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That’s A Rap #164: Destroying the Kings and postponing the Bulls

Sacramento’s only visit to Toronto cured a lot of the Raptors’ ailments. Unfortunately, Chicago’s ailments kept them from visiting Toronto altogether. If the NBA were a game of chess, it would appear they’re headed towards a stalemate! All this and more in the latest episode of That’s A Rap.

Sacramento Kings v Toronto Raptors Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

Ho-hum, the Toronto Raptors destroyed the Sacramento Kings again.

Just as the timing of anything unfortunate — like COVID-related issues postponing a game — can never be right, the opposite can be true about positive events. Beggars can’t be choosers, but having Sacramento as the first opponent in a back-to-back would be the ideal choice for any Raptors fan! The bench showed up, the starters got rest, and the Raptors finished their homestand on the positive side of .500.

Around the NBA, trade rumour tweets have been replaced by notifications of players (and other NBA folks related to the team — come back soon, Matt, Jack, Nav, and Masai) in health and safety protocols. The Pacers are having a fire sale. The NBA is getting a little too “fine-happy.” Lots to discuss in this latest episode of That’s A Rap! Make sure to include your comments below.

In This Episode:

4:30 — King Slayers

In Toronto’s wire-to-wire victory, the Raptors set season-highs in points in a half (70), points in the paint (68), assists (28), and bench points (53). Chris Boucher tied a season-high with 17 points. Scottie Barnes had a season (career)-high 5 blocks. Yuta Watanabe had his first career double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds). Can the Raptors always play the Kings?

10:45 — 3 Rooks

In addition to Barnes’ excellent effort on both ends of the floor, Dalano Banton was unstoppable in the first half with 6 assists before sitting out the second half with a non-COVID-related illness. Justin Champagnie continued to reward Nick Nurse’s trust with another solid game off the bench and was a team-high-tying +19. There will be peaks and valleys with the rookies, but the future is bright.

18:50 — Protect your castle and get vaxxed

I challenge you to look at Chicago’s depth chart without dropping your jaw.

Suffice to say, the league had no choice but to postpone Chicago’s next two games against the Pistons and the Raptors. Are we headed towards a situation where arena capacities will be reduced?

41:45 — Stalemate between NBA and fans

As if the league isn’t already dealing with enough issues, there’s been a growing trend of player fines lately that have been, um, questionable. We’ve already touched on the Fred VanVleet/LeBron James Big Balls celebration (and the silliness of those fines), but what about Kyle Kuzma? At what point does the NBA protect their players — not discipline them — because fans are verbally abusing them?