The ultimate Toronto Raptors fan favourite bracket: Round of 8

Toronto Raptors - Jonas Valanciunas (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Jonas Valanciunas (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas (Ray Chavez/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images) /

(1) Jonas Valanciunas vs (5) Jose Calderon

How we got here

Valanciunas 84% vs Caboclo 16%

Poor young Bruno never stood a chance. Perhaps in two more years, if he re-enters this competition he’ll have better luck. Somehow, two years from now, Caboclo still projects to be only 17 years old.

The JV Hive came out hard and came out strong. His unrelenting fanbase, which refuses to admit his plodding deficiencies, made sure that he wasn’t going to lose to someone who never accomplished anything for the Raptors.

Valanciunas was the one seed for a reason, and after crushing Caboclo to pieces, we see why.

Calderon 79% vs Nogueira 21%

Hand up, the seeding committee got this one wrong. Jose Calderon, who was actually the underdog to Lucas Nogueira, absolutely came out on fire. He crushed Bebe, defeating him by one of the largest figures in the tournament.

Jose was the steady hand behind multiple Raptors teams, and fans are showing him the respect he deserves because of it. He didn’t have the excitement of Bebe, but he certainly meant more to the franchise at large.

Their matchup

Valanciunas vs. Calderon

Jose Calderon made the seeding committee (me) look silly with his first-round dismantling of a higher-seeded opponent, but does he stand a chance against JV and the Hive?

Calderon’s story was great, he might have fewer detractors than Valanciunas, but JV certainly has more outright fans. If Calderon is going to win this, he’ll have to dominate the undecided fans and the fans who don’t have a strong opinion either way. He hasn’t played in purple for a while now, so that will certainly be a tall task.