The BAA was the forerunner of the NBA. And though the Huskies folded after just one season, the Raptors franchise has kept the history alive, including a visit to last night's game at the Air Canada Centre by Gino Sovran, one of the original Huskies.
The Windsor native signed with the Huskies two weeks into the season, while taking a quarter off from his engineering studies at university. He appeared in all of six games. Sadly, Sovran, who now lives in the Detroit area, believes he is the last living player from that team.
He was one of two Canadians on the Huskies, along with fellow Windsor native Hank Biasatti, who also played first base in the major leagues in 1949 for the Philadelphia Athletics. Biasatti died in 1996.
Bosh needed just more than a half to rack up his league-leading 19th double-double of the season.
Jarrett Jack started at the point for the first time this season, and played well, scoring 17 points with eight assists and seven rebounds.
"I think these type of wins build character and show character," Jack said. "You're not playing like you are capable of, but you have to find a way to gut the victory out. It wasn't pretty, but it goes down as a W and that's the important thing."
The Toronto bench also was largely ineffective, scoring a total of 10 points, while Minnesota's Kevin Love scored 18 himself off the bench.
Antoine Wright had hoisted 41 three-pointers over the course of this NBA season and had made just 11 when he found himself open in the corner of the Air Canada Centre court Tuesday night, his Raptors clinging to a two-point lead with about 63 seconds left in the game.
There was almost an audible gasp from the crowd as he let fly, and cheers a split second later.
In one of those classic, "No, no, no … yes!" moments that pop up during the course of a season, Wright, a guy employed primarily for his defensive skills, had the game's biggest basket as the Raptors went on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 94-88 in a game that was at times gruesomely ugly. Or not.
DeMar DeRozan came into last night’s game averaging 12.8 points a game over his last five starts and riding a streak of three straight games in double figures while shooting 48.8 per cent from the field. He had 15 points last night to extend his double-figures scoring streak to four games.
Who's hot? Never a great shot blocker, Andrew Bogut has swatted 10 shots away over his last four games.
Who's not? After a monumental start, Brandon Jennings was shooting just 55-for-165 (33%) over his last nine games prior to last night.
As the Toronto Raptors celebrated their latest win, a 94-88 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves, OutKast's 2003 mega-smash Hey Ya! pumped out of the Air Canada Centre's speakers.
"What's cooler than being cool?" Andre 3000, one half of the group, asks in the song's most memorable line. "Ice cold."
It was a fitting end to an ugly evening if you are at all passionate about offensive basketball, as these Raptors are. Toronto generally has no trouble scoring; against Minnesota, the Raptors shot 32%. The shooting of both teams was, well, ice cold.
Raptors extend win streak over Wolves to 11
Jim Rome's final burn on Toronto Raptors guard Jarret Jack tying his shoes during a game on JRIB.
The Raptors shot 32.1 percent from the field, while the Timberwolves made 37.1 percent of their shots…Toronto has won 13 of the last 17 meetings with Minnesota. The Raptors have also won the last six as the host in this series…The Timberwolves head back home Wednesday to take on the Hornets, while the Raptors travel to Milwaukee to play the Bucks on Wednesday.
The Toronto Raptors, to a playoff spot. Antoine Wright, to less criticism, justified as it may be. This group, led by Chris Bosh, to at least the second-round. Bosh, to a max contract. Bosh's detractors, to believing. The franchise, to respectability.
Last week, the Raptors suffered one of the most embarrassing losses for any team this season, getting drubbed by 31 and yielding 146 points to Atlanta. The Hawks shot 59.1 percent from the field, had nine players in double figures and had 75 points at halftime. “It was tough," point guard Jose Calderon said. "We know we are a better team like that. We just had to all get back on the same page."
Chris Bosh, Raptors
Wolves fans, dream your summer free-agency dreams and think about Bosh, whose 21-point, 16-rebound evening seemed practically effortless.
One of league's worst defensive teams allowing 108.3 points per contest, Toronto put forth another solid defensive effort after winning 110-78 at Chicago on Saturday.
"We're starting to dial in a little bit," coach Jay Triano said of Toronto's defense. "We've changed a few things and it seems to be working right now."
That helped them overcome a season-low 32.1-percent shooting performance that included a 2-for-21 effort from 3-point range against the Timberwolves.
"A win is a win to me," said Bosh, who's averaging 25.7 points and 14.7 rebounds in his last three games. "I've never been picky in that category. As long as you find a way, that's what it's about."
They came within fewer than five minutes of becoming the first team since 1999 to hold the Raptors without a three-pointer on a night when Toronto missed its first 17 attempts and finished 2-for-21.
They wiped away an 11-point, second-half deficit with a 13-1 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters.
