All right, here’s what we’ll try to do.
Because every hour of every day seems to bring some level of bad news to us all – something shuts down, some doomsday prediction of the months to come, a border closed, a state of emergency declared – we can all use some reminders of happier times, can’t we?
How about we do our part by dropping some list that might make you smile, make you remember a good day or a happier time?
Not sure precisely how deep we’ll go or how far back we’ll go or whether we’ll branch out from the HOTH and the basketball but we’ve gotta try. So try we will.
We’ll stick with the every other day nature for the time being but maybe we expand it to five days a week starting next week and maybe it’s an abject failure and we can’t think of anything between us past the end of next week.
But let’s give it a shot.
The Three Biggest Wins Of This Season
There have been a handful of shocking games so far this season for the Raptors, wins that came out of nowhere and made absolutely no sense and speak to the incredible level of toughness this version of the team has.
These are three of my favourites:
At Los Angeles Lakers, Nov. 10
Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka had been injured a couple of nights earlier in New Orleans, the Lakers were the Lakers with LeBron and Anthony Davis and Staples is a hard place to play any time and the emotional spectre of seeing Kawhi Leonard for the first time hovered over the team.
So what do these guys do?
Come out and get huge games from unexpected players, come up with a 113-104 win that no one saw coming and continue what turned out to be a damn impressive five-game road trip.
Here’s what we wrote about it.
Vs. Dallas, Dec. 22
In the grand scheme of things beating Dallas in Toronto a couple of days before Christmas isn’t the most surprising outcome of the season.
The Mavs are good but not that good, the Raptors are that good and with the holiday approaching, you’d figure the home team would get this one.
Then the Raptors played like dogs for the longest of time, got down by 30 points – THIRTY POINTS – and all I could hope for that evening was that they’d get through the game quickly and unscathed and get ready for Boston on Christmas Day.
Then craziness happened.
The 30-point hole became 22 and then 17 and then 15 and then 11 and then seven and then three and then the Raptors were ahead and one of the greatest single-game comebacks in the history of the NBA was unfolding in front of our eyes.
It was, in a word, astonishing.
And in the sober light of day, this was the story.
At Utah, March 9
Forget that it was the last game they’d play for likely a very long time; that’s not what made it newsworthy, or fun, or memorable.
This was a group finishing a very difficult five-game western road trip, playing on the second night of a back-to-back against one of the top teams in the Western Conference, at altitude and if any game was there to be mailed in, this was it.
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Fred VanVleet didn’t play, Marc Gasol didn’t play, Norm Powell went down about 90 seconds into the game, too.
Like I wrote the next day after the jaw-slackening 101-92 win, this group truly never ceases to amaze.
Here’s that story and if that’s the last game this incarnation of the roster ever plays together, what a way to go out.
Okay, that’s the first of what I expect will become a regular feature in these confounding times. How’s everyone like the idea?
I know this is not going to be possible for many of you, a vast majority of you, as a matter of fact. And it’s certainly not something we can do every day here at Casa Doug.
But I would urge anyone who can to take full advantage of food delivery services from their local restaurants and bars as often as they can each week.
These are tough, historic times for those small operations whose margins are basically razor thin at the best of times.
There are not those times and any little bit of help you can give will, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.
You’ve done a great job of filling up the weekend mailbag so far folks, and I’m glad for that.
But there’s also and always room for more so click on firstname.lastname@example.org and do what you do.
Lots of suggestions in there on what you might like to see and have me do over these dark game days and, believe me, we’re looking at them all to see what works and how well.
We’ll get through this. Somehow.
Can’t imagine there’s any surprise that a handful of more NBA players tested positive yesterday for COVID-19 or that an NHL team announced its first positive test.
That’s just common sense and I would fully expect more to come out as the days unfold.
It’s terrible news for the players, their families and the people they’ve had close contact with lately but I don’t think it necessarily means any extensions in the suspensions the leagues are operating under.
Games are so far away, and the situation seems to change daily, if not hourly, that positives this week won’t move up or set back restarts which, I firmly believe, won’t come until June at the earliest, it at all.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
What are some of your favourite Raptors memories? Share your thoughts.