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Three things left after the Raptors beat the Wizards

Better team beats weaker team in a rather thorough manner with a result that really wasn’t in doubt for most of the night.

And odd feeling, isn’t it, fans?

These are strange and, I bet, enjoyable times all around.

And there was this:

A game evolves

One of the more impressive aspects of the growth of DeMar DeRozan’s game this season is his ability and willingness to pass and we saw in the first quarter two prime examples.

First, he drove, made his typical spin move and found a second defender waiting for him. Last year, he likely would have forced the issue and tried to bull his way to the basket, last night he made a quick and decisive pass to Lowry, who made an open three.

A couple of minutes later, he got in a pick and roll with Bismack Biyombo and when the defender was a bit slow to react, DeRozan made a great pass to a wide open Biyombo who got to the rim, was fouled and went to the line.

That kind of awareness has made DeRozan doubly dangerous and far more effective with the ball in his hands.

Try and try again

Luis Scola did not enjoy one of his finest offensive games and it began particularly gruesomely.

He air-balled a corner three right in front of Toronto’s bench, badly missed a corner three from the other side and then missed a three-pointer from the top a couple of minutes later.

But, because we all know you’re either hot or you’re due and you should shoot ‘til you make or shoot ‘til you miss, he fired away right before the halftime buzzer and made a three like nobody’s business.

That’s the kind of confidence you like to see in shooters, not remembering what they’d just done because they know the next one’s going in.

Is it almost time?

To pronounce Terrence Ross “there” yet?

Another solid, solid game from him, very assertive on offence (he drove the ball at times which is and of itself newsworthy) and his 15 points off the bench were a continuation of the roll he’s been on for 10 days or so.

And this shows what kind of rhythm shooter he has to be:

After making a couple of nice catch at shoot threes early in the game, he got fed the ball when he was wide-open in the far corner.

With no one around, he glanced up, took an extra dribble, lined it up and missed.

He hopefully realized then that thinking might not be the best recourse, just catch and let ‘er rip.

A bit more of this and that? Sure, I’ve got a couple of little items.

This came on the radio the other day and I think a little Twisted Sister is never a bad thing.

Now, trust me when I say I’m not entirely sure what a hashtag on the tweeter machine exactly is or what it means or why people use them.

But today, it’s all about #BellLetsTalk because of all the good and important awareness programs out there, the mental health one is tremendously important to me and this is a very significant program.

I know and have known people who’ve struggled with depression, a few who tragically did not get help in time or maybe who didn’t recognize the illness. This one hits home and you should help if you can.

I don’t do a lot of tweetering myself and I don’t know if you do but if you do, do the #BellLetsTalk thing, money from every time it’s used goes a tremendously worthy and important cause.

Here’s a thing I learned yesterday; two, actually.

There are such thing as dog ophthalmologists – that’s humans who deal with animals; not, as the Great Griff thought, dogs who examine our eyes even if that would be the coolest thing ever – and said canine ophthalmologists must be among the best compensated physicians in the animal world because Super Dog has some issues and I need some freelance work it appears.

Okay, I won’t harp on this any more because the next time we’re here it will be over but if you’re looking for something to do tonight, you could do an awful lot worse than to stop by the Firkin on King and listen to a bunch of us tell stories at another edition of Hoop Talks Live.

It’s a lot of fun and, frankly, it’s got stools and tales and Jack and what’s better than that?

I’ve a big fan of John Honderich for a lot of reasons.

This kind of thing shows why.

Of all the strange stories out there, few are stranger than the Blake Griffin Busts Hand Punching An Assistant Equipment Manager In Some Toronto Restaurant tale that broke yesterday.

I’m glad the Clippers didn’t try to spin it into something it wasn’t because what it was, was undeniable.

A very large, very strong professional athlete hit someone he professes to be a friend hard enough and repeatedly enough to break his hand and he needs to be taken to task not only by the league but by his team.

I get that athletes are humans and prone to the mistakes we all made, especially in our youthful exuberance but athletes need to conduct themselves in a certain manner and getting into bar fight with anyone isn’t one of them.

They have too many people – teammates, coaches, bosses, other team employees – relying on them and it’s totally fair to expect them to conduct themselves in a manner that tries to assure they won’t let everyone down.

There is no denying the stupidity of Griffin’s actions at a handful of levels; I’d like to think others will learn from it but this is not my first rodeo and I can guarantee you we’ll be saying much the same things about someone else in the not too distant future.

Oh yeah, one last one.

I could really use some mail over at askdoug@thestar.ca if you don’t mind.


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