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Thread: Toronto

  1. #276
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    We're at the 21-game mark in the NBA, and Toronto is back to winning again with 5 in a row after losing three straight with Miami being the latest victim Sunday night during Grey Cup Day at home to go 17-4! Never been better. No other Raps team has achieved this mark in franchise history. This mark tops Toronto in the Eastern Conference holding off Milwaukee by two games. Even ahead of defending champs Golden St. who are 14-7 with their dysfunctions that surely will be overcome. Best in NBA. There were some games Toronto should not have lost to like Detroit with Reggie Bullock's buzzer beater upon Dwane Casey's return and to Boston, although the latter was a brilliant game. Made it look easy. See what and how they did right so far. Scary thing is, they'll only get better:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...on-progresses/

    Then there's the matter of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich making a pointed criticism on Kahwi Leonard saying he "wasn't a leader" when asked by San Antonio Express-News Jeff McDonald on Patty Mills' leadership role given the offseason losses of Leonard, Parker, and Ginobili. The Claw wasn't fazed by that in his response but that SA return will be motivation. Of course Pop can get away with things like that with multiple NBA titles behind him and knows what he likes in players. But Kahwi is making leadership moves in Toronto:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...-wasnt-leader/
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...chs-criticism/

    What's interesting right now is that Boston, supposedly their chief East rival for right now in the NBA Finals sweepstakes, is struggling. Surely they'll eventually get it right with everybody back gelling. But the Celtics are 8th in the East.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  2. #277
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    Fittingly enough, former Raptor Vince Carter gets his 25,000th point on a slam in a loss against Toronto in his 1423rd career game. Yes, he's still playing at 42:
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...-career-points

    Buzz is in the air tonight up in Toronto with the NBA league-best 18-4 Raptors, on a 6-game winning streak, taking on the defending champs Golden St. Warriors at 15-7 at the Scotiabank Arena deep in downtown Toronto in the toughest assignment yet for them with a team starting a 5-game road trip. Many people are making it as a potential preview of the NBA Finals. Wished it was last season. Hold up! That could still happen and would like to see that a reality. But the bad news tonight is Stephen Curry won't play last night while back in one of the cities he grew up in as his dad Dell was in Toronto during his post-Charlotte era recovering with his groin injury. Draymond Green isn't suiting up either with his toe issue. Of course teams on both sides portray this as just another regular season game on the schedule as Game 23 in the players mindset. It's a major deal not just the preview for the postseason, but as much the first American live national TV look this season on the Kawhi-led Toronto Raptors on TNT here Statesside that will attract casual fans against the champs and see how they fare. This matters since save for hardcore fans like me, regional sports TV networks, the NBA playoffs, and NBA League Pass, Toronto sadly doesn't get much American TV love, which gets saturated with an NBA superstar focus based on the other side of the border. Canada? Toronto's got that all to itself with TSN and Rogers Sportsnet no matter what. But it's important for Toronto to put its best foot forward with a new-look team with a superstar bringing a needed edge for them than what DeMar DeRozan offered.

    Too bad Curry and Green aren't playing because that would make things evenly matched tonight and for a more competitive score. Actually Curry is the most important GSW player given what has happened lately to them as they struggled like the KD-DG dysfunction but since righted with 3 wins in a row (he'll likely play in Detroit Saturday). The Warriors bench isn't as deep as Toronto's, and I seriously think Toronto is the one team overall right now, not limited to the East, that can seriously rival them right now in every way and better equipped with defense versatility, size, and three-point shooting. Every NBA team MUST get it up for Golden St. whenever they face them as the archetypical contemporary NBA team featuring its high-octane offense that we may never see the likes of again after this run surely ends. Do think a fully healthy and fully focused Warriors team can defeat Toronto in the NBA Finals with its recent championship experience with all their big guns back and healthy by then and Demarcus Cousins installed, but I think it'll be a great series when it happens in June. That said, Toronto will win this one tonight as their seventh one in a row in an effort to prove it's a serious contender as a statement:
    https://www.tsn.ca/raptors-better-eq...iors-1.1217670
    https://www.tsn.ca/lowry-taking-big-...iors-1.1218065
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...ng-nba-champs/
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...y-move-tough-s
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/sports/a...t-13429547.php
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...lve-spotlight/
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...tchup-raptors/
    https://ca.nba.com/news/toronto-rapt...31eqx7yhfwt0nc
    https://ca.nba.com/news/toronto-rapt...p1uss6e6v8jzne

