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Five Daily Thoughts: Kyle and DeMar 4Ever

The Raptors are struggling, but former Raptors are thriving, and that’s pretty great.

NBA: NOV 27 Heat at Bulls Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Yesterday was a Raptors off day so that means it’s time to catch up on what’s going on around the league! And since I took Monday and Tuesday off, there’s a whole lot I missed.

1. Kyle and DeMar

So, it was pretty weird to see Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan play against each other last weekend, with neither one of them wearing Raptors jersey, wasn’t it?

But it was also pretty great to see them reunited:

What’s even better (if bittersweet) is to see those two guys still playing at such a high level, for teams at the top of the standings.

Speaking of old Raptors playing at a high level…

2. Jimmy Christmas

39 points for Jonas Valanciunas? 7-7 from downtown in the first half!?

Much like his old teammates Kyle and DeMar, JV is having a heck of a year — at least on the personal side, as the Pelicans remain terrible.

Naturally seeing these three all playing so well makes one wistful — especially when the Raptors are playing so poorly. Imagine JV on the Raptors today? Name a more perfect fit! Alas.

3. The “ha, really?” “No, not really” triple-double

This is goofy as hell, and also really cool:

I mean, triple-double chasing is never really cool, but here, Kevin Porter Jr. isn’t really chasing one; he’s getting back on offense. It’s his teammates who are helping him get his 10th board.

Of course, the NBA is doing it’s best to make sure the NFL isn’t the only No Fun League:

Come on, give it to Porter! The Rockets don’t have much going for them this season; a silly triple double — and developing that sort of camaraderie — is about the best they can hope for.

4. Enes Kanter, come on, man

Enes Kanter said last week that he was changing his name to “Enes Kanter Freedom,” which sounds goofy… but then you remember that he’s been persecuted by his home country’s government and for his religious beliefs, and it actually starts to sound cool.

But then, Kanter goes and appears on Tucker Carlson’s show and you start to wonder. Is he actually taking a stand on something? Or is he just an attention seeking glory hound? I mean you kinda have to be the latter to willingly appear on TV with a well-known white supremacist, who is frequently spouting anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, right?

Defector has more on Kanter and his “outspokenness”, especially as of late, and Candace Buckner nails the hypocrisy of all here. It’s all beginning to sound so performative. I would be zero percent shocked to hear he’s got some sort of merchandising or sponsorship deal behind this. But maybe I’m just a cynic.

5. 17 in a row!

After the Raptors lost to the Grizzlies on Tuesday, the Phoenix Suns went out and knocked off the league-leading Golden State Warriors for their 17th straight win.

17! I’ll admit I was skeptical about the Suns this season; Chris Paul certainly isn’t getting younger and I doubted the franchise would spend the money needed to maintain its window. But the development of Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, alongside Devon Booker, and a healthy Paul... I was wrong. This team has it.

I know it’s still a long ways away, but give me Nets-Bucks and Suns-Warriors in the Conference Finals please!