The Raptors handled the Pistons, and in a way that put to rest a lot of complaints that have tossed at the feet of some of the Raptors. Kyle Lowry controlled all aspects of the game on his way to a triple-double. Serge Ibaka played as well as he did during last year’s immaculate playoff run. Pascal Siakam hit 6 (!) triples and played outstanding defense, and OG Anunoby stretched his legs offensively, seeing just how much room he gets to take up in the car that is the Raptors offense. All those things are gravy to Raptors fans, but in this game it was paired with injuries to two incumbent rotation members of the team: Norman Powell and Marc Gasol.
Gasol pulled up lame in the first quarter, and left the game with a left hamstring strain. Perhaps an indication of too much wear and tear? He’s played a lot of basketball in the last year, and maybe this injury will operate as forced rest. Powell, on the other hand was crunched in between a screen as Luke Kennard angled him into Blake Griffin, who lowered the boom. Powell’s shoulder took the brunt of the blow and he left the arena with his left arm in a sling. All around bad news.
It might’ve been too early to tell if Gasol was on his way to having a good game or not, as he battled with Andre Drummond to start things out with a modicum of success. The Raptors defense was wayward to start out, as the Pistons attacked off of some Raptors turnovers and worked to establish deep post position. It was clear from the beginning that the Pistons knew their guard-play wasn’t going to win this game for them, which was accurate.
Siakam and Anunoby did a good job of ice-ing Griffin’s early possessions on offense, switching freely on any action he was involved in above-the-break. Any time Griffin got into the post the Raptors usually opted to double him, with mixed rates of success. Griffin is a really good passer and was constantly making the right read out of the doubles, and creating good shots. Maybe not in the beginning of the game, but in the majority, the back end of the Raptors defense did a fantastic job of closing out on the Pistons shooters and funnelling them towards the help-defense.
Lowry acted as a vacuum with defensive rebounds and pushed the Raptors into transition and pseudo-transition as often as he could. He bumped as many guys as he could on his way down the court, waiting for his big man to pass him by and letting everyone fill the lane before he found someone sprinting to the rim or the corner. That’s why Siakam was able to evade the Griffin matchup that gave him so much trouble in years past; he shaped up off of Lowry’s penetration and nestled into the porous Pistons defense for open jumpers, finishing 6-11 from downtown.
The most interesting development of this game would have to be Anunoby’s freestyling on offense, though. He got a taste for the paint early on as he filled the lane and Lowry found him with regularity, but Anunoby has clearly been working on his dribble package and he whipped it out more than once against the Pistons. I’m not sure what Anunoby’s career high is for baskets that started with his dribble outside the 3-point line, but last night sure seemed like this was it. He was on balance when he rocked the ball back and forth, ready to attack either foot of the defender, and he dipped his shoulder after he got his first step past them and burst to the rim. Super fun development from Ogugua.
And the story of the second half, which was Ibaka. Putting up a massive 17 & 11 in the second half alone, out-duelling his matchup, Drummond who’s certain to make an All-Star team and remains one of the hardest big men to deal with league wide. It’s impressive that Ibaka was able to do that, because despite being cast as a Center in the NBA these days, he did come in as a power forward and he’s still not big compared to some of the giants in the NBA, which Drummond qualifies as. Ibaka went in against a bigger player who’s known for his motor, and outworked him. Salvaging the early part of the third quarter for the Raptors, and providing a steady hand offensively and defensively as they closed the Pistons out.
So many things went right for the Raptors in this game, and that’s what makes it so disappointing that it came with such a heavy cost, in the injuries to Gasol and Powell. But, the Raptors remain one of the NBA’s most resilient teams and they’ve handled this type of storm before. You’ll hear plenty of players cite the “next man up” maxim when asked about the state of their roster, and this is a team that backs up that ethic. They mean it when they say “next man up” because they have so much faith in the development of the end of bench guys and the incumbents.
Regardless of anything else, the Raptors move to 19-8 on the season and move forward to hosting the Wizards on the 20th.
Just as a heads up, I’ll be on a flight during the game and Zarar will also be busy, so there likely won’t be a reaction podcast for the Wizards game. It’s very likely that, that will be the only missed podcast this season. Sorry, and thanks for understanding.
Have a blessed day.
The Best Canadian Players Ever To Play In The NFL
When people talk about the best players in the history of the NFL, they usually talk about American players. Well, when we consider that most of the legends were from this country, this should not come as a surprise. The case is the same today. Just take a look at thegameday.com and you will see who the most popular individual players are and the top betting picks for football enthusiasts.
However, looking further north, we can see that there are many splendid Canadian players who graced the NFL with their talent.
Let’s take a look at the best ones who played in the league.
This ridiculously talented American-Canadian football player had a successful career in the league. He played as a wide receiver for various teams throughout his career, including the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Cleveland Browns. Burleson was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
He quickly made a difference on the field, showcasing his speed, agility, and reliable hands. During his time with the Vikings, he became known for his ability to make acrobatic catches and his versatility as a receiver. In 2006, Burleson signed with the Seattle Seahawks, where he continued to excel. He played a key role in the team’s success, helping them reach the Super Bowl in the 2005 season. However, injuries limited his playing time during his tenure with the Seahawks.
In 2010, this wonderful man joined the Detroit Lions, where he had some of the best years of his career. He formed a dynamic receiving duo with Calvin Johnson, and together they became one of the most formidable wide receiver tandems in the league. Burleson’s leadership and veteran presence were also highly valued by his teammates. After his time with the Lions, Burleson signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2014.
