Canadians Still Love DeMar & What A Homecoming It Was!
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, February 23, 2019
As Fun As This Was, Business Is Business And Both These Teams Wanted To Win!
Do you have a tissue? I have one..I have nine actually. One for each year DeMar DeRozan has played for the Toronto Raptors. It were an obvious emotional night for the city. I think it may have been even more emotional for Kawhi Leonard because DeRozan got a lot more love than he did when Toronto went down to San Antonio to play theirs first game against one another since the trade.
Lowry starts the game off strong against his best friends new team putting up Toronto’s first 5/7 points. I’m not going to lie , after DeMar’s video tribute, I got pretty emotional as did the whole arena. They gave a standing ovation for a good three minutes and I do think it were well deserved. I can appreciate DeRozan much more now that he is traded. He was great for Toronto but I do agree with Masai- things had to change.
Fun Fact: Demar is the franchise all time points leader for the Raps with 13,296.
Another former Raptor checks into the game and gets a standing ovation as well. Jakob Poeltl was one of the players included in the 4 player trade with San Antonio.
It seemed Pascal Siakam were a little bit off and like the All-Star break may have given him a little too much break! Spicy P was coming off a career high 44 pts vs Washington and was making a strong case to take home that ‘MIP’ player at the end of the season. With that being said- Pascal did put up 22 pts including a game tying three ball at the end of the 2nd frame, 49-49 with 2:33 to go.
Fun Fact: One if the Raptors newest members, Marc Gasol’s. His brother , Pau plays for the San Antonio Spurs and are dubbed the best brother combo out of a total five brothers in the league.
Patty Mills who is a key and consistent player for the Spurs’ put up 15 pts, going 6/11 from the field not letting this one get away easily.
It were getting intense in the 3rd quarter with the amount of turnovers and fast breaks happening-lucky for Toronto that gave players like Siakam to show off and euro step around (former Raptor) Rudy Gay from outside the key.
Toronto goes on a 6-0 run in the 3rd quarter to put them up 66-60. There were lots of talk throughout the league that Kawhi were a little “flat” since coming back and although some see him as flat- he still put up a game high 25 pts. 2 pts more than DeRozan who had 23 pts, 8 ast & 4 reb.
This was a great battle of two phenomenal teams. They were hustling, passionate and hungry. I think the only issue were the referees and their calls. You know those emoticons where the boy/girl is shrugging their should indicating “ I don’t know”. That is exactly what these two teams were doing as a result of the calls given.
So bad that Nick Nurse basically followed the refs into and around the court, then later receiving two technicals fouls and getting kicked out of the game. I personally don’t think it were the wisest of choices as this was a big game- but what’s done is done and it were then up to assistant coaches to lead the rest.
Jeremy Lin checks into the game in the 4th , hoping to give the Raps the lead and even the record to 1-1. He then brings Toronto within 1 pt with less than 8:00 to play in the 4th. Toronto’s largest lead,of the game were only 7 pts. That’s how close and good this game was. Lin contributed 11pts , and 9 of those being in the 4th quarter.
Let’s break down the last minute of play. Raptors are down 1 pt, Ibaka tries to hit a jumper at the top of the key and misses, only to have Siakam tap it in. DeRozan and Belinelli respond by hitting a trey ball. Spurs up 117- 115. Ibaka gets fouled and heads to the line, only to put one shot out of two in with no fouls to give. DeRozan was double teamed by Lowry and Leonard who then slipped and gave the ball to Leonard for the two handed flush. But then all hell breaks loose and the play was overturned saying Lowry stepped out of bounds and it’s not Spurs’ ball. Derrick White fouls Leonard sending him to the line extending the lead and Toronto ties up the record making it 1-1. Toronto takes it and everybody still loves DeRozan.
If you are around the GTA tomorrow, go check out the Raptors 905 game as they will be wearing special Degrassi inspired jersey’s and will also be giving prizes to fans. If you don’t know why these jerseys are so fun- go google ‘Jimmy,Degrassi’ and you’ll understand why.
Toronto has two more home games before the best rapper in the game visits, Dame Lillard. Until then they will hosts the very impressive Orlando Magic on Sunday at 3:30pm.
Toronto 120-117 Spurs