    No doubt Masai Ujiri pulling the trigger to acquire Kawhi Leonard is paying off so far, so very, very good. Like Charles Barkley coming to Phoenix for the beloved Jeff Hornacek and Tim Perry to Philadelphia in the summer of 1992. Kawhi is getting back to his old self in Raptor red and black, taking Toronto to the next level:
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...gamble-pay-off

    He'll ditch Jordan Brand for a multiyear New Balance deal, according to Yahoo Sports. Haven't heard NB doing a NBA player since James Worthy but, inspired by Puma's revival with exciting rookies, had been looking for headlining basketball superstar for a while now in its own re-emergence. That's a long time! Last made a basketball shoe in the early 2000s:
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2...gree-shoe-deal

    Did you honestly expect the original Raptors road jerseys get knocked off the perch of the alltime Raptors uniforms in NBA Canada?
    https://ca.nba.com/news/ranking-the-...g10r6exq1q3li1
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  3. #278
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    Wow, that was quite exciting Thursday night for that anticipated match with GSW 131-128! First Toronto win on them since March 2, 2014. Tight to the end. If it weren't for KD's brilliant 51-point performance that went into overtime, Golden St., wearing their home uniforms from 1975-1984, would otherwise seriously suffer from not having Curry and Green, whose absences surely made some loss of luster. Yet Durant did what all superstars do: lead and carry them on his back. No shame in losing to the Warriors if that happened for they're real good and is turning things around. Kahwi's defence was superb being a challenge on Durant with his 37 points (on 14-for-24 shooting), eight rebounds, three assists and a steal. Drake was in the house enjoying the show and it wasn't Drake Night scheduled yet!

    Was the most-watched Toronto Raptors regular season game on TSN ever with 564k viewers. 1.9 million Canadians tuned in to some part of the game with the previous most-watched regular season game being last month's season opener at 528,000. Kahwi's impact is for real. On the American side of things, this one is part of the 27 games nationally televised games the Raptors will appear in this season. Did you notice Coach Nick Nurse donning a blue Craig Sager-inspired suit and tie. Early candidate for game of the year:
    https://ca.nba.com/news/toronto-rapt...v16q68wa079ukd
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOMNLpXbkWw

    They're off to Cleveland a badly-depleted Cavs team, who obviously aren't what they were even a postseason/a quarter of the season ago. Look for the winning streak to hit 8 against one of the worst Eastern Conference teams tonight in the second part of back-to-back games. Cleveland just suffered a 33-point loss to the Boston Celtics last night. Brampton native Tristan Thompson has been a bright spot in this otherwise bleak season without the new evil emissary over there and stepped up with Kevin Love out for two months with toe surgery. He is presently averaging 11.1 points and a career-high 11.0 rebounds per game that includes 5.0 offensive rebounds per game, which is good for second in the NBA. However, the Raptors must limit the second chances he affords Cleveland's offence--he's currently averaging 7.8 offensive rebounds in the team's four wins. Last night versus, Thompson had 13 points and 12 rebounds:
    https://ca.nba.com/news/toronto-rapt...j1dw458kg85u81

    Where's fellow Brampton native Anthony Bennett now? At Agua Caliente Clippers of Los Angeles. Thank you for asking! He exploded for a career high with 36 points--including 8 triples--last night against the Austin Spurs in the G-League in Austin. Keeps this grinding up and he'll eventually find his way back into the NBA and stay there with improved performances:
    https://ca.nba.com/news/nba-g-league...a1qfxw8mdpijor
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  4. #279
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    I really need to write this since I just written a post about my Phoenix Suns and how much they're struggling and not being competitive as now the worst team in the West with a bunch of kids. Need a contrast here with another big NBA team I like.

