Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard go after a loose ball during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard go after a loose ball during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

As the Toronto Raptors gear up for a game that could mark a milestone in team history, fans at home and abroad are making preparations of their own.

Social media was abuzz with talk of organizing viewing parties for Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference final between the Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks, blowing off long-held plans to tune in the game, and finding ways to modify previously scheduled events to include their favourite team.

READ MORE: Drake passions heat up with Raptors’ run as crucial game approaches

The Raptors currently lead the best-of-seven playoff series 3-2, and a win on Saturday night would vault the team into the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history.

Calgary native Braden Lunn is hoping his friend’s birthday festivities can turn into a Raptors victory party instead.

The 26-year-old software developer says he and his Ontario-born girlfriend will be the only Raptors fans at the party, held in honour of an avid Bucks booster.

Lunn says he intends to make sure the game is aired at the Seattle-based winery where the party is taking place, adding the drinks expected to flow would make the perfect celebratory touch.

“We’re going to roll it into a Raptors win,” he said.

But Lunn’s confidence is tempered by what happened the last time he and his girlfriend spent time with the birthday girl and her partner. The two couples got together to indulge their friendly rivalry during the first two games of the Raptors-Bucks series, both Toronto losses.

“I’m pretty superstitious, so I’m worried that now that I’m watching games with them again the Raptors are going to lose,” he said. “So we’ll see how that goes.”

Closer to the Raptors’ home base, fans were already laying plans to flock to Jurassic Park, the tailgate zone near the team’s home arena that’s hosted game viewings since the playoffs began.

Others mused on Twitter about ways they could alter their previous engagements to accommodate what they hope will be a date with destiny.

“My daughters wedding is Saturday, do you think she would mind if I missed it?” quipped one Twitter user.

“Gonna be streaming Raptors game while DJing Saturday’s wedding,” wrote another.

Others are getting ready for the game by placing bets on the prospective antics of Drake, the Toronto rapper who’s become a vocal and polarizing ambassador for his home team.

SportsBetting.ag began taking bets on Friday over the Drake-related shenanigans that could unfold during Game six.

Possible options included whether Drake touches Raptors head coach Nick Nurse like he did in Game 4, and whether Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo will speak to Drake.

Other wagers on offer include: Will Drake step onto the court? Will the NBA publicly warn Drake regarding his on-court behaviour? Will Drake be removed from Game 6 by security?

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd.’s “Ingenika” tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two deaths and the rescue of a third man. (Wainwright Marine Photo)
Tug union demands Transport Canada protect workers along B.C. coast and rivers

ILWU makes safety demands following the deaths of two men and the rescue of a third

High winds blow wet snow in Prince Rupert on Feb. 24. The region is expecting two to four cm of snow and winds up to 100 km per hour. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
High wind warnings for North Coast, up to 4 cm of snow expected

Wet snow makes driving conditions in Prince Rupert slippery

Pink shirt day was celebrated at Pineridge Elementary School by staff and students in a stand against bullying. Mr. Craig, a work-experience student from Charle Hays Secondary School is seen with students in front of the hearts for kindness board on Feb. 24. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Pineridge students stand against bullying

Prince Rupert students in the pink with kindness

A Prince Rupert neighbourhood on Feb. 23, showing various housing with an apartment building development in the background. Housing advocates in the city say affordable housing is scarce.(Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert Recruitment campaign creates housing availability debate

“There is a serious disconnect here, with the new recruitment campaign,” - Paul Lagace

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read