Raptors 2002 Playoff Index
The Raptors finished their seventh season in the NBA in dramatic style with the team's postseason berth not secured until the final game of the season. Raptors.com has captured plenty of that drama and excitement as we look ahead to the playoffs and look back on the season.
The Raptors gave it everything they could, but fell short, 85-82, in Game 5 of their first-round Eastern Conference series to the Detroit Pistons. Toronto had a chance to tie the game with 11 seconds left to play but Chris Child's was unable to hit his contested three-pointer.
The Raptors gave another spectacular defensive effort in Game 4 to set up what will certainly be a dramatic Game 5 on Thursday, says raptors.commentator Chuck Swirsky. He sees that all the pressure is on Detroit who were expected to advance as Central Division champs.
Keon Clark had a monster first half and Alvin Williams scored seven of his 15 in the final three minutes as the Raptors evened their Eastern Conference first-round series at two wins apiece with an 89-83 victory over the Detroit Pistons. The Raptors never trailed after the first quarter in forcing their second Game 5 in as many years in the first round.
Antonio Davis, playing in his 85th playoff game and 13th elimination contest, relyed primarily on mid-range jumpers as he shattered his previous playoff high of 23 points by netting 30. The Raptors had all five starters in double figures for a 94-84 win over Detroit.
The Raptors stayed with the Pistons for 46 minutes but some clutch shooting by Jerry Stackhouse provided a 96-91 victory in Game 2. Detroit survived a potential tying three-pointer by Alvin Williams in the final seconds and became the first team in the 2002 playoffs to open a 2-0 lead.
Toronto began the series with a franchise-low output, falling in Detroit, 85-63, in Game 1. The point total was the second lowest in NBA playoff history as the Raptors were held to under 30 per cent shooting from the floor.
Hakeem Olajuwon has the most playoff experience of any Raptor.
Kent Horner/NBAE/Getty Images
In the regular season series, Detroit defeated Toronto in three of four meetings. In order for the Raptors to emerge victorious in the first round of the playoffs, they will need to follow the keys to the series in the eyes of team analyst Leo Rautins.
Raptors analyst Jack Armstrong provides a detailed breakdown of Toronto and Detroit position by position heading into the first-round series. He takes a look at the key players in the series and gives his pick for the series.
The Raptors started the season with a lot of promise but never seemed to really be in synch. The team couldn't find its identity and it wasn't until you thought the Raptors didn't have a chance that the team turned it around and made the playoffs for the third straight year.
The Detroit Pistons battled their way back into the playoffs with a strong workman-like commitment and that can't change if they hope to be successful. The Pistons only lost one game to the Raptors in the regular season but all the games have been close and the teams matchup well.
Here is every game, every story and every stat on the Raptors 2001-02 season. There is lots of extra analysis for each game and you can step Inside The Locker Room after each game to see what the Raptors and their opponents had to say.
You'll be cheering for the Raptors in the playoffs so what better way to show your support by putting our new playoff wallpaper onto your desktop. Check out the new styles along with some of the other popular ones from the season.
There have been plenty of highlights this year for the Raptors mixed in with some challenging times. See plenty of them in our video highlight package from the 2001-02 season.
Relive all the great drama and moments of last year's thrilling playoff run by the Raptors. Toronto came within one basket of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals after pushing Philadelphia to seven games and knocking off the Knicks in the first round.