    Very special day the Toronto Raptors are enjoying today in ESPN's All-Access Day centering on them as they're finally earning the respect they're getting from the all-powerful American sports media machine. Another important game with a strong buzz in the air. This stage is more for the casual American NBA basketball fans in getting to know the franchise better despite becoming a perrennial NBA playoff participant in recent years electrifying the Canadian basketball community. Not focused on Canadians, followers of the fervent and booming Toronto basketball scene, hardcore basketball fans, and devoted Raptors fans like me (latter three of the four in my case)--seen on TSN tonight. Wonder how a top five superstar on your team changes your public fortune. Nevertheless, a competitive performance or a big significant win is what's needed for the Raps to attract more American fans. They're playing the Philadelphia 76ERS tonight at the Scotiabank Arena. Last time they played each other in a game that I listened too online the 76ERS, another serious contender with some stars of their own, played listless. Big difference now is the arrival of a player who very much is like a serious two-way that Kawhi Leonard is in Jimmy Butler. He changed their fortunes for sure in the short time since he's arrived providing the need with his rugged defense since leaving Minnesota. Should a tight game with Toronto wanting a win to bounce back from that tough loss to Denver Monday night. More to come after tonight's game.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  5. #280
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    After that incredible OT game late last month at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena, we would safely and understandably assume that the Raptors-Warriors rematch in Oakland would be more of the same thrills as part of a potential NBA Finals matchup this season to look forward to. Last night at the Oracle Arena/Oakland Coliseum Arena ultimately wasn't even close. Not on the Golden St. Warriors' part, who seemingly are struggling a bit by their dominant championship standards. And this time they were at full strength--decked in their new Warriors City Edition jerseys again highlighting the San Francisco Bay Area's many and large Asian communities. The Raptors pulled away and hid in their last regular season game in Oakland...with Kahwi sidelined again with a hip bruise. Turns out, Toronto didn't really need him last night.

    I wouldn't really take too much about Kahwi's absence in their blowout dominance over the Warriors over the long term. They'll still certainly need when the postseason comes and aim for a very deep run. Does say something regarding their depth like their bench and Pascal Siakim's game maturation. Don't forget DeMarcus Cousins has yet to return to play healthy from his ACL recovery on the GSW side during his 1-year rental.

    Some bad news right now regarding Jonas Valanciunnas with his dislocated left thumb last night and be in a cast. Gone for a month. Chris Boucher steps in from Mississauga and is doing well there:
    https://www.tsn.ca/raptors-valanciun...eeks-1.1225903

    Before that, Toronto went back to Los Angeles for the final time this season almost surely. Kahwi Leonard didn't play at his home stomping grounds again. I understand why because you want to keep him solid. For this occasion, it was against Los Angeles' real NBA team the Clippers that's on top of the Pacific Division. Lowry started to put himself together better out of a slump with high scoring and passing production. He's too talented of a player to go on an extended one. Wasn't going to get restless before the bounceback. Won that in giving the Clippers their worst loss this season. Since we're also talking about Toronto-Hamilton area players here, I must discuss Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the Clippers and his very good rookie run. Here, 22 minutes and 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 turnovers as a starter:
    https://www.tsn.ca/lowry-finds-himse...pers-1.1225089
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  6. #281
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    The Raptors are passing this most difficult stretch so far when dealing with challenging teams like Indiana and its tough defense, Denver, Golden St., Milwaukee, an improved Brooklyn (now on a 7-game winning streak), Portland, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Cleveland's up next Friday with no Kevin Love. We'll get more into this in depth next time after Christmas/Boxing Day/St. Stephen's Day. But now Toronto's got a more important injury to cope with: Nick Nurse says Kyle Lowry will be gone at least for the weekend along with Serge Ibaka. If everybody was healthy, the margin of wins would be much greater obviously. It means not just Kahwi must step up even more but also Pascal and Danny and OG and Norman and even Chris Boucher fresh from Mississauga.

    There's a lot more I want to discuss later at that time that will include, yes, the OUA teams of Ryerson, York, and the University of Toronto, Humbert and Seneca from the OCAA, and the NBL Canada/CEBL teams of Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Niagara, and Orangeville. And the Canadian national teams
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  7. #282
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    It's finally here. Most anticipated regular season Toronto Raptors game this season tonight, showing on TNT tonight in the USA and Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. Toronto is presently now in San Antonio at the AT&T Center in Kahwi Leonard's first (and only barring the NBA Finals) visit to the Alamo City after a year of enigmatic incommunicato, unhappiness, injury misdiagnosis/rehab, demanding a trade, and largely not suiting up for the Spurs leading up the tensions and damaged the relationships. His case is unprecedented and unique when he's welcomed back in comparison to past former Spurs players that undoubtably celebratory. Surely he's circled this date when the schedule emerged. Kahwi was deemed to be the face of the Spurs franchise for the next several seasons with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker all retired/traded to carry on the Hall of Fame calibre of franchise players as he blossomed into a top 5 player. Must be aware and equally intriguing that former Raptors DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl will face their former team for the first time too tonight since the major offseason trade. File this under the Blame LeBron for, at least in part. But surely miss being and playing up in Toronto and look forward in seeing their ex-teammates, especially DeRozan. Neither Kahwi Leonard, currently playing his best basketball in his pro career, nor Gregg Popovich are saying much in the advent or willing to talk about the details except to say both have moved on, playing more the enigmatic-speak. But there is a legacy at work: Fans won't necessarily be diplomatic or resort to spin; Kawhi expects to receive boos heavily tonight from many Spurs fans with some cheers. DeMar DeRozan meanwhile felt "betrayed" by Ujiri with breakups, fears of what's to come, and inspiring reflections that are more rose-colo(u)red over what came before.

