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Quite aside from Giannis Antetokounmpo (and I can absolutely type that now without looking it up, although I haven’t quite nailed pronouncing it yet) and the minutia of the game on the court, wanna know what the real story is about this series?
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The full service Marriott, home of the awesomely named Meat, Cheese, Beer lobby bar/restaurant is currently a tad too expensive but the Courtyard is about a 10-minute walk from the arena so that’s a good thing.
The seating at BMO Bradley Harris Centre is pretty good, midway up the stands across from the Raptors bench with easy access to the workroom thanks to some well-placed escalators. And, this might not be for everyone, but the fresh air location is really convenient.
The schedule is better than average. An evening start on Saturday is fine, no deadline issues, no shootaround to get up for. The day game for Game 4 is perfect and the only downside would be two off-days between Games 1 and 2, it means manufacturing an extra day of solid stories.
So, that’s all good, right?
You can’t get there from here easily, at all. The robber barons who run Air Canada must think Milwaukee’s on the other side of the world because trying to book a direct flight (two a day, to and fro) was going to cost somewhere in neighbourhood of $ 1,300 (yes, THIRTEEN FREAKING HUNDRED DOLLARS!) when I booked on Wednesday night. So it’s Toronto-Detroit-Milwaukee, Milwaukee-Detroit-Toronto on Delta for about $ 600. But at least I avoided United so that’s good.
And shockingly enough, outside of the diner I really don’t have a go-to place for post-game shenanigans in the city. There used to be a great little dive bar called The Harp that the legendary Tom Enlund used to take me to but I hear it’s closed. There are spots on Water Street right close to the arena but if anyone’s got a recommendation, I’m all ears.
And while some might think it’s good that there are other sporting distractions to take some of the attention away from a historically bad start to the season but a quick run through the tweeter machine last night would make it seem the angst level is high and climbing higher.
If they don’t get two or three of the long weekend games, the calls for heads to roll will be right up there with demands I know well. Like why the hell doesn’t James Johnson play more and if they only gave Pops a chance they’d be going places!
I’m sure you missed this in the flood of Raptors stories yesterday but if you’re wondering who’ll win each of the other seven series, the answers are here.
And from the department of shameless plugs, we had this on the series and this on Giannis and this on Casey-Kidd there will be tons more later today, hopefully including a rather neat one going through the time they landed both Ibaka and Tucker.
I did watch more pucks last night than I have in any week over the course of the season and the Leafs do seem to be quite a fun team. Tough loss but it is a long series and one game doesn’t mean it’s over. That’s something those of us who have actually done playoffs for a few years in a row know well.