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Morning Coffee – Fri, Aug 2 – Scotiabank needs a makeover, NBA 2K diss

NBA 2K diss | Scotiabank to get a makeover | 2Pat | Raptors economic impacts | Siakam analysis.

BCE credits low-cost Lucky brand, Raptors’ win and Game of Thrones for best quarter since 2001 | Financial Post

“Our financial performance in Q2 demonstrates a clear focus on disciplined and profitable subscriber acquisition,” chief financial officer Glen LeBlanc said in the filing. The results showed “continued strong revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth across all Bell operating segments, margin expansion, and higher earnings and free cash flow,” LeBlanc said.

CEO Cope is due to retire in 2020 after years 14 at the helm, handing the post to current chief operating officer Mirko Bibic, who has previously served as executive vice president of corporate development and as chief legal and regulatory officer. Bell drew drawing record-breaking audiences for the Toronto Raptors NBA Championship and the finales of Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory.

“The championship game for the Toronto Raptors was the most watched NBA game ever in Canada and the biggest broadcast of the year on any channels with an average audience of 7.9 million viewers,” the company said.

Strong quarter for specialty entertainment TV where viewership increased 16 per cent over last year and the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones was the most watched season season in specialty and pay-TV history in Canada, which helped its service Crave hit 2.7 million in the quarter.

NBA free agency 2019: The Knicks, D’Angelo Russell and overlooked storylines | SI.com

Where do the Raptors go from here?
To me, the most overlooked storyline from this summer is the future of the Raptors. Toronto took a risk in acquiring Kawhi Leonard, and it experienced both the thrill of a championship and the disappointment of him leaving. What’s the next step for the Raptors? The veterans leftover are still very capable, but likely not contender worthy. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are both solid pieces to build around, but they aren’t on the same timeline as guys like Marc Gasol or Kyle Lowry. I haven’t seen much discussion or reporting about where Toronto goes from here. Will Masai Ujiri finally start a rebuild and see if he can build a more sustainable championship window? Does that mean guys like Lowry, Gasol, and Serge Ibaka could become available in trades? How does that affect contenders around the league?

Wherever the Raptors decide to go from here should have wide-ranging consequences, both in terms of who becomes available to acquire, and the path that could open up for other teams in the East. It sounds callous to already talk about the dissolution of Toronto’s title team—perhaps that’s why there hasn’t been too much speculation yet. But knowing Ujiri’s willingness to be bold, I would be surprised if major changes don’t happen sooner rather than later in Toronto, and those changes could have a far-reaching impact.

Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena undergoing “reimagination” – ExpressNews.com

While the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors gear up for next season, Scotiabank Arena is getting a multimillion-dollar face-lift.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president and CEO Michael Friisdahl calls it a “reimagination” of the venue that opened in February 1999.

“We’ve got to keep getting better, we’ve got to keep improving the experience,” Friisdahl said. “We won a championship — we’ve won four championships in the last three years. That, if anything, motivates us to do even more.”

Friisdahl, who took up his position at MLSE in December 2015, declined to put a price-tag on the improvements other than to say it’s “multi, multimillion dollars.”

“Eventually when it’s all said and done, you will notice that everything will have be touched in one way or another to improve the overall (fan) experience,” he added.

The Atlantic Files Ep133: Toronto Raptors year in review by Basketball Society

Summer Workout Plan: Pascal Siakam’s passing could help the Toronto Raptors overcome the loss of Kawhi Leonard | NBA.com Canada | The official site of the NBA

Siakam averaged a career-best 3.1 assists per game last season, with most of his assists coming in one of two ways. As one of the league’s best transition scorers – both in terms of points scored and efficiency – he rewarded the likes of Danny Green, Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry for running the floor with him by kicking the ball out to them when the defense collapsed. A lot of his assists otherwise came from making the extra pass, usually when teams closed out to him in the corners, where most of his 3-point attempts came from.