    And it's that rare trade that's mutually beneficial for both teams. At least for now. Both teams have 2-game winning streaks. So something has to give there.

    Not just another game no matter how they spin this showdown. Nothing funny about the breakup though the reunion could be strange and funny and awkward. And San Antonio has the Raptors' number when visiting the AT&T Center; with the Spurs scorching right now, Toronto for the first time this season come in here as underdogs. Look for it to become more of a playoff--no, more like NBA Finals-like--atmosphere:
    https://www.tsn.ca/leonard-s-return-...game-1.1235029
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...-another-game/
    https://www.tsn.ca/leonard-prepares-...onio-1.1235552

    DeRozan, Poeltl, and even former Raptor from several years back Rudy Gay are all thriving in San Antonio. Settling in with the Spurs and feeling wanted, DeRozan became the team's best passer, playmaker, improved midrange jumper, and being the fulcrum of San Antonio’s offence, posting career-highs in assists per game and leading all NBA wing players in assist percentage. Poeltl remains a work in progress being one of the more international teams with improved rebounding and scoring with earning more minutes, but the Austrian still can't space the floor well. DeRozan famously sat in his car at a Jack in the Box restaurant parking lot when he got the life-changing news in July. He's still keeps tabs on Toronto and is happy to see the success but still hasn't spoken to Ujiri. For his part, Nick Nurse, finds it strange to coach against him:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...hriving-spurs/
    https://www.tsn.ca/derozan-finds-sol...purs-1.1235055

    This also would be a good time to look back at DeRozan's time with Toronto. Some memorable moments were there from someone who was very loyal to it since being drafted by the Raptors:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...ptors-moments/

    His best friend on the Raptors, Kyle Lowry, has been upgraded to questionable for tonight's game with his ailing back, so we might see him in limited duty. His absence can help explain why the Raptors have lost a little more:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...able-vs-spurs/

    Kahwi sits presently at fifth in the 2019 NBA All-Star balloting overall but is second in the East for forwards as Milwaukee's Giannis Antentokounmpo leads all East votes:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...nnis-lead-way/

    Ontario's OUA college ball kicks off 2019 returning from the winter break tomorrow. But there's another hotly anticipated Toronto-involved basketball with this OUA matchup coming up Saturday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre inside Maple Leaf Gardens blocks away from the Scotiabank Arena when it's the clash of the OUA titans. #1 Carleton Ravens versus #2 Ryerson Rams. Both currently 10-0. Both very serious national championship contenders. Ottawa vs. Toronto. Dave Smart vs. Roy Rana. Youth versus experience. Someone will suffer the first loss of the season after this late Saturday afternoon. Those two are half of the undefeated teams in the CIS current rankings in the top ten (defending champs Calgary and St. Mary's are the others). Should be exciting more so at this time than whenever those two ever played together this side of the W. P. McGee Championship game. Whenever Carleton is involved with the Toronto teams for a weekend, you know something's happening. All part of the Ravens' weekend Toronto trip along with the University of Toronto the next day blocks away.

    Let's definitely not forget the women's basketball portion of it; it's just as important here. Even more so now with #7 Carleton at 8-2 being a title-holder for the first time and #4 Ryerson is always seen as a contender with national title aims of its own. Seems like the Carleton-Ryerson rivalry is brewing here too and worth your time to check out.

    Ryerson's basketball teams are also involved in a 2nd Ontario Basketball Association Day game with the Ottawa Gee Gees, Carleton's travel partner this weekend as they're from Ottawa, Sunday also at Mattamy as part of its home weekend. The Ottawa Gee Gees men are currently ranked #7 with the women currently at #3 with both the Gee Gees women and Ryerson tied for the OUA East lead at 9-1 leading up to this weekend. Rams would've been 10-0 to enter 2019 but lost in Thunder Bay to #10 Lakehead in concluding 2018 that cost them its #2 CIS ranking:
    http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=211783717

