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Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are currently the cutest thing on the Internet

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In case you haven’t noticed, a serious bromance has bloomed in the 6ix.

The state of the Raptors is pretty strong at the moment. Kyle Lowry was voted in as the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the second year running. DeMar DeRozan should also end up on the squad as a reserve. The game is set to tip off in a few weeks at the Air Canada Centre, the first time Canada will host an NBA All-Star Game. And thanks to last night’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Raps now sport an eight-game winning streak, their longest in 14 years.

But this post isn’t about stats, team records or All-Star votes. It’s about the fact that Kyle and DeMar are currently the cutest couple on the Internet. Let’s take a look at the evidence.

Exhibit A

You know you got a real pal when you start ribbing on each other. And that’s exactly what Kyle does in this video as he calls out DeMar for his suspect math skills. He even manages to throw in a USC dig, DeMar’s alma mater. When DeMar sheepishly says “I didn’t even go to college that long,” you kind of want to reach into the computer and give him a hug.

Exhibit B

At about the one-minute mark, you’ll see a mysterious water bottle enter the frame. This is Kyle messing with DeMar’s interview. At about the 1:30 mark, Kyle says DeMar gets his shot off “after 38 pump fakes,” leading to one of the most glorious laughs in the history of laughter. Pure joy.

Exhibit C

I’ll break this one down as best I can. It seems to me that DeMar tells Kyle he smells good and then Kyle (get this!) says thank you and says it’s the soap he bought him. I have so many questions about this!

  • Why is DeMar buying Kyle soap?
  • Can’t Kyle buy his own soap?
  • Was it a Christmas present?
  • What kind of soap was it?
  • What else does DeMar buy Kyle?
  • What does Kyle buy DeMar?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

Exhibit D

In a video of outtakes, Kyle and DeMar can’t seem to nail down this read for the JUNO Awards. OK, maybe more so DeMar than Kyle.

Exhibit E

Kyle: Yo D, give me a piggyback.

DeMar: Aight bro but you do me next.

Kyle: Ya aight bro.

DeMar: Cool.

Exhibit F

I feel like this is a game that children play in grade school. But Kyle’s not afraid to bring it back! A theme is starting to develop here: Kyle seems to enjoy messing with DeMar’s interviews. Maybe we should expect DeMar’s revenge one of these days.

"We are the two best friends that anyone could have."

A post shared by Toronto Raptors (@raptors) on

Exhibit G

And the fun just keeps on coming. After this past Friday’s win over the Miami Heat, Lowry was at it again, producing the following exchange:

DeMar: Y’all have a great day.

Kyle: It’s night-time.

Listen, all of these exchanges are awesome. As The Starters have been saying, these two are the best comedy duo in the NBA right now. They’re providing a lot of laughs for a lot of fans. Hell, you don’t even have to like basketball to find this amusing.

But all kidding aside, this chemistry bodes well for the future, both immediate and long-term. As is the same with any profession, if you get along with your coworkers outside of work, you’re more likely to be productive at work. Also, if you genuinely like your coworkers, you’re more likely to stay put.

And in a game where chemistry is second only to talent in terms of predicting success, here’s hoping this bond leads them to make some noise in the playoffs this year. If your two best players get along like this, you have to think it’ll trickle down to the rest of the team.

We currently sit 2.5 games back of Cleveland for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. And with all the changes and uncertainty facing that squad, finishing tops in the East isn’t totally out of the question.

So let’s raise a glass to the best comedy due in the NBA. Here’s hoping I’ll have to do a part two of this post.

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Here’s some reasons to get excited about the Raptors season

The Toronto Raptors have wallowed in mediocrity for the better part of their 20-year existence. For the most part, the experience of watching the Raptors over the years has been trying at best and depressing at worst. They’ve qualified for the post-season six times and have won ONE measly playoff round all the way back in 2001. Throughout their history, they have a win-loss record of 630-882, just under 42%. To be fair, we haven’t been the only tortured fan base in the league, seeing as how only 17 teams have ever won the chip. But there have been times when every new Raptors season has felt like a foregone conclusion: complete and utter insignificance.