This football diety wrote a delightful piece of the NFL history and he made the whole of Canada proud. He played as a fullback and defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears in the 1930s and early 1940s. Nagurski was known for his incredible strength and power on the field, earning him a reputation as one of the toughest players of his time.
During his splendid career, Nagurski helped lead the Bears to multiple championships, including the NFL Championship in 1932, 1933, and 1940. He was a dominant force on both offense and defense, known for his ability to break tackles and his hard-hitting style of play. Nagurski’s physicality and versatility made him a standout player in an era when two-way players were common.
He was later shown the heavenly doors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. This of course, only made his legacy a legit one in this neck of the woods. What do his colleagues have to say about him? Well, most of them remember him being one of the toughest dudes to roam the green fields.
This absolute legend became famous for playing as a placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998 to 2005 and later for the Dallas Cowboys in 2006. Vanderjagt was known for his accuracy as a kicker and he has the NFL record for the most consecutive field goals made with 42. He was also the first kicker in NFL history to have a perfect season, making all of his field goal and extra point attempts in 2003.
Vanderjagt was selected to the Pro Bowl twice in his career and was a key contributor to the Colts’ success during his time with the team. Imagine having those tales to tell the kiddies on your lap when you get old.
Jimmy Butler steals the show on NBA media day with ‘emo’ phase look following Damian Lillard’s trade to the Milwaukee Bucks
Whether or not Miami Heat’s golden child Jimmy Butler’s new “emo” look is just a phase, the NBA star carried it off with some aplomb, drawing plenty of laughs from his teammates.
One year on from his memorable fake dreadlocks look, the 34-year-old outdid himself by turning up at the Heat’s media day on Monday sporting a straightened fringe, piercings in his eyebrow and lips and painted black nails.
Butler said he’s now “emo” and after the summer he and the Heat have had, who can blame him?
After former Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and his agent publicly stated on numerous occasions that he would only want to play for Miami, it seemed like a matter of when, not if, the 33-year-old would end up in South Beach.
Butler led the Heat to an improbable NBA Finals appearance as the eight seed last season, so it’s easy to imagine his excitement at the prospect of Lillard’s addition to the roster pushing the team over the top and to its first title in the post-Lebron James era.
However, the Milwaukee Bucks swooped in last week with a package that blew Miami’s out of the water, meaning Lillard will now be plying his trade in Wisconsin and not Florida.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, laugh it up,” Butler said as he entered his press conference, pushing his fringe out of his eyes. “I’m emo. This is my emotional state, I’m at one with my emotions so this is what you get.”
Despite failing to acquire Lillard and losing key contributors Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, Butler remains confident ahead of the upcoming season, telling reporters the Heat are going to win it all.
If it’s good news that he’s now at one with his emotions, Butler might just also be a gifted method actor and isn’t actually going through a belated “emo” phase. The six-time All Star could be heard saying “don’t make me break character” as he entered the press conference.
His new character was certainly a hit with his teammates and had Bam Adebayo crying tears of laughter as the pair were having their photos taken for the new season – which means, yes, Butler will have this hair in official photos for the entire year.
Certainly not someone to do things by halves, Butler was fully immersed in his new state and even posted songs from emo bands on his Instagram story throughout the day.
Finding Your Perfect Match: The Best Ways to Choose an Online Sportsbook
In the ever-expanding world of online sports betting, selecting the right sportsbook is crucial. This is to ensure an enjoyable and secure gambling experience. With numerous options available, it can be challenging to find the perfect fit. For instance, you can be looking into sites like BestOdds to find a sportsbook to go with but do not know what exactly to check.
This article will explain the basics of finding an excellent online sportsbook.
Licensing and Regulation
The first and most critical factor when choosing an online sportsbook is ensuring it operates in a legal and transparent manner. A reputable sportsbook should possess a valid license from a recognized regulatory authority. These licenses indicate that the sportsbook adheres to strict standards, including fair play, responsible gambling and financial security.
Before registering, check for the sportsbook’s licensing information. In most cases, you will find this in the footer of their website. Some of the most reputable regulatory bodies for online sports betting include the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
Additionally, research the sportsbook’s track record for regulatory compliance and any previous non-payment or unethical practices incidents. User reviews and industry news sources can provide valuable insights into the sportsbook’s reputation.
Odds and Betting Markets
The quality of odds and the variety of betting markets offered are key factors in determining the suitability of an online sportsbook. Competitive odds provide better potential returns for your bets, while a wide range of markets allows you to explore different betting options.
Compare odds from multiple sportsbooks to ensure you get the best bet value. Some websites and apps even offer odds comparison tools to make this process more convenient.
Moreover, consider the breadth of sports and events covered by the sportsbook. Whether you’re into mainstream sports like football, basketball, or soccer or niche sports and events, the sportsbook should offer diverse markets to cater to your preferences.
Security and Payment Options
Security is paramount when sharing personal and financial information with an online sportsbook. Look for sportsbooks that employ the latest encryption technologies, such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer), to safeguard your data. Consider factors like two-factor authentication (2FA) to enhance account security further.
Payment options are another critical aspect. Ensure the sportsbook offers convenient and secure methods for depositing and withdrawing funds. Common payment methods include credit/debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets (like PayPal or Skrill) and cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin). Choosing a sportsbook that supports your preferred payment method is essential to streamline your betting experience.
The Best Canadian Players Ever To Play In The NFL
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