    The University of Toronto Varsity Blues will have its own taste of the Ottawa double with both schools visiting the Goldring Centre with the men and women aiming with the difficult task of getting above .500 in the OUA East right now at 4-6 and 3-7, respectively, although not with as much fanfare. Neither the men's and women's Varsity Blues teams are nationally ranked. And both teams are expected to lose here.
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 04-01-2019 at 09:37 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  8. #283
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    When I say that the upcoming #1 Carleton Ravens-#2 Ryerson Rams matchups in Toronto a few hours from now are a hot ticket right now in the Toronto basketball scene. I definitely mean that in their first matchup of the season to kick off 2019. Forget the Raptors for right now! This is where it's at! Tickets at the Mattany Athletic Centre at MLG are sold out for this afternoon. For a OUA game as the most anticipated one of the season with unblemished teams both at 10-0. Preview for a W.P. McGee Trophy Championship game later on? Sunday sees the Ottawa Gee Gees coming against Ryerson as part of Ryerson's Ontario Basketball Association weekend along with the Ravens. Please don't forget the women's matchup between #4 Ryerson and defending Bronze Baby champs #7 Carleton beforehand with #3 Ottawa coming the next day; there's an opportunity for a chance to those three clashing for OUA East supremacy:
    https://goravens.ca/news/2019/01/mbb...rquee-matchup/
    http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=211785535
    http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=211783707
    http://www.oua.ca/sports/mbkb/2018-1...view_january_4
    http://www.oua.ca/sports/wbkb/2018-1...view_january_4

    The York Lions meanwhile kick off the 2019 portion of the season going on the road to Northern Ontario. And so far it's a mixed bag. The men earned a 73-64 win over the Nipissing Lakers last night up in North Bay before travelling over to Sudbury facing off the Laurentian Voyauguers for Saturday night. York's women couldn't maintain its fourth quarter lead against Nipissing to start the new year 65-61. Next weekend York gets its Toronto OUA Three Series going on when both Toronto and Ryerson stop by for the Toronto Subway Basketball Series (all three Toronto universities are connected by the TTC subways each with their own stations now with York being the latest to have one):
    https://yorkulions.ca/news/2019/1/4/...e-of-2019.aspx
    https://yorkulions.ca/news/2019/1/4/...st-lakers.aspx

    We keep talking about the Nickel City here. The closest NBL Canada team near Toronto, the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans, closed out 2018 the right way registering a season-high 18 three pointers, en route to a 132-114 win in Sudbury last Saturday night against the Sudbury Five to finish now-last year on a 3-game winning streak. Today starts a 5-game home stand at the Kitchener Auditorium with Windsor in starting 2019 for KW:
    https://www.kitchenertoday.com/local...g-note-1176903
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNb6_76l4GM

    Kahwi with Danny Green got a pregame video tribute. Kahwi got booed viciously from the Spurs faithful during the starting lineups at the AT&T Center Thursday night--though Danny Green got cheers right before the Klaw as they all stood around in a circle clapping by their bench. Kahwi got booed every time he touched the ball and scores. They had signs for him including one calling him a snake and another saying "not a leader" and chanted "traitor" at him in unison at the free throw line. He had 21 points. But it was Spurs star DeMar DeRozan who stole the show by getting revenge in accomplishing something in his career that he never did with his previous team: DeRozan produced a triple double for the first time to lead the Spurs to win 125-17 and got his own MVP chants. Kyle Lowry didn't play. As for Jakob Poeltl, he only scored 2 points against his former team
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7J9qwcixks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRk6boIEb6A
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e87W34otGPc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY6bD9kskwY
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...me-vs-raptors/
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...hort-vs-spurs/

