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Bringing Up Bebe Week 8: Star-crossed situation

This week’s Bebe news is vaguely grim even as we reach for the stars.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Toronto Raptors Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

We can all acknowledge that this current iteration of Star Wars is a corporate exercise. It’s always been one of course, except previously it all belonged to one man, George Lucas, and now is owned by Disney, the mega corp to end all corporations. (Wait, does Disney own Vox too?) In truth, if we look at any of our entertainments close enough — or even give it a moment’s thought, really — the corporate structure that undergirds the entire enterprise is laid bare. The NBA just worked out a new labour agreement and we are happy. The corporation stays undefeated.

Anyway, when the Star Wars universe was finally loosed from the increasingly tenuous grasp of Lucas, it was clear there would be more movies. A lot more. There are two ways to feel about this. Or, more specifically, there are two ways for me to feel about this.

First, as something of a discerning cineaste, I should hate the endless repackaging and blatant selling of movies as discrete (and disposable) pieces of simple entertainment. Under Disney’s plan — much like with one of their other subsidiaries, Marvel Comics — we’ll be getting one Star Wars film a year for as long as possible. A cynic can look at The Force Awakens and today’s Rogue One and see only a calculated corporate plan aimed firmly at hooking in a new young audience and selling nostalgia to an established one. It’s all rather obvious — and devious.

But then there is number two. The Force Awakens is an imminently enjoyable movie. And Rogue One, with its promise of action and adventure, fun characters and sharp writing, makes me have deep feelings. I can’t help it. Maybe I’m embracing the dark side on this thing, but as we’ve always been told: once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

May as well ride it out.


But to the point at hand: Lucas Nogueira had a solid week. The Raptors played four games, won all four, and got steady contributions from Bebe in, uh, three of them. (More on that in, you guessed it, the Unhappy section.) He’s found his sweet spot in and around 18-22 minutes a game, and is part of one of the most devastating lineups in the league. And not for nothing: Bebe is the NBA’s most efficient player amongst all players averaging more than 15 minutes a game. Not bad.

The game logs tell part of the story. Against Minnesota, Nogueira put up an 8-point, 9-rebound, 3-block mini-gem. Then versus Boston, an eight rebound game, and finally, he chipped in for the Milwaukee beat down with five points and five rebounds. It has all been very encouraging to see as Bebe becomes somebody the Raptors (and we) can count on night in and night out.

Which makes this next section particularly painful to write.

Not Happy

This has all been to distract from a very real concern right now: Lucas Nogueira is injured. We do not know the severity, but we do know that he did not travel with the team to Philadelphia, which bodes poorly. According to Raptors Media Relations, here’s the situation:

Folks, I don’t love this news.

We can poke at the holes in Nogueira’s game. He’s not always focused, consistency is an issue, he’s not that strong, etc. etc. etc. These things are all minor in the face of the real issue that’s stalled Bebe’s career to this point: he’s had trouble staying healthy.

Hopefully, as with the ankle sprain he dealt with earlier this season, Bebe’s knee injury is minor. He rests it for a day or two, the medical staff monitors the situation, and that’s that. That would be ideal. Right now, that’s all we have to go on.

Level of High Level

The out-of-left-field injury to Bebe could strike a big blow at a time of need. As discussed, Bebe’s on top of the world right now, relatively speaking, having found a place for himself in the Raptors rotation while blossoming into the hyper-efficient player we’d always hoped he could be. Let’s stick with those good feelings and forget the rest.

High Level Result: 6 out of 10 — It should all be fine, right? Rogue One will be enjoyable, and Bebe will be back on the court soon. Right? Right??? You know what, I’m just going to go watch Rogue One and not think about it.