You would think Toronto would be in the mood to celebrate after a big win against Cleveland, right? Not a chance.
Despite pulling off an upset that is sure to catch the attention of the rest of the NBA, the players and coaching staff brushed off the win as the first of many during a grueling 82-game schedule.
Sure, DeMar DeRozan celebrated loudly on his way back to the locker room, but besides that brief outburst it was pure business for the Raptors when dealing with the media after the game.
Andrea Bargnani, fresh off a game-high 28 points and some inspired defense against Shaquille O’Neal, wasn’t too talkative with the media after the game.
Toronto’s other star of the game, Chris Bosh, despite being willing to talk at length with the media, wasn’t willing to get giddy over the win.
“This is just one game and we have a lot more basketball to play,” a mellow Bosh told the media after the game. “We just have to make sure we take something from today and build on it.”
To have this kind of reaction from a team who failed to make the playoffs last season and suffered through injury after injury seems shocking until you realize the team has lofty goals for the season. Despite being picked by some members of the media to fail to make the playoffs this season, the team is confident and are preparing for a season that will extend well beyond 82 games.
So it should come as no surprise that head coach Jay Triano was quick to dismiss this as just another win.
“My speech to the players (after the game) was going to be exactly the same, win or lose,” Triano explained to the media following the game. “Forget this one, we have to move on and player another game. The fact it is the Cavs, we know they’re a good basketball team, but we don’t look at this as being any bigger than other game. It’s not bigger than the game against Memphis because we still have to beat another basketball team and we still have to get prepared to do that now.”
While most Raptors fans are heading to bed happy tonight after the big win, it’s clear this game was just a stepping stone to the teams bigger goals this season.