    Here's hoping that JV and Kyle get healthy and suited up soon before it becomes a month since the injuries and be back at full strength henceforth because it's not going to be sustainable for the Raptors later on with what's coming up, especially starting with Milwaukee at home tonight. The shooting woes continue for Toronto:
    https://raptorsrapture.com/2019/01/0...-take-healthy/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  9. #284
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    Arguably the most important figure responsible in not only Toronto Raptors basketball, Ontario basketball, and Toronto basketball in general but in Canadian basketball overall, Vince Carter, returns to Toronto tonight in what could be his final time there in his 21-season NBA career when the Atlanta Hawks are in town at the Scotiabank Centre. Lots of gushing and reflection going on over him on his legacy and impact in Toronto basketball right now in the Canadian sports media.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  10. #285
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    All that incoming hype we indulged in with the #1 Carleton-#2 Ryerson OUA games at Toronto's Mattany Athletic Centre--headlined heavily by the men, hence the rankings used--during Ontario Basketball Weekend to kickstart 2019 during a time of great local Toronto basketball excitement just feels misplaced after this. To give you a little backstory, this was the men's first meeting since last season's CIS National Semifinals in Halifax when the Ryerson Rams ended their Ravens' march to another national title and its long winning streak in Halifax since 2002 before Ryerson heartbreakingly fell to Calgary--and Carleton later won bronze. In 2017, Carleton knocked off Ryerson for the national title. Not to mention the last several OUA Wilson Cup Finals seemingly alternating between the two. Two of the best and undefeated college teams in Canada facing off in a Toronto game turned out decidedly more pro-Carleton starting when it took a energetic 12-0 start never looking back with Ryerson doing their best playing catchup. Ryerson suffered a 18-point halftime deficit, the largest at HT this season. Both teams flexed their defensive muscles in forcing turnovers and tough shots, getting defensive rebounds, and blocking shots. Plus, Rams star center Tanor Ngom nearly got seriously hurt. Maybe the Rams gave the Ravens too much respect once more:
    http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=211785704
    https://goravens.ca/news/2019/01/mbb...oes-to-ravens/

    As for the women's version of the rivalry, #7 Carleton, the defending Bronze Baby champions, manages to hold off #4 Ryerson 78-70 even as the Rams executed an unsuccessful 4th quarter rally. The Ravens popped an unmatched 31 points in the 4th following a first half of neither team granting long leads and margins. Ryerson suffers its second consecutive loss. Toronto area natives Hayley Robertson (Toronto, career-high 15 points), Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, 10 points and 9 rebounds), and Cara Tiemens (Newmarket, 11 points and 5 assists) were your Rams stars that game:
    http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=211785668
    https://goravens.ca/news/2019/01/wbb...s-on-the-road/

    Fortunately for the Ryerson basketball teams, both got back on track Sunday afternoon following the Carleton losses motivated to get their first 2019 wins when the Ottawa Gee Gees, Carleton's weekend traveling partner, arrived. Making it a mixed bag weekend-wise for the Rams. Both Ryerson teams played well at both ends of the floor in their games (although the women had a more challenging time in theirs) with Myles Charvis and Jean-Victor Mukama carrying the scoring load in the men's game and the fifth-year women's seniors Katherine Follis (Toronto), Paska, and Tiemens all scored in double figures with the first two player nearly had a double double. The men win 89-53. Ryerson's women take theirs 71-63:
    http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=211785748
    http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...B_OEM_ID=22300

    The University of Toronto had the Ottawa weekend too at the Goldring Performance Centre blocks away. And the overriding Ottawa theme there at the U of T campus for the men's team that weekend was being so close yet so far in getting themselves up for both with great effort. First, the #7 Gee Gees traded punches with the Varsity Blues during the first half. Was more of the same in the second half but with Ottawa making the difference for their benefit for the 77-71 win. Christopher Barrett shined the best for Toronto with 23 points followed by Evan Shadkami chipping in with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists, forward Nikola Paradina, Inaki Alvarez, and Nicholas Morris. The Toronto Varsity Blues later came oh so close on Sunday with the #1 Ravens in their upset bid in a narrow 70-68 loss with Inaki Alvarez, Nikola Paradina, Daniel Johansson, Chris Barrett, and Arash Dusek all scored:
    https://varsityblues.ca/news/2019/1/...-up-short.aspx
    https://varsityblues.ca/news/2019/1/...-1-ravens.aspx

    Toronto women's fared in the same manner as their male basketball counterparts on the teams from the nation's capital as they too dropped both Ottawa contests but in slightly wider margins. Falling to #3 Ottawa 84-69 and to #7 Carleton 75-63 in coming off the winter break. Charlotte Collyer (from Colleyville, Texas), Samantha Robinson, Ariana Sider, Hayley Neault (Saskatoon), and Christine Jurcau all contributed significantly for the Varsity Blues during the weekend games:
    https://varsityblues.ca/news/2019/1/...-gee-gees.aspx
    https://varsityblues.ca/news/2019/1/...ast-blues.aspx

