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Raptors mental resolve faces a two-night test

Missed practice yesterday because the mid-day flight back from Charlotte made it impossible to get there.

Had this little piece leftover from Sunday that seemed worth it and I don’t seem to have missed too much.

We’ll find out this morning about OG’s ankle and whether he can go; I would suspect they will err on the side of caution if he’s the least bit sore. But he’s a tough kid and maybe everything will be fine.

It’s a rather big two nights in many ways; and a good test.

Miami always plays tough and they’re getting a bit of bounce with Dwyane Wade back and you know there’ll be some intensity thanks to the James Johnson-Serge Ibaka dust-up from the last time they played and the DeMar-Dragic spat after the final buzzer.

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You’d think the Raptors would have a bit of extra juice for this one, not only because it’s the last home game before the break but because it’s time to send at least a bit of a message that what happened last time is not on, especially at home.

Tomorrow’s going to be interesting, and perhaps a bit ugly and will once again speak to the mental resolve of players on both teams.

The all-star break, a legit week off to rest body and mind for most of ‘em, will be dangling out there like a carrot and, trust me, it’s going to be hard for all of them to get up and have the necessary level of intensity.

Dwane touched on it a bit the other day when he was talking about the kids not knowing enough to coast through a game and that might make the difference.

A couple of weeks ago, when the Raptors were just going along in what was a bit of funk, DeMar mentioned to me that they just needed to get on some kind of a sustained run, win like 10 of 11 or eight in a row or something like that and everything would be fine.

Well, they’re now five on the trot with two left before the break and you’d like that if DeRozan was thinking about a big run a couple of weeks ago, that he’d get everyone ready to finish up this portion of the season in a big way.

Will be interesting to see if they can.

Laissez les bons temps rouler, indeed.

But here’s one for you.

What if you don’t like pancakes?

What’s a guy to do today?

Wonder when the Lords of TV will come up with a weekly mixed doubles curling tour.

Or, as I suspect, will we all forget about it until the next Olympics and just fondly recall the cool gold medal run that ended this morning.

But it was a nifty run, wasn’t it?

May as well get the mail requests in now; I’m actually not going to Chicago for tomorrow night’s game so there’ll be time during the day and then again Thursday in between working on some Nothing But Net stuff.

So stop by askdoug@thestar.ca and give me some good questions to answer, you’ll be glad you did.

A Faithful Follower on the tweeter machine asked me the other day about the new phrase in O Canada after the woman in Charlotte, somewhat surprisingly, nailed the “in all of us command” portion out of the blue.

And then I read this about Olympians making sure they got it right when the anthem was played in Pyeongchang and it got me thinking seriously about it.

I don’t have any real objections to making one phrase gender neutral after all these years because the world evolves and it seems like it’s the right thing to do.

I would imagine the coming generations won’t be the least bit put out about it, it’ll be what they grow up with and the old phrasing will quickly be forgotten.

But …

How far do we go?

Will there be even the slightest movement to take the word “God” out of it as a nod to the millions of Canadians who don’t worship a “God.”

That might not be farfetched when you think about it.

A big part of me thinks anthems are anthems and should not be trifled with. I understand that society evolves and what might have been okay decades ago isn’t today but there’s a thin edge of a wedge thing here that gnaws at me a little bit.

It’s not a huge deal and I’m sure we will all be comfortable and familiar with the change soon enough but there’s just a tiny part of me wondering if it was truly necessary to mess with O Canada.
But given how many times at how many games, home and away, that I’ve heard the anthem butchered, this is really nothing.


TORONTO STAR