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Thread: Toronto

  1. #401
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    Wednesday saw the Raptors waive undrafted Brooklyn native Shemarie Ponds who only played in 4 games scored 9 points under 11 minutes of total action and reacquired guard Paul Watson after 10-day Atlanta Hawks contract expired:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...hamorie-ponds/

    With just about everybody back in Toronto at full strength, expect coach Nick Nurse to tweak and shake up starting lineups for the rest of the regular season, especially in reaction to the injury bug hitting a good number of its players not just the more important ones. Difficult decisions must be made, obviously, as we look towards the second half. Who to rotate in and who to rotate out of the starting lineup?
    https://ca.nba.com/news/toronto-rapt...i1mt7md22eeixq

    Also got word that Hamilton Ward 2 Cllr. Jason Farr happens to also announce Hamilton Honey Badgers home games in the CEBL at the FirstOntario Centre, an arena so rapidly outdated Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott strongly believes the 1980s arena literally "stinks like 10,000 asses":
    https://www.narcity.com/news/ca/on/h...ng-to-musician
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  2. #402
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    Toronto, the NBA's defending champions, welcomes the Atlanta Hawks, the worst team in the Eastern Conference at 12-35, tonight at Scotiabank Arena in what is going to be retiring 43-year old Vince Carter's penultimate return to Toronto, Ontario and Canada. And also they get to see again the exciting Trae Young too. The Raptors are sitting atop the Atlantic Division right now at 32-14 at this writing and currently 2nd in the Eastern Conference overall behind Milwaukee. Easy to think Toronto will season sweep the Hawks after these two home games with them at Scotiabank Arena--final game is April 10. Think Atlanta will play the Peachtree City edition jerseys as the Raptors sport once again the original white home jerseys and the original court design replica. This is the Raptors', while not nearly at Max Q, singular home game here as the #2 seed with a very good road schedule ahead of Toronto

    But all of this still takes a backseat to the horrific tragedy from Sunday morning that killed Kobe Bryant at the age of 41 and his 13-year old daughter Gianna, aka Gigi, and John, Alyssa, and Kelli Altobelli, coach Christina Mauser, pilot Ara Zobayan, and Payton and Sarah Chester as the nine victims from a helicopter crash. This is the first NBA game played in Canada since the awful tragedy that not just emotionally impact the basketball community, definitely not exclusive to the NBA, mourns but many in the sports world in various spheres are too--and outside of sports itself with entertainment and politics. We can expect a moment of silence in tribute and maybe a shared 24-second shot clock violations to start the game at Scotiabank. ATL's Trae Young was Gigi's fave NBA player

    For the Canadian basketball community, Kobe was an equal part oppressor and equal part hero to it. Tormenting Canada's two NBA teams. Celebrated at the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend held in Toronto in his final season with 18 All-Star selection. Along the way, he inspired and influenced many young Canadian NBA players and those who aren't in it but playing elsewhere while playing with a couple of Canadians in Steve Nash and Rick Fox. Kitchener native Jamal Murray with Denver was in a state of shock upon hearing the news from Will Baron. Companion CBC video shows Heather Hiscox talking with Leo Rautins over Kobe's and sometimes polarizing legacy:
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kobe-...nada-1.5441101

    Ironically, last week marks the 14th anniversary of one of the Toronto Raptors' worst moments in its franchise history: allowing that emissary of evil infamously drop 81 points on them in LA, second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 in Hershey versus New York in the NBA record book as a Philadelphia Warrior. Total embarrassment for them being oppressed. Prompted the removal of the late GM Ron Babcock. Yes, the Raptors were mediocre that 2005-06 season. The NDCELE had to honestly rely on him. Despite my better judgement, this is the full 81-point game from January 22, 2006 versus Toronto. Too bad it's not the Raptors broadcast though with Chuck Swirsky and Leo Rautins but the FOX Sports Los Angeles feed:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcVPLnR-c3g

    Vince Carter reminisces during the morning shootaround over scoring the first NBA points at the Scotiabank Arena (then the Air Canada Centre) when it opened back in 1999 versus Vancouver and talks about "giving history lessons" and teaching other NBA cities wherever they go to his young Hawks' teammates including the local rap artists there. In Toronto, there's much to teach as he looks around the arena and beyond. Second and third links see Vince reflect on Kobe Bryant with his memories going head-to-head and over some league-wide suggestions. BTW, his birthday fell on Sunday but thoughts were obviously elsewhere:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...tiabank-arena/
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...ead-head-kobe/

    And we got that moment too in alley-oop form at 0:23:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpQd3NFKuDE

    In their early days together back in the late 1990s-early 2000s, there was a debate over the two as the next MJ. Back in 2000, Jordan, in his second retirement, annointed Bryant as his successor. Sadly he proved right partly because of the two Kobe "played defense" that Carter didn't do at the time.

