first playoff series win in 2001, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, they failed to make significant progress, and Carter was traded in 2004 to the New Jersey Nets. After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader. For the 2006–07 season, Bryan Colangelo was appointed as general manager, and through a combination of Bosh, 2006 first overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani, and a revamp of the roster, the Raptors qualified for their first playoff berth in five years, capturing the Atlantic Division title. In the 2007–08 season, they also advanced to the playoffs but failed to reach the postseason in each of the next five seasons. Colangelo overhauled the team's roster for the 2009–10 season in a bid to persuade pending free agent Bosh to stay, but Bosh departed to sign with the Miami Heat in July 2010, ushering in yet another era of rebuilding for the Raptors. Masai Ujiri replaced Colangelo in 2013 and helped herald a new era of success, led by a backcourt duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. The Raptors returned to the playoffs the following year and became a consistent playoff team in every year of Ujiri's tenure. Under Ujiri, the team also won five Division titles and registered their most successful regular season in 2018. However, the team's failure to reach the NBA Finals prompted Ujiri to fire head coach Dwane Casey after the 2018 playoffs concluded and to trade DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green later that summer, as well as to acquire Marc Gasol before the trade deadline. Toronto also saw the breakout of Pascal Siakam, the 27th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, who won the NBA Most Improved Player that year. In the 2019 playoffs, the Raptors won their first Eastern Conference title and advanced to their first NBA Finals, where they won their first NBA championship.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball AssociationThe Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Pacific Division in the league's Western Conference. The Clippers play their home games at Crypto.com Arena, which they share with NBA team Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Clippers plan to move into their own arena, the Intuit Dome, in nearby Inglewood by 2024. The franchise was founded as the Buffalo Braves in 1970 as an expansion team. Led by Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo, the Braves reached the NBA playoffs three times during their eight seasons in Buffalo. Conflicts with the Canisius Golden Griffins over the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and the sale of the franchise led to their relocation from Buffalo to San Diego, California in 1978 and subsequent rebranding as the San Diego Clippers, in reference to the sailing ships seen in San Diego Bay. The team saw little success on the court and missed the playoffs during all six of their years in San Diego. In 1984, owner Donald Sterling controversially relocated the franchise to Los Angeles without NBA approval, which was permitted following legal action between the league and Sterling. Over the course of their first 27 seasons in Los Angeles, the Clippers qualified for the postseason only four times and won a single playoff round. They were frequently considered a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the historically successful Lakers. The Clippers' reputation improved during the 2010s, which saw them transform into consistent postseason contenders. Aided by the "Lob City" lineup of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Paul, the team qualified for the playoffs in six consecutive seasons from 2012 to 2017 and won two consecutive division titles in 2013 and 2014, both firsts for the franchise. Despite this success, the Clippers struggled in the postseason and were frequently eliminated in the Conference Semifinals; the team reached the Conference Finals for the first time in 2021. To date, they are the league's oldest franchise to have never played in the NBA Finals.

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