While Siakam has proven that he has the vision to set up his teammates in other ways, he didn’t do it consistently last season, particularly on the drives that have become such a big part of his game. According to NBA.com, he averaged the fourth-most drives (7.6) on the Raptors, trailing only Leonard (13.6), VanVleet (8.7) and Lowry (7.8). Siakam, however, passed on only 33.7 percent of his drives, ranking him 12th on the team behind the likes of Delon Wright (46.1 percent), OG Anunoby (40.4 percent) and Norman Powell (40.0 percent).

Put simply: Siakam drove a lot, only he was more of a scorer than a facilitator when he got downhill.

The Raptors didn’t necessarily need Siakam to be a facilitator in those situations last season, but they might need him to diversify as a passer next season to make up for the loss of Leonard. That doesn’t necessarily mean turning into a high volume playmaker. With Lowry still at the helm and Marc Gasol at times directing traffic from the top of the key in the halfcourt, those two are likely to still rack up more dimes than Siakam, even in an expanded role.

But there’s no denying that he is only going to get more opportunities to create his own offence and teams are going to be more wary of his strengths now that he’s Toronto’s go-to scorer, which will lead to more aggressive help and more double teams, thereby opening up more opportunities for him to create for others.

Anthem Auditions | Toronto Raptors

To apply, please send a link to a video recording showcasing an acapella performance of both the full Canadian and American anthems.

Demo links should be sent to [email protected]

Select candidates will be notified and invited to Scotiabank Arena for a live audition.
Submission Deadline: August 15th 2019

RJ Barrett won’t play for Canada at Basketball World Cup: report | Offside

RJ Barrett, a third-overall pick by the New York Knicks, may not play for Canada as originally thought. According to a report from Yahoo Sports NBA insider Shams Charania, Barrett will not participate in the World Cup, which begins August 31 in China, due to a mild calf strain suffered during summer league play.

A future star, many Canadian basketball fans were hopeful that Barrett would be a loyal member of the national team for years to come, given his father is engrained in the program. That may still be the case, as Barrett will be present at training camp in Toronto, Charania reports, so this is a different case than Andrew Wiggins.

Canada will be without Wiggins, Barrett, and Tristan Thompson for the World Cup, which would have been crippling in years past. But Canada has never been richer with basketball talent, and has the depth to withstand some absentees.

Watch: Raptors get zero love in latest ‘NBA 2K’ trailer | Yardbarker

The Toronto Raptors have been, unfortunately, one of the losers of arguably the most wild offseason in NBA history, and the creators of the latest installment of the “NBA 2K” video game series seem to think the defending champions aren’t even worth mentioning.

Unless, of course, they’re being tooled on by the player who broke their hearts in free agency.

The latest trailer for “NBA 2K20” was released on Thursday, and the overall theme was showing superstar players with their new teams. The only time the Raptors were featured was when Kawhi Leonard was depicted scoring on them, which you can see below at the 20-second mark:

https://twitter.com/NBA2K/status/1156930434510405632

Raptors news: Fred VanVleet says Jeremy Lin was ‘great,’ expects him to ‘land on his feet’

“He was great, man,” Fred told us on his way out of Catch restaurant in L.A. “He’s gonna be alright. He’s gonna land on his feet. He’s gonna be alright. He’s got enough talent.”

Sources: Patterson intends to sign with Clippers

The Oklahoma City Thunder and forward Patrick Patterson have agreed to a buyout on the final season of his contract, allowing him to become a free agent, the team announced Thursday.

Once his $5.7 million deal clear waivers this week, Patterson’s intention is to sign with the LA Clippers, league sources told ESPN.

The Clippers, with two available roster spots, are constructing a frontcourt bench to support their two new forwards, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Patterson, 30, was never able to find consistent traction in a role with the Thunder during his two seasons there. He averaged less than 15 minutes per game — far different than the impactful previous three seasons with the Toronto Raptors.

In nine NBA seasons, Patterson has averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in stops with Houston, Sacramento, Toronto and Oklahoma City.

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