Published On: Sat, Jan 12th, 2019

Easy Raptors night with everyone doing their jobs

It took a few minutes for everyone to figure out the best way to defend and the garbage time was pretty lopsided because the Nets deep subs played harder and better than Toronto’s did.

But I don’t think after about 14 minutes that there was ever a doubt over which team was going to win and not having a Raptors starter play more than Kawhi Leonard’s 26:46 made for a pretty restful night.

Tons of assists, another excellent three-point shooting night and the easiest win in a quite some time, if my memory serves me correctly. This came out of the game itself, Laura did this item on Patrick McCaw as part of her busy day.

So, on to the next one, which comes quickly with a rare Sunday matinee road game.

First, though, this:

Article Continued Below


He learned from the master

It was early in the second quarter and Norm Powell gets into the lane, keeps his dribble nice and low to entice everyone to slap at the ball and as soon as he senses someone coming, up go the hands, up goes a shot, a foul’s committed and he finishes off the and-on to get the Raptors back to within four.

It was absolutely the same play he would have seen DeMar DeRozan make about a zillion times over the years and if that kind of high IQ play becomes a regular part of Norm’s repertoire, he’s going to play a lot and contribute a lot in the final half of the regular season.

Article Continued Below

(An aside: I’m an unabashed Ed Davis fan, he’s a nice guy who works extremely hard and maybe he doesn’t have the kind of crazy skills of some players but he’s carved out a nine-year career and lots of guys thought to be better than he is haven’t done that. So when he did this, I smiled.

Oh yeah, they know

Nick Nurse walks out of his post-game chinwag with us and says, sotto voce, “good night for the Raptors.”

And yeah, he knew that Milwaukee had lost and that Philly had lost and that Boston had lost the night before and it’s crazy early to be scoreboard watching but that doesn’t mean they don’t do it.

These guys have really been able to stay focused on whatever task is at hand at the moment and if I hear someone say “we just want to get better every game” one more time I may scream. But they also know that finishing first in the East and maybe first in the NBA is a big deal and where they stand vis-à-vis the Bucks, and Celtics and Pacers and Sixers is something they know about. It doesn’t consume them by any stretch but it is something a lot of them know about.

Doing his job

There are certainly nights when Greg Monroe’s limitations in this man’s NBA are going to be a problem for the Raptors – we’ve certainly pointed them out – and last night should have been one of them.

The Nets play a lot of five-out, all-perimeter basketball and they don’t have anything you’d consider an inside presence that would allow Monroe to play a lot.

And then he gets 10 points and eight rebounds in less than 15 minutes and does a more than serviceable job.

Nick had this to say, which kind of nails the Moose Existence:

"He’s playing the role exactly really what he signed him for. He kind of understood that if JV and Serge were healthy he was probably going to sit and watch and when either one of them was out he would move into the backup role. That’s not that easy to go, I don’t know how many straight games without hardly ever playing except in garbage time and now you’re kind of in the rotation. Nights like tonight it looks like he’s making some progress.”

Kawhi did this, which was impressive.

Last call for mail, got a fair amount in and actually got some answering started, which is quite unusual for me. If you want to play along, drop a line at and we’ll see what we can do.

But it all might go up a bit later than usual tomorrow morning, I’m looking at a day to maybe sleep longer than usual, if I can.

Their quotebook

“I think they didn’t get off to the best start, right, but next time around they were pretty good. We just had to adjust some coverages. Sometimes you come in with your game plan and a pretty good idea that maybe that wasn’t the greatest game plan against that team but we wanted to start with our standard packages and once we moved them to kind of Plan B, which put them in better positions to play defence, it kind of got them going.” – Nick Nurse on the starters.

“The last few games our assist totals haven’t been where they need to be. Our starters came out and did a good job of setting a teampo and setting the tone of the game and when we play that way we’ll be a tough out every time.” Fred VanVleet.

Your quotebook

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Leave a comment

Easy Raptors night with everyone doing their jobs