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That’s A Rap #4: Gasolina

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With Gasol and Lin in the mix, the Raptors have their 9-man playoff rotation and 20+ games to iron out chemistry/lineup issues.

Toronto Raptors HQ Podcast #4: Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin take over Toronto - That’s A Rap Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Do you remember what you were feeling after the Raptors got swept (again) by the Cavaliers last year? Does utter despair cover it? There was so much uncertainty about the direction of a Toronto team that had just finished the best season in franchise history, clinched the #1 seed with the two All-Stars and the league’s best bench in tow... only to be swept out of the second round. Fast forward 10 months. The Raptors now have Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol, and Jeremy Lin, while still keeping Kyle Lowry and both Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby for the possible rebuild! Exciting times continue in Raptor land.

Welcome to That’s A Rap episode #4 on RaptorsHQ.

On This Week’s Episode:

With the newest additions, the Raptors now have a solid nine-man rotation of Lowry, Danny Green, Leonard, Siakam, Gasol, Fred VanVleet, Lin, Norman Powell, and Anunoby. Big Spain now has three games under his Raptor belt and we’re already seeing his positive effect on the team.

Lin had all of two hours to clear waivers, sign with Toronto, suit up, and quickly learn a couple of plays before stepping on the court.

Almost seven years to the day, we reminisce on the insanity of Linsanity. Where were you when Lin hit a buzzer-beater for the Knicks at the (former) ACC? Whether or not you were in attendance, the energy was palpable and very, very unique. Can you ever think of a game where the home crowd cheered so much for an opposing player?

Speaking of buzzer-beaters, and easily the coolest part of this week’s episode, we each highlight our favourite Raptors buzzer-beater. Spoiler alert: your top three will definitely not match the three we chose. Submit your picks in the comments.

Another spoiler alert: Siakam’s recent buzzer-beater is not on our list. He is, however, playing at an extra-spicy level since being snubbed from All-Star weekend. His career-high 44-point night against the Wizards was a reminder that a) he’s a lock for Most Improved; b) an All-Star selection is happening much sooner than anticipated; c) it’s still mind-boggling that Masai has kept him on the squad while adding Kawhi, Gasol, and Lin.

The other high-upside Raptors prospect, Anunoby, also dropped a career-high (22 points) against Washington. While the future is bright with Pascal and OG, they’re the cherry on top for the present-day Raptors.

Update: Kawhi Leonard is no longer a Toronto Raptor... he’s Team Lebron for the weekend. Leonard sat out the final game before the break with a sore left knee. Do you think he should play?

With Malcolm Miller, Chris Boucher, and Jeremy Lin locking up the 11th, 12th, and 13th roster spots, Toronto now has until Thursday to reach the league minimum 14 players under contract. Who is left on the market and who should Masai and Bobby target?

2:02 - Gasolina (see what I did there)

11:05 - Jeremy Renner…I mean Lin, Jeremy Lin

13:18 - Linsanity; where were you when that happened?

17:35 - Lin’s impact in Toronto; in Canada

19:45 - All-time Raptor Buzzer Beaters

26:20 - Career Spice

28:10 - 66 points from players not named Kawhi or Lowry

28:20 - Should Kawhi play on Sunday?

32:54 - Possible buy-out candidates