    Dwight Powell, the Dallas Mavericks center from Toronto, underwent surgery in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Monday to repair a torn right Achilles tendon, an injury he suffered in non-contact against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 21 that ended his 2019-20 season and an opportunity to play for Team Canada this summer under Nick Nurse during Olympic season. Was durable for Dallas after getting traded from Boston: missed only 5 games out of his 371 career games there. The Mavericks acquired centre Willie Cauley-Stein in a trade with Sacramento, who got a second-round pick in this year's draft in exchange:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...hilles-injury/
    https://www.tsn.ca/dallas-mavericks-...jury-1.1434099
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  3. #403
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    RJ Barrett no longer wants the Maple Mamba moniker anymore out of respect to Kobe Bryant in the wake of his passing. Over a year ago, the future New York Knick embraced the nickname when he was at Duke for "his on-court style and off-court poise seemed to emulate the high-energy, high-intellect persona for which Bryant was know in his playing days. ‘Maple Mamba’ paid homage both to Bryant and the Toronto native’s home country." Didn't liked the Kill Bill-inspired mamba moniker to whoever like even extended to White Mamba (Diana Taurasi). Not even now:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...bryants-death/

    Very good news came Pascal Siakim's way when Spicy P got selected as an Eastern starter for the All-Star Game for him to add to his growing resume. Congrats to him as a testament to his constant improving of his game every season. Last year, he deemed a fringe candidate to make it in his breakout season up in Toronto:
    https://www.tsn.ca/siakam-adds-all-s...sume-1.1432000

    All that's needed now is that teammate and perennial All-Star Kyle Lowry selected in too by the Eastern coaches tonight before their game at Cleveland. Does have a strong case to get in even with the strong guard competition around him. Not the least of which being an NBA champion on one of the top East teams, a multiple all-star, being in every franchise top 10 category save for blocks, and one of the best two-way guards in that conference. Sometimes, Lowry can get easily overlooked among the top guards even when publicly shortlisted. But he puts in the work so much striving to be great and still taking it to the next level:
    https://www.tsn.ca/like-kobe-kyle-lo...reat-1.1434847
    https://ca.nba.com/news/kyle-lowry-n...e1xu5od7a1xbqo
    https://ca.nba.com/news/as-all-star-...41cl11t1o58i3o

    UPDATE: Kyle Lowry makes his sixth consecutive NBA All-Star appearance, a Toronto franchise record--and his and Pascal's head coach Nick Nurse will likely join them in Chicago because of the Riley Rule prevent Mike Budenholzer to repeat as East coach:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...straight-year/
    https://www.tsn.ca/toronto-raptors-k...game-1.1435412

    12 of the top CEBL players are set for free agency ahead of the league's second season on February 1. All have reasons why the 7 teams are clamoring for their talents following their individual seasons. Half of them--Edmonton's Grandy Glaze (Toronto), Hamilton's Duane Notice (Woodbridge, Ontario) and Mikyle McIntosh (Pickering), Saskatchewan's Alex Campbell (Brampton) and Negus Webster-Chan (Scarborough), and Fraser Valley's Chris McLaughlin (Oakville)--are from the Greater Toronto Area:
    https://www.cebl.ca/why-these-top-fr...erve-attention

    What's going on in OUA men's basketball right now with the Toronto is that the Ryerson Rams aren't atop the OUA Central Division. That goes to the Lakehead Thunderwolves over in Thunder Bay, Ontario, currently on a 7-game winning streak at 13-3. Ryerson is behind them at 11-6 in their transition from Roy Rana. Following those two are in succession from the Golden Horsehoe Niagara-St. Catherines' Brock Badgers and Hamilton's McMaster both at 10-7, although Brock just won its game and McMaster lost their latest. The other Toronto proper schools are faring worse: Toronto Varsity Blues are struggling and sinking in the standings at 4-12 on a 7-game losing streak. York Lions have lost 4 games in row seated at the bottom at 2-15. A GTA school close to them in newcomers Ontario Tech in Oshawa on the eastern GTA part are expectedly at the bottom of the OUA East on a 4-game losing streak after getting its first ever basketball win at 1-15.
    Save for the likes of London's Western Ontario Mustangs at 13-4 and nearby Waterloo Warriors faring 4-12 near the bottom of the OUA West Division, between them is a serious logjam in jockeying with GTA-based Wilfrid Laurier and Guelph battling with Windsor. More details on the teams coming next week.

    Mississauga's Dillon Brooks scored 24 points. Former Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 12 rebounds. The Memphis Grizzlies beat Denver Nuggets 104-96 Tuesday night for their third straight win. Denver's Jamal Murray was sidelined with a left ankle sprain:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...in-vs-nuggets/

    More strong performances by Dillon Brooks, who scored 27 points, and Jonas Valenciunas having 12 points and 13 rebounds in last night's game in New York versus the Knicks that got lost with the melee near completion and of Marcus Morris' sexist comments on Jae Crowder.

    Another ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan scores a season-high 38 points at a time when he whiffs on late game buckets and free throws with San Antonio holding on for a 127-120 home victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, snapping a three-game losing streak:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...purs-top-jazz/

    Sadly the Raptors themselves lost a former player much too soon: Scotland-born centre Robert Archibald, who died at 39, spent part of his final NBA season in 2003-04 with Toronto averaging 1.0 points and 1.7 rebounds over 30 games with the franchise after stops in Orlando, Phoenix, and Memphis during two seasons after playing with the University of Illinois. Thanks to his Scottish birth, he was made eligible to play for Great Britain leading up to the 2012 London Summer Olympics:
    https://www.tsn.ca/former-toronto-ra...t-39-1.1432555
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  4. #404
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    Toronto wins their record 12th win in a row over Indiana at the Scotiabank Arena in a game that was the first time they saw NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo back since he got injured last season back at Indianapolis against Toronto. Not to mention Chicago-bound All-Star Domantas Sabonis, son of Arvydas. But we'll save the 12-game winning streak for another time. Might grow even further in a matter of days. Time to focus here more on off-court stuff. Like the impending NBA trade deadline.

    Sure appears that the Andrew Wiggins Minnesota Timberwolves era is now over and done with since the 2014 trade that sent Wiggins, a #1 Cleveland Cavaliers overall pick, to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love, a man who ironically is brought up in trade rumours now. He's going to Golden St. in exchange for D'Angelo Russell in a high-scorer swap. Even when equipped with his athleticism and hype. Disappointing with only one playoff appearance in the Twin Cities, patterns of inconsistency, and a defensive liability on a crashing hard team with around $78.5 million left and three years to go under that 5-year, $147 million contract:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...olves-wiggins/

    Wiggins was well-liked in the locker room and started off this season really well. But his production went south right after defenses targeted him following KAT's injury. That and the fans' growing angst over his maximum contract he signed in 2017 and his relative on-court underperformance to justify that:
    http://www.startribune.com/timberwol...cks/567624522/

    Memphis Grizzlies has agreed to a three-year, $35 million extension with Mississauga native Dillon Brooks for his breakout season undergoing right now. He's averaging 16.1 points per game over 50 games. His success contributes to the young Grizzlies make a surprising playoff push with exciting rookie teammate Ja Morant, as the team currently occupies the #8 seed in the Western Conference:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...dillon-brooks/

    Through January, Nick Nurse guided the Toronto Raptors to a 12-3, that includes a good portion of the current 12-game winning streak with an East best 9-1 road record, while continuing to navigate the injuries happening to them. The winning catapults them to #2 in the Eastern Conference behind Milwaukee. For that, Nurse gets the NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...month-january/

    And, yes, he officially becomes the NBA's East team head coach in Chicago with his Toronto coaching staff in tow that will fall under Team Giannis. Maybe the Greek Freak will like what he sees from Nurse and the Raptors coaching staff when they're commanding the troops during the All-Star Game. Nurse and his staff have proven their true value this year with the potential in giving Team Giannis a great chance to win under this new format. There, Nurse can sit back and relax in having fun as his public exposure grows:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...nba-star-game/
    https://www.si.com/nba/2020/02/01/ni...-all-star-game
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...ide-attention/

    8 of the 12 players for Canada competing for one of the top three spots in their group in Ostende, Belgium right now come from the Greater Toronto Area/Golden Horseshoe--Kia Nurse, Natalie Achonwa, Sami Hill, Bridget Carleton, Shaina Pellington, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Mirinda Ayim, Kayla Alexander, and Laeticia Amihere. Being among the top three in the Ostende group with Japan included as Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games hosts grants them qualification to Tokyo this summer:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...okyo-olympics/

    Then there's the story of the Knicks reportedly wooing Masai Ujiri away from Toronto to be their top basketball executive like Washington tried. Never mind he still has two years remaining on his contract. But NY thought better of it after firing:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...-term-winding/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  5. #405
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    Toronto kickstarts the second half of the season with a near-certain win coming tomorrow night at the Scotiabank Arena against the Phoenix Suns in their only Canada trip. How the Raptors will deal with a young team best with injuries but got a morale boost with Devin Booker becoming an All-Star via replacement and brimming with some confidence remains to be seen.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  6. #406
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    The NBA champion Toronto Raptors return to the San Francisco Bay Area and face the Warriors for the first time since winning the LOB in Oakland last June. But things are certainly different this season: New locale, new arena in the highly acclaimed Chase Center. But very different players as GSW, thanks to key injuries and departures, crash landed hard as a glorified G-League Santa Cruz outfit. Not the way they hoped to christen the new Chase Center era. Toronto, by contrast, still holds much of the same roster save for injuries at times like now.

    But Stephen Curry makes his happy return tonight after the injury against Phoenix. Could they ever really say no to him when the team has nobody of note except for Vaughan native Andrew Wiggins who came via trade to lead right now (no disrespect intended to many of the Warriors players coming in)? Make no mistake, this Golden St. team WILL be back next season healthier with a guaranteed top 5 pick on the roster aiming for another NBA title and upend the NDCELE in the West.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

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