    The York Lions were on the road to start 2019. First in North Bay to see the Nipissing Lakers and then over to the Nickel City that's Sudbury at Laurentian. Mixed result for the men when York started things off at Nipissing with a solid 73-64 win over a young Lakers team (the good Lakers, definitely not the NDCELE) that resulted from a strong start. Yet the Lakers managed to catchup up to halftime and continuously hanged tough in the next two quarters. But York's key shots like a three-pointer as part of the Lions' offensive and defensive displays proved crucial for the victory to keep a nice road record this season and come closer to .500. Laurentian blew them out the next day in Sudbury with the Voyaguers' Anthony Iacoe and Kadre Gray leading the Voyageurs with 24 and 23 points respectively despite Prince Kamunga's 22, Gianmarco Luciani's 16, Gene Spagnoulo, DeAndrae Pierre's 13, and Chevon Brown's 7. The Voyaguers' pulled away for good in the fourth with 26 points adding to the lead in destroying York's 2-game winning streak:
    https://yorkulions.ca/news/2019/1/4/...e-of-2019.aspx
    https://yorkulions.ca/news/2019/1/6/...voyageurs.aspx

    Told you about the York women failing to hold onto their lead in collapsing at Nipissing in the last post. That can read here too. York's weekend road woes continued Saturday night. Like with Nipissing, York had a lead but couldn't hold on in their best season in recent memory--and that lead lasted only early during the first quarter. Was Voyaguers all the way afterwards. Alysha Pinck, Megan MacLeod, Haley Bowie, Cyanna King, and Madeline Weber all tried for the York Lions but no dice to get not just back in the win column but back to .500:
    https://yorkulions.ca/news/2019/1/4/...st-lakers.aspx
    https://yorkulions.ca/news/2019/1/5/...voyageurs.aspx
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  11. #286
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    I guess it is Sportsnet Canada writer Michael Grange who set it best on Tuesday night on Vince Carter's return to Toronto against the Raptors: "One of these days it will be the last time. Vince Carter will come to Toronto, where it all began, and everyone will know that his incredible career — more epoch than epic at this point — is finally over. But he’s not ready to concede to Father Time, not yet." Atlanta's sole visit to Toronto this season and for a team with a poor record so far, the Hawks played really well and having the lead for much of the game until late when the Raptors rallied. Vinsanity came in the 1st at 5:13 to standing ovation with his mother present in the stands with Toronto up 15-14. Still doing it at 41 with no signs of retiring. Got really exciting in the final minutes with some great defensive plays transitioning to offense. Jeremy Lin was there too having brought Lin-Sanity to Toronto back in 2012.
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...teran-returns/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DekcYYMxhs

    And yet, Milwaukee holds the best record in the NBA on percentage points.

    Brooklyn is next Friday night at home.

    JV still is hurt with his thumb. But since picked up Patrick McCaw

    Not just that is going on in Toronto basketball. In the OUA basketball scene, all three OUA East Toronto schools are playing each other this weekend in what is called the Toronto OUA Basketball Subway Series. With Toronto heading up to York today. Ryerson will visit there tomorrow. Though Ryerson and then Toronto will as travel partners head over to Kingston to face Queen's this weekend. Hamilton's McMaster is at Guelph before heading home to face Laurier.

    Hamilton Honey Badgers in the CEBL make the unprecedented move in hiring Windsor Lancers women's basketball coach Chantal Vallee as its both head coach/GM. You can buy the New Era merchandise at its website.

    Seneca Sting falls to 7-2 in men's basketball. The women are 5-3 in OCAA. Humbert Hawks are struggling a bit

    kITCHENER-wATERLOO Titans had its 5-game winning streak snapped to Saint John last night in NBL Canada
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 12-01-2019 at 06:32 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  12. #287
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    This year's BioSteel All-Canadian Girls Basketball Game at the University of Toronto's Goldring Performance Centre on March 31 will be truly national in its representation instead of just an all-Ontario affair last year. Plus there will be a Nike Skills Challenge for them:
    http://www.basketball.ca/en/news-art...ketball-game-t
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 17-01-2019 at 02:10 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  13. #288
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    Another big test comes for the Raps in this season when visiting the Boston Celtics tonight at the TD Banknorth Garden in another nationally televised event here in the US live on ESPN and NBC Sports Boston along with TSN up in Canada for the Raptors. If their last visit earlier in the season is any indicator, we should expect some additional thrills from the Atlantic Division rivals. Boston obviously is seen by many as the one team in the Eastern Conference as an obstacle that can seriously challenge Toronto, the best in the NBA record-wise, for conference supremacy and a trip to the NBA Finals. Neither team isn't going to take the opponent lightly. The Boston Celtics endure their struggles recently having just now moving up the Eastern Conference. Yet they lost three in a row on their road trip to Orlando, Miami, and Brooklyn, currently sitting 5th in the conference, seven games behind the Raptors in first and just six games in front of the Magic, which sits in ninth and presently out of the playoff picture. Tough slog indeed this season with injuries and chemistry issues affecting them despite possessing talent with a mix of young guns and vets and a savvy young-looking head coach Brad Stevens. Working in Gordon Haywood more fully into the lineup from his injury last season has been a chemistry challenge, namely with the argument Haywood had with Irving right after the game--and how Irving got frustrated at times. Irving later argued with Stevens. Thursday saw Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown getting in a mild scuffle during a timeout with Morris shoving Brown in the chest and Brown being subdued by Marcus Smart as the Celtics were getting blown out by the Miami Heat.