Ladies and gentlemen, here to bring some much-needed positive vibes to this whole debacle, I present to you the 2014-15 NBA season. At the time of writing, the Raptors have the best record in the East (13-3) and the highest average point differential (10.6) in the entire league. Our record sits just a smidge behind two Western Conference powerhouses  in the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors.

Tack on a super-successful #WeTheNorth (#WeTheFourth?) marketing campaign and this season has been a ball so far. It’s finally time to feel good about our team. We’re deep, we’re likable, we have all kinds of swag, we have Drake sitting courtside, and we’re finally having fun playing basketball. Here’s some top moments so far.

 All things Drake

I’m trying my best to resist posting a series of pics and gifs of Drake being Drake and just calling it a day, dropping the mic. Because when he’s sitting in his courtside seat (sometimes in awesomely lame outfits such as the one above) clapping, cheering and generally going nuts, it’s hard to not get down with that. Love him or hate him, he’s one of the best (some might say the best) at his craft right now and he’s a legitimate fan of this team, having grown up in The 6.

Probably my favourite Drake moment of the year came at the George Constanza glasses/grandpa sweater game, a rout of the Philadelphia 76ers. In the fourth quarter, with the Raptors easily handling the Sixers, James Johnson broke free for a breakaway dunk. Old man Drake had quite the reaction:

Drake’s official title is the Global Ambassador for the Raps. I’m not entirely sure what that entails but if it means more Drake-ey things from his courtside seat, I’m all in. And I’m pretty sure an official Drake Cam is the best idea I’ve ever had. Just throw it in the top-right corner of the screen and we good.

The travelling band of merry Raptors’ fans

So we all know we have one of the best fanbases in the league. We’re loud, we’re passionate and we can be a little crazy, over the top even. In one of the more satisfying wins of the season, the Raptors travelled to Cleveland and soundly beat LeBron’s new superteam. But one of the more interesting aspects was something that was happening in the stands. In one section of the arena, there were, according to the Toronto Star, “a few hundred” diehard Raptors fans cheering on their team. Decked out in Raps gear, they were chanting and screaming their heads off. They even sang the Canadian national anthem at one point. In a classic backfire, the arena staff decided to turn up the music to drown out the pro-Toronto chants. And what did they play, you ask? Yup, they played Drake. Yeah, I doubt that did much to dampen their collective spirit.

Oh, and they didn’t stop once the game was over. Don’t let anybody tell you Toronto doesn’t love basketball. The Toronto Maple who?

The blowouts

Sure, we could have a real debate about strength of schedule. Eleven of the Raps’ 16 games have been in the friendly and supportive confines of the Air Canada Centre. They have played zero road games against the much tougher Western Conference. And they’ve played Orlando twice and Philadelphia once, both relatively easy outs. But the Raptors didn’t make the schedule. They have to play the teams the NBA tells them to play. Sure, it’s been favourable but what I’ve really liked is the ease in which they’re dispatching opponents. They beat Philly by 32, Utah by 18, Milwaukee by 42 and took down LeBron and co. by 18 in their house, apparently with the whole city of Cleveland behind them. All of these wins results in the 10.6 average point differential mentioned above, tops in the league. So sure, it hasn’t been the most gruelling schedule but this is a deep league where nearly every team can beat any other team.

#forgivevince

It was about time, right? It’s been a full ten years since Vince Carter left Toronto for New Jersey. And he’s been loudly booed ever since. Sure, he was far from perfect on his way out of Toronto whether it was not giving 100% on the court or childishly refusing to dunk. But he brought excitement and credibility to the Raptors around the same time the other Canadian team was going belly up out west. It’s time we forgive him. And earlier this month, the fans took a step in the right direction. After a video tribute played on the jumbotron, the fans stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Vince even shed a few tears.

This was the right thing to do. Finally, some closure. Now let’s start focusing on our team. And so far, what a team it’s been.

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