I believe in miracles, I said where you from
The GIST: For the first time in Toronto Raptors franchise history, WE’RE GOING TO THE NBA FINALS!
After winning four games in a row, including an incredible 100–94 Game 6 comeback win on Saturday, against the regular season best Milwaukee Bucks the Raps are your Eastern Conference champions. We’ll never get tired of saying it.
And get this: It was fate that the Raps won on Saturday. They scored 100 points, in their 100th game of the season and in their 100th playoff game in team history. The Raps also won by six points, in Game 6 in the 6ix. Shivers.
Our favourite parts of Saturday’s game?: Kawhi Leonard’s insane dunk (and Drake’s jokes reaction to it), this perfect post-game moment between Kawhi and Kyle Lowry, and Raptors fans across the country going absolutely wild (with no arrests made).
What now?: The Raptors are playing the Golden State Warriors (aka Dubs…which is a short form for “W”). The Dubs are in the midst of a dynasty that includes winning the last two championships and three of the last four. Much to our chagrin, they’re favoured to three-peat.
They’re led by three-point king Stephen Curry, and superstars Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant (aka KD). However, KD (is this talk about KD making you hungry or is it just us?) is still recovering from a right calf sprain. It’s unlikely he’ll play in Game 1 on Thursday.
But, and it’s a BIG but...: The Raps were the better regular season team and therefore have home-court advantage. That means games 1, 2, 5 and 7 will be played in Toronto. To make matters even better, the Raps won both games against the Warriors this season.
And the good news keeps coming. The Raptors are cautiously optimistic that young buck and strong defender OG Anunoby, who’s been sidelined since April 12th following an appendectomy (talk about bad timing), will be back on the court at some point during this series. We’re crossing our fingers.
When does the action start?: The NBA Finals tips off (literally) at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday in Toronto. Set a calendar reminder. You won’t want to miss this (and more deets to come in Thursday’s newsletter).
How do you feel about the Raptors chances against the Warriors? Can they stop the three-peat?
Close, but no cigar
The GIST: Unfortunately the good times didn’t keep rollin’ for all of Canada’s teams. Finland won the gold medal at the world hockey championship after beating Canada 3–1 yesterday. Welp.
Seem like a familiar Finn-ish?: We thought it might. Lately, the Finns have had Canada’s number. On top of beating Canada in the opening game of this tournament, they also beat Canada at the semifinals of the women’s world hockey championship AND they beat Canada at the quarter-finals of the men’s world junior hockey championship. Sheesh.
Now what?: Nothing. Outside of the boys who are playing in tonight’s Stanley Cup final, it’s officially golf season off-season for the NHLers.
What do you think of Finland’s domination of Canada these days? Questions?
We’ll always have Paris
The GIST: The second major tennis tournament of the year, the French Open (aka Roland-Garros), started yesterday. Here’s #thegist on this year’s tournament:
Where and when?: At Roland-Garros in Paris, France, from May 26th to June 9th.
Back up. What do you mean clay courts?: Generally, tennis is played on hard, grass or clay courts. The French Open is always played on clay — the only major tennis tournament to do so.
Clay courts are a little more tricky to play on because they’re slippery AF for the players and the ball generally bounces higher and slower in comparison to the regular hard court.
Clay courts are most common in places like Spain, Italy and South America, which is why players such as Nadal, who grew up playing on clay courts, do so well. He’s won a record 11 French Opens. Mind blowing.
Wasn’t there drama last year?: Yes. It was Serena Williams’s first major tournament after giving birth to her sweet little baby Alexis Ohanian Jr., just eight months prior. In her return, she wore an epic cat suit that was, in a ridiculously frustrating decision, later banned by the tournament because it didn’t “respect the game and the place.” SMDH.
This year she’s serving us superwoman fierce.
Okay. So who’s in the running to win this year?: On the men’s side, Nadal (shocker), Swiss Roger Federer (a 20-time Grand Slam winner) and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (pronounced SEE-SEE-PASS) are the top favourites. On the women’s side, defending champ Halep, American Sloane Stephens (who, fun fact, recently got engaged to Toronto FC’s star striker Jozy Altidore) and Czech Petra Kvitova have the highest chances.
What Canadians are playing?: No. 23 teen sensation Bianca Andreescu (who most recently won Indian Wells), No. 23 Denis Shapovalov (aka El Shapo) and No. 77 Eugenie (aka Genie) Bouchard.
Unfortunately, No. 17 Milos Raonic (pronounced MEE-LOSH RAU-NITCH) and young-gun No. 28 Felix Auger-Aliassime both withdrew from the French Open due to injury.
Any thoughts on who will win? Any questions? We want to hear from you.
We Stand on Guard for Thee
The GIST: The stage is set for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with Team Canada officially announcing its roster on Friday. Here’s the list of the badass women who will be repping the red and white in France this June and July.
To no one’s surprise, the team is being captained by Christine Sinclair. This tournament is Sinclair’s fifth — count it, FIFTH — straight World Cup appearance, tying a Canadian soccer record. Unbelievable.
FYI: In their final tune-up before the World Cup, Canada, ranked No. 5, tied Spain, ranked 13th, 0–0, in a friendly on Friday. Not too shabby.
We can’t wait until June. Want to know more about Canada’s roster and the World Cup? Let us know.
What’s Up This Week?
Tonight: Here we go! The puck drops for the Stanley Cup final between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues tonight at 8 p.m. ET in Boston. What do you need to know? This and that Lil Nas X, the rapper behind the banger “Old Town Road,” and Chase Rice are kicking off the celebration at a free concert prior to the game.
Monday to Wednesday: The Toronto Blue Jays are on the road, taking on division rival Tampa Bay Rays. Get the game times here. The Jays have a 21-32 record (wins, losses) this season and finally ended a four-game losing streak after beating the San Diego Padres 10-1 yesterday afternoon. Our fave part of yesterday’s game? This cute reaction.