    But Toronto again isn't taking Boston lightly--still referring them as "heavyweights" and respecting them--and realizes the recent adversity or drama could motivate and build them tonight.

    Speaking of adversity, Jonas Valanciunas is still out over his sore thumb. Now it certainly looks like OG Anunoby will be out too tonight for personal reasons in also missing out on yesterday's practice. Fred VanVleet (thigh bruise) and C.J. Miles (hip) are questionable. That Raptors loss in San Antonio actually might have helped in getting better and be more patient:
    https://torontosun.com/sports/basket...major-obstacle
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...gling-celtics/

    Over 200 players have donned the Toronto Raptors uniform in the 6ix since 1995. Sportskeeda's John Carlo A. Villaruel from the Philippines picks the five greatest Toronto Raptors with emphasis on their impact in Toronto and Canadian basketball while playing their trade north of the border. Spoiler alert: Kahwi, who could ultimately make the biggest impact of all in getting the Raptors into the NBA Finals if not necessarily winning it, isn't on the list here since this is his first season playing but doing so well--and still could depart after that:
    https://www.sportskeeda.com/basketba...-of-all-time/5

    But this assumes Atlanta wins the #1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery in May. Furthermore, Atlanta's needs for improvement must be made more concrete after the regular season unless it's instantly glaring like Phoenix's desire for a solid PG. Can't go wrong with either of the Baby Blue Devils, although Mississauga's R.J. Barrett is a more complete player with a tool box of skills with his own arsenal of dunks who could help them right away as a wing player with a strong 3-and-D in what could be a Paul George-calibre career. But it looks as it'll be Zion Williamson with his heat right now and the pub as the #1 pick regardless who gets it--and he'll be a gamechanger that's for sure:
    https://soaringdownsouth.com/2019/01...on-williamson/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  14. #289
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    Phoenix, the only NBA team I like more than Toronto, arrived in Canada and actually was competitive last night. Very competitive versus Toronto, who rested Kawhi Leonard and OG wasn't there. Could've used OG against Boston to counter their wing players. Nonetheless, Toronto, in their immensely popular Canada red and white North Earned unis, Serge Ibaka may have scored 22 points to lead the Raps but it was Spicy P with the finger roll buzzer beater to win 111-109. Good to see Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright have bounce back games after their Boston disappointment;
    https://www.raptorshq.com/2019/1/18/...oenix-suns-109
    https://www.rappler.com/sports/by-sp...r-phoenix-suns
    https://www.tsn.ca/siakam-lowry-star...suns-1.1243340
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...tions-answers/
    https://www.azcentral.com/story/spor...et/2610592002/
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...buzzer-beater/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Moxe8qMmels

    Raptors need another three-point shooter? Not really. A big guy or added bench depth, perhaps. But Toronto Sun's Frank Zicarelli disagrees:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...riors-worries/
    https://torontosun.com/sports/basket...st-be-acquired

    Congrats to Kyle in joining the 5000 assist club:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...5000th-assist/

    Part two of the Toronto OUA Subway Series is this week. Ryerson welcomes Laurentian from Sudbury at home tonight and tomorrow. Toronto Varsity Blues sees lowly Nipissing Lakers also at home for the weekend too. York is only one of the Toronto Three on the road as the Lions head to up to the National Capital for the Doomsday Double weekend first with the Ottawa Gee Gees and then the #1 Carleton Ravens the next day. McMaster hosts in Hamilton the Lakehead Thunderwolves for the weekend in both games.

    Also tomorrow night, the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans welcome the Windsor Express at home with hopes of stopping a 3-game losing streak in NBL Canada. Previously lost to the London Lightning last night also at home in a close one 108-104.

    I need to check on how many Toronto-Hamilton based basketball players, men and women, currently playing in NCAA D1, much less in D2 and D3. Surely in the men's game the majority of the men's Canadian contingent, which could be 100, hail from there with the women being a little less as many of its recruits come from all over the nation but with many from Ontario.
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 19-01-2019 at 07:15 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

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