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Five thoughts on last night: Raptors 128, Knicks 92

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The game was a laugher, but seeing Kyle Lowry limp off made it all too serious

Five thoughts recap: Toronto Raptors 128, New York Knicks 92, Fred VanVleet Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

I was unable to catch last night’s game live due to a family emergency, one that kept me out of the loop until the wee hours of the morning. But I wouldn’t dare leave you, dear readers, in the lurch, without something to amuse yourselves with the morning after a game!

And so, I turn to a technique I pioneered back in the ancient days, before I brought this column over to RaptorsHQ, and that is to turn to the wisdom of Raptors Twitter — the only way I could follow the game last night — to bring you these five thoughts. Enjoy!

Welcome Back, Kyle

Could any tweet three minutes into the game bring a bigger smile to my face than this?

Kyle Lowry’s willingness to throw his body in front of opposing players after coming back from injury is unparalleled — and, maybe, in his later years, a trifle unwise. But then, he wouldn’t be Kyle Lowry if he wasn’t making plays like that.

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Platoon Sub?

One of my fave Twitter moments last night was discovering that David Fizdale went full “Indiana High School Coach in the 1950s” on the Knicks after they came out flat (...flatter?) in the third:

Yes! Give me all the hockey-style line changes!

Of course, this is the Knicks, so the results were... entirely predictable.

Tweet of the Night Battle: Who ya Got!?

I’m not sure what’s worse: seeing your most important get hurt, or experiencing it through the horrified reactions on Twitter. But, thankfully, shortly after Kyle Lowry’s heart-stopping injury, we received a Woj report that got the arteries back pumping again:

Which led to this Koreen gem:

And this pearl from Wolfond:

That’s some mighty fine Twittering! I’m giving the slight edge to Joey W because the Godfather is my all-time favourite movie, but this is a close race!

Either way, let’s be thankful that Lowry’s injury doesn’t sound too serious, and cross our fingers he’ll be back quickly.

What Was in VanVleet’s Diet During His Layoff!?

Fred VanVleet has been putting on a damn show these last two games. Do ya think this guy missed playing ball?

What could be the source of these powers...?

Ah. Well I’m not signing up for any thumb-breaking, but given how well Jonas Valanciunas is playing Memphis and VanVleet’s hot return, this is a trend worth watching.

And Now, The Real Question: Are the Raptors Better Without Kawhi Leonard?

Look, I think we all know the answer to this, but, the Raptors definitely do play differently:

The ball movement just jumps up a level when Kawhi isn’t in there. This team is full of smart, willing passers, and that’s a part of Kawhi’s game that just isn’t there yet.

So I guess the real, real question is: Can the team and Kawhi find a middle ground that merges their strengths, like Voltron, so that they can unleash mocha-lion power all over the Eastern Conference in the playoffs and make their first NBA Finals?

Do these guys look worried?

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Thank you for indulging me in this little experiment, and thank you to the real heroes — the Raptors writers and Raptors Twitter overall — for helping me out of a jam here. Thanks to you, my consecutive streak of post-game five thought recaps has now reached 163! That’s more than a whole baseball season! (Holy crap baseball seasons are long.)

I hope to be back writing my own thoughts and not borrowing them from Twitter on Thursday following the Raptors’s first meeting with the Thunder.