So the Raptors arrived in London this week only to be there as David Bowie and Alan Rickman, two top-notch Englishmen, lost their respective battles to cancer. Bowie, more of the world (the universe?) than England specifically, died on Sunday in Manhattan. Rickman died this morning in London. There's no connection here between these news items and basketball other than geography. It just sucks, is all.
Celebrity deaths continue to have a weird effect on all of us. We don't know any of these people. I mean, not really. Even if you do happen to possess some small anecdote regarding a minute interaction with them from your personal history, they are not actually part of your life in a practical, tangible sense. They aren't helping you at your job, or in your relationships. But then again, Bowie shimmying across a stage belting out "Young Americans" or Rickman reminding everyone that he is "an exceptional thief" are not things you can just forget about.
It's possible that at some future point, people will listen to Bowie much less than they do, or Die Hard won't be screened somewhere every Christmas, but I doubt it'll happen before the sun explodes. This will, as always, remain difficult to quantify.
Did James Johnson Play?
If your mind can stretch back that far it will confirm that Johnson did indeed play. He muscled through 34 minutes in two games way back on Friday and Saturday, which is comically low given that I set the line at 65.5 last week. (I mistakenly included today's Magic game in my calculation.)
I can't recall anything major happening in those games. But I do have this tweet to fall back on:
Did James Johnson just bank in a free throw?— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) January 10, 2016
And a lovely piece from Holly Mackenzie on Johnson's presence on the Raptors:
Alternatively, let's just relax and listen to this tune:
Likewise, Johnson highlights are increasingly difficult to come by (even with the extended minutes he's been getting). He had a nifty 8 point-9 rebound game against the Wizards, which is nice. But the real highlight of the James Johnson Experience this week has been his romp through London.
James Johnson just told me he is expanding his horizons and trying tea in London "cause it's big here."— Mike Ganter (@Mike_Ganter) January 12, 2016
More James Johnson plans for London. "I might go check out the castle," Johnson said referring to Buckingham Palace. "I never been to that."— Mike Ganter (@Mike_Ganter) January 12, 2016
And still more JJ: "What are they called? Yeah Bobbies. Gonna go see the Bobbies not move or something, try to make them laugh."— Mike Ganter (@Mike_Ganter) January 12, 2016
I want to go to there.
Prediction for the Week
After this afternoon's Magic game, the Raptors head back to Canada for games against the Nets and the Celtics (to kick off a seven game homestand). With Carroll still out, Johnson will be in there to mix things up. Who knows what he may be capable of? No one can say for sure.
One thing I am sure of in this crazy world: We here at the Watch shall soldier on.
oh no. are we STILL doing this? https://t.co/ljVE9rfIVn— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) January 7, 2016
And, to which all I can say is:
Over/Under Minutes: 57.5
Three games, an average of around 20 minutes a game, this line feels right.
David, play us out...