Updated: Jun 2
I never thought I’d say this, but Drake is an X-Factor this series. Hang on, just let me explain. Trust me it hurts me to give Drake any credit to the Raptors success, however you have to look past the stat lines and in this case even beyond the court lines. It’s one thing to have all of Canada against you, along with Jurassic Park being so hostile that they expanded it into neighbouring cities in the GTA, but now you got the most famous celebrity in the world in your ear sitting court-side.
It all started back in the Philly series when Drake reversed the curse wearing 76ers shorts and trolled Joel Embiid by getting the whole arena to taunt his ‘flying’ celebration. That was just the foundation. It got to the point where in the following series against the Bucks he got in their face so much that Milwaukee’s coach went to the media complaining about it. This stemmed from Drake massaging Nick Nurse’s shoulders and him shooting his shot with the Bucks GM’s daughter. But even larger than that, it isn’t crazy to say that Drake’s trash talk gets in the oppositions’ heads to the point where it changes games.
Just think back to the last series with Giannis. I believe Drake’s antics got under his skin to the point where it isn’t crazy to assume those missed free throws are attributed to Drake. Before the Bucks came to Toronto, Giannis was shooting 75% from the free throw line, keeping in mind this is in Milwaukee, before Drake’s presence. Fast forward to the Raptor’s 4 game win streak to close the series out when Drake enters the picture and Giannis shot 47% from the line, leading to 19 points being left off the board. This is a HUGE deal when 3 of the biggest games during the Raptor’s 4 wins were decided by a combined 18 points.
And I’m just talking about how he affected the free throws. This being a small part of getting an opposing player off their game by getting in their head. Another stat line that correlates to player’s not thinking straight are turnovers. Of which the Warriors had 15 in game one, 6 of them came from Draymond… Who may I mention appeared to take Drakes trash talk to heart the most.
This is working out perfectly so far. Consider this; all the Raptors have to do is think about the game itself, develop game plans and make the proper adjustments, in other words just play basketball. But it’s hard to just focus on the game itself when it’s the fricken' NBA Finals, so leave all the drama to Drake because he has it covered.
Let Drake take on all the drama, let Drake do all the trash talking, let Drake worry about getting the opposition off their game and you just worry about playing the game.
Drake is a huge part of this run and don’t come after me for saying that, it’s the truth. Obviously Kawhi is the main reason the Raptors are here, along with players like Freddy, Gasol, Norm, Ibaka, Lowry and most recently in game one Spicy P stepping up. But sometimes it takes one hell of a fan base and a Drake to help you win 16 games in the playoffs.
I’m excited to see what Drake does next, it’s only been one game and he’s already worn Steph’s dad’s jersey when Dell Curry was a Raptor and called Draymond trash. This is must watch television. Stay tuned because you are not going to want to miss it.
Stats From 'The Score'