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That’s A Rap #127: COVID confusion overshadows another solid victory

Lost in Kevin Durant’s out-then-in-then-out dance last night, the Raptors produced a statement victory that further affirms they’re back and ready to move up the standings.

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

What if the real winner from last night’s game wasn’t Toronto? What if the only loser wasn’t Brooklyn?

The Raptors picked up their biggest victory of the season and, in true Canadian fashion, it barely made a dent in the media. This time, however, the lack of coverage/excitement may be warranted because the (mis-)handling of Kevin Durant’s contact tracing issue shone a light on the elephant in the room.

The NBA has a lot of questions to answer about the health and safety protocols. The confusion surrounding when a player should and should not sit played out for all to see on national TV in both countries!

In this week’s episode, we recapped an outstanding week for various Raptors — on the court and in the front office — while also making an All-Star plea.

In This Episode:

2:25 — Best win of the season?

It’s a good problem to have when you’re not sure if this was the Raptors’ best win of the season! With Dallas and Miami still hovering at the bottom of their respective conference standings, Toronto’s victories over them have lost some luster. But a victory over Brooklyn’s Big 3 (or 2.5, depending on how you view KD’s situation), on U.S. national TV no less, has to count as the team’s latest and greatest victory of the season.

12:51 — Abundance of caution

Overshadowing the outstanding play on the court, Durant’s hokey-pokeying in and out of the game has sparked debate over the league’s health and safety protocols. If an “abundance of caution” was truly observed, wouldn’t Durant be held out of the game completely? Why allow him to enter the game, let alone share a locker room with his teammates if a person he had come in contact with still had an outstanding COVID test result?

15:20 — All-Star boycott?

KD’s situation is a microcosm of a much larger problem. If there’s uncertainty with the interpretation of health protocols and growing doubt among players over their own safety, why would the NBA and NBPA agree to have an All-Star weekend? If we all agree that our own health comes first, then please join me in not voting for any Raptors to the All-Star game!

29:00 — Club 54

Fred VanVleet had himself a week! He made the Magic (and several Raptors records) disappear with his franchise-record 54-point performance on Tuesday. The numbers he compiled will live in Raptors lore. That he also dropped the game-clinching triple against Brooklyn was the cherry on top!

38:25 — Bobby gets the bag

Two down, one to go. With Nick Nurse and Bobby Webster now locked up for the foreseeable future, the attention will inherently shift to Masai Ujiri’s future. But let’s not gloss over Webster’s contract extension lightly. He has played an integral part in the Raptors’ success and, should Ujiri decide to leave, provides assurance that the franchise will continue operating in good hands.