A group of Raptors alumni, which included Alvin Williams, Morris Peterson, Muggsy Bogues, Antonio Davis and Charles Oakley, reunited in the Sunshine State in support the MLSE Foundation‘s “Sky’s The Limit” event. Some of the foundation’s tremendous supporters joined the alumni for a one of a kind experience that included dinner, accommodations, golf and, of course, the Raptors’ matchup with the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday.
We’ve been hearing it for years from players, fans, coaches and everyone in between. The term “big market versus small market” and how it affects contract signings, trades and overall media attention. The list of examples are endless and at times equivalent to stubbing your toe every time you hear it. In my eyes, it’s a label which is not based on success but old fashioned attention and narcissism.
As a rookie, DeRozan teased Raptor Nation from time to time with flashes of greatness that generally took place above the rim, and couldn’t help remind those in Toronto of another high-flyer that once wore purple named Vince Carter. Outside of DeRozan’s ability to land on the highlight reel however, there were more serious matters to attend to, and as he was leaving the only NBA team he’d ever known, Bosh handed the keys to the franchise to the unassuming 19-year old in the same manner that Carter had given them to a promising young forward six years earlier.
Toronto plays Milwaukee twice (14-60) and Philadelphia (16-58) once. Milwaukee’s once promising season spun out of control hours after the home opener against the Raptors when star Larry Sanders tore a ligament in his right thumb during a bar fight and he missed 25 games. Then in February he was shut down for the season after he suffered a fractured orbital bone. Philadelphia just ended theirNBA record-tying 26-game losing streak. Both those teams are tanking to try to get the worst record in the NBA and increase their odds of drafting the likes of Canadian Andrew Wiggins first overall.
“Starting the season in Sacramento, we didn’t know we would be traded here and this team was going to turn it around and make a run, get to the third or fourth seed in the East and make the playoffs, all we saw was an uphill battle,” Salmons said. “For us, it’s a great ending to the (regular) season. The postseason never gets old. I haven’t been there the last two years. Going home early, it’s not fun. Watching everyone else play, competing and getting all that attention, it’s not fun being home.”
After his scrum with a handful of media types, Lowry was asked if there was a particular art to winning those loose balls when going up against men twice his size. Lowry looked at his questioner like the answer was obvious to anyone with half a brain. “No, you just go get it,” he said half smiling at the absurdity of the question or more likely the guy asking it.
Howard, who will not play against the Toronto Raptors tonight, has averaged 18.5 points per game this season.
Omar Asik, who spells Howard, could start on half the teams in the NBA. It is a measure of how powerful the Rox are that they didn’t see the need to move him prior to the trade deadline, despite the rich payback he would have provided. Their self-restraint is paying dividends, as Howard’s ankle injury may prevent him from dressing. If so, Asik, veteran Francisco Garcia and Donetas Motiejunas will likely split the big man duties.
Fans will likely find out the nature and severity of Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry’s knee injury before Wednesday night’s game against Houston. Lowry hurt his knee in a collision with LeBron James on Monday evening, and Dwane Casey said the knee swelled up soon after the incident. The Raptors were set to re-examine Lowry on Tuesday, after initial x-rays were negative. However, they will likely wait until Wednesday to announce their findings.