And, of course, they watched it all unravel in an instant with 90 seconds to play.
Kurt Rambis spent most of the game debating and pleading with the officials on a night when the Raptors made 40 of 48 free throws and the Wolves 19 of 23.
"It's awful hard to beat teams when there's a huge, wide margin in the free-throw discrepancy like that," Rambis said. "They did what they were supposed to do. They drove to the basket and drew the contact."
My initial verdict is ME LIKEY MY FRIENDS. The Raptors game is barely 3 minutes in (oddly enough they haven’t given up over 35 points yet) and I’m already ready to join a movement to get the Raptors to change their moniker to “Huskies” permanently. I’ve never been keen on the Raptor being their team name. I never understood why John Bitove and pals decided on the dinosaur theme. I’m sure I can google the reason which probably revolves around either of 2 things:
THE FAN presents all of the highlights (1) and Eric Smith's game recap (2) from Tuesday night's 94-88 Raptors win, a victory accomplished without the services of starting point guard Jose Calderon.
What I find the most discouraging in this Raptor turnaround is Andrea Bargnani. He has not been good and I think after being in the league for the amount of time he has it is time to raise the bar. Andrea Bargnani needs to meet a certain level on both ends of the floor and I am sorry to say at least for me he is falling well short. He may be heading to a role as the 6th man of the Raptors if things to not change. It may actually not be a terrible thing. I like the idea of him playing more with Marco Belinelli for not just Andrea but Marco as well. Andrea was said to have injured his ankle and some may want to give him a pass for tonight. I am o.k with that but in the games prior he has not been much better having key moments here and there. There is also no rule that I am aware of that says he can't finish games if he does not start. On the night's he is playing well he can be in there in crunch time with the starters.
Enough can’t be said about Bosh’s play when his team needs him the most. He had yet another solid evening, filling up the stat sheet with 21 pts and 16 rebs – none bigger than the play late in the fourth where he took it hard to the rack, and while getting fouled, hitting a ridiculous reverse layup, flipping it in with his left hand. This play was the turnaround for the Raps – the little momentum swing they needed. Despite a rough night at the office, Bargs canned a big triple down the stretch to continue the Raps 3 point streak to 883 games, and also had a pivotal offensive put back to stretch the lead out.
I was watching the game with my buddy as it was close down to the fire, and I asked him “Andrew, are you confident?” He responds by saying “Obviously, why wouldn’t I be when we’ve got the Turkish Jordan on our team?”. Not two seconds later, Turk came up with a clutch steal and continued on to the basket for the easy dunk, walking the Raptors into their third straight victory.
A fan at a restaurant was shunned when he approached Turkoglu, Bargnani, and Nesterovic at their table, yet they still placed the bill on HIS TAB!
“We had DeMar (DeRozan) in the game for awhile but they weren’t really sticking on him in the corner so we were having a hard time driving to the basket,” Triano explained to me. “Things were getting clogged up so we just went with a veteran guy more for defense than anything else. I’ll be honest, I was thinking of putting Marco (Belinelli) in if we had a stop for defense. But we gave the ball to (Hedo) Turkoglu and he did a nice job of driving and they left Antoine (Wright) alone in the corner.”
Further adding some intrigue was a nice sense of irony attached to the shot which Jarrett Jack shared with me after the game.
“The shot was great because he had been coming to me telling me I had a couple of looks,” Jack told me after the game. “He was telling me to be ready to shoot and then he came into the game and he was ready to shoot. He took his own advice and was able to knock down a bit shot for us.”
The Raptors were without Jose Calderon and they shot the ball terribly. By the end of the third quarter they were letting the T-Wolves hang around and there was a sense they may allow the game to slip away. They banded together and held on for a team building victory. Many different players contributed, Antoine Wright hit a big shot and Marcus Banks actually got to wear a uniform. The team held on to win when they could have easily hung their heads and packed it in.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Raptors grind it out. Got to give them credit, the offense wasn’t flowing but they still played passable defense, combine with the fact that Minnesota looked more like a NBDL team than a NBA team, the Raptors stole a win.
Jose Calderon was out for tonight’s game, I am hoping that he will play tomorrow because I don’t want to see Marcus Banks ever dressing in a Raptor uniform. The ball movement was dead once he’s on the court. If Jose is out tomorrow as well, they should consider putting Bellinelli as a PG and have Hedo helping out as well.
Minnesota struggled to start the season, partially due to injuries but for the most part they are a young team in a tough conference. They have been playing well as of late and the Raptors have to be careful not to take them too lightly.
- Gritty wins always feel good
- Podcast: The Doctor Is In (w/ a special guest, free tickets and Christmas carols!!!)