Last night I was hoping for some spunk, passion and urgency from the Toronto Raptors. Out of 48 minutes, there were 10-12 minutes of good basketball, the rest made me cringe. Something dramatic needs to be done to fix what’s wrong with the Raptors and sports in Toronto in general.
Maple Leaf Sport and Entertainment (MLSE) is at the helm of three major sports franchises in the city, which is by far the leading hub of professional sports in the country. They are responsible for our teams lack of success. They need to provide genuine and good leadership from the top that is matched with long-term vision – this is the only way to find post-season success.
Listening to Dwayne Casey’s comments during the post-Game 2 press conference, I yearned for more honesty. We, the fans, are owed more than diplomacy, we want blunt observations and then action. Basketball fans know that the Raptors are not the best in the league, that we have problems, but what’s got us to this place as a franchise is passion and solid offense. Last night, I just didn’t see it – I saw a defeatism that says that our players don’t believe in themselves, that they’re lost.
Game 3 could be a turning point, but only if the things that work start working and stay that way from beginning to end. Washington is a good team, but we make them look better when we undermine ourselves.
The Toronto Raptors are 5-1 (W-L) in their preseason. They play 2 more preseason games until the start of their season, tomorrow against an Israeli basketball team called Maccabi Haifa, and then on Friday in Montreal! against the New York Knicks. I’ll be at the game tomorrow, ready to drink my beer and watch the awesomeness of the Raptors at the ACC.
After last year’s incredible turnaround, which saw the Raptors make the playoffs and win the Atlantic Division Championship for the first time since 2007, the hype and excitement of the 2014/2015 is palpable. Toronto could really use some positive sport energy after a disappointing summer with Toronto FC in the MLS (that club is a mess – how else do you explain having 9 coaches in less than 8 years as an active franchise?) and the lacklustre Toronto Maple Leafs.
Anywho, my energy this winter, separate from my ongoing passion for soccer and futsal, will be focused on the Toronto Raptors, and rooting for my all-time favourite NBA coach Dwayne Casey whose mission is to whip his players into playoff contention for the second year in a row.
To read about the Raptors further check out sportswriter Cathal Kelly courtesy of the Globe and Mail who commented recently: “it’s an odd feeling, watching a Toronto team traipsing through a preseason without any issues or existential problems. The players are both good and satisfied. They seem to like each other. They think they’re a pretty good team and – shocker – this is not a bald-faced lie they tell season-ticket holders”. Should be a good season ahead.
Sunday afternoon I had tickets to a Hot Docs movie at 4PM. I knew that the Toronto Raptors vs Brooklyn Nets Game 7 Match-up might go beyond the 3HRs that basketball games typically take to be played. So at 3:45PM, I was sitting in my car, listening to the radio, waiting to know how things would end. Loss…Win…Overtime?
Terrence Ross intercepts a Brooklyn Nets inbound pass. YES! o.o62 seconds left in the game and Raptors have the ball for, what will probably be, the games final play. 104-103 Nets, and we have the ball! Let’s do this. Let’s make this basket and move on to Round 2.