Well, that was ridiculously easy for the lads, wasn’t it.
And another win for a Toronto Saturday Night.
That may be overstating it a bit, since I don’t know what the Pacers did with their weekend off night in the big city, but they weren’t even close in the game at any point from its very start.
The Raptors smacked ’em in the mouth right off the bat, they recoiled and went away. When it was, thankfully, all over it was the most lopsided win in Toronto franchise history, and even worn down and beaten up Fred VanVleet wasn’t hobbling too much after the game. It didn’t do much for my story but I bet he feels better today.
And there were these things.
Pascal Siakam only finished with three assists in his abbreviated 30 minutes on the court, but that doesn’t tell the tale of his excellent passing night.
He seemed to make the right read at precisely the right time almost every time he got the ball and basically shredded the Pacers defence.
Twice in the first five or six minutes, he made great passes to Serge Ibaka cutting through the lane that Ibaka finished with dunks. That doesn’t always happen because of the intricate timing that’s needed for both passer and cutter, but it sure worked well early last night.
“We also have to do a better job,” Ibaka said after the game. “Sometimes when they double and he tries to find us, we need to do a better job moving, too, to make it easy for him. That’s what I did tonight.”
We don’t often think of OG Anunoby and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as delightful ball-handlers and passers who can play a great two-man game.
But they were sure looking at moments as they decimated the Pacers.
A lot of it had to do with OG being far more active off the ball than usual. He didn’t stay locked in the corner as he often does — and that’s fine for spacing some nights — and he was able to sneak into what’s known as the dunker’s spot, the opposite side of the lane from the ball just outside the paint.
Hollis-Jefferson, who tends to not look pretty while being tremendously efficient, hit OG with a couple of nice dump-off passes that he finished for dunks.
That’s not going to become a staple of the team’s offence at all, nor should it, but it’s a nice wrinkle when those two guys are on the floor.
Another Chap x OG collab pic.twitter.com/GhTuaTezMU
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 23, 2020
Oh yeah, the saga of Rondae’s wallet goes on. He lost it in an Uber last week one night and really, really wants it back.
“$ 1,000 reward to anyone who turns in the wallet. Two tickets to the game and a Pascal Siakam signed jersey,” was his offer.
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There are young(ish) women that I work with on the beat at the Star who are convinced that Matt Thomas is headed the Hall of Fame (I say Pat McCaw gets there first) and when Thomas was firing up three after three after three as the rout went on in the fourth quarter, there was a fair amount of glee up where we sit.
(Until I bailed with about two minutes left to beat the crowd, that is.)
Anyway, I’m still not sold that Thomas is going to be a rotation player on a very good team, but man, the dude is a shooter. Just as advertised and hitting five threes in seven attempts in about 15 minutes is pretty darn good.
A bit more?
You know what I wish?
I wish the pucks GM had some kind of crazy bold move in him on this, annual feeding frenzy day that is NHL Trade Deadline Day.
How cool would it be if he had some six-for-six trade up his sleeve to pull off today and totally shake up that team that’s just not functioning as any kind of good squad.
That’d be fantastic, wouldn’t it? But no. Maybe there will be some move along the fringes, a third-liner for some third-line guy and maybe a defenceman for an equal bit.
Enjoy the day. It’s about 7:35 a.m. as I type this and I’ve resisted the urge to turn on one of the telethons of coverage.
All right, going to be a typically busy week and if I’m going to get a couple of mornings to live a somewhat normal existence, they’re going to have to be tomorrow and Saturday. Even that’s a stretch because I’ve got an 8 a.m. flight to Denver on Saturday, so I’ll be up, just not typing.