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Maybe if Kyle Lowry hadn’t been so eagled-eyed and insistent a bunch of the shots the Raptors made at the basket in front of their bench might not have gone in.
Before the game, Lowry was taking some free throws and noticed the “nail” was off and the basket was askew.
“It was off, off a lot,” he said later.
The “nail” is exactly that: A tiny nail (or at least a small mark in some gyms) that’s on the free throw line stripe right in the middle and lines up perfectly with the middle of the basket. It’s a point most players use to line up foul shots, has been forever.
Well, Lowry calls over the jack-of-all-trades security honcho John Altilia and they get a Spectrum Center employee to fiddle with the basket stanchion, move it over a couple of inches and all was right in the world.
And the Raptors shot the lights out.
Lowry said the same thing happened last week in Sacramento and it’s something he checks in every gym when he first comes out to shoot.
Okay, we’ve seen DeMar DeRozan enhance his passing abilities and passing willingness all season and it’s really led to some overall improvement in his performance.
But when he threw the behind-the-back bounce pass that Ibaka turned into one of his handful of dunks, it was one of those “holy crap” moments on press row.
“That’s the new me, Dougie,” he said. “It’s what I do.”
He was joking a bit but if you look at his line last night and see eight assists in less than 30 minutes – part of the season high 34 assists the team compiled – and you have to come away impressed.
Making his case
It was interesting watching Jonas Valanciunas and Dwight Howard hammer each other when they were both on the court.
It really looked like sumo wrestling at times, they’d bounce off each other, catch their breath and go back at it again. Quite funny for this day and age in the NBA when you don’t a lot of post play.
One time, in the front of the Raptors bench, they were going at it hammer and tong and right in the middle of the play, Valanciunas kind of takes a break, stands up, looks back at whatever official was on the baseline and gives him this withering look like “how the hell can you let this guy bury his shoulder in me?”
It was quite comical, JV gave me a shrug of the shoulders and a big smile when I asked him about it after the game.
JV, by the way, did a fine job on Howard, who only had one of his five baskets when Valanciunas was guarding him.
Just a little bit because I have to get Nothing But Net done, an early Raptors story done, catch a 1 p.m. flight to Philly and cover a game.
Yeah, it’s gonna be a day.
Four sleeps and the jolly old fellow shows up.
When I Rule The World …
Anyone who, in a crowded gate area of an airport, puts their bags on a seat to render it unusable by humans shall be forever banished to the middle seat in the back row of every flight they take.
Yeah, we need more mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and all questions happily accepted.
But I’ve also got an early flight back from Philly tomorrow and should probably start my Christmas shopping in the afternoon, right? So I can’t promise the usual fare will be up tomorrow morning; I’ll try my best but may have to delay it until Saturday morning. Not because I don’t want to but because I could get beaten by the clock.
Let me get this straight.
The IOC does what seems like the right thing by banishing Russia from the coming Winter Olympics because of the state-sponsored doping system that seems have been in place for years and years and years.
But then they decide to let some athletes compete – even though there will be questions about them – and that’s a bit of a cop-out by the august group of sports leaders.
And then they come up with the design of the uniforms the un-named team will wear and, lo and behold, it’s Russia!
Yeah, that’s making them pay, that’s for dang sure.
All right, gotta type.