It’s day 2,325 of self-isolation — at least it feels like it — so we had another watch party!
Raptors vs. Lakers on November 10 was an early-season statement that the defending champs were going to make life a living hell for any team coming for the crown!
On This Episode:
Before diving into the re-watch, the boys discussed the latest news about Mayor John Tory’s decision to cancel all public events in Toronto until the end of June. While sporting events are exempt, is this foreshadowing that, even if the NBA returns, it would be in an empty arena?
When Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka went down with injuries two nights earlier in New Orleans, a visit to Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers — plus a reunion with Danny Green — was supposed to be a “schedule loss”.
This game was the beginning of the Nick Nurse for Coach of the Year campaign. As the team continued enduring injury after injury to key players in the team’s top-8 rotation, Nurse kept putting whatever players were available into positions where they could contribute.
Whether you believe this was “just another game” or not, there’s always an extra kind of special for Raptors games when LeBron is the opponent. His record against the Raptors (mentioned in the episode, but won’t be repeated here to save your sanity) is as one-sided as it gets. It surely adds to Toronto’s underdog mentality and this perpetual feeling of playing from behind before the ball is even tipped.
This game was a coming-out party for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris Boucher, and Terence Davis. But let’s not forget that Fred VanVleet played one of his best games of the season, filling Lowry’s shoes with 23 points (including four triples), 10 assists, seven rebounds, and two steals. His performance was a reminder of what the Raptors’ future back court would look like. How much is FVV worth this off-season? How will the expected dip in the league’s salary cap affect Fred’s price tag? If we assume VanVleet is the future starting point guard for the Raptors, how does Patrick McCaw’s presence affect Davis’ development?
Before getting carried away with talk of VanVleet (and his play), it’s worth noting how well Pascal Siakam played in this one too. But to hear our take on that, check the listening guide for this week’s episode:
2:45 - Stay Positive
9:00 - NBA to return or not to return?
22:05 - 3-2-1
23:25 - Narrative Changed?
31:00 - How much was learned from Fun Guy?
44:50 - COY
52:20 - LeBron Serum
56:00 - Just another game?
67:55 - We The Underdogs
80:44 - Father Fred Future
100:40 - McCaW!
109:30 - Super Siakam