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Professional win sends Raptors into the break on a roll

A very business-like win accomplished by the lads last night, wasn’t it?

Slow start was totally expected and understandable but by about halftime they’d found their groove and won going away, which should happen when a good team plays.

Now more than a week off to rest on their laurels and figure out what they need to do in the final two months of the season.

First, though, this:

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Delon doing Delon things

I barely noticed it at first but there was this play in the second quarter that pretty well sums up the subtle defensive impact Delon Wright can have on a game.

The Bulls were trying to make a pass from the elbow to the corner – a pretty basic pass that get made all the time – but Wright’s length disrupted it just enough and I think he had to get his fingers on it so that the Raptors got an easy steal that led to a breakaway dunk by Pascal Siakam.

It was just one of those Wright Moments that come up every now and then and, I tell you, this kid’s got a chance to be special.

Helping hands

We saw on Tuesday night here that DeMar DeRozan can take over a game offensively at the drop of a hat – that 19-point third quarter against Miami was a gem – and while he wasn’t anywhere near that last night, he was just as effective.

Seven points is no big deal but the eight assists made him even more dangerous and once again showed how far his game as a facilitator has developed.

Looking through his game-by-game stuff, it was the 12th time this season he’s had at least eight assists in a game; he did it four times all of last season.

That’s growth, and trusting your teammates and, yeah, having them actually make shots once you give them the ball.

Who is this guy?

Gem of a game from Serge Ikaka with 20-7 in 25 minutes after a 14-10 double-double the night before and who says his creaky knees aren’t able to handle back-to-backs so well.

What impressed the most, however, was how he absolutely dominated Lauri Markkanen early in the game by driving at him and hitting little jumpers and jump-hooks in the lane.

One of the knocks on Ibaka as he gets on is his reticence to play too much inside but last night he saw a matchup he could exploit and he did.

I think he, more than DeRozan or Lowry, is benefitting greatly from the reduced workload and fourth quarters off and that might turn into a huge deal as the season drones on.

More? Sure, why not. But it’s an NBN day so busy morning and a staff meeting this afternoon that might be, um, fun.

Sticking with our NOLA/Mardi Gras week …

I said this before the Olympics began but it can be repeated.

Long-track speedskating is truly wonderful to watch, a bit hypnotic and the examination of just how far a human body can be pushed.

This Olympic-record, gold-medal skate by Ted-Jan Bloemen this morning was wonderful, wasn’t it?

Way late to this because other things got in the way but news that Jerry Howarth is hanging them up was a bit of a shocker, no?

I don’t know Jerry all that well but he’s always been a friendly sort when I was around the ballyard and I know he’s got some interest in basketball so that’s a good thing.

But he did two things that I recall over his illustrious career that have always stood out to me.

First, in the 11th inning of Game 6 of the Blue Jays-Braves World Series, he stepped back from the mic despite it being his inning to call the action so that Tom Cheek could bring home the first World Series in Jays history.

That’s very cool.

And Jerry was also one of the leaders – first one, as I recall – to stop calling the Cleveland and Atlanta teams by nicknames he found offensive. That was a stand he took on his own without any fanfare and that was a big league move.

Anyway, we all wish him well in his retirement and the games on the radio certainly won’t be the same.

And that’s too bad because, more than any other sport, baseball was made for radio and I’m sure tens of thousands of current Blue Jays fans basically grew up listening to Howarth.

But here’s the thing:

With Howarth gone and Gregg Zaun whacked months ago, how different are Blue Jays broadcasts going to look and sound on both radio and TV this summer.

Guess the team on the field isn’t the only thing with holes to fill.

Could definitely use some more mail, if you’ve got stuff on your mind.

Drop by askdoug@thestar.ca and test me, it’s an awful lot of fun.

And since there’s nothing really on except some typing tomorrow and Saturday, should be all kinds of time to fabricate an answer or two.