Celtics End The Raptors' Reign
The Toronto Raptors fought hard to defend their title as NBA champions, battling back from down 2-0 and then 3-2 to force a Game 7.
But their reign has offically come to an end, with the Celtics eliminating them 92-87 on Friday night to move on to an Eastern Conference finals matchup with the Miami Heat.
Here are 3 Takeaways from this Eastern Conference semifinal finale.
1. Jayson Tatum's superstar turn
The Celtics third year forward took the leap to his first All-Star game this season, and this postseason, he might be making his leap to superstardom in real time.
In a game where points were hard to come by and the Celtics shot 23.7% from three-point range, Tatum poured in 29 and made four of his eight 3-point attempts.
In the four Celtics wins this series, Tatum averaged 25.5 points and 9.7 rebounds.
For the playoffs, Tatum has now scored at least 20 points in eight of 11 games played.
2. Live and die with Lowry
Kyle Lowry was the hero of Game 6 for the Raptors, scoring 33 points to will his team to a Game 7.
But it appeared as if the All-Star guard had run out of gas in the do or die game.
Lowry finished with 16 points on 5-for-15 shooting, marking a trend of him struggling in the four losses this series.
In the games that the Raptors fell short, Lowry averaged 14.7 points and only made three total shots from behind the arc.
He has already proven himself as an NBA championship point guard in the NBA, but this series loss has to sting.
3. Back to the drawing board for Siakam
Pascal Siakam was one of the breakout stars of the 2019-2020 NBA Season, building off of his 2019 Most Improved Player award and becoming an All-Star this season.
Siakam averaged 22.9 points per game in the regular season, but in this series he fell well short of those regular season averages.
In Game 7, he only managed to score 13 points and he only scored 20 points in one game this series.
Through those struggles, Lowry remains confident that this will be a learning experience for Siakam in the same way that it was for him early in his tenure with the Raptors.
Siakam went from secondary option to leading role for the first time in his career, helping guide the Raptors to the second seed in the Eastern Conference and one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals.
It might not have ended the way that he Siakam hoped for but if the forward's career trajectory is any indication